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GregAndrea

Racer by Jump Shack

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Is Jump Shack still in business and producing Racer containers? In the mid 90's I had a Racer(NOS) and back in Indiana, a lot of the jumpers used the Racer containers. Fast Forward, I have been out of the sport for many years and am getting ready to start again. I will be jumping at Skydive AZ but I have noticed all other manufactures are represented but I have not seen any Racer containers being used. Any reason why? Thank you in advance for any information you might have on this subject.

Greg

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GregAndrea

Is Jump Shack still in business and producing Racer containers? In the mid 90's I had a Racer(NOS) and back in Indiana, a lot of the jumpers used the Racer containers. Fast Forward, I have been out of the sport for many years and am getting ready to start again. I will be jumping at Skydive AZ but I have noticed all other manufactures are represented but I have not seen any Racer containers being used. Any reason why? Thank you in advance for any information you might have on this subject.

Greg



just don't use the dual sided RSL.

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I jumped one back in the late 90's. I purchased it because I was skysurfing at the time, and getting situated on a large board in a small plane was difficult. And having the reserve pin protected was important to me at the time.

But the rig was not very comfortable, and once I was done with the board I sold it.

Currently I am jumping a Peregrine Glide, and it is outstanding as is the service.

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Jump Shack still in business and producing Racer containers? In the mid 90's I had a Racer(NOS) and back in Indiana, a lot of the jumpers used the Racer containers. Fast Forward, I have been out of the sport for many years and am getting ready to start again. I will be jumping at Skydive AZ but I have noticed all other manufactures are represented but I have not seen any Racer containers being used. Any reason why? Thank you in advance for any information you might have on this subject.

Greg




The response that I get is that riggers do not like to pack the Racer reserves. We used racers for more than 15 years and 110% satisfied as a DZO and as far as packing the Racer reserve it only requires two extra brain cells. Have had two cutaways with the dual RSL and no problems.
www.geronimoskydiving.com

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gunpaq

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Jump Shack still in business and producing Racer containers? In the mid 90's I had a Racer(NOS) and back in Indiana, a lot of the jumpers used the Racer containers. Fast Forward, I have been out of the sport for many years and am getting ready to start again. I will be jumping at Skydive AZ but I have noticed all other manufactures are represented but I have not seen any Racer containers being used. Any reason why? Thank you in advance for any information you might have on this subject.

Greg




The response that I get is that riggers do not like to pack the Racer reserves. We used racers for more than 15 years and 110% satisfied as a DZO and as far as packing the Racer reserve it only requires two extra brain cells. Have had two cutaways with the dual RSL and no problems.



Watch the video.

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We used racers for more than 15 years and 110% satisfied as a DZO and as far as packing the Racer reserve it only requires two extra brain cells. Have had two cutaways with the dual RSL and no problems.




If you are using Racers with two sided RSLs on student gear I would consider it to be negligence.

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I have not seen any Racer containers being used. Any reason why?



Racer wars again!

Although every statement here could be endlessly debated, here's my grab bag of reasons why Racers are not popular:

1. First off, when a set of gear is less popular, there are fewer to be seen and fewer dealers…. So the average skydiver isn’t likely to consider buying one. Especially if there aren’t well known jumpers out there to push the brand in popular disciplines.

2. Racers used to have safety advantages that other rigs didn’t. Like much better reserve pin protection and main deployment handle protection, or a better reserve pilot chute launch. But other rigs have more or less caught up. One can argue the details, but other rigs are considered decent these days.
So there’s little incentive now to go for something a little out of the ordinary.

(It probably doesn’t help that most Reflexes are retired and few TSE Teardrop rigs are seen in North America … full pop tops of any variety are nearly unheard of.)

3. Racers are a pain to pack especially if not every rigger is used to dealing with Racers. They can be done efficiently... but if 1 in 100 rigs you pack is a Racer, it can be a real bother.

4. Nowadays with near universal AAD's, it costs a couple hundred bucks more to equip a Racer because of the two pin system.

5. Racers were slow to innovate with modern riser protection. Although they have good stuff now, for quite a time when their popularity declined, I seem to recall they were pretty much the only ones with "all that old fashioned 1980's velcro". Other rigs innovated, Racers were slower to change, even if the owner said “We got the design right the first time.” (Mind you, a ton of new velcro can be more secure than a bad tuck tab design, even if it chews risers and lines up.)

6. Bizarre closing loop system.
In some ways, having an adjustable loop is really handy and smart. I like it. Although some riggers get worried about having their seal on the rig,when a user or some other person could mess with the pull force after the rig leaves the shop.

The worst is changing the loop. All that hand tacking of the loop and hand tacking of the pilot chute cap. It's like something from the 1960's in the military. Heck, some rigging instructors are all about "Change reserve loops every repack!" these days... They clearly aren't thinking about a Racer. (Nor can Airtec and Parachute Labs even agree on the best loop setup system -- a free loop in a channel or tacked down?)

