Team Advice

Keep ‘Em Separated

  • August 7, 2014

There you are, standing on launch.  It has been a long day at work and you are ready for a rejuvenating flight.  There will be a short window to launch, so you and your buddies quickly lay out the gear and set up.  You lay out your wing as best you can on an awkward launch, fluff the wing to help clear the lines, and realize – ah schiznatt, you have a tangled rat’s nest of lines.  A good cycle comes, your buddies pull up their wings, and take off toward the moon.  You still are on launch…”the rabbit goes around the bend, through the hole, over the hill… where did this line come from..?.?… Crud!”


Recently, while packing up after a good flight, I had a fellow pilot ask me “why do you sort your lines before you pack up your wing, they are just going to get messed up?”  I hate being that guy stuck on launch tinkering with the gear.  I need every advantage I can get on launch, so I like to make sure that my lines are sorted and clear of knots, twigs, and small rodents before I pack up the wing.  This is also a good time to inspect the lines and wing for any wear, damage, rocks, and insects with sharp pincers you might have picked up at launch  (yes, this is real).   I often am hiking so I prefer to pack the wing over stuffing it in a stuff bag.   When using a stuff bag I have found it helps to shove the risers in, or under, the harness away from the lines so they cannot tangle as easily in the lines.   Either way, if the lines go in well sorted, they have a much better chance of unpacking well sorted.

IMG_1428One of my favorite packing tricks I picked up from an old geezer of  flying is locking the risers together with a carabiner.  Once the lines are clean and straight I lock the risers together.  When you unpack the wing, as long as one set of risers is straight, it is impossible for the other set to be twisted.  This is particularly helpful on a windy launch where is hard to lay out the wing without it blowing around.  This also keeps one set of risers from tangling in the lines of the other set of risers.  I like to unpack the wing and clear the lines with the carabiner still attached, then take it off just before I clip in.  In this way I know I do not have a twisted riser.

I have seen some pilots keep their wings attached to the harness when using a stuff sack.  this seems to work well for them.  I have tried this a few times, but have still had lines get snagged or wrapped around the harness.  There are lots of good ideas to keep the lines well sorted.  As a community we are always looking to share good ideas.  If you have other good ideas on line management, packing, or gear storage please comment and share them!

Safe Flying!

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