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TheFlyingSwede

Color the line attachment points on the canopy

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Hi there,

I am a new skydiver and i have my own rig and have the A-license and about 25 jumps in total. I know how to pack but it takes some time and i have seen some canopies comes with colored attachment points for easier finding A,B.C.D and break lines. I dont have that on mine and know how to pack but i find it easier if i could just have the attachment points colored to faster see which lines are which. 

Anyone have experience of taking some water resistent color pen or something to color the attachment points and have some recommendation or is it not a good idea at all to do this? For me it is just a matter of making it easier to see.

Sorry if it is a strange question but hope you skygods out there have any input here for a new skydiver :)

 

Regards

Stefan

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Not strange at all. It's been asked a few times before (there's a hint in here).

 

Generally, 'coloring' stuff is not always a good idea. You don't know for sure what all is in the ink you are using. Will it damage or degrade the line? That could be 'bad'. Some folks consider the Sharpie brand 'safe', but I don't think anyone knows for certain what is truly 'acid free' and safe to use. 


Also, I was taught to discern between line groups by knot placement. Each group of lines has the knots at the same (relatively) height. And each group is a different height. (All the A lines are at the same height, which is different from all of the B lines). 

 

Last, but not least, it's 'brakes', not 'breaks' (and bridle not bridal, flare not flair). 

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Honestly, if you already pack without color I'd stick to it and get proficient without them. You are halfway there. 20-30 more jumps and you will ask what tabs? It will become second nature to observe line groups correctly. 

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(edited)

I've used colored permanent markers to color the line attachment points. It's unlikely using a marker on your canopy will cause it to fail. Rock climbers use permanent markers to mark nylon climbing ropes all the time and that's been a practice for decades already. Anyway, what I did was I only colored the attachment point fabric that extends beyond the bar tack. So then even if there was some effect, it would not matter because the marker was not used on any load bearing fabric.

Edited by 20kN

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20kN : Okay cool yeah it is like you say it is not on the line i will be making the mark but on the little flap behind where the line is sewn on to the canopy. I am not sure i need it but i am thinking if it can make me find the lines abit faster it is all good :)

 

thanks for the input guys

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(edited)

I say no big deal, color the attachments if you want. Yes there is some concern about acidity of markers. At least get a brand name like Sharpie. But I've never heard of canopies falling apart or fatalities from this. Maybe it's an issue if  you're trying to get 3000 jumps out of your canopy rather than just 2500, who knows. It's just not high on the list on concerns in skydiving. Although I already had thousands of jumps and was an active rigger, I coloured the attachments on one canopy of mine, as it made packing just a little faster. 

Edited by pchapman

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Or simply learn how to pack by identifying the line groups by their length and counting them.    Each line group is typically around the same length and can easily be identified.   Some canopies have some differences ie.  Less C and D lines due to their planform shape but these tend to be outliers.

If you learn without the color crutch - then packing other canopies without colored attachments is easy.   If you depend upon the colors then it will always be a bit more tricky without them. 

 

 

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(edited)
11 minutes ago, skytribe said:

   If you depend upon the colors then it will always be a bit more tricky without them. 

 

 

Not necessarily. I colored my attachment points on my first canopy and I used the colored attachment points for my first 500 jumps. It was not until I had my D license that I packed a canopy without colored attachment points (it was a demo), and I found it to be just as easy as a canopy with the colored attachment points. At that point I had enough pack jobs that I was not even really paying attention to the colors much anymore.

However, the colored attachment points helped big time when I was learning to pack. It made the process easier and if I had to start over again I'd 100% be down for using colored attachment points. It's useful when you're new.

Edited by 20kN

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On 2/14/2019 at 2:14 AM, 20kN said:

Not necessarily. I colored my attachment points on my first canopy and I used the colored attachment points for my first 500 jumps. It was not until I had my D license that I packed a canopy without colored attachment points (it was a demo), and I found it to be just as easy as a canopy with the colored attachment points. At that point I had enough pack jobs that I was not even really paying attention to the colors much anymore.

However, the colored attachment points helped big time when I was learning to pack. It made the process easier and if I had to start over again I'd 100% be down for using colored attachment points. It's useful when you're new.

I think it is not a bad idea to mark them as you mentioned above and today i bought these pens and think that is what is good "textile markers" you think this are good if i decide to go the route of marking them in the weekend

 

 

sharpie.jpg

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(edited)
6 hours ago, TheFlyingSwede said:

I think it is not a bad idea to mark them as you mentioned above and today i bought these pens and think that is what is good "textile markers" you think this are good if i decide to go the route of marking them in the weekend

 

 

sharpie.jpg

When I colored my lines I only colored the attachment point webbing that extends beyond the bar tack. If you look at the attachment point you'll see that the canopy manufacturer does not usually trim the webbing right at the bar tack that connects it to the canopy. Usually there is about 10mm of material that extends beyond the bar tack. I color that material because it is not load bearing.

Edited by 20kN

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On 2/12/2019 at 7:21 AM, TheFlyingSwede said:

Hi there,

I am a new skydiver and i have my own rig and have the A-license and about 25 jumps in total. I know how to pack but it takes some time and i have seen some canopies comes with colored attachment points for easier finding A,B.C.D and break lines. I dont have that on mine and know how to pack but i find it easier if i could just have the attachment points colored to faster see which lines are which. 

Anyone have experience of taking some water resistent color pen or something to color the attachment points and have some recommendation or is it not a good idea at all to do this? For me it is just a matter of making it easier to see.

Sorry if it is a strange question but hope you skygods out there have any input here for a new skydiver :)

 

Regards

Stefan

Not strange at all.

As others have said, after a few (dozen/hundred) you'll not need such aids, but when starting it is a great help.  A couple thoughts:

- don't do anything to a canopy that isn't yours, and strongly discouraged on any reserve.

- accept that if you do anything, it can have unintended consequences.

- while I like the notion of marking the attach tabs (I bought a used canopy marked this was with sharpie and have had no issues), I note that the line itself is more easily changed than the attach tabs, lines are often changed during the life of the canopy and takes the same strain as the attach tabs...  so maybe marking the top end of the lines would be better??  (different color sharpie stripe on each line set?) That way if there is a problem it can be corrected at less expense.  (I have NOT seen this, just speculating)

- DO talk with your rigger before doing anything.

Finally, on a related notion: IF you are buying a NEW canopy as I did for my first, your choice of color pattern can be a great packing aid...  for mine I designed it to have: no two adjoining cells the same color, symetrical colors left and right, and a unique color for the center cell.  Made knowing where I was at from cell to cell VERY easy.  It might also be possible when ordering a new canopy to request that the attach tabs be different colors for the A/B/C/D/br lines...  (at least asking questions is cheep)

_I_ wouldn't have any problem using a sharpie on _my_ canopy this way... but I won't tell you what to do with yours.

 

Just my $.02

JW

 

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