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What is the function of...

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Those "ribbons" are packing tabs which come in handy when side-packing a ram-air canopy. You grab all the front packing tabs in one hand and all the rear packing tabs in the other hand, give the canopy a quick shake and lay it on its side. Then you stack line-groups, etc.

These days fewer and fewer skydivers know how to side-pack because they only learned how to PRO-pack.

There is nothing wrong with side-packing. The last time I worked as a tandem instructor, the DZO side-packed all the tandem rigs while young jumpers teased his antiquated packing methods. Since all the tandem openings were soft and consistent, I reminded young jumpers "Don't mess with success."

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