0
flyfastc

Neck Injury Prevention & Openings

Recommended Posts

Hi all ;)

So, I jump a Canon 5d MKII and it seems to weigh a tonne compared to other jumpers camera helmets. I've had one neck jolt from a violent 180 opening which I could have prevented by packing properly and not lifting my head from my chest too soon, thinking this opening is going to be fine.


I'm curious.

Do you have experience in jumping heavy setups?
Are you careful with your packs & the type of canopy you jump & come pull time, what do you do with your head... do you place your chin tight into your chest and hold it there? Do you support your helmet with your hands?

Let me know. Sharing is caring B|

Blue skies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Though i'm not jumping a super heavy setup (cx115 and sony nex), I do support my helmet during opening:
After I've pulled my pilot, I support my helmet by grabbing it at cheek level on both sides. By doing this, I basically carry the complete helmet, making it unable to rotate or snap forward. During opening I try to look at the horizon as well.

This trick worked perfect for me last ~500 camera jumps, including those on a Sabre 1 ;)

Daniël

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a 5D as well and with an L lens...it's a heavy bitch. I do look up and rest the back of my helmet on the yoke of the rig while shrugging my shoulders. This has worked for me for the last 15 years of wearing a camera. But it's my experience that the first part of the opening is what's gonna wreck you. If it's a slammer, you won't have time to grab your chin (or rest your helmet on the yoke like I try to do).

For what it's worth, I have tried the method of holding your chin but it never worked for me. It makes sense...just hasn't worked.
my pics & stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi buddy. Thanks for your reply. Can I ask what helmet you're jumping and how tight if a fit it is?

Its interesting that I'm getting responses advising to hold my head back. I originally thought this is what feels right. After talking with a few camera jumpers locally, they all advised to keep my chin tight on my chest, like I'm trying to hold a pen to my chest.

What canopy do you jump? Most experienced full time camera guys I've seen switch from their JVX's to something like a Pilot 150 for SLR Jumps.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Someone told me (or suggested) years ago to do the same, chin to chest. I got one rockin opening and with my head in that position it just hammered my head down farther and wrecked me. Since then I sorta look up (more so with my eyes...i like to see what the canopy is doing) and brace the back of the helmet on the yoke. I don't tilt my head back all that much, that seems painful as well....but I am looking up. My helmet is a cookie something...don't know but not a flattop style. SLR on top, CX on the side. The canopies have been quite a few over the years but the last 2 cross braced have been the best, an icarus FX89 & xaos27-86. While the xaos may not be the best on opening on heading, the duration and shock from the openings are very comfortable (about as comfy as jumping with weight on my head can get). The pic shows my helmet setup. Yes, you can get them much lighter with gopros. And this pic is with a rebel on the helmet...not the 5D.
my pics & stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as I remember, there have always been those people who say look up or look down. They couldnt be more wrong. The truth is that you should always try to keep your spine straight and look to the horizon. Anything else will cause you injuries.

It's actually quite easy if you think about it. Try to put your chin to your chest and push your head down with your hand. You will quickly notice you cannot really put much pressure on your head before it starts hurting. Now put your spine straight and look to the horizon. You can actually load a lot of weight on top of your head as long as you keep your spine straight. 20 kilos is nothing really. In many cultures, people carry heavy loads on top of their head when doing manual labor. They most definetly keep their spine straight. The same goes with just about everything else also: deadlift, squat etc. You name it. Your spine cannot take much punishment when it is in bent orientation.

I have seen some old school guys build handles on the sides of their helmet. Their strategy was to hold those handles while they took the opening shock. This in addition to keeping the neck straight is one option if jumping heavy equipment. However, these guys were jumping more than 10kg on their head. 2 videos 2 SLR´s plus flashes and battery packs.

I always felt canopy choice is very important when jumping an SLR. Actually Im convinced I would have no problem jumping 2x SLR´s with flashes as long as Im jumping something like the Crossfire2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
flyfastc

After talking with a few camera jumpers locally, they all advised to keep my chin tight on my chest, like I'm trying to hold a pen to my chest.



This is dangerously bad advice! (And as a sidenote, it shows that the DZ.com adage of "ask your local instructors" doesn't always work in practice, see also e.g. the 45 degree rule).

Your spine is designed (or evolved, or whatever) for compression, not bending. There are obviously limits for both kinds of loads, but the bending load limit is much more easily reached if you cantilever a heavy load far off-center of the spine. That same load can easily be supported when centered above the spine though.

