For most of us this is a quieter time, jumpwise, so take a look at your rig. Give it a brush down; maybe leave the pilot chute out of the BOC pocket if you are not going to jump this month. If the main is unpacked give it an air, shake out the sand, change the bungees, take the twists out of the brake lines, and definitely get round to fitting a new closing loop.

Your pre-2016 Cypres has a 12-month ‘window’ for servicing. This allows you to send it away in the off season, so don’t wait until Easter to discover that it will need to come out of your rig in June! If you have a Vigil, check the recent safety bulletins: PSB 02 2018 must be complied with by the end of 2019, PSB 01 2018 by 31 May 2020.

Does anything else merit attention? Maybe a ‘big’ item such as a line set (£200-300), a new pilot chute (£75) or just a replacement kill line (£20). Or maybe you need a tighter spandex pocket? (£40)

Line sets ‘age’ differently according to type and strength. Spectra lines (microline) are very resilient but shrink with heat, so the brake lines and outside lines will shrink more and the canopy will go out of trim. 750lb will usually last 600-1,000 jumps while 525lb will wear out somewhat sooner.

Vectran and HMA are more stable but wear quicker (more broken carriers), particularly at the attachment to the canopy and connector links. In a harsh environment (e.g. sand and sun) lines won’t last as long – say 200-300 jumps whereas you may get 600-700 jumps on them elsewhere. 300lb HMA should not be used for terminal openings and should be replaced every 100 jumps!

Remember that if your lines are wearing at the links, then so are the soft links (£35), and a broken link is more catastrophic than most broken lines!

Remember to arrange a pick up time from your Rigger or Advanced Packer; they may not have unlimited, climate-controlled storage. Do not leave your rig in an unheated packing shed for the winter, you really can’t hide the mildew stains!

Your rig does a good job looking after you, so give it a little thought and at least one Christmas present: change that closing loop! (Prices will vary)

Photo by Chelsea Tooley

By Peter Sizer, British Skydiving Chair of Riggers

Skydive the Mag December 2020 First published in the December 2019 issue of Skydive the Mag.