Parks College Parachute Research Group

Stowing excess steering line using Velcro without damaging the line


Although Velcro is a very useful fastening product when used in a good design, the parachute industry, as well as skydivers, is currently avoiding the use of Velcro (to an extreme!). The argument against the use of Velcro is that "hook" Velcro can damage many fabrics, including some steering line material, and that Velcro wears out.

Both of these statements are true, but many people that do not consider using Velcro for stowing excess steering line have perhaps seen only the design using Velcro that is used on student gear, or that was used for many years by manufacturers. This method was combined with Velcro toggles, in that the toggle was held in place on the riser by Velcro.

Since "Velcro-less" toggles have become common, manufacturers have had to come up with a Velcro-less method of stowing the excess steering line. Some of their designs have been good, but others are not, and it has resulted in skydivers abandoning their use of the more troublesome designs, which leaves the line free to tangle with any number of things.

A different method using Velcro

The following pictures describes a simple method of using Velcro for this purpose, and if used correctly, should never result in steering lines coming into contact with hook Velcro. The installation pictured is on standard (not mini) risers, and uses two inch Velcro, but can be easily scaled for mini-risers and one inch Velcro.

Note: This method will likely not be suitable for systems that expect the slider grommets to slide all the way down past the toggles, or will need to be modified so that the excess steering line is placed completely to the back of the riser.

Even as the Velcro wears, it is still proving a fairly secure method of holding the steering line. Unlike Velcro type toggles used in the past, there is not nearly as much wear on the Velcro holding the excess steering line. It is separated only when packing, and the pile side is protecting the hook side at all times.

Note: The riser pictured is the left riser, with the stowage installed on the "outside", which places the stowage to the inside of the container.

steering line stowage

For questions or comments about this design you can contact Gary Peek at

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