Your shiny new canopy has arrived on your doorstep. You open the package eagerly, pull out the canopy and give a little squeal of delight! It’s so new and crispy! The material crackles in your hands. It has that ‘new canopy’ smell. The colour is so bright… it’s like having your very own Unicorn!
OMG you cannot wait to jump it this weekend!!!
But then your smile fades slightly as you think “how will it stay looking like this?” Never fear! Here at NZA Headquarters, we have many, many years of experience working with canopies of all shapes and sizes in any manner of condition. We put our heads together, sat down over a beer and wrote down all the little tricks we use to keep our own canopies looking shiny and new. Here are our 21 ways to keep your canopy looking good!
Packing and storage
1. Pack indoors or under a tent on a non-abrasive surface (concrete hurts your gear as well as your knees)
2. Avoid packing when sweaty or wearing sunscreen – shirts on!
3. Store in a cool dark place away from humidity and sunlight
4. Sunlight is not your canopy’s friend, so make sure to keep it out of the sun when not jumping
5. Keep your canopy unpacked in a stash bag if you won’t be jumping for long periods of time
6. Full sail canopies (Petra, SLeia, Sofia) should NOT be left packed for more than 2 days at a time
7. Inspect regularly – do a 25 Jump Check to spot small problems early to avoid big problems later. The Chrissss made a sweet video on how to do a 25 Jump Check
8. Keep an eye on your pilot chute and kill line – old and worn out pilot chutes can lead to hard openings. Refer to the manufacturer for best practices on how to care for your pilot chute and how to inspect for wear and tear
9. Manipulate your softlinks on your 25 jump check. They can become hard and rigid over time and as a result, can cause additional wear on your lines
10. Do a 25 jump check after a cut-away, off-landing or water landing to check for any damage
11. Inspect your canopy after a CP competition, especially if it ended up in pond water
12. Land on grass! If possible 🙂
13. Thoroughly shake your canopy after a beach landing
14. After landing in water, rinse in clean fresh water, hang to dry in shade, not direct sunlight, with a breeze if possible
15. Avoid getting dirt in lines, clean them in cold water and then dry thoroughly.
16. Remove stains such as blood, food or motor oil. Check out the guide from Performance Textiles, Inc. on how to spot clean your canopy
17. Excessive cleaning can also reduce the lifespan – sometimes no action is the best action!
18. Don’t over stuff d-bags – tight bags can lead to wear on a parachute
19. Avoid velcro on any part of your gear, particularly avoid any contact with your lines
20. Change softlinks with every reline to reduce additional wear on your lines. (Our Linesets and Canopies include a set of softlinks with every purchase)
21. Reline your canopy regularly and definitely do not push your lines to their limit! Our Help Centre has plenty of information on when to reline your canopy, what line types to choose and how to check for wear on your lineset
And that was our 21 Ways to Care for your Canopy!
Have your own way of keeping your canopy looking good? Let us know in the comments below.
And remember, show your gear some love and stay safe out there!
Feature Photo Credit: Keith Creedy, Funny Farm – Check out his awesome videos here
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