The new released SFly JackDaw is an Ultra-Light, Utra-Strong, Durable Rig designed to ease the alpine jumping activity, for wing suiters and trackers demanding the lightest gear for their hikes and ascents.
The JackDaw is built in France with materials that are both stronger and lighter than the usual standards of the Skydiving/BASE industry, and that are still pretty new for that use: Dyneema for harness webbing, Aluminium for Buckles, and VX03 from Dimension Polyant for the container. These materials have proven their strength in the climbing and the sailing industry, but have not really reached out our sport yet.
The story behind the JackDaw
At first we have been truly inspired by the Dyneema harnesses / Light rigs built by Zak Tessier and Simon Perriard, and we have decided to design our own Ultra Light Rig. François Gouy has led the idea and tested ultra-light rigs over and over while openings many high altitude exit points in Les Ecrins and around the Mont-Blanc in 2014. During summer 2015, many exit points above 4000m (13000 feet) with +/- 3000m (10000 feet) vertical descents have been opened with the final prototypes of the JackDaw.
The JackDaw weighs slightly below 800 grams (1,76 Lbs) all included (toggles, bridle, loops), and only 740 grams “naked” (1,63 Lbs). We consider it as the comfort and durability limit for now. That is more or less twice as light as a standard BASE rig with steel buckles / Type 8 nylon webbing / Cordura or parapack double layer container. And that is 500 gr (1,1 Lbs) lighter that a standard BASE rig with sewn legstraps.
We have selected raw materials meeting 3 criteria: lightness, strength and durability. Indeed we could not imagine sacrificing durability for weight, and the SFly JackDaw is as durable as a typical BASE rig, and for that reason it can even be chosen for a daily use.
Dyneema webbing: the harness, including risers, is made of an exclusive Made-in-France 25 mm dyneema webbing, with a 2,5 tons tensile strength and a weight of 17,1 gr/m (whereas a standard Type 8 harness has a 1,8 ton tensile strength and a weight of +/- 40gr/m).
Leg strap buckles: we have selected the Ange S carabiner from Petzl, with a 2,0 tons strength and a weight of 28 g per unit (versus 1,1 ton and 170 gr/unit for the usual stainless steel flip-flop leg strap adjusters).
Chest strap buckle: the Austria Alpine frames are only a few grams light
Container: the VX03 from Dimension Polyant weighes 140g/m2 (4,2 Oz/Yd2) and is made by assembling a 30/40 denier double rip-stop Nylon with 0,25 mil PET film and 50 denier polyester taffeta backing. This fabric may look heavy, but thanks to its structure it can be used in one-single layer, instead of 2 on “standard” rigs, and this how we can save some extra weight on the JackDaw.
We worked on building the safest closing system in any position, resisting to air pressure at any speed.
The lateral flaps have a special full coverage above the chest and above the shoulders. Once geared-up, this coverage increases the pressure of the lateral flaps on the top flap and prevents the air flow from pushing out the lateral flap (this being the main issue we can see on lot of footage).
Also the distance between the the 2 loops has been reduced as much as possible in order to maintain the strongest pression on the center of the container.
Furthermore, we have designed a “raised” bottom loop that decreases the over-tension on the top loop while keeping a “continuous” container profile.
Container design and profile
The JackDaw has been designed to be simple and pure. The container overall profile is narrow on the back, very flat on the upper body and thicker at the waist.
Besides, the BOC is not 100% below the container, but slightly high on the bottom flap, so as to ease the pull action thanks to the handle that is kept out of the suit fabric.
Light gear and thin webbing harness do not mean uncomfortable or painful equipment. All the tests we have done, and all the feedback given by various pilots, have allowed us to fully make the JackDaw as comfy as light. The leg straps padding prevents the inside of the thighs from any harmful opening, like on any traditional harness, and makes the canopy ride position really relax. The harness lumbar and hips design allows the JackDaw to stick to the pilot back at any angle of flight, without any unpleasant pressure from the lumbar harness.
The carabiner at leg straps make the gearing-up so much simpler. It allows to gear up in a standing position anytime without need of any break-dance style leg movements through the straps. And that makes gearing-up feel so much safer on tricky exit points. It’s a really new way of gearing-up, and it is so easier compared to what you’ve been used to.
The safety plastic foam piece inside the carabiners prevents the leg straps from moving around the carabiner and maintain the efforts in the stronger axe of the carabiner.
The chest buckle makes it easier to gear up too
The JackDaw has been tested at each step of its development with a greater focus on the harness. We have worked in collaboration with the Petzl climbing equipment company, which has made available test machines and test tower for us. The strength test results are amazing:
– Dyneema webbing: 2,5 tons tensile strength
– 6 bartacks sewing on risers: 2,5 tons tensile strength
– Harness static resistance: we went up to 1,5 ton during 50 seconds without any impact on the harness
– Harness dynamic resistance: the harness including Ange S carabiners as thigh buckles, and Austria Alpine chest buckle has successfully resisted to 3 consecutive openings simulation of 10 G force with a 80 kg dummy (176 Lbs), that is is wholly in line with parachute industry TSO (Technical Standard Order).
The JackDaw is available only in black color VX03.
The SFly and JackDaw logos will be embroidered on the next productions.
- Brake release toggles
- PC bridle
The JackDaw has no option. It’s rather simple, no?
– 950,00€ excluding VAT (delivery outside France and EU)
– 1140,00 € including VAT (delivery in France and EU)