A. Canopy - The "parachute" part of a cloud hopper
B. Stabilizer Panels - The "wings" or "ears" attached to the sides of the canopy.
C. Drive Slots - The vents or openings in the rear of the canopy.
D. Turn Slots - The vents or openings in the sides of the canopy.
E. Suspension Lines - 16 lines which attach to the bottom of the canopy and to the risers.
F. Center Lines - Two lines which attach to the inside top of the canopy and to the risers.
G. Risers - Webbing where lines attach and where the body harness attaches.
H. Towing Yoke - Webbing attached to risers and where the tow line attaches.
I. Body Harness - Harness made of webbing in which the flyer sits during flight.
J. Tow Line - Line which attaches to the towing yoke and to the tow boat.
Cloud Hoppers are available in four different sizes, 24 foot, 26 foot, 28 foot and 32 foot.
Each provides differing amounts of lift and is recommended
for different maximum weight flyers. At sea level the 24'
model is designed for a flyer up to 225 lbs; the 26' model
up to 275 lbs. and the 28' up to a maximum of
325 pounds and the 32' up to a maximum weight of 400 pounds. There is a minimum weight of 70 lbs. for the 24';
80 lbs. for the 26'; 90 lbs. for the 28' model and 110
pounds for the 32' model.
Every canopy has eight or ten drive slots (vents) in the rear whose
function is to help to canopy provide lift and therefore a
forward rate of speed in a parachute style descent. On both
sides of the canopy are three turn slots (vents) whose function
is to help expel air from the canopy in such a manner as to
provide stability. They also, as their name implies, aid the
canopy in turning.
All canopies are constructed of type 6.6 ripstop nylon in the
1.9 ounce (per square yard) weight. The nylon is coated with
urethane which contains U.V. inhibitors. This urethane coating
helps the canopy from becoming water logged, brings the porosity
of the fabric down to zero (for increased lift), and also helps
protect it from damaging solar rays.
The canopy of each Cloud Hopper is divided into 16 main sections
called gores; these are the pie shaped pieces of the canopy.
Each gore is further subdivided into 70 or more panels (separate
pieces of material) for maximum strength and tear resistance.
All seams both radially (up and down) and longitudinally (around)
are of the "flat fell' type, double stitched and reinforced with
military specification (mil-spec) nylon seam tape. The crown (top),
skirt (bottom) and stabilizer panels (ears) are all encased in heavy
duty mil-spec nylon support tape.
Each Cloud Hopper uses 16 heavy duty Dacron suspension
lines that have been carefully measured, marked and attached to the
canopy using the best possible attachment methods to ensure maximum
strength. Dacron is used for the lines because it doesn't absorb much
water when wet and stretches very little under tension. In addition
there are two extremely heavy duty Dacron center lines whose function
is to pull the apex of the canopy down for increased stability.
Cloud Hoppers use a four riser configuration constructed
of mil-spec nylon webbing. The suspension lines come down from the skirt
of the canopy to connect to the risers via stainless steel rings. The lines
are attached to the rings to prevent abrasion which promotes longer line
life The two center lines are also attached to the risers by stainless steel
rings. In addition the reinforced towing yoke is attached to the risers.
The towing yoke is the place where the tow line from the boat is attached.
The rear two risers are also referred to as the ‘steering straps' and are
used in steering the canopy right and left.
The body harness is what the flyer sits in during the flight.
It is comprised of a seating strap, lower back strap, an adjustable waist
strap and two leg straps. It attaches to the risers via two stainless steel
clips. All harnesses are constructed of mil-spec nylon webbing for maximum
strength and durability.
Two models are available; Standard and Deluxe. The Standard version has a 3
inch wide seating strap and is unpadded. The Deluxe version has a 6 inch
wide seating strap and is padded for additional comfort. Both the Standard
and Deluxe are adjustable to fit most flyers between 100 and 225 pounds.
Harnesses to fit both smaller and larger flyers are also available.