Changing a loop shouldn't take 1 1/2 hours or whatever, including building the loop. (Ok, I'm sure some of the riggers out there can do it faster.)

They need to have some neat quick attach system for the caps -- heck, cheapo Wings rigs manage to have a clever design.

7. Reserve speed bag with all the elastics. I can’t even buy a traditional safety stow type freebag from Parachute Labs any more. Yeah, the speed bag is supposed to work, but I’m not sure everyone feels all warm and fuzzy about the design. Traditional free bags still work fine.

8. In general, the company owner is inventive but notably fixed in his opinions, sometimes counter to the industry. Sometimes that’s good and leads to innovation, sometimes that’s bad, as it can slow changes being made or make the rig seem weird.

So the average jumper might be OK with some innovation that’s different than the industry. (different cutaway cables.) Or they might be a little wary (speed bag freebag). Or the company seems unusually fixated on something, as if their Type 13 harness design is the only true, safe design in the industry. Or there’s the endless defence of the two sided RSL – Even though a regular RSL is actually available, that would make the average jumper happier about the rig.

If they think they have the better answer, but it is something skydivers are wary of, make it an option rather than turning people off with it.

And I'm saying this all as a Racer owner. Got one cheap years back and have done various mods to it.

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Hi Greg,
Yes, we are still making Racers (the 2K3 and the Classic Racer), with lots of new updates. The Racer is available with single or dual side RSL. It is still the strongest, most comfortable harness and most importantly, the the fastest deploying reserve with or without RSL.

The fellow in the video that was referred to executed incorrect emergency procedures. Incorrect response to any malfunction is going to bite you. Skydivers need to educate themselves about their equipment and be taught proper procedures. I have had one actual cutaway using the dual side RSL and 40 intentional cutaways (test jumping), using the dual side RSL. Every reserve deployment clean and within 2 seconds or better. My email is nancy@plabsinc.com. Contact me if you would like more detailed information about Racers or our line of canopies. Blue Skies,
Nancy

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NancyJ

The fellow in the video that was referred to executed incorrect emergency procedures. Incorrect response to any malfunction is going to bite you. Skydivers need to educate themselves about their equipment and be taught proper procedures.



Oh really? Let's see how well you do at teaching then. Your own manual (which, btw, you do NOT make properly available on your website; out of two different links to a "manual", neither works, so I had to use this copy, dated Oct 2003) has this to say:

Quote

The cross connector system is “what if’ed” with: suppose a previously “totaled” main deploys after the reserve is out. Some say, and we acknowledge, that this rare occurrence would put the reserve over your head with the main inflated and in tow behind the reserve. OK! What if that does happen? We have a good canopy over our heads and plenty of time to disconnect either side of the cross connector thus releasing the main. No panic!



Not only does it not say a single word about the "correct" emergency procedures, it actively misleads anyone reading it by claiming that this is something that can be done after the reserve and main is out. No panic indeed, it's not like you can do anything at all after it chokes off your reserve!

This kind of shitty, stubborn, blame-the-jumper-for-your-own-fuckups attitude is why Racer deserves to die a thousand deaths. I don't think it'll come as a surprise to anyone but Jumpshack that Campbell got a "Friends don't let friends jump a Racer" t-shirt after he shot that video. And any manufacturer who can't figure out how to publish a working copy of the manual online in 2018 should rightly be rejected by riggers in the field anyway. Which Racers are thankfully seeing more and more of.
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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NancyJ

Hi Greg,
Yes, we are still making Racers (the 2K3 and the Classic Racer), with lots of new updates. The Racer is available with single or dual side RSL. It is still the strongest, most comfortable harness and most importantly, the the fastest deploying reserve with or without RSL.

The fellow in the video that was referred to executed incorrect emergency procedures. Incorrect response to any malfunction is going to bite you. Skydivers need to educate themselves about their equipment and be taught proper procedures. I have had one actual cutaway using the dual side RSL and 40 intentional cutaways (test jumping), using the dual side RSL. Every reserve deployment clean and within 2 seconds or better. My email is nancy@plabsinc.com. Contact me if you would like more detailed information about Racers or our line of canopies. Blue Skies,
Nancy



This is also an issue with the company. RTFM is not satisfactory. Expecting someone to disconnect the RSL during a high speed malfunction is absolutely absurd.

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I was part of the design and introduction of the SST in about 1974. It was designed to be a simple, minimal hardware, fast to build rig, and incorporated Dan Poynters' Pop Top reserve. The first one that I built was from a Pop Top supplied from Ted Strong and a container I built and attached to the Pop Top. John designed the very comfortable harness. I assembled it. After that I built 11 red/white rigs for the Beechnut team. At this point, we built our own Pop Top containers with permission. This was, at that point, a batch of "cowboy" rigs to be tested by the Beechnuts. At the time, we had some of the best rigs, although they were prototypes needing testing. They got on the market too quickly to compete with Wonderhogs and others. For various reasons the brains of the shop jumped ship and the rig development coasted for many many years. Seems like when an incident happened, a change might happen. After too many years, the right people got into the shop and the rig came much closer to up to speed with the market. There are not many people jumping it because it is not being marketed properly, as well as all of the questionable things of the rig. That many people complaining can't be all wrong. I love Dan Poynters design of the external pilot chute. I would jump a new Racer, but I would have to disassemble it, add a few things, and remove a few things and change a few more things to update it. Remember, it does not take much to work and it doesn't take much to not work.