However, we don't even need to consult modern knowledge of engineering and physiology. Just ask any primitive man! Humans have been carrying heavy loads on their head since the beginning of time. How do you think they position their head when doing it?

[inline brickhead.jpg]

A) Setup your camera helmet with the weight as low as possible, and centered both side to side and front to back over your spine.
B) When you deploy, keep your body position slightly head high (so that you rotate less when getting stood up by the canopy). A rotation is an acceleration and can cause whiplash, so it's good to minimize rotation.
C) Throughout the entire deployment, keep your focus on or slightly above the horizon, to keep your camera weight centered over your spine. It will try to move forward because of the rotational acceleration mentioned. Once you are starting to get stood up, you can brace your helmet (chin/cheek area) with your hands if you want, taking into account two considerations: (1) if you do this too early, i.e. while you still are using your arms to fly, you'll go head low because of the reduced drag, which will make you fail "B" above and (2) if you have really bad crazy line twists, and your arms are wrapped around your head in some silly configuration, in theory it could be possible for risers/lines to trap your hands to your head, which would be disastrous for obvious reasons.
D) Jump a canopy that snivels a lot (and pull high) and put Dacron lines on it.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Keeping the spine straight as possible would be a good idea.

However if you have time to keep your neck and spine straight, then you are not having a hard opening right?

Don't know why some still insist on jumping heavy ass shit. We all used to do that since we didn't have any other choice.

I'm not putting any heavy ass shit over my head unless I'm getting a production rate.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really hope you don't take that advice of those jumpers telling you to hold your head down. A straight spine will support more than any other position. I've got close to 1300 camera jumps and for a while I was getting spanked pretty good because of lines getting out of trim quickly because the root problem being line stows. Every time I tried something other than keeping my spine center of mass I got checked hard. I managed to get my openings back under control then switched canopies. I still have the spinletto in another rig for hot loading when it is a no choice situation. It still scares me to jump it even though its good to go..
No choice to be taken lightly, I always have the last say...
The end result is directly connected to the effort applied

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Light setup and correct canopy choice.

Yes I am an Icarus guy, but there is more than one reason for that.

They know how to make a canopy snivel, sniveling is decelerating, decelerating reduces injury.

Unfortunately too many people jumping camera place more focus on canopy performance than opening characteristics.

If you are no interested in performance, use Dacron lines.

If you are keen enough to use heavy high quality cameras and lenses, then purchase a canopy that will snivel, always.

If you are shooting tandem video, then no need for uber expensive camera equipment with large heavy helmets. It is a $100 video.

But if you are shooting for your own love for photography, and want thee added quality, then love your body and get a canopy that snivels...

Not just plugging Icarus here but Safire2, Crossfire2 and Leia are consistent opening canopies.

I use a Leia and it is hands down the most consistently nice opening canopy I have ever owned (and I have owned a lot of canopies).

There are other canopies out there that open well, I know for sure that a xaos 21 is excellent for nice openings.

PD canopies fly well, but from experience are mostly too inconsistent in opening characteristics to recommend. especially Sabre's.

I always thought spectres were great openers until my buddy was forced out of the rotation from several really hard openings on one.. he is a big guy but so is the parachute. Personally I do not like the glide ratio's of square 7 cells like those...

I think the Valkyrie is good opener from the reviews and some velocities are also good openers, but not everyone is ready for those. velocities seem to be hit and miss, but if you find a good one, it will treat you well.

Parachutes have their own personalities but on average an Icarus canopy will have a better chance of opening soft as they seem to put more focus on that.

I guess my point was made in the 3rd paragraph. Choose a canopy that snivels. It does not matter which brand. If you are scared by a 800 foot opening, then you are too used to hard openings and need to change if you want to fly camera a lot. I hear this from PD pilots, "it snivels too long". If it is less than 1000 feet, then it is not too long.

Buy used and test drive, that is the best way to ensure you get a nice opener. Any brand can spit out a lemon, and you don't want to have to persevere with a shitty canopy.

if you have a nice opening canopy, you can put a RED camera with a 1d and a heavy lens and still be all good, with a light weight helmet and cameras.. you will always be good.

I have over 5000 video jumps and long gone are the days of sore necks...

I use tonfly 3x, Gopro 4, eos 700d, sigma 15mm and a Leia 69...

The perfect setup for tandem video in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0