Wingsuit Progression Series
A series covering WS skydiving, from your FFC through Exits, Skydiving with Others & Safety, by Matt Gerdes & Taya Weiss...
There is a talk out there of a new method of closing UPT Vector rigs, have you seen it?
Let's talk about how and why this method came out. Skydiving evolves and changes quickly and it is getting faster each day. Do you guys remember the French VFS Team4Speed? One of the fastest VFS Teams in the world. Do you remember their unbelievably fast-turning points and unusual situation of rigs hitting each other that caused one of the members of the team to have a premature deployment?
You can all imagine the danger he was in. You could also say “more speed brings danger. Yes it does; but what if you can find a way to minimize that danger? For this reason, after the incident a few brains got together to find something to prevent this happening again.
The old method used on pullout systems for many years was tried on UPT Vector rigs, for the experienced jumpers who are pushing their limits. For the last 6-7 years several well-known highly active freefly organisers such as Ryan Risberg and some members of Fly4Life, who own Vector rigs used this method of closing on their rigs, for testing. None of them had anything negative to say about it. Actually they are very happy with this method and quite a few of them have been using this method ever since.
Certainly to use this method to close your rig, you will have to extend your closing loop, but as long as the flaps overlap in the proper orientation it should not matter.
Because there is no bridle under the pin flap it will now sit flatter, so it the rig profile is flatter and smoother, as seen in the picture above. A flatter-sitting pin cover reduces the likelihood of it coming open even from a side strike. Even if the pin cover would open, the pin is protected underneath the flap.
I would draw your attention to the curved pin. Before you ask the question, the curved pin is NOT restricted when you use this method. The curved pin does not have to be turned upright to do its job. It can do its job in any 3 orientations, meaning the curved pin can be facing up, right or left.
At this point, the people who have tested this method have not seen any abnormal or excessive wear on the binding tape, compared to than the normal closing method.
This method is also very easy for checking the pin as at the end of the pin is sticking out at the top of the number four flap.
NB: This is not a NEW method of closing UPT rigs. It is NOT a UPT sanctioned closing method and at this time it is NOT in the UPT Vector Owner's Manual.
I like to also say that as far as I know this method has not been acceptable for other manufacturers. If for any reason you would like to try this method, please contact your rig manufacturer for authorization.
Just to confirm that this method does not affect TSO. Because main closing systems are NOT part of TSO, so no need to cover anything on that.