Gear Wisdom: Line Sets

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Article 7 on how to maintain your gear – Our lovely Rigger Rezzan tells us about line sets…

Author Rezzan Aral Shiel, by Dave Head

When is it time to get a new line set?

Now that is the million-dollar question, right?

Skydiving is expensive already. So none of us really want to spend money buying a new line set too soon. Even when we read all the safety notices all over our beautiful skydiving magazines and articles online and even the recommendations we hear from the factory reps around skydiving events.

We keep pushing and want one more weekend or one more training camp out of those worn-out line sets. But really, is it a good idea?!

The worn-out line sets can be quite dangerous. Why?

  • Firstly, the old lines affect the characteristics of the canopy. They will change the opening and flying characteristics. If you start to notice undesirable flight characteristics it is most probably your canopy lines are going out of trim. If you think, “I can deal with this, it is not that important”, then I suggest you should be prepared for interesting openings and changing your canopy handling.
  • Your worn-out line set can actually break, either on opening, during flight or on landing and could cause fatal malfunctions, especially if you are under a high-performance canopy.

How would you know if you need to replace your lines?

Simply if your lines look fuzzy, like you have chicken skin all your hair is standing up 🙂 and lines slightly frayed in color, it is time to reline.

There are two parts of the line set that wear more quickly, which are the lines that go around the soft links or hard links and around the stabilizer above the cascade. Check them often for wear and tear, check for broken carriers. More than 50% broken carriers means – STOP!… and replace the line set.

Worn Line Sets

All of these lines are worn and should be replaced, to avoid breakage, opening issues and malfunctions.

Images by Rezzan Aral Shiel

Even if your line sets are relatively new, the environment you jump in affects the life of your line set. Salt, sand, and dust will affect its life span. Jumping in desert, harsh areas or beach landings versus jumping on soft grass landing areas will make a huge difference. The area where you pack, and how you treat your lines can add to the life span too.

What do the manufacturers say?

Here is some advice from some of the major canopy manufacturers…

Fluid Wings

FluidWings says that, “There is no magic number for line wear. Where you jump and how you care for your lines matters a huge amount. Dirt and sand that are in or on the weave both abrade and make microscopic cuts on the fibers and greatly reduce the strength and durability of a line.”

More info from Fluid Wings here: Line Wear

NZ Aerosports

NZ Aerosports says “Most line wear on a canopy is caused by both handling when stowing-packing, un-stowing during opening, and by friction from the slider. As the outside and center lines have more contact with the slider during opening and flight, they tend to suffer more wear and tear than the rest of the line set. Therefore the areas to pay the most attention to when inspecting your lines, are the points where the slider spends the most time while in use.”

More info from NZ Arosports here: When is it Time for a Reline?

Performance Designs

Performance Designs has a great test showing the pictures of different lines, their use, wear and strength (below). This should greatly help you to see what level your line sets are at.

Strength Loss for various line types

Images from the PD Blog, by Performance Designs

These three articles about lines on the PD Blog are a great read and full of information:

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

  • BOC
  • 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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