History of Rigging Innovations
The beginning of Rigging Innovations (RI) is very much an example of the American Dream. Having worked in the parachute industry for several years for companies such as Relative Workshop (UPT), Sky Supplies (Mirage), PISA (Aerodyne) and Westgaard Parachute, I felt that I had the expertise to build my vision of what I felt was a better harness and container system. This was not only the physical design of the actual rig, but also a better company to serve the skydiving market with better quality and in particular better service.
In 1984 working in my garage, I designed the prototype Talon. The first version was nothing that I would show the public but the foundation of what I envisioned was there. Over the next year I refined the design and with the help of an individual who today would be called a venture capitalist, my wife Brenda and I started RI to manufacture and sell my vision. Being based in Perris CA we found a ready market in the Perris and Elsinore DZs. Over time the word spread and RI grew with the addition of the Telesis student rig in 1988 and other designs over the years.
It was not easy in the beginning as I usually did not get paid and Brenda worked a “real” job besides overseeing the daily business of running RI. However as RI grew, it took its place in the industry, and came to be recognized as the company Brenda and myself envisioned.
We are still a small company, never desiring to become a large corporate entity. Our vision has always been to simply build the best quality, most advanced rig in the world and to provide the best customer serve to the jumping community. To that end, I believe we have succeeded. We would like to thank those who have helped us over the years by purchasing and jumping our products. As is often said, “the best is yet to come” and with the introduction of the new Curv and the CPX accuracy rig, we are setting the bar even higher for ourselves and the industry.
Thanks to everyone who supported us over the years. It’s been a great ride!
The People of Rigging Innovations
A skydiver since 1970 and rigger since 1971, Sandy is the mind behind the designs of RI. He currently has 4200+ jumps and is also a private pilot. He has been active in the Parachute Industry Association (PIA) since 1984 and has attended every PIA Rigger conference, now known as the PIA International Parachute Symposium, since 1981.
Sandy is also the founder of the US Academy of Parachute Rigging. A little known fact is that he is the only principal of any parachute manufacturer that is a combat veteran, having served two tours in Vietnam from 1967-69 with the USMC 3rd Recon BN.
A skydiver since 1974 with approximately 1000 jumps, Brenda is the brains/CFO behind RI and handles the admin side of the business. She is also a private pilot and a retired FAI skydiving judge receiving the FAI Gold Medal in 2005 for her contributions to National and International skydiving judging. She was inducted into the Skydiving Hall of Fame in 2015.
When not hard at work, she spends her spare time in her “Gourd Mahal” art studio doing exotic gourd carving and art work.
Gordon “Gordo” Lindsay
A skydiver since 1990, Gordo moved to Arizona 10 years ago to escape the Northwest winter’s gloom of Oregon and be able to shoot 4 way video year round. Gordo joined RI in 2004 and became our final inspector in production becoming a key person in the quality of products RI is known for.
When he isn’t inspecting “your” rig, or shooting 4-way, he can usually be found chasing GPS tracks and trying to dodge the occasional dog on his Dual Sport motorcycle across the Arizona desert and mountains.
Scotty is the Sales and Customer Service Rep. at RI. His first jump was a static line 1994. Not long after, he acquired 5 jumps under round parachutes in the Army. But, it took until 2011 before he became a “skydiver.” Since then, he has immersed himself in the skydiving industry getting his coach rating, level 1 tunnel instructor rating, and working Manifest at Skydive Arizona before coming to the RI team. When he is not at RI, Scotty is learning how to build parachutes by helping Innovative Parachute Technologies, learning more about flying canopies, learning the videography aspect of skydiving, and is working toward earning his rigger’s ticket.