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David Wang

Where can I find left handed pilot chute container (rig)?

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I have been hunting for used left handed BOC containers/rigs for days and haven't found one yet. It seems like most of the left handed throw outs are experienced and messed up skydivers who can't reach the BOC on the right. But those containers are tiny and are not for beginners. Where can I find a left handed container that can fit big canopies? preferably 210-230 main. I figured that a safer and bigger canopy is to my advantage just in case my shoulder ever dislocates again. 

Thanks! 

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The easiest thing you can do is simply to get something that fits, and have a rigger/master rigger put a new pilot chute pouch on. It's something they normally do anyway, because they wear out. It's not that expensive, and you get a new pilot chute pouch as part of the deal...

Wendy P.

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(edited)

Yes, you jump at Perris I believe. I am sure there is full service rigging available there and likely other master riggers around. Pretty much any rig can be converted for a reasonable cost. Don't go shopping for a left hand rig.

Edited by gowlerk
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Thanks for the replies guys! Yes Perris has a loft and I can change the BOC right there...but I think I am in a unique situation. I don't have a rig, and I am in the phase between student and licensed skydiver, and I have an unreliable shoulder. 

So...hm... about getting gear, what is the best way? If a dz can provide left handed rigs for students then I don't need to buy gear right now, but I don't think most DZs can provide that. 

That's why I think I need to get a left handed rig for myself, but I don't have the ability to buy a full rig at once yet, so I buy every part of the rig, container, AAD, reserve and a main (I can rent a main from the dz I jump) 

So my first step is to get a used container and change it to left handed. Does all of that sound reasonable? What is your advice?

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2 minutes ago, David Wang said:

Thanks for the replies guys! Yes Perris has a loft and I can change the BOC right there...but I think I am in a unique situation. I don't have a rig, and I am in the phase between student and licensed skydiver, and I have an unreliable shoulder. 

So...hm... about getting gear, what is the best way? If a dz can provide left handed rigs for students then I don't need to buy gear right now, but I don't think most DZs can provide that. 

That's why I think I need to get a left handed rig for myself, but I don't have the ability to buy a full rig at once yet, so I buy every part of the rig, container, AAD, reserve and a main (I can rent a main from the dz I jump) 

So my first step is to get a used container and change it to left handed. Does all of that sound reasonable? What is your advice?

Save your money until you can buy a rig. Get advice from a local you trust. If you are at the stage of knowledge that you need to ask about this here you are not ready to go about piecing together a rig from parts. The best idea would be to work with the rigging shop. Let them know what you need and maybe they can help you. I guess a DZ like Perris can be pretty large and impersonal. If you were at a smaller DZ you would probably get to know more people on a closer basis. If there was a young jumper here in your situation I would come up with a solution. But my solution would involve older cheaper gear that would likely not even be considered at a place like Perris. 

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25 minutes ago, gowlerk said:

Save your money until you can buy a rig. Get advice from a local you trust. If you are at the stage of knowledge that you need to ask about this here you are not ready to go about piecing together a rig from parts. The best idea would be to work with the rigging shop. Let them know what you need and maybe they can help you. I guess a DZ like Perris can be pretty large and impersonal. If you were at a smaller DZ you would probably get to know more people on a closer basis. If there was a young jumper here in your situation I would come up with a solution. But my solution would involve older cheaper gear that would likely not even be considered at a place like Perris. 

What is your solution? What kind of gear is that? I may change a DZ when I go to college this year tho, but right now I'm still at Perris. 

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(edited)

Some of the AFF rigs that I've seen have the BOC that can initiate deployment from right & left hand side. It's helpful if during first AFF jumps right instructor goes MIA and left one can still deploy. Can those rigs allow for flipping BOC 180 degrees without any rigging?

Picture below.

If it could be flipped, then @David Wang could potentially use existing AFF rental rigs without having to worry too much. 

AFF-BOC.jpg

Edited by CoolBeans

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So heres a thought. Get your shoulder fixed.

swapping the BOC over to the other side can be done but I tend to discourage this.   If you do that and somehow get pilot chute caught around you hand.   Both the main activation and reserve activation hand is now compromised.

If someone was to borrow your rig and not notice or give it much thought then they may not find the handle reverting to normal muscle memory.

Ive had a jumper with a bum shoulder that reverted to a SOS system.    Not cool or normal but allowed for cutaway/reserve activation with one arm.   If the other had a problem.

So the general thought is the modification is relatively simple but the ramifications need to be considered more fully.   Address the real issue, the shoulder with physio/surgery or whatever is required to fix the issue.

 

 

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He is addressing it also, actually. By talking to local jumpers, he can spend his healing time learning. Perris is a big and very busy place -- hopefully someone there can spend some time with him if he shows up on non-busy days and hangs out helping.

