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mbailey465

Chest Strap Quick-Release Routing

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So I usually run a belly band on all my jumps (AFF, Freefly, hop and pops etc.) and route my cheststrap so that it can be taken off easily after opening.

I never had an issue with this until the other day when I was jumping away from my home DZ and one of the TMs pointed at it in the plane (at the 1 min light) and told me to change it. I'll spare the details but after a discussion with the DZSO they made the call that it could only be done on a hop and pop due to the (0.0001%) chance that someone could accidentally take my chest strap off in free fall.

I understand that it's their decision to make and there isn't much use in arguing. I'm wondering if anyone else had thoughts on this and whether you think that it's actually an issue. I'd personally rather spend less time screwing around with my chest strap after opening and risk that someone could (0.0001%) grab it in free fall.

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I'll have to wait until I get home before I can send through a photo but it's essentially doubling the chest strap back through the second half of the routing. Holds the same as the conventional routing but comes undone if you pull on the end tab. I only do this if I'm wearing a belly band.

So to sum it up:
Pros- comes out easily when pulled
Cons- comes out easily when pulled

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so obviously the dz has the final call on something like that but i definitely know where you're coming from. i do know someone who routes their chest strap the same way and have tried that routing myself and the ease in which it comes out and the precious seconds it saves when you're under a highly loaded cross braced canopy is nice, however it does not hold as strong as traditional routing as it does not allow the friction adaptor to engage properly. I've seen and first hand experienced, most typically during belly angle jumps, the chest strap loosen (not come out entirely) and that can cause other potential issues, especially while freeflying/angle flying. as an experienced skydiver making a conscious choice, i think you can use that routing the rest of your jump career and have hardly an issue, but i do feel that a more traditional routing technique possesses more integrity.

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There's a pro swooper on my DZ that does it for H&Ps, doesn't for freeflying and told me not to do it for freeflying if I decided to follow his technique. I'm not sure if he experienced the issue himself or not.

Just the wind can be enough to "pull" your chest strap. Fast dives like belly angles can make this worse. Freeflying (beginner or advanced) has a lot of "unpredictable touching", complicated exits etc... I agree with the DZO here.

On another note, it's usually a mistake to try to squeeze too many things on a single jump or try the maximum swooping performance on busy freefly loads, most people can't focus on everything at the same time. I used to jump a belly band and remove my chest strap on every load. I realized I was bringing my post-opening procedures lower than advisable (RDS, chest-strap etc...), now I only wear my belly band on hop n pop days. I'd say it's not worth to risk it.

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That routing should only be done for hop n' pops in my opinion. I used to do it as well for competitions, but there is absolutely no reason to do it for freefall jumps.

Equipment is getting very specialized. Its hard to have something that does everything well. If you want to freefall, gear up appropriately. If you want to competitively swoop, swoop your face off on a hop n pop.
Losers make excuses, Winners make it happen
God is Good
Beer is Great
Swoopers are crazy.

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I routed my chest strap this way but I primarily did hop n pops and tandem videos. So practically 0 chance of anyone grabbing it. I would say don't take it in freefall with groups. Ultimately it is up to the DZ and your own personal risk. Hop n pops are for swooping. I think I would route it normal if going all the way up to freefly and what not. Just pull a bit higher in case you have to deal with that excess fold getting hung up on the chest strap hardware.

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