For machines with
cloth cage rim covering, it's extremely helpful to put smooth tubing
around the hoop. This includes the Blackhawk suitcase model, Skycruisers, Paracruisers, Phantom, Miniplane,
ZG Cruiser and others. Tubing
allows the lines to come up cleanly around the cage during forward inflations.
It can make a dramatic difference in your no-wind success rate while
also protecting the paraglider lines from wearing on the hoop. Paraglider repair
shops have reported this wear and I've noticed it
myself (I fly mostly with these types of cages).
The best tubing
I've found was used on Kenny Carlock's Sky Cruiser. It's from
extreme-temperature tubing made with PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene), 5/8" ID, 11/16" OD, 1/32"
wall thickness. This unreinforced tubing is opaque
black and comes in 2, 5, 10 or 25 foot lengths.
alternative, available from Ace Hardware (among others), is 3/4"
water tubing. It's translucent white, a bit heavier, but works
You can easily slice the tube using a razor stuck
into a piece of PVC pipe at an angle. Slide the tubing through the
PVC to carefully cut so the slit on the tubing's natural inside
curve. Snap the tubing around the rim and secure with electrical
tape. It doesn't need to go all around the cage but cover at least
2/3's of the rim from the bottom.
Cage hoops with fabric tend to snag lines like in photo 1--putting
smooth tubing around the fabric solves the problem. The white
translucent tube shown in photo 2 is cheaper but a bit heavier and
not quite as slippery as the good stuff shown in photo 3 (Kenny