The maintenance of your reserve affects the opening time. Your reserve stays compressed in you harness for months not to mention in your backpack when you carry it, travel with or that you put all your body weight on the back to close the zipper.
A reserve parachute bought as new today can have been manufactured three years ago, so standing on a shelve three years without proper repacking.
The thing to remember is that the fabric used for the reserve parachutes produce static electricity which in the long run make the material stick to itself, so making the opening slower. That’s the reason we let the fabric breeze opened for 24 hours before repacking: to let the fabric thoroughly dry and release its static humidity.
Most or the reserve parachute are manufactured in Asia so to optimize shipping cost usually the company compact their shipment as much as possible.
All those factors could delay the opening if you are in the situation of throwing the reserve. An extra 4 second before opening could increase your descent rate to 20m/s instead of less than 5m/s in the optimal conditions.
A good rule is to make sure that your reserve was properly repacked every six months. A frequent proper repack your is your best option to make sure your parachute will bring you to the ground as slow and as safely as possible.
The total flying/hooking weight ( Poids Total Volant in French ) – Pilot weight + all his/her gear.The paraglider ‘s weight can not and must not be included when a reserve parachute’s total hooking weight is calculated for it is not suspended/hanging from the deployed rescue canopy. Additionally, a rescue parachute’s weight can vary from model to model and brand to brand.
The parachutes X- Light are not more fragile than larger heavier ones. They went through the same testing procedures than the heavier reserves. But they are more suited for Hike and fly instead of intense SIV courses or aerobatic maneuvers.
Tips & Advice
How to best pull the reserve parachute handle.It is easier to extract the reserve parachute if pulled outward and away from the harness.Below is a great video from Supair showing each step.