If you have a Skyhook story from either a first person experience, as a viewer under canopy or on the ground than let us know by contacting us and we'll display it here.
My name is Will Riga I'm a new skydiver, my home dropzone is Skydive Chicago. I'm writing you because one of my friends (TJ Compton also of Skydive Chicago) that I went through aff with just had an amazing save utilizing your skyhook while visiting Eloy. On the video he actually thanks the skyhook. I just wanted to send it to you, because it's an amazing video and if nothing else I think it would be great up on the website, because it showcases the unbelievable benefit of having Skyhook in your rig. I also want you to know that I jumped a Vector 3 last summer and I'm hooked, I'm currently designing and getting my ideas together for my very first rig which will definitely be a Vector. I just wanted to thank you for making the Skydiving World so much safer.
View the Youtube Video
-- Will Riga
So having spent the last few months on the road in Europe I now had the opportunity to do a Skyhook intentional cutaway jump. More then most I have discussed and scrutinised, watched footage and leafed over manuals to see what the skyhook was all about and since I´ve been singing its praises. So the proof of the pudding is in the eating and this week at Summerfest it was my turn to to chow down
After a lovely sunset tracking jump with Greg, UPT´s main man in the states, I deployed and flew my main to a suitable spot for my cutaway. I can’t say I had enough time even to raise my heart beat, only for a split second as I made the decision to cut away a perfect canopy! As soon as I cut away I felt the separation and then poof!! a fresh reserve canopy on heading and flying, to be totally honest I was a bit disappointed it was not more scary but thats because im weird ;-) I did my normal reserve drill and my reserve was out and inflated before my reserve handle had even cleared.
I am so pleased I got to experience this with the added bonus to be able to fly and land my reserve, the 143 I had hooked up is exactly the same as I have in my personal rig. Everyone should do this, an intentional cutaway gives us the opportunity to make a hard choice with "controlled" parameters, one day I will need to make the same decision under pressure. Now I feel I have more insight, and as for the skyhook, well, it exceeded all of my expectations, and I look forward to sharing my experience with everyone when I get back home across the pond.
-- Anna HowerskiUPT European Representative
Hi guys, I had a reserve ride last Sunday while training in Eloy… and used the Skyhook on my Micron! The SkyHook performed perfectly, and I finally understand and can speak from experience about how incredible this device is – rather than just reading the literature and watching videos. Upon opening I determined there was a tension knot in my toggle so decided to cut away. Lucky for me it was a low speed cut away, as I was under an inflated canopy… Cutting away was super smooth, and the transition was amazing. I could feel the reserve coming out immediately – even before I pulled the reserve handle! The SkyHook is an amazing innovation, and I’m impressed by the ease at which the entire process took place and I was already flying under my PD Optimum 113! Although its never ideal to have a reserve, I’m so happy to share what a fantastic experience it was – and lucky for me my main canopy landed in the middle of the DZ so no ‘search and rescue’ was needed! Thanks again to the UPT family for keeping me safe with the latest technology and innovations, and continuing to make top of the line gear that gives the comfort, confidence and knowledge to enjoy the flight. Sincerely, Annaliese Peterson Spaceland Blue – US Women’s 4way FS Team
The Skyhook rocks! I got one on my rig after having a chance to demo one on a UPT tertiary rig. The “live cutaway” happened when I was on a team training jump after we exited on a slightly long spot (Murphy’s Law….). On deployment, I felt my stiletto 120 spin up right out of the container; it stayed stable for a second, but then started diving. I was in a fast spin and on my back when I cut away , but my reserve deployed horizontally, much like a main would during a hop and pop. I had four perfect line groups on line stretch and an inflated reserve in less than a hundred feet. That’s why I love the Skyhook system. It get your reserve open fast! You and your reserve might be horizontal in relation to the ground, but it will always be deploying directly over your head. It’s like the reserve almost becomes an extension of your main. With an open reserve at over two thousand feet, I was able to watch where my main and freebag landed and make it back to the DZ with altitude to spare. While everyone should be comfortable landing their reserves in tight outs, I’m happy that the Skyhook helps increase the chance that I’ll make it back to the main landing area, or at least give me more time to find the best possible out. Thanks, United Parachute Technologies, for another great innovation. I’ve got Skyhooks on both my rigs now and would recommend them to jumpers of all experience levels.
