Dropping the Slider

Collapsing and lowering the slider behind your head as well as releasing some tension from your chest strap is of some benefit also. Although not providing as much gain as a collapsible pilot chute it can add some extra performance as well as changing the feel of your canopy quite a bit. By lowering and collapsing the slider we will have 3 effects.

  1. The drag from the slider will be greatly reduced.
  2. The canopy will produce more lift upwards. With the slider sitting at the connector links it is restricting the spread of the canopy slightly increasing the anhedral arc, this means the outside edges of the canopy are not sitting as flat and the lift generated by the wing tips is vectored further from the vertical thus reducing the overall lifting power of the canopy.
  3. Any twisting between you and the canopy will be reduced. The load from the lines that was running into your slider and chest strap and out to your hips is now running straight from the canopy to your hips which are wider and more securely attached to you than your chest strap or slider. As you turn your canopy your body will tend to move with the canopy as one unit rather than being left behind in the turn to catch up.

Again all these effects are felt more when the wing loading is higher as lift and efficiency become more important and our turns can become much faster.

If you are using a class 3 or below (below 1.25 PSF) this gain will be minimal and possibly not worth the complication (like in a student canopy situation).
For Class 4 (1.25-1.65 PSF) we recommend a collapsible slider but the chest strap gain is minimal.
For Class 5 and above (above 1.65 sf) it is pretty much a necessity to do both, the performance and feel of the canopy will both improve noticeably.

To drop the slider you must have 25mm (1″) risers and either soft links or #3.5 SS links that we provide with the canopy.
The best technique for dropping the slider is

  1. Open and check your canopy, do not release your breaks.
  2. grab the rear risers and steer the canopy towards the DZ and clear from other canopies.
  3. Making sure you are clear of other canopies reach up and using your first two fingers above the grommets slide the rear slider grommets over the links, break settings and toggles.
  4. Grab the slider in the center and pull it down, it will come easily over the front risers.
  5. Collapse and stow the slider. We have the option of 2 collapsing systems available on our sliders, the Velcro wrap and the draw cord.
    The Draw String can be simply pulled down and pulled tight then thrown behind your head. This system is easy to operate but does not collapse the slider as well.
    The velcro is best used with a piece of 25mm hook Velcro sewn vertically on the collar of your jumpsuit, Fold the velcro tail over the hook on the slider for packing as to leave a tail that is easy to grab, after opening pull the slider down and in front of you and twist it several times, tear off the tail and stick it on your collar. This method collapses the slider more to provide more visibility and less drag but is harder to use.
  6. Pop the chest strap, pull the adjuster back and away from you with your fingers until the chest strap stops moving or is almost against the stop (only do this if there is a stop) some of our customers have ordered rigs with extra long chest straps to help spread the canopy. Do not release the chest strap completely as there will be nothing stopping you falling forwards out of the harness. Also be aware that if you cut away (say in a canopy collision situation) your handles will be in different positions and your harness will be slack.
  7. Release your brakes.

At first this whole process might take you half your canopy ride but with a little practice you will have it down to 10-20 seconds. The most important thing we can stress here is not to loose awareness of other canopies or the DZ while you do this, it is hard to watch where you are going and stow your slider and there is likely to be others in the area doing the same and not looking out for you. Keep glancing around while you are doing this checking for other canopies and the DZ location, the canopy can be steered quite well on rear risers.

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