Nothing to see here, just a skydiver getting slammed by a very painful premature opening as he transitioned to his back to track away. Yup… I felt that one…
The most common reason for this type of incident is gear that is not designed for the type of jumping this individual was partaking in. Younger jumpers, for example, often think they are told not to freefly in rental gear because anyone renting rental gear isn’t ready to freefly. That may partially be true but, most often, the factor more obvious to experienced jumpers is that rental gear typically isn’t freefly-friendly.
Debates over this handle versus that handle, these riser covers over those riser covers are one thing, but some equipment just shouldn’t be used for certain skydives. At the end of the day, different jumps mandate different equipment. However, week after week, we continue to see dangerous incidents that can be attributed to folks who don’t listen to that truism. Whether it’s wingsuit pilots jumping canopies that aren’t made for wingsuitting, freeflyers jumping in rigs without freefly friendly rigs, or rocking t-shirts that are covering up their handles – these are poor decisions that can lead to a very bad day.
A rig that was “freefly-friendly” a decade ago may not deserve that qualifier anymore – and not necessarily because older gear wasn’t made for freeflying. Another factor that needs to be considered is that, as gear gets older, it needs to be inspected more closely. This incident, for example, could have potentially been due to an old BOC that had simply become worn out over time.