Woody Valley Tenax Rope Slider Failure!

Please tell what happened and how it might have been avoided. Names should be ommitted. This forum should help others learn from mistakes that caused or nearly caused a mishap.
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JD
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:05 am

Woody Valley Tenax Rope Slider Failure!

Post by JD » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:17 pm

I know there are a number of Tenax harnesses in the club that use the tensioned rope slider instead of a steel rod for the suspension.
Here is an ass-puckering reminder to follow the inspection and maintenance procedures in the Tenax owners manuals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ3zoXyyMoU

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Jim
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Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:08 pm

Re: Woody Valley Tenax Rope Slider Failure!

Post by Jim » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:42 pm

I have personal experience with three Woody Valley harnesses and I believe I've commented in the past about the necessity of regular inspection for the friction suspension version. Fortunately, I've always performed the checks before the rope failed, but twice, I was already through the sheath. That alone gives an indication of damage since the frayed sheath restricts the slider travel each way as it bunches up. Also fortunately, the braided strands inside the protective sheath are the real strength of the rope. It takes a lot to wear through all of them. And there is the final fortunate fact that WV incorporates a backup suspension system.

My current Tenax 4 frayed through the sheath within about a year after purchase. Call it 50 - 80 hours. I was very surprised because my first WV lasted four years before I was on the inner strands and my Tenax 3 never seemed to wear. I found that the slider on the 4 did not have any radius (rounding of the shoulder of the hole). I took some wet-or-dry sandpaper to it as I replaced the rope. All this was reported to Woody Valley, as well as a subsequent sheath failure on another pilot's harness shortly after (purchased at the same time).

I should note, I have not replaced the rope (static climbing rope) with the same 11mm diameter material WV uses. I could only find 12mm static line in the sport shops (REI, A16). The 12mm line won't fit through the slider so I used a 7/8ths bit to ream out the hole.

I check my harness at least once a year now and Windsports has checked the suspension every six months at 'chute re-pack. At each of my checks or whenever I'm doing a bit of cleaning and zipper lube, I spray the rope with silicone.

If you have a WV friction suspension harness, think of this maintenance as you would side-wire replacement and you won't have any issues.
There are two kinds of people in the world: the quick and the dead.

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Vrezh
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:52 pm

Re: Woody Valley Tenax Rope Slider Failure!

Post by Vrezh » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:08 pm

Didn't know there were issues with slider ropes in our club.
(Well, i was out of the loop for some years).
Nevertheless, I've been flying my Tenax for god knows how many years,
still have the original slider rope, still in good shape.
Of course, you have to maintain your gear, Tenax or not.
You can't be flying a harness, hanging on the last string.

And, what's up with this guy in the video, anyway, acting like a winter fly, brain freeze or something... :o

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