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azdiver

soft pulls or d handels

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i dont about everyone else but the rental gear i use has a d handel. never thought much about the d handels before i made a jump out of a kingair, big guy in a little door when i got back down some of the other jumpers on the plane told me about how i exited and how extremly dangerous it was, becuase of the d handel, ever scence then i have constantly been freaked about it catching something on my way out. so just wanted peoples personal feelings about wich is better and why
light travels faster than sound, that's why some people appear to be bright until you hear them speak

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I use a D handle right now because it is what I trained with and feel comfortable with. My new rig has the D handle snug up against my chest. I am careful of it but I don't believe it will snag on something with my body snagging also.

Use what you are comfortable with. I may change mine to a pillow some day, but I have no reason to. A lot of people I know jump the D handle. Again, personal preference.

David

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I agree with most of the forum posters so far. Snags do not happen often, but they do happen. I also agree that most of the modern D-handles rest pretty snug on the chest/belly so the likelihood of a snag is low without you knowing. Go with what you are comfortable with. I use a pillow for both handles and like the setup. It is different for everybody. I will say that if you decide to go with a pillow, please get some practice in a harness using it as it is a different feeling and people have thought they were pulling on the handle when they were pulling on the harness itself, or they had part of their jumpsuit in their grip with the pillow and had trouble deploying it. I think that you are on the right track with being aware of it at critical times though (ie: exits, docking in freefall, etc). That awareness should not ever go away, but don't be scared of it.
Josh K.
"Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2000 of something"
Mitch Hedberg '68 - '05

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some of the other jumpers on the plane told me about how i exited and how extremly dangerous it was, becuase of the d handel



I have 2000 jumps with a "D" handle and never had a problem.

*CAN* they get snagged? YES. But a pillow can also be harder to pull in an emergency.

A low profile "D" handle solves all of those problems.

Some people just preach soft handles since they are "cooler" than the older style things.

But do you really want your reserve to be harder to pull than it is needed? A person with a mal or two might not notice any difference, but there is a difference.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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But a pillow can also be harder to pull in an emergency.



Agreed. I've been very grateful all 3 times for my D-handle. Easy to grab when you're in sh*t.
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3 cutaways in under 200 jumps...
hmmm... maybe time to get a new packer.
Josh K.
"Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2000 of something"
Mitch Hedberg '68 - '05

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I have to agree with Ron here. I have 2000 jumps and all except about 50 are with a D ring. I switched to a pillow handle for a short time and never felt comfortable with it. I have 8 reserve rides and can say that on at least a few of them, I was very happy to be able to get my thumb through the ring and pull.

I don't think there is anything wrong with pillow handles, I just didn't feel comfortable with it. I have the low profile D ring handles on both my rigs and have never gotten snagged on anything. Pay attention to your gear and what it touches and you should never have a problem.
Time flies like an arrow....fruit flies like a banana

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Be careful about taking advice from those "other" jumpers. Many of them have no real clue.

You have 45 jumps. Youve been trained on a "D" handled system. The right thing to do is a) stay with it for a while longer, and b) protect your handles, it's the right thing to be aware of no matter what kind of gear you're using.
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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Low profile handles are available.

I like mine much better than some of the other triangular shaped alternatives, and it uses the standard pocket. It just sticks out from the lift web so much less than the std handle, I have used it once, with excellent results.

The cable in this pic doesn't look right because the small handle had not been installed yet, I just put it in the pocket for the pic.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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Any chance you can take another picture of that with the handle in the right place? I like those handles but that picture should finally get retired ;) Also put something black against the back pad behind the lift webs for contrast.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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I like the setup in that picture. Right now I have a pillow for the cutaway and a metal reserve handle. This is fairly normal, right? There was a long thread in the "Incidents" forum about a malfunction where the lady had a tough time pulling the pillow cutaway handle. (She is small, so strength may be a factor and I understand the whole "peel and pull" thing, but that's another thread). I really think the small loop would be easier to catch/pull in a cutaway situation. I saw a rig last weekend that had the soft loop for the cutaway and the reserve. Any advice would be great appreciated.

Stan

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The makers of the Infinity made a nice change to the way the cutaway handle (and the metal pipe "soft" reserve handle) is held secure in the main lift webs.

Overcoming the sheer strength of velcro is difficult. Peeling the handle away then punching down and outward proves to be much much easier.

Well, I let my hand slip off the cutaway handle once (and only once) because I just grabbed it and pulled. I had 1300 jumps and I'm not weak. I've performed intentional breakaways prior to that but my first unplanned breakaway took an extra second to regrab, (both hands this time) peel and punch.

Velocity Sports Equipment (builders of the Infinity) has begun sewing the velcro that holds the cutaway handle to the liftweb onto a flap rather than directly against the lift web. If you pull straight out, the flap allows the velcro to peel. If you peel first, well, it still peels.

It's a simple and brilliant addition. It holds very securely but when you need the cutaway handle removed quickly, it sure helps, especially if for some reason you forget to peel first. It happens, so always train properly to engrain good habits.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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What about your other 1,500 jumps? Did you switch to a soft handle?



Well, my math was bad...I have maybe 2800 with a D ring and ~1000 on a pillow.

I have two rigs...One with a metal D ring and one with a pillow; I jump both. Derick T gave me the pillow to try. If I want the D handle he said he will give me one. To be honest I have not had a mal with the pillow yet...My plan is to wait until I do and then make a choice to see if I like the pillow. But I have 6-7 mals with a D ring, so I think I can afford something a little more difficult....And to be honest even then I am not so sure it is a good idea.

One thing I like about a metal handle is the ability to pull it with either hand if I must....I can't pull the soft handle with my opposite hand.

It is a personal choice...But I like the D handle since when deep in the beeps I like the idea of it being easy to find, easy to grab, and easy to pull. Yes, that means I need to protect it more than I would a soft handle.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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And Oren knows something about malfunctions.

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I have 2000 jumps and all except about 50 are with a D ring. I switched to a pillow handle for a short time and never felt comfortable with it. I have 8 reserve rides




:o:o:P
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I can't pull the soft handle with my opposite hand.



Really? Why not? In case one of my hands was rendered useless, I made a point to pull both handles with either hand. On the ground of course.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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In Reply To
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I can't pull the soft handle with my opposite hand.

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Really? Why not? In case one of my hands was rendered useless, I made a point to pull both handles with either hand. On the ground of course.



On the ground...I can. But it is hard enough that I am not sure I could pull it off in the air, in a hurry.

Of course the threat of dying makes lots of things possible:P
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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On the ground...I can. But it is hard enough that I am not sure I could pull it off in the air, in a hurry.



True enough. I doubt I could do it in a hurry either.
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Of course the threat of dying makes lots of things possible:P



But of course!;)
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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Some people just preach soft handles since they are "cooler" than the older style things.



I saw my first soft reserve ripcord handle (pillow) in 1980 or 81 on a Northern Lite. Both cutaway an reserve pillows were identical.:S We weren't too smart back then. The usuall option was a martin baker handle. D shaped handles on sport rigs were still not the norm, if even offered by anybody.

Nothin' new under the sun.;)
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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