Compatibility and Suitability

Mismatching components can result in injury or death. Therefore, it is important you ensure the components of a Rig are suitable for your discipline and can work together. The different options available are explained later in this document. If you are in any doubt whether an item is compatible with your equipment, speak with the Manufacturer or a Rigger.

Many thanks to Tom Hill for writing this article and for taking the pics.

Canopy Size

The Main Canopy and Reserve Canopy need to be a similar size. A mismatched Main and Reserve could end in disaster because of the different flight characteristics if you have 2 canopies out. However, you must ensure both canopies are not a tight fit, also known as a full fit, in the container. This can result in a container lock malfunction meaning a canopy will not deploy. The Container Manufacturer will have a sizing chart of what size/pack volume of canopy can fit in its container.

Reverse Mounted Risers

Reverse Mounted Risers were developed by Parachutes de France to prevent the Main Risers breaking as a result of them being pierced by the locking string of the 3 Ring Release System, a problem that is now unheard of. These risers are not compatible with most manufacturers because Front Mounted Risers are mounted towards the chest whereas Reverse Mounted Risers must be mounted on the shoulders. Using Reverse Mounted Risers on non-compatible equipment can make a cut away impossible which could result in severe injury or death.

Figure 5: Reverse mounted Risers on a Skydiver (left) compared to Front Mounted Risers (right). Note the higher position of the 3 Ring Release System on the Reverse Mounted Risers.

Deployment Systems

The Pull Out deployment system, also known as a Pin Pull or Throw Out system, is not permitted for Wingsuiting and you must be a BPA C-Licence to use it. In addition, Leg Mounted Throwaway deployment is unsuitable for Freeflying because of the risk of a premature deployment. Some deployment systems offer better protection when Freeflying for example the Freefly Puff and Freefly Hackey because of their lower profile or use of a tuck tab to keep them more secure.

Freefly Friendly

A term used to describe a Rig is suitable for the demands and higher speeds of Freeflying which can involve speeds of over 140 Miles per Hour and the wind affecting the gear from multiple directions compared to Formation Skydiving at 120 Miles Per Hour and the gear being affected in a Belly to Earth position. Freefly Friendly equipment has stiffer flaps, fewer edges that can catch the wind and minimal to no exposed bridle compared to non Freefly Friendly equipment in addition to other innovations.