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This page is a chapter in 'BASE Wiki Packing'

Tailgate: Early in the development of BASE-specific canopies, it was noted that the rear corners of the canopy frequently “inverted” themselves during slider-down openings. Most often, these tail inversions would clear themselves before the canopy was fully inflated. Sometimes, however, they would develop into a line over malfunction. Tail inversions are the mechanism by which line overs can occur more frequently in slider-down jumps than in slider-up; the tailgate was designed to prevent them.

Tailgate closed with a tan elastic

The tailgate is a piece of 900 pound Dacron no longer than 4" that is trapped (so that it is not lost on opening) in one of the center C lines not far down from the attachment point. The exact location varies according to the manufacturer and canopy model. During packing, the tailgate is folded around the center C and D lines, all of the brake lines, and typically closed by several wraps of a small tan elastic band cut in half lengthwise.

Dacron Tailgate with quarter

The tailgate helps to promote nose-first inflation by delaying the deployment and inflation of the rear of the canopy. It very significantly reduces (but does not eliminate) the incidence of line overs on Slider Down or Slider Off jumps.

It is important that a sufficient number of wraps are taken with the elastic when using a tailgate. Wrapping only once or twice on a typical two- or three-second delay will render the tailgate less effective and can lead to line overs. Provided a tan elastic band is used, it is virtually impossible to hold the tail closed too long on such a delay; the elastic will break if it needs to.

NOTE: The tailgate should be wrapped around the center C and D lines completely.
Tailgate installed behind the D line loop

A common mistake is to omit the D line holding the tailgate itself. This might function for the jump you are on, but will put undue stress on the D line tailgate catseye loop, possibly pulling the entire loop out, and causing the tailgate itself to fall out and require it to be replaced.

Tailgate in front of the d line loop

Black bands must NOT be used to close a tailgate! Since black bands have a much higher break strength, in the case of a hang up, they are unlikely to break in such a scenario and could potentially cause a tailgate hangup that will not clear.

A Tailgate should NEVER be used on slider up jumps. The use of anti-line-over techniques like Direct Control should be used on slider up jumps.

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