Ben ListonSenior Rigger
This weekend I was attending the Skydie Dallas 4th Boogie. On one of the jumps, skydiver from Aggieland is not too far under me as we're headed towards the DZ around 1200 feet. He's checking things out really hard which makes me notice the single, not yet ugly, line-over. He looks around and down to make sure his air is clear, puts his hand on his cutaway handle and chops. I'm literally astounded. His reserve was out, open and he was at line-stretch at what looked to be the length of his reserve lines. Poof! I walked up to him and said, "Man, that has to be the fastest reserve opening, I've ever seen." And he said, "That's the skyhook, pretty awesome, huh?" I am impressed. It was about the same as handing someone your D-bag and stepping off a bridge. No longer than that. Think I'll test jump one while at Skyfest.--BIGUN
I was the proud owner of a new Vector container and my first fully elliptical canopy. Of course I downsized a little also. The first two jumps went well but the third one was a little more exciting than I had planned. The Neptune audible signaled at five thousand feet and I started to track. At four thousand I began slowing to initiate the deployment sequence. When I deployed the pilot chute, I immediately felt pressure on the back right side of my helmet. I initially had trouble looking up to see the main inflate. As the canopy began to inflate it was rotating into multiple line twists. At first I thoughtI would be able to kick out of the problem but, just as the canopy fully inflated, it dove hard to the left entering a violent spin. I was now flat on my back spinning in the horizontal plane. As I felt the increasing G forces in my leg straps I quickly realized the situation was beyond recovery. Once the decision is made your training takes over and you just react. I reached for the cutaway handle and stripped it out and away from my harness. The new Vector container smoothly released both risers simultaneously as the SkyHook RSL deployed the reserve canopy in a flash. I was under a fully inflated reserve before I could even look at the reserve handle. This particular malfunction is often dangerous with normal RSL due to the possibility of line entanglement. The speed with which the SkyHook deploys the reserve all but eliminates the problem. I discussed the malfunction with my rigger to try and prevent an encore performance. I will try to relate my understanding of the possible causes but get the facts from the experts. The malfunction can be attributed to at least three potential factors. 20% High Performance Fully Elliptical Canopy 40% Poor packingNot leaving enough excess line when placing D bag in the container 40% Bad body position: lifting the right shoulder and looking to the right creating rotation and uneven leg pressure. The combination of these errors could have caused the deployment bag to strike the reserve compartment and spin during line stretch instead of lifting straight out. The line twists pulled the risers together behind my helmet. The uneven leg and body position created uneven riser pressure causing the elliptical canopy to take off in a rapid turn. The resulting spin was uncontrollable. There is a lively debate over the wisdom of using an RSL. I am not qualified to give advice, but from experience I can say, the SkyHook works extremely well. -- Captain HooK
I got to use my skyhook saturday, and it really saved my ass. Spinning line twists and lost altitude fast. Chopped 1300' and under my reserve with toggles in hand around 1100' right above high tension power lines with not many choices to land. And I have it on video!!! 2nd mal with skyhook, my wife and daughter were watching. There is no way I would jump any other rig!!:))))
--Dan O CK1xp Freefly
Just wanted to say hi, and tell you that the Skyhook on my Micron worked flawlessly yesterday! I guess I can no longer say 'I've never had a spinning mal' It works exactly as described in all of UPT's ads and paperwork! It was awesome! That Skyhook is the greatest innovation since zero-p, and the primary reason I ordered my new Micron with you this past December. I was such a big big supporter of UPT before... and am so much more now! Everyone on my dz was very impressed. Thanks for listening! Gary
