What is the best handle for cutaway?

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John, I would rather have a metal breakaway handle when I am pulling it. I would rather have a Pud handle all the rest of the time so I have stayed with a Pud handle recently. I have several Pud handle cutaways and have never had a problem using them, but thinking about a peel rather than pull, I would rather pull. That probably really helps, NOT.
D-1594- USPA Instructor Examiner-PCA LIFE MEMBER #377-National Judge -Gold wings# 1223- Okla Pope #5-Master Rigger

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IMO, the best is the strong tandem cutaway pud where it is a soft handle but it also has a flap that you can hook your thumb it. I would have that for both cutaway and reserve on my sport rig too if Mirage offered it. I base that on my experience of 4 cutaways, two sport and two strong tandem.

My Demo Jumping rig is a Quasar II which has a similar handle, I haven't had to use it 'real world' yet but have practiced EP's and though it works as designed, I like the old cut-away puds Strong had for the Mini-Hawks.

It was 1/2 again as large as most I see on other types of rigs, and fatter outside tapering down 'a lot' to the hard Velcro tab going into the harness.

It's firmer than what I'm using now, but had enough 'squish' to get a firm grip...

I've pulled the Mini-Hawk handle 6 or 8 times out of necessity and in various circumstances never having the slightest problem finding it, tearing the Velcro or punching it out.

It almost seems like there is a mechanical advantage having a pud 2 inches longer and an inch wider than what appears to be the norm today.

Another thing I don't really care for on the Strong 'pocket pud' is since it's as wide as it is long and softer...it flips back on itself when going fast. I've watched it flutter while tracking and doing head-down...whether it would move like that during a high-speed mal such as a bag-lock I don't know, but I am aware it does that so I know to LOOK hard for it when I do need it.

...All that being said, to address John Sherman's query~:)

I'd love to see a 'pud' type handle that is 'rib curve contoured in' on the backside, fat & round facing out

Picture maybe 2.5 - 3 inches 'wide' of hard plastic (or whatever) shaped like a 'D' ...covered with para-pack or even thick rubber but an area in the center of the 'D' open... the Velcro harness tab on one side, an inch or so of 'open center' space and then a 3.5 to 4" long pud on the other - something wide enough to get a firm grip but small enough to lessen the snag hazard.

The area the hand grasps would be considerably 'longer' than the tab inserted at the MLW. (think sideways "T")

It's the best of both worlds, a pud to grab and/or a finger loop / thumb ring...simpler to operate using either hand.

Ya got something you can really grab onto...it's a couple inches off the MLW with a semi-flexible 'open' space, so it's easier to find & secure.

...and the peel-punch is easier using your whole hand wrapping it ~ against 1/2 a hands worth or several fingers...tearing at/off Velcro.

~basically picture an old B-4 'pocket' ripcord...curved inward toward the body with pud stuff on the outside part of the handle, but using modern materials and 1/2 that size.

That make any sense? :S:):ph34r:

~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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John, I think Bill's theory is based on the weight of the handle rather than drag. A metal cutaway handle, accidentally released from it's pocket, could generate considerable force during opening shock, similar in principal to line dump.

The Cutaway “Pud” was of matching color to the jump suit. This seems to be an important factor that hasn't really been discussed. I am personally very conscious of this and have always used a pad of contrasting colour to that of my jumpsuit and MLW. In fact they have always been bright orange on all the rigs I have owned over the years (Racers included).

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