Skyhooks/MARDs in General Skydiving Discussions November 23, 2017 E X A C T L Y ! faulknerwnWell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAw-fWkATLw reserve line twists - especially on highly loaded reserves - are not always so easy to deal with. A quick youtube search showed lots of videos of sketchy stuff. I remember seeing one on a spinning Optimum with lots of line twists that the guy barely got out of before the ground. Beyond that, I would bet that 2/3 of rigs being actively jumped in the field were made before their respective manufacturers even offered a MARD. Not everyone can afford brand new gear and good gear can easily last for 20 years or more. I jump Racers which open pretty much as fast as MARDS - they open quick. I have had 20+ malfunctions over the years - the lowest I was ever open under a reserve was 1500 feet and that was 20 years ago when standard pull altitude was 2000 feet. My last few I was under reserve by 2500-3000 feet. But I have also never been one to fight malfunctions. If I have spinning line twists I chop - I don't waste time trying to fix it - when in doubt whip it out. I think too many people waste too much time screwing around trying to fix an unfixable problem. Get a rig with handles that are easy to grab and that don't rotate behind your back or fold under so that you have problems finding them. Practice your emergency procedures all the time.. Don't hesitate. If you are cutting away low enough that you need a MARD to save your life you have seriously screwed up. Reserves are designed to open in 300 feet. If you are cutting away at 3-500 feet WTF? I do think that RSL's and MARDs are good things for people. Do most people think that they need to get rid of their perfectly functional rigs to spend $3000 on a new one just to get a MARD? I would bet that most people who are buying a new rig from a manufacturer that offers a MARD - probably get it. And I do think they are a good thing as long as people don't think "I have a MARD - I can fight this a little longer." MARD's can come disconnected. They don't always function perfectly. Riggers sometimes screw them up. The more complicated the system the more likely someone is to screw it up. I suspect in 20 years as the current crop of gear gets retired and replaced with gear that was produced after the age of MARDs - that most gear will have them.