I was looking to buy a new rig, here in Montreal, and I was in a skydiving school, and i asked if they would install the Skyhook for me on the rig I would buy you know, and they tried to convince me that it was useless. So I told them about the video on your website, and the stats! Of course they knew everything about that system, and still he was saying that it wasn't that useful as you guys were saying and proving. So I just said : ok thanks ... You know, I go there several times a week to jump, and between each jump, I relax a bit and see the other guys skydiving. Every once in a while, they want to show the PAC students the Reserve deployment, so they jump at 3500, open the main, then pull it, and then open the reserve (sorry, don't remember the technical terms in english) What happened is that one time I was drinking my coke and having a chocobar, I was watching this demo, and I dunno what happened, but the main canopy opened but it was all messed-up. The guy released it and pulled the reserve. I can tell you, the jumper barely had time to flare after that, and twisted one of his heels. Not even 4 weeks after, all their rigs were equipped with Skyhook, and today, so is mine ! I trust you guys, but I don't trust a rig without the Skyhook ! -- Jad Ben (AKA. Adelphi)
After spending months searching around for a new rig, reading all the reviews, internet postings, and talking to people/riggers around the DZ, I decided on the Vector 3. I liked the way the main and reserve flaps ensure nothing is coming out until I want it to. The fit and finish were second to none. After reading and talking to various people, I decided to get the Skyhook RSL for my new Vector. When I bought the Vector, I hadn't had a reserve ride yet, and with the new rig I was also downsizing to a slightly more aggressive canopy. Any edge the Skyhook could give me when things go bad, I wanted. I was on my 2nd jump of the day, a crankin' 4-way (about my 10th on the new Vector and my smaller canopy). We broke off at 4K, tracked to 3K and pulled. My main opened with a couple of line-twists at around 2.5K, no big deal....then the fun began. Before I could get the line-twists out, the canopy started diving. The line twists got worse, and I couldn't kick them out. Here I am on my back, twisting as the canopy diving towards the ground, looking between my legs and the horizon. I've never had a cutaway before, so the adrenaline was really pumping. It didn't take long to figure out I wasn't going to fix this. Reached for the Red - pulled, went for Silver. By the time I started pulling the reserve handle, I already had a perfect reserve over my head with no line twists, despite my spinning on all axis. I estimate that I was under my reserve in about 100-200 feet after chopping. That's amazing!! Forget about that "need to get stable first" stuff. The Skyhook did its job, despite my less than desirable attitude. If I had waited to get stable before deploying my reserve, I would have been dangerously close to being another statistic. The added bonus was that the free-bag stayed with my main, so no extra searching through the corn fields. Thank you United Parachute Technologies for another save.
-- Kevin LaFollette D-26795
I started test jumping Bill's Skyhook prototype in the summer of 2002. This was following many years of Bill working on this project, knowing that there was a far more efficient and safer reserve deployment method within reach. Initially the first few test jumps were disappointing....but these were invaluable for collecting the data that would ultimately lead to the Skyhook as we know it today. After some tweaking we were ready to start the testing again, and WOW.....I couldn't believe it! I was super impressed by the speed in which I had a fully inflated reserve canopy overhead - Bill had told me it would be quick, but I seriously had no idea how quick. This super fast deployment was also complimented by on heading openings and no line twists - again, we had no idea how efficient this system was going to be from this angle as well. My main fear while test jumping the Skyhook was deploying in an unstable situation, but after a few test jumps I realized that there was simply not the time to tumble through lines so this was another problem averted whilst using Skyhook.....all I experienced were nice, super clean openings. Sweet! Both of my personal rigs are fitted with Skyhook - I feel especially secure having it on my Birdman rig, knowing that the extra time needed to get stable after cutaway during a wing suit reserve deployment is time better spent under my reserve canopy!! I myself now have around 100 intentional Skyhook cutaways and all I can say is the Skyhook rocks! I cannot recommend it more highly. It is a no-brainer to have it on student rigs and tandem (it is mandatory on all UPT student Vectors and Sigma tandems), and I forsee it becoming standard on sport rigs in the future as more and more people see the obvious safety benefits of this system.
