Swooping. It might be something you’ve mastered, something you’re aspiring to do or maybe it hasn’t come up in your jumping journey yet. If you have ambitions to take your canopy flight to the next level, there are many different aspects to this area of canopy piloting and plenty of different gear options to help you there.
We caught up with our athlete Olga Naumova to talk about Removable Deployment Systems and the RDS Pocket – a feature on our MX-CP shorts, designed for canopy pilots.
Hey Olga, first things first, why should skydivers use an RDS Pocket at all?
Hi guys! A Removable Deployment System (RDS) involves removing your slider, d-bag and pilot chute after opening. Anyone who likes to fly fast parachutes will do anything to decrease drag and allow their wing to go faster and swoop longer.
There are plenty of places you can stash your RDS after removing it – from spandex pouches or in your pants, to down the neck of your t-shirt. I don’t really like to look like I’m carrying a baby through my swoop, so an RDS pocket is a great solution for me.
Does an RDS Pocket affect drag?
It depends on the pocket I’d say. If it’s positioned more on the side, then obviously you have more surface area presented to the wind and it will affect your speed. That’s why RDS pockets should be slightly towards the back of the thigh, but it also needs to be easily accessible to stuff your slider in quickly. I prefer elasticated RDS pockets without any buttons or zippers.
Why should skydivers not stuff their RDS down the front of their jerseys?
Why not? 🤪 I personally just don’t like the possibility of having my slider come out of my jersey onto my face while snapping my canopy to the ground.
(Also, if you didn’t tuck your jersey in, your RDS could slip out of the bottom and be gone forever – believe us, it happens, and it can be hard to find something that small again, depending what the surrounding area of your dropzone is like.)
Is an RDS Pocket secure?
Yes, I’ve never lost my full RDS, just a removable slider (I don’t jump a full RDS on work jumps). If the elastic of the pocket isn’t stretched or damaged you won’t have a problem. Just look after your gear!
Is an RDS Pocket durable? How does it hold up with landings?
I’ve been swooping in the same MX-CP shorts for the past 3 years and the pocket is holding on great! I mean it, because it’s not like I can always perform a stand up landing into the box on an accuracy round – sometimes I end up counting every stone of the gravel with my bum! Also, in a speed round, you can slide the landing in to stop like there is no tomorrow. So yeah, the pocket and the shorts are pretty damn durable.
Awesome, thanks Olga. Now to finish off, can you give us a pro tip for any aspiring canopy pilots out there?
Sure. Just getting a pair of swoop shorts with an RDS pocket will not make you a great swooper. Get a canopy coach, ask them to film your landings, and downsize smart. Fast parachutes are lots of fun. Swooping the pond with fast parachutes – even more fun, but train and learn from your mistakes as much as you learn from your awesome downwind swoops.
Oh, and get yourself a pair of MX-CP Shorts! You know how new sports clothes can motivate you to go to the gym? You get my point 😉
Follow Olga on Instagram (@sky_umka) to keep up to date with what she’s up to.
Explore our MX Series to find the shorts or pants best suited to you:
|MX Series Short
Built for every skydiver looking for a longer-lasting short. Our seamless Cordura SEAT panel increases the durability and comfort by removing the most common wear point in skydiving shorts.
|MX-CP Series Short
With a built-in elasticated RDS pocket for use by canopy pilots and swoopers of all levels, these shorts are perfect for anyone wanting to improve their canopy piloting skills and take them to the next level.
|MX Series Pant
The same as the MX Series Short, but longer. Perfect if you want the option for an extra bit of drag in the sky, or warmth in winter, depending on where you are!
The full MX series range, including different colours and styles, can be found here.
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