RSL ...

The Reserve Static Line is is a lanyard with a shackle attached to a small ring on your main risers on one end ...

... and a small ring encircling your reserve ripcord cable on the other end. If your main is cut away and has enough drag or pull force as it floats away, it will take the RSL with it, hence pulling the reserve ripcord out of the loop to begin deployment of your reserve.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? If you have a partial malfunction and cut away your main, theoretically, your RSL could pull your reserve out for you. DOES THAT MEAN YOU DON'T HAVE TO PULL THE RESERVE HANDLE? Absolutely NOT! You MUST pull BOTH handles to ensure you follow every effort to save your own life!

There are situations where the RSL will not work.

For example, the shackle can come undone and not be attached to the small ring on the main risers, even if you received proper gear checks prior to your jump. Another example, if you have a malfunction where no part of your main comes out at all, there is no drag to pull the RSL lanyard, which requires pull force to extract the reserve pin.

It's important to realize the limitations of this safety feature, but also be reassured that an extra backup can be the difference in between life and death in some situations.

Check out the video below and watch how the RSL pulls the reserve pin when the cutaway handle is pulled ...

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