Skydiving from Hot Air Balloons

Skydiving from Hot Air Balloons
Jumping from a hot air balloon is quite a treat for skydivers. Balloon jumps are unusual because there is no "relative" wind as you exit the aircraft. In a normal aircraft jump, when a skydiver exits, the airspeed of the aircraft is quite high, so a skydiver can immediately maneouver through the sky as soon ...

Building an Eel: A very long banner

Building an Eel: A very long banner
In 2007, I built my first Eel. An Eel is a very long banner, 60 feet long in fact. The original Skydiving Eels are a concept born out of Burning Man, a huge yearly festival in the middle of the Nevada desert. The eels of Burning Man become a giant, moving, art-installation in the sky. The skydivers ...

Racer Embroidery

Racer Embroidery
Update! The Racer embroidery mentioned in this post is now available as a free option on both sidewalls. It seems some Parachute Labs customers are liking the embroidery I designed for my own custom Racer Tandem and Racer 2k3 harness/containers. I designed this embroidery with a few things in mind. I wanted something that evoked ...

Want to buy a skydiving rig? Do it this way!

Want to buy a skydiving rig? Do it this way!
This advice is meant as a general guide.  Always consult your local rigger and instructor.In the years I’ve been a rigger, I’ve often seen the results of skydivers’ gear buying experiences. Most experiences go well, but some do not. In this article, I am going to try to lay down some advice on how to ...

Am I ready to downsize my skydiving canopy?

In a word, no! If you're asking the question, then the answer is obvious, you are not ready. That's really not the answer you were looking for, is it? I'm not going to go into the WHY. It simply does not matter. (but it mostly has to do with broken backs, femurs & pelvises...) What ...

SLOX: a Better Slider-Locking Mechanism

SLOX: a Better Slider-Locking Mechanism
There are a couple of things you can do to maximize your parachute’s performance once your main is deployed. The first thing is relatively easy: after deployment, loosen your chest strap. Be careful, though – some harness manufacturers do not put a “stop” on the end of the chest strap. If this is the case, ...

BASE Jumping the Perrine Bridge

BASE Jumping the Perrine Bridge
I just got back from a trip to Idaho in the USA. The town of Twin Falls has this bridge, the Perrine Bridge, which tolerates BASE jumping from it year round. The bridge is 486 feet above the Snake River. It is quite an impressive sight. Jumping from it is also quite fun. A big ...

Should I get a Skyhook?

Jumpers come to me for advice all the time – and one of the hardest questions to answer is the following: Should I get a Skyhook, and why? First, what is an RSL? A RSL is a reserve static line - a line attached from one of your departing malfunctioned main canopy’s risers to your ...

A problem with UPT’s Sigma Tandem Parachute System (and a solution)

Why so many baglocks on Sigma tandems? As a student of parachute design and as a certified Rigger, I have learned that a staged deployment of the main canopy is the safest way to deploy a parachute. All sport rigs do it this way, but one Tandem system does not: The UPT Sigma Tandem System. ...

Which AAD should I buy? Cypres or Vigil?

This blog post is for my skydiver friends 😉 As a certified parachute rigger, I often get asked this question: "Which Automatic Activation Device should I buy? Cypres or Vigil?" Arguably, these two are the only real choices in today's market. While both units have had some growing pains in their initial releases. I am condident that both ...