Gear Wisdom: BOC Pocket

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Did you ever consider the importance of checking and maintaining your BOC?!

 Newly replaced Javelin Odyssey BOC shows the fully elasticated BOC material holding the pilot chute in place until needed

BOC… the Bottom of Container pocket/pouch… now you are going to ask, what about that?!

That spandex pocket we stuff our pilot chute in it, we don’t care about it. Never even look at it! Come on, it is at the bottom of back of the container!

Unfortunately, that spandex gets worn out from time to time. The spandex pocket needs to be holding your pilot chute in place. The pocket mouth should be the same size as the rest of the BOC pocket meaning it’s the same tightness/elasticity. Because of overusing the spandex pocket, the mouth loses its elasticity before the rest of the material. You may see some broken white pieces of elastic coming out, and/or you could feel that the mouth part of the pocket is getting slack.

It is a warning! Change your BOC pocket.

Worn BOCs

The BOCs pictured below show loose spandex, some need immediate attention and others are warning signs.  

Why is it important to change this spandex?

Loose spandex does not hold the pilot chute in position, it will not stay tightly in the pocket. Your pilot chute can move out during your walk to the aircraft and possibly slip out of the pocket. In freefall, it only takes a small piece of pilot chute material to catch the wind and it will be dragged out of the pocket and cause a premature opening. Hopefully this will not cause you and the others you are jumping with bigger problems. Your premature main deployment in certain situations may also cause issues with your reserve container and ultimately your reserve parachute.

We spend so much money to change the tires of our cars for safety, so why not spend money on inexpensive BOC pocket maintenance for our safety and that of the others we skydive with?!

What can happen if your BOC pocket is loose?

This is one of the videos I found showing the consequences of a premature deployment:

As I said BOC pockets are not expensive to change. Your rigger can change your BOC pocket easily so that you can skydive safely! The right size, the right material and compatibility with your pilot chute size will do the job nicely.

I have seen some BOCs out there that were so tight that was difficult to put the pilot chute in. In this case, you will have no chance for the pilot chute to get loose during jumping for sure but then again you could get your fingers bruised stuffing the pilot chute in that pocket, or experience some hard pulls. 😉 All in all it’s not bad, some materials have less spandex (which gives the elasticity) in than others.

Gear Wisdom Series

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Rezzy by Dave Head

All by Rezzan Aral Shiel, our lovely friendly rigger, with easy-to-follow information about maintaining our lifesaving equipment.

Coming Soon

  • Chest Strap
  • Reserve & Main canopy – what are the differences?
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Meet: Rezzan Aral Shiel

Rezzan Aral Shiel has been a professional packer and rigger for over 20 years. Her smiling face, impeccable organising skills, infectious laugh and calm personality make her a reassuring presence at major skydiving events worldwide. Rezzy packs brilliantly for all her athletes but is far more than a packer; she is a supportive, interested, empathic ally, who plays an important role in helping them achieve success. Rezzy rocks!

Owner/ President at Rezolutions LLC

Studied at Shaw Academy

Studied Life coaching at AVADO

Studied at Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi

Studied Technical drawing at 9 EYLUL UNIVERSITY (IZMIR-TURKEY)

Went to Karsiyaka Gazi Lisesi

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In my travels I always get comment from people I meet, saying how helpful this packing article has been for them, how much they like it and some even use it to teach packing to their students.