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Protective gear for Ground Launching

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Are you guys using any particular type of elbow / knee / back protection for swooping?

After walking through a landing area I was looking at using after groundlaunching, I think I'd like to get some additional protection - there are a number of decent sized rocks all over the place, and that's fairly common on the GL sites I've been to.

Anyone got any manufacturers they prefer? Stuff to look out for or to avoid?
Given that I'm going to be humping it up hills, a lighter weight option would be good.

Cheers

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After having messed up myself quite badly on a failed take-off (broken kneecap which eventually required surgery), I now use protection every time I do GL (or speedriding).
My gear is composed of a full-face helmet with no visor (BoneHead's Havok, which can be set to full faced at the last second before take off - I also use it for skydiving with regular sunglasses) and of a set of rollerblades' protections for my elbows and knees.

Have fun, be safe,
G.

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Hanwag boots are a must! I also wear mountain biking knee pads and a motor cross body armour suit.

Hope its all going well Will! If you ever wanna hook up again at WHH, then let me know.... I am going to be practicing a lot down there with my new Gin Nano 13m2 :)

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WOW, you all really gear up for your GL's. I personally only wear my full face along with pants and hiking boots. After my last (after sunset) launch I had a less than desirable landing (tried landing on rear risers touched a grass clump and looked like a swooper hitting the pond and fliping) I now know I will never launch without pants again. I almost didn't wear my helmet that day and now know I will always wear it, but as for the knee and elbow pads I dont see the need. With the exception of my last launch I have always launched successfully my first attempt and crashed 2 landings. Call me lucky.


CSA #699 Muff #3804

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WOW, you all really gear up for your GL's.



You are probably generalizing too much.

On a particular site near here, I wear lots of protective gear. If you ever get to see the places you may potentially land, you'd consider it too. I don't mean potentially land in control, I mean if you blow it and have to put it down or get put down. I definitely see the point in it and generally wear a spine protector, helmet, elbow pads, knee/shin guards and Hanwags.

There are some sites, however, that I would be comfortable with less gear.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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Yes, its all site dependant, but generally this is what I wear.

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but as for the knee and elbow pads I dont see the need.



If I fly and crash land and hit a random rock with my elbow or knee, it would be a really bad day if you were not wearing them. Rather be wearing them and not need them, then not wearing them and needing them.

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I almost didn't wear my helmet that day and now know I will always wear it



Did you know that there have been people killed from not wearing a helmet and just kiting their canopies?

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With the exception of my last launch I have always launched successfully my first attempt and crashed 2 landings. Call me lucky.



99.99% may go ok, but it only takes one random rock hidden in the grass to smash your knee caps in...not a nice injury to have.

To me, its foolish to not be geared up (generally) when you are flying high performance canopies in what basically is a BASE landing enviroment sometimes...

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Scott, part of a PM I sent Tonto might give you a better indication of the terrain for GL over here. It's not all smooth hills. ;)

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On typical GL launching & landing sites (over here anyway) there are usually numerous melon & larger sized rocks that you typically wouldn't find on a dropzone.

Knees, ankles and elbows are particularly vulnerable if you start getting dragged during ground handling or if you tumble on landing. A shattered knee or elbow is bad news, and one of the more likely injuries I think.

We don't need swoop pants, and the sites are generally unsuitable for anything other than hiking boots, so that thread is unsuitable too.

Lightweight protective gear is a must (try hauling motorbike body armour up a hill several times a day! Wink) and it should protect the extremites.

The helmet thread was interesting, but GL isn't swooping - the terrain and requirements are, I think, quite different.



Hey Mac! I liked the video of your flight at WHH! I'll have to come down again. I've just bought an Aeros Ballistic, so we'll have to compare it to your Nano when it arrives.

I've got a Gin speed-flying harness and I'm not a big fan to be honest. I think that with skydiving canopies on it you lose a lot of the bottom end of the flare since the risers are mounted on the harness much lower, and given the relatively short flight times in the UK I don't think the added comfort of being in a seated position is worth the trade off... I'll be getting a Blade skydiving-stlye harness for my new canopy. Can't wait! :)
There's some skate elbow & knee guards that look pretty good for us. I might grab something along those lines.

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I hear the Ballistic has good reviews. Nice one! What size did you get?

With the blade skydiving type harness are the risers still attached to your shoulders? Do you have a link at all to this sort of harness?

I think the idea with the nano harness is that you are able to run with your head forward to gain extra speed for the launch, this would be difficult with a shoulder attachment point. I am not sure why a hip attached canopy would loose some of the flare? Can you explain why that would be.... (anyone), I cant work it out.

Although the nano harness does allow you to sit, I find that sodding strange and think the PGers are more at home than us doing that, but you can still easily maintain a "normal" position without much thought.

Yeah we will all have to hook up when you get your Ballistic, and go play either in Wales or the Lakes :)

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I think the idea with the nano harness is that you are able to run with your head forward to gain extra speed for the launch, this would be difficult with a shoulder attachment point. I am not sure why a hip attached canopy would loose some of the flare? Can you explain why that would be.... (anyone), I cant work it out.



This is a link to the speed-flying harness I got: http://www.ukairsports.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=306
You can see in the picture that the attachment points for the risers are a good 6 inches lower that that of a skydiving harness.

With my Sabre, I use a full arm stroke when I land, from arms all the way up, to all the way extended down to the bottom of the flare. Because the risers are attached 6 inches lower, and my arms haven't correspondingly grown that much, I've found I miss the bottom end of my flare stroke.

I could shorten the bottom of my brake lines by 6 inches, but this is a pain in the arse, would take out the slack in my brake lines, and I'm much more used to a skydive-style flying position anyway.

The Blade has the attachment points much higher up on the shoulders, but has a much longer chest strap to make it easier to get your head forward for launch.

That's the theory anyway! ;) We'll have a play when it arrives.

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With my Sabre, I use a full arm stroke when I land, from arms all the way up, to all the way extended down to the bottom of the flare. Because the risers are attached 6 inches lower, and my arms haven't correspondingly grown that much, I've found I miss the bottom end of my flare stroke.

I could shorten the bottom of my brake lines by 6 inches, but this is a pain in the arse, would take out the slack in my brake lines, and I'm much more used to a skydive-style flying position anyway.



Sorry my bad, I missed the point that you were talking about askydive canopy on the harness.... makes sense.

Ah the harness is similar to mine.....

http://www.ukairsports.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=495

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