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sundevil777

On opening, grab toggles or rear risers?

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Posted (edited)

Because I started on rounds, and because I'm weird, it is likely my formal training/what I do is not SOP..

I always, always grab the toggles right away, after opening shock. sometimes before it completes sniveling. I cannot remember a time when it seemed that I ever missed cleanly grabbing even one of them. I don't need to look at the toggles to get them, they are nice stay open type and they just seem to fall into my hands. I often go into deep brakes immediately, reducing speed for a few seconds to identify other canopies and other, later groups in freefall, and I like having that level of control without any delay.

i understand scenarios where things could go bad compared to grabbing rear risers. It kinda hit me in the last couple years, figuring I'm kinda unusual in this regard. Or maybe not so?  Please let me know what you think, Of course I want to discuss, but don't try too hard to get me to change my ways.

Edited by sundevil777

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I wasn't taught that.

I let it open all by itself. I don't grab for rears until it's open (slider all the way down). I'm 'feeling' the opening for odd stuff, looking around to check for traffic, that sort of thing. 

First action after opening is to look up briefly (there & square?), then a good look around for traffic (rear riser to turn if needed). Then rear riser turn towards the dz.

Then get the slider collapsed & down. Its easier to get it over the toggles if they are still stowed.

Then pop the brakes and do a controllability check.

 

Interesting question.

I'm interested in hearing what others do and why.

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Wow!

For once I am agreeing with wolfriverjoe!

Hah!

Hah!

Like the OP, I did my first 50 jumps on rounds but have modified my opening techniques over the years.

I usually grab my rear risers as the slider comes down. Sometimes I encourage the slider by pulling rear risers deeper. Rear risers are the quickest way to steer away from other canopies. RR are also the best way to stop spins.

The last couple of times - my sloppy packing caused - goggles released pre-maturely, I stopped the spin (before 90 degrees) using only toggles. Then I took a second look .... cursed my sloppy packing .... and grabbed toggles to do a control check.

That technique changed when I started doing tandems (1986). Since tandem risers are as flexible as crow-bars (Har! Har! Har!) - and they cut my fingers a few times - I quit grabbing tandem risers during opening shock. Now I just raise my hands - close to risers - and watch the last stages of inflation.

With light-weight tandem students, still practice rear-riser turns and rear-riser flares.

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(edited)

Sure, I guess. I just dont know what the point is. If you unstow your toggles while the canopy is still sniveling the canopy can surge forward violently and/ or it can cause the slider to come down sooner than it should resulting in a hard opening. If you accidentally unstow one toggle but not the other, you just gave yourself a toggle fire. If you go into deep brakes before the canopy opens, in addition to the other things I mentioned, it can also cause an off heading opening. So lots of downsides, but I dont know of any upsides. Rear risers work fine for executing turns to avoid collisions after opening if that's what you're worried about.

Edited by 20kN

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I try not to touch anything until I am sure my slider is down. Until then: stay stable and symmetrical in the harness, that way the canopy is most likely to open well. Grabbing risers during opening can cause all sorts of chaos; accidentilly releasing brakes, getting your hand caught in a developing twist, causing twists by unintended riser or harness input, etc. I am pretty sure one of my students accidentally disconnected her RSL while grabbing for something to hold on to, during a static line jump.

After that: grab rear risers so I can immediately steer away to avoid collisions. Next: stow slider, release brakes etc. 

(Btw this list obviously changes when something is wrong, like a twist or a malfunction. In that case I DO touch stuff before my slider is down :-) )

 

 

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In 27 years I've really only had two canopies as my main ride. A Cruislite (220 7-cell) and a 170 Stiletto. The Cruiselite routine was to grab the risers and pump ASAP. It had several hundred jumps on it when I bought it used. It needed the help to open. Getting the Stiletto quickly changed my habits. Pulling on risers nearly always resulted in line twists. My routine now is to remain steady and square in the harness until it is open enough that I'm pretty sure it is flying straight, I am upright, and the slider is mostly down. At that point I raise my hands hear to the risers and begin my visual scan for the other canopy that I assume will be flying directly toward me. I'm ready to initiate the life saving diving turn in either direction as needed. After that I can relax and do my house keeping.

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On 4/15/2019 at 8:39 AM, gowlerk said:

Pulling on risers nearly always resulted in line twists.

Most of my canopies will do the same.  However, I still grab the rear risers as the slider starts coming down, because I figure if I open 20 feet from someone, I'd rather deal with line twists than a collision.

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