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BASE Jumping: Articles: Gear: Suspension Lines

Suspension Lines updated

by BASEwiki

All BASE ram-air canopies are seven-cell low aspect ratio. There are four suspension line attachment point groups running span-wise, labelled ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’ from the front to the rear, plus the steering line attachment points (usually 4 or 5 per side) that attach to the trailing edge of the canopy. This gives a total of 40 or 42 attachment points.

Suspension lines are made out of 600–800 pound Dacron, with the brake lines usually made of heavier 900 pound Dacron. Spectra or other micro-lines commonly found on skydiving canopies are not used in a BASE environment because they have much less stretch than Dacron lines, and would therefore more efficiently transmit opening shock to the harness and jumper. Normally the lines are cascaded to reduce pack volume, meaning that the A lines are joined in a ‘Y’ to the B lines and the C lines similarly to the D lines. On some canopies the center A and B lines are not cascaded due to the higher forces sustained at the center cell during opening.

Suspension lines are mostly white or black in color. The brake lines and center C and D lines (which are enclosed by the tailgate when it is used) are generally red to distinguish them from the others.

The brake line configuration varies quite a bit: from 4 to 5 attachment points to the use of 2 or 2.5 cells per side. Each configuration has its pros and cons. The lower control lines are also home to the brake settings.


Submitted by BASEwiki on 2007-06-08 | Last Modified by sangiro on 2010-04-16

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