This past Sunday I had my first skyhook cutaway. WOW!!! I could not even believe how fast and smooth it was. I had a super crazy spinning main opening on my velo 96, followed by a perfectly on-heading reserve opening. It was so fast, that it felt like my canopy just changed color and started flying straight. Everyone should have one of this, simply AMAZING! After I landed and had my main and freebag come to the ground in one piece (another beautiful thing), I told everyone in Sebastian about how good the skyhook was and showed the video. Inmediately everyone showed interest and started asking questions about the skyhook. Thanks so much for your support and hope to see you soon, --Luis Prinetto
Alana and Justi did a Skyhook demo this weekend at Skyfest. It was remarkable to see how quick the reserve deployed once they cutaway their main. Watching their demos actually further convinced that this is the way to go and I will be buying a new Vector with a Skyhook within the next month.
First load today, while training with my swoop team (FastraxSwoop) I had the nasties malfunction ever. We were exiting a caravan with no cut, so the exit speed was extremely high. After a 1 second delay I deployed my canopy. A combination of my instability from the exit and the propwash from the airplane spun my Velocity 96 up. It started to untwist itself faster and faster, after clearing itself it had so much speed it induced line twists the other way, then it took off! Spinning up all the way to my 3 rings. Now on my back in a high speed turn and decent (Neptune reading 88mph) I had no choice but to cutaway, the fact that I was loaded at 2.4 came to mind. I had a hard time reaching my cutaway because of the high G forces, but as soon as I cutaway I was greated with a beautiful yellow PD106 Reserve in what I would estimate in under a second. The only side effect was a busted lip from my risers being cutaway from in front of my face while I was on my back. Having test jumped the skyhook for UPT and over 20 cutaways with it I had full trust in the product, but I can guarantee never in testing was a spin this fast induced. The skyhook worked perfectly and my reserve deployed on heading. Thankyou for your support and for designing such a great product, I am happy to have a skyhook in my rig.
I was doing my sixth wingsuit jump, having a great time and clean deployments up until then. I opened at 4'5 with five or six line twists, and continued rotation into the twists. I had good altitude, and wasn't spinning yet, so I undid my arm zippers and went to work on my risers. With the webbing between the legs I couldn't generate much counter momentum with my lower body, and after what seemed like a long effort I realized I wasn't going to unscrew myself. The twists extended to a few inches above my three rings, I ended up on my back, began to spin, and I cutaway at 3'. The Skyhook had the reserve out, square and inflated, in about two seconds, making the reserve handle pull (which I did) redundant. Nice also to have the reserve bag and bridle captured with the main--that alone may have recouped the initial cost of the Skyhook
The Skyhook was one of the primary reasons I decided on a Vector 3, and I'm really grateful for it now. The next malfunction may be faster, lower, hairier, and I won't be wearing any other rig when it happens.
-- Ryan Teall
After completing my level 6 freefall, I deployed my main at 5500’. The canopy opened and inflated, however as I tried to do my controllability check I noticed that the left brake was stuck. I yanked it a couple of times to no avail. The canopy meanwhile had started a slow spin to the left and accelerating. I tried to figure out the problem and looked for the obvious stuff but instead I noticed a knot in the excess line storage. As I yanked it, the combined tension of the canopy and my pull was accelerating the spin. At 3000’ I decided to cutaway and thought to myself “hopefully this skyhook thing works”. What do you know? Even before I could complete my cutaway action and throw away my red handle the reserve was fully inflated above my head. A great relief!! Thanks to the United Parachute Technologies team. Thank You!
-- S. RajaraAFP Student