This week brings us to front risers – a scary thought for some while invigorating and thrilling to others.
Let’s just “dive in”, shall we?
What happens when you pull on your fronts:
When we discussed rear riser control, we said that by pulling on the rear risers we are pulling down the C and D lines of our wing. So, the shock should be quite small, when you find that by pulling down on your front risers, you are pulling down the A and B lines of your wing. Once again, by pulling one of the risers, you are essentially pulling down on a fourth of the parachute.
Now, the question is why would you want to do this?
As a student, you try to do front riser turns because USPA says that you must in order to get an A license. So, we go up and give them a go, and realize that the amount of strength that is needed to pull down a front riser on a student canopy borders on the inhuman. The majority of us then immediately abandon front riser turns because they are so bloody hard to do.
Eventually we downsize and find ourselves flying a canopy that is finally responsive to front riser input and we go nuts….or we don’t.
(Warning: about to stereotype here)
Most females don’t see the need to use front risers. You say that front riser turns are fun and thrilling? We don’t care. You say that you can lose a lot of altitude with front riser turns? Definitely not doing them then. You see, we are interested in making it back down to the ground safely and don’t really care too much for thrilling rides.
You say those same things to boys and most will get all giddy and do a bunch of jumps where they are only doing front riser turns. And then one of them will attempt it too close to the ground and hurt himself, but I digress…
So, why should anyone want to perform front riser maneuvers:
Front risers are useful for when you want to gain airspeed. The classic example is using front risers to get yourself just beyond an obstacle when faced with a strong headwind. But you may also need to use them when flying relative to your friend. Or, you may just use this as an exercise to get more comfortable with your wing.
Go do a hop n pop and try some front riser maneuvers…above 2500 feet of course. And here’s a tip if you find the front riser pressure on your wing to be quite high. First, get into a little bit of brakes for a few seconds and then smoothly let up on your toggles. As the parachute begins to surge forward, pull down on your front riser and see if that is a bit more manageable.
Try it and let us know how it goes!
Only one more post left in this series….learn how to control you parachute with rear riser turns.