Wendy P.

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1 hour ago, CoolBeans said:

Some of the AFF rigs that I've seen have the BOC that can initiate deployment from right & left hand side.

Hi CoolBeans, what is that red thing on the left side BOC? Do you mean reserve side instructor can deploy the main by pulling that? Interesting...

55 minutes ago, skytribe said:

Get your shoulder fixed.

I'm doing it! I'm seeing a sports ortho this week to see how much damage there is and see if surgery is needed. If a surgery is needed, I will do it. if I don't need surgery, I will do PT to strengthen my shoulder up. Or I can still use right handed rig...I will need to do practice pulls in the wind tunnel to test my right shoulder out! 

Is SOS system a better idea than left handed BOC?

53 minutes ago, wmw999 said:

Perris is a big and very busy place -- hopefully someone there can spend some time with him if he shows up on non-busy days and hangs out helping.

Thank you Wendy, and I saw your private message as well. I have tried to communicate with jumpers at Perris via Facebook but not much help...Seems like not showing up in person can cause difficulties.I can't be there every weekend because of school but I will try to be there these months. 

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18 minutes ago, David Wang said:

I'm doing it! I'm seeing a sports ortho this week to see how much damage there is and see if surgery is needed. If a surgery is needed, I will do it. if I don't need surgery, I will do PT to strengthen my shoulder up. Or I can still use right handed rig...I will need to do practice pulls in the wind tunnel to test my right shoulder out! 

You may be getting ahead of yourself here with the whole plan. Left side pull rigs are usually used by jumpers with range of motion issues that make it hard to use the right hand. I don't think it's a good idea to use one because you are afraid of a shoulder dislocation. The standard reaction to that would be to use your left hand to deploy your reserve. And even then you still have the very serious problem of only having one arm to flare with. Reserves are generally better than mains in this situation. If you have any serious chance of a shoulder dislocation on a jump you should stay on the ground.

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1 hour ago, gowlerk said:

You may be getting ahead of yourself here with the whole plan. Left side pull rigs are usually used by jumpers with range of motion issues that make it hard to use the right hand. I don't think it's a good idea to use one because you are afraid of a shoulder dislocation. The standard reaction to that would be to use your left hand to deploy your reserve. And even then you still have the very serious problem of only having one arm to flare with. Reserves are generally better than mains in this situation. If you have any serious chance of a shoulder dislocation on a jump you should stay on the ground.

Reconstruction surgery can greatly reduce the risk of dislocating again and I will definitely do it if it's recommended. About one arm flare - that is a risk I need to take if I want to jump. And I accept the risk. This left handed thing is a bit confusing, but I have time to sort that out! I will make sure I fix my shoulder first! 

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(edited)
4 hours ago, CoolBeans said:

Some of the AFF rigs that I've seen have the BOC that can initiate deployment from right & left hand side. It's helpful if during first AFF jumps right instructor goes MIA and left one can still deploy. Can those rigs allow for flipping BOC 180 degrees without any rigging?

No.

In particular, in your photo, pulling the red handle detaches the pilot chute pouch with the pilot chute still inside it.  If you pull and throw the red handle, you'll have a pilot-chute-in-BOC in tow.

Edited by mark

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39 minutes ago, mark said:

In particular, in your photo, pulling the red handle detaches the pilot chute pouch with the pilot chute still inside it.  If you pull and throw the red handle, you'll have a pilot-chute-in-BOC in tow.

That's not accurate.

 

5 hours ago, CoolBeans said:

 

Some of the AFF rigs that I've seen have the BOC that can initiate deployment from right & left hand side. It's helpful if during first AFF jumps right instructor goes MIA and left one can still deploy.

 

 

3 hours ago, David Wang said:

Hi CoolBeans, what is that red thing on the left side BOC? Do you mean reserve side instructor can deploy the main by pulling that? Interesting...

What that handle does is open the top of the BOC. The bottom seam is still attached to the container. When the reserve side AFF-I pulls that handle, it exposes the pilot chute. The wind usually deploys it, but if it hesitates in the burble the instructor can grab it and throw it. It would not be suitable for a self-deployed left handed pull.

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2 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

What that handle does is open the top of the BOC. The bottom seam is still attached to the container. When the reserve side AFF-I pulls that handle, it exposes the pilot chute. The wind usually deploys it, but if it hesitates in the burble the instructor can grab it and throw it. It would not be suitable for a self-deployed left handed pull.

After pulling the red handle - can it be assembled back 180 degree flipped? So that way it would become a left hand side rig.

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6 hours ago, skytribe said:

So heres a thought. Get your shoulder fixed.

 

5 hours ago, gowlerk said:

If you have any serious chance of a shoulder dislocation on a jump you should stay on the ground.

