Canopy Maintenance Return to Massive Info
Apart from the line set (We'll talk about this next) your canopy should require very little maintenance. You should give your canopy a visual inspection approx every 100 jumps or possibly get your rigger to do it during your repack cycle. Look for tears in the fabric burns around the slider, stabilizers, bridle attachment and tail as well as broken stitches. The other main things to look for are damaged or rough slider grommets and loose connector links or damaged soft links.
Spectra line goes out of trim over time. Some lines will shrink and some may stretch. Stretching is mostly caused by loads on the line pulling the weave closer together and shrinkage is caused by heat as the slider runs up and down the lines at high speed. Unfortunately the lines with the most load on them are the lines in the front in the center of the canopy and the lines that take the most wear and heat from the slider are the outside lines so they do not go out of trim evenly. As the canopy goes out of trim the front center of the canopy will lift up and slightly change the canopies overall angle of attack. As this happens over hundreds of jumps you will more than likely not notice this too much. Your canopy has actually been trimmed from the factory to allow for this slightly and so as it gets a long way out of trim it remains useable.
The problem is that which lines stretch or shrink at what rate is unpredictable. We have seen canopies that have been over 100mm out on some lines still performing acceptably. We have also seen canopies develop problems only 40mm out of trim that have been solved by re-trimming. If your canopy is opening, landing and stalling without a noticeable drop of in performance or bad characteristics we suggest letting any one line getting up to 60mm out of trim for canopies below 115sf and 70mm for canopies above 115sf before re-trimming or relining. If your canopy is not performing as it should and any one line is more than 30mm out of trim then in this scenario also re-trim or reline the canopy.
On a Zero-P canopy the canopy will generally outlast the line set by several times Spectra line has a limited life and will generally need replacing any ware from 300-600 jumps for 500lb line and 500-1000 jumps for 725lb line. The life of your lines will depend on several factors like your weight, the cleanliness of your packing environment, the number of lines (7-Cell or 9-Cell), how well you look after them and the condition of your slider grommets. Line sets should be monitored for wear and trim and re-trimmed or replaced as you would a set of tires on a car. The things to look out for are trims (discussed later), wear spots, snags and worn stitching.
Often wear spots can appear quite bad but still retain much of their strength (such as wear by velcro) and sometimes a line can appear in quite good condition and be weakened considerably (often underneath a finger trap). A simple test is to squeeze the line between your thumb and finger and slide it along, if the line or wear spot gets thinner it is more than likely weakened. Other common wear spots are the lower brake lines and the corner lines where they meet the connector links. You can monitor the condition of your lines easily while packing, about every 50 jumps have a closer look, If you are unsure of something check with your rigger. One of the best things you can do to improve the life of your lines is to use soft links and monitor the condition of your slider grommets.