As of 09/26/2018 all Apex BASE pilot chutes will feature a newly redesigned attachment point.
PC attachment points are one of several lifelines that ensure your single parachute system deploys as planned. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about them recently and here are some observations and conclusions.
The traditional PC attachment point looks, and assembles, like this:
Does this look confusing? That’s because, at least compared to some other designs, it is. But the reason that PCs have been built like this since the beginning of BASE is simple:
Connecting your bridle directly to the PC centerline AND radial tapes is the most structurally sound method of attachment.
By connecting the bridle at this point you’re tying your bridle directly into multiple load bearing components. You’re connecting directly to the “bones” of the PC and this is a very structurally sound way to link these two components. If structural integrity is your primary concern there is no better attachment point.
For this reason Apex BASE always has preferred, and continues to prefer, this style of attachment point. But as BASE gear developed another attachment point was introduced, the single point attachment.
The single point attachment has the advantage of being easier to understand and simpler to assemble. In BASE this is a real benefit as jumpers are asked to do much more “at home rigging” than in skydiving. Mis-rigged gear is an issue in BASE and when assembly can be made easier it is generally additive to the safety of our sport.
That said, we are not as confident in the structural integrity of some single point attachment designs when compared to the traditional attachment point.*
*IMPORTANT: This is not intended to suggest that some single point attachment designs are not strong enough to be safe. We have yet to see an attachment point that we consider to be dangerous. It is only intended to suggest that, by their very design, some attachment points are not as structurally sound as an attachment point that is more deeply integrated into the framework of the PC.
At Apex BASE we’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months pondering this dilemma. How can we provide an attachment point that offers all of the structural integrity and strength of the traditional design, which we feel is paramount…while still incorporating the ease of use and simplicity of a single attachment point?
By consolidating the radial tapes at the attachment point and and adding color contrast to the centerline attachment loop we feel that we’ve found a simple, clean, and elegant solution to a problem that’s been bothering us for a long time. This new attachment point offers, we believe, the important benefits of both attachment point designs with none of the negatives. PC attachment is easy to understand, quick to assemble, and maintains the integrity of the traditional system. Here’s how it assembles:
We really like this new design, and we feel that it is better than the others in every way. For this reason all of our PCs will now feature this new attachment point at no additional cost.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions about this attachment point, about other elements of PC design, or about anything BASE related in general. We’re here to help, and we appreciate the trust that you place in Apex BASE!