When it comes to BASE bridles we get three questions, which are all related, pretty regularly:
- Why is there Velcro on my bridle, above the top pin?
- Why is there slack in the bridle between the two pins?
- Do you recommend routing the bridle out of the container between the pins/grommets, or from above the top pin/grommet
Let’s touch on each question one by one:
Why is there Velcro on my Bridle, above the top pin?
When the hook and pile Velcro on your bridle are mated together they are ensuring that there’s slack between your top pin and the point where your bridle exits your closed container. If this section of bridle is pulled too tight, a hesitation (or even a PC in tow) may result in some sub-optimal deployment scenarios. This Velcro (when properly mated) ensures slack, and therefore eliminates these hesitations.
Why is there slack in the bridle between the two pins?
The same principle is in play here. This slack reduces the risk of hesitations in sub-optimal deployment positions. In a normal belly-to-Earth orientation, your pins will release one at a time. But if you were head low, and there was no slack between your pins, you’d be asking your pilot chute to pull two pins simultaneously. Not surprisingly, this takes more force than pulling one pin at a time. By putting slack in between the pins we stage the release of your pins from their closing loops: bottom pin first, then the top pin.
Do you recommend routing the bridle out of the container between the pins, or from above the top pin?
The answer depends on the container you’re jumping. In general, Apex BASE prefers routing the bridle between the pins (and grommets) when closing your container. This routing provides more bridle security and leaves little potential for hesitations in certain sub-optimal deployment scenarios (e.g. very head low deployment).
If you’re jumping a Summit, TL, or Rook always route your bridle out of the container between the pins/grommets.
If you’re jumping an older DP container, or even an older TL with a DP-style Pin Protector Flap (PPF) there is an argument to be made for the top routing. When routed out of the top of the container the bridle is clear all the way to the top pin. When routing out of the center however, you will notice that you’re tucking your Pin Protector Flap directly on top of your bridle when the flap is closed.
We do not believe there is any issue with the center routing on the DP, but we do want to caution people that this routing creates a bridle/PPF interaction which is not present with the top routing. We don’t see any reason why this interaction could create an issue, but we also can’t guarantee that it won’t ever cause an issue. That is why on DP-style PPFs we recommend the following:
- On low airspeed jumps, use the top bridle routing and ensure the Velcro is properly mated. With this routing there is no need to open your PPF on slider off jumps and the top routing removes any bridle/PPF interaction.
- On high airspeed jumps, choose whichever method you are most comfortable with, but Apex BASE still recommends the top routing as there is plenty of bridle protection above your top pin.
The photo above is an Apex Summit, with the bridle routed from the center of the pins/grommets. Notice the slack in the system, and the orientation of the pins.
Got another bridle question we haven’t covered? Never hesitate to reach out! We’re always happy to chat BASE with our customers.