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gb1

I was part of the design and introduction of the SST in about 1974. It was designed to be a simple, minimal hardware, fast to build rig, and incorporated Dan Poynters' Pop Top reserve. The first one that I built was from a Pop Top supplied from Ted Strong and a container I built and attached to the Pop Top. John designed the very comfortable harness. I assembled it. After that I built 11 red/white rigs for the Beechnut team. At this point, we built our own Pop Top containers with permission. This was, at that point, a batch of "cowboy" rigs to be tested by the Beechnuts. At the time, we had some of the best rigs, although they were prototypes needing testing. They got on the market too quickly to compete with Wonderhogs and others. For various reasons the brains of the shop jumped ship and the rig development coasted for many many years. Seems like when an incident happened, a change might happen. After too many years, the right people got into the shop and the rig came much closer to up to speed with the market. There are not many people jumping it because it is not being marketed properly, as well as all of the questionable things of the rig. That many people complaining can't be all wrong. I love Dan Poynters design of the external pilot chute. I would jump a new Racer, but I would have to disassemble it, add a few things, and remove a few things and change a few more things to update it. Remember, it does not take much to work and it doesn't take much to not work.



++

I applaud you for not letting pride get the best of you, and for using common sense.

The manufacturer can scream RTFM until the cows come home, but there's just no way that's going to get them the market share or increase buyer confidence.

Reassess the market, come up with a (more) functional and (more) desirable proposition. Otherwise you'll dwindle into obscurity.

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It's amazing what a viral video can do. I for one would jump a Racer anyday. Just not one with the faulty default RSL. Marketing is a funny thing. There is another brand of H/C that has taken a huge and largely unjustified hit in the last couple years due to a video of a problem at least partly related to poor performance by the user.

The resale value of this product has dropped considerably and people I know no long even consider it when choosing gear. With Racer this happened about 20 years ago. Even without You Tube. Skydivers are very fickle.

The single biggest reason few people want a Racer is the hassle and expense of the 2 pin design. It has become a specialty item of interest only to the true believers. And yes, the very stubborn, refuse to change attitude of the management at Parachute Labs both drives the acolytes toward it and the larger world away from it.

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>The fellow in the video that was referred to executed incorrect emergency procedures.

He likely correctly executed the emergency procedures he was taught during the FJC. During times of stress, skydivers usually resort to their earlier/most repeated training.

Thus the frequent admonition to use a one sided RSL with a racer, so a jumper who executes "standard" emergency procedures is not at risk of injury or death.

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LeeroyJenkins


This is also an issue with the company. RTFM is not satisfactory. Expecting someone to disconnect the RSL during a high speed malfunction is absolutely absurd.



And tandems also have a emergency requiring disconnection of rsl in high speed emergency and has an rsl design which makes it incredibly difficult as a single handed operation with a good chance of the lanyard snagging and requiring more effort to actually release. Including having someone on the front making use of the other hand tricky. Not saying that the design is or isn’t good but other rigs also have issues as well that the manufacturers are aware of but chose not to address.

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skytribe

***
This is also an issue with the company. RTFM is not satisfactory. Expecting someone to disconnect the RSL during a high speed malfunction is absolutely absurd.



And tandems also have a emergency requiring disconnection of rsl in high speed emergency and has an rsl design which makes it incredibly difficult as a single handed operation with a good chance of the lanyard snagging and requiring more effort to actually release. Including having someone on the front making use of the other hand tricky. Not saying that the design is or isn’t good but other rigs also have issues as well that the manufacturers are aware of but chose not to address.


Tandem is a whole different ballgame. The training and experience levels are much higher and the particular mal I believe you are speaking of is much rarer than a two out. Racer tandems are also equipped with two sided RSLs. The very few DZs that use them often chose to just remove the RSL as they consider it the safer option.

There is no rationalization in the world that will ever justify PL's failure to discontinue the obviously defective device that is the two sided RSL. Every time this comes up someone tries to point out some perceived flaw in some other system as a justification. This is utter bullshit. You can not cover up a flaw by pointing in another direction.

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99% of yo have never owned a Racer. Bar none, it's the most comfortable rig going.

I got my first one back in the 90s' then I got the "card" in the mail. Who knows what I'm speaking about now?

That issue aside , John knows what he is doing.

Still the most comfortable harness going.

As far as the continual speculation,...you guys just keep speculating,...it's what yo do best. Leave jumpin to those that actually jump.

And for those that also know; one of the best as far as customer service, but then again yo would have had to have been around the block more than a few times to understand.
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

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