This is naive thinking. David will likely have a substantially increased risk of shoulder dislocation for the rest of his life, even after any mitigation efforts. I think much of the advice in this thread comes from an incomplete understanding of this fact, and an underestimate of the associated risk. Sure, we can come up with hypothetical edge cases that plausibly and intuitively seem like a left-handed BOC could add risk, and perhaps it does. However, both the likelihood and severity of these scenarios need to be appropriately weighed against the very real risk of David continuing to use a standard setup.

6 hours ago, skytribe said:

Both the main activation and reserve activation hand is now compromised.

Aside from the fact that David is probably currently practicing a two-handed reserve deployment anyway, you'd really favor completely eliminating one of your two canopies as an option vs. a small change in deployment procedure of the other?

My advice:

1) Have a good in-depth talk with your own doctors to gain an accurate understanding of how likely it will be for this to happen again in your specific situation.

2) Email Steve Lefkowitz and ask for his advice. He routinely switches back and forth between left and right-handed deployment, and knowing him I'm sure he's exhaustively analyzed all possible outcomes and would be happy to discuss.

6 minutes ago, CoolBeans said:

After pulling the red handle - can it be assembled back 180 degree flipped? So that way it would become a left hand side rig.

Negative--the bottom seam is still sewn to the container.

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55 minutes ago, nwt said:

This is naive thinking. David will likely have a substantially increased risk of shoulder dislocation for the rest of his life, even after any mitigation efforts.

Possibly. But a large number of people have had dislocated shoulders and still skydive. And it does not change the fact that if a person can not use their right arm to pull, then they likely can't use it to flare either. As I said earlier in that case most people would do far better with a more stable reserve type canopy. Preferably a large one. 

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1 hour ago, nwt said:

David will likely have a substantially increased risk of shoulder dislocation for the rest of his life, even after any mitigation efforts

lol. I think if I only do rehab on my shoulder,  the chance of dislocating again is quite high, especially for young people under age of 20. However, the point of seeing the sports ortho is to find ways to decrease the risk of dislocating again - reconstruction surgery. I believe I cannot completely eliminate the risk though. And this was my first time dislocation. Surgical intervention for first time dislocation has better results than traditional treatments...

1 hour ago, nwt said:

Aside from the fact that David is probably currently practicing a two-handed reserve deployment anyway

Yup that's what I learned. Two hand cutaway two hand reserve. But hey, last time I deployed my reserve using only left hand and it was fine! And I also kept the handle!! thumb went through the D ring so I didn't lose it

I will for sure talk to my doctors, thanks for the advice! 

36 minutes ago, gowlerk said:

As I said earlier in that case most people would do far better with a more stable reserve type canopy. Preferably a large one. 

I will fly a big main and a big reserve for quite a while. Probably Sabre 2 230. I think the larger reserve the safer I am in case my shoulder ever dislocates again

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38 minutes ago, gowlerk said:

Possibly. But a large number of people have had dislocated shoulders and still skydive. And it does not change the fact that if a person can not use their right arm to pull, then they likely can't use it to flare either. As I said earlier in that case most people would do far better with a more stable reserve type canopy. Preferably a large one. 

That's a really good point and I agree that he needs to be prepared for that. I think the optimal long-term solution is probably to become proficient in flaring with one hand. But I agree if you aren't sure you can pull it off then going to reserve might be a good option in some situations.

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(edited)

A question has come up - According to my coach, my body position was perfect even though I had a dislocated right shoulder. I have started to wonder if freefall really caused my shoulder to dislocate, or the reserve deployment did, or the impact to the ground did. but my shoulder hurt like hell under the reserve though. Sadly, there is no way to verify this now. 

I wonder if a jumper can still have a perfect body position with a dislocated shoulder?

Edited by David Wang

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I've been pulling left-handed since jump 11, I'm over 700 now. Originally, one of the senior riggers took pity on me and happened to be the neighbour of a family member. He converted an old LOPO rental rig with a left-hand ripcord deployment. My TRCPs went perfect after that. Then we upgraded to BOC and squares and I think the DZO felt too guilty to tell me to F-off, lol, he had a local rigger convert one of his rental rigs to a dual BOC, so it could be packed for either side.

Eventually I bought my 1st rig and had the BOC converted for left-handed deployment and been jumping that way ever since. When I bought my first brand new rig in 2018, I had it custom made with a left-hand BOC. 

I'd almost say you could buy a used or new container and have the BOC converted, and buy everything else used with the help of a trusted rigger. YMMV. 

 

Blue Skies!!

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6 hours ago, skydude2000 said:

(...) he had a local rigger convert one of his rental rigs to a dual BOC, so it could be packed for either side.

I want to see pictures of that invention! Was it one BOC on top of another? Or one BOC with openings on both sides?

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