Surfing the internet recently, the stylish rig racks from Team Grounded caught our attention. Having unceremoniously stored our rigs mostly in gearbags and closets, we were intrigued by their elegant, snazzy design so we got in touch with a few questions. Turns out that TPS is more than an abbreviation from the fantastic classic Office Space.
Q: Who is Grounded?
A: We, two mates since childhood (Gustavo & Tommy), created Grounded to provide advanced skydive equipment storage solutions. Three years ago, looking for a new adventure we started skydiving Skydive Spa in Belgium. Absolutely fascinated by the sport, its people and the skydiving equipment technology, we wanted to use our knowledge to contribute to the community. Due to our professional background in engineering we are always keen in implementing technical improvements and seeking for best solutions.
Q: What motivated you to design the units?
A: You know that feeling when you have ordered new material. We were so excited when we both got our own gear that we immediately started looking for a good way to store it at home. We were not satisfied with the typical hanging bars you know from DZ´s where the complete weight forces only the shoulder harnesses and further stresses the three-ring-system and reserve activation.
We started developing a concept which comes close to the original position of a rig on the back of a skydiver. The result is the grounded three-point seating (TPS) where the storage solution provides stability at three points and distributes the force analogue to a skydivers back. This protects the rig from heavy loadings at certain points. The fabric of a rig is of course made for even higher forces, but those forces only impact the material for short periods. However, when hanging a rig onto a bar for 10 years you will feel a change of the fabric, its stability and shape. We do not say that hanging a rig onto a bar will damage it heavily. It is just that our extension is just thought a bit further.
Q: The wallR and the floorR are not cheap (retailing at 110,00 €) – do you feel skydivers love their rig enough to invest in this kind of storage solution?
A: We definitely do!! Is there anything more important than our rigs?
In our opinion the grounded solutions offer great value and a huge benefit for all skydivers who are equipped with their own gear. First of all the products provide storage without heavy loadings at certain points. Second, both systems, the floorR and the wallR are adjustable to the size of any solo rig. Third, using only high-grade components like anodized aluminum bars and fibre-reinforced plastics the product is not only solid shaped but looks just awesome even without a rig attached to it. On top of that we do offer extensions to customize your skydive rig storage solution. Last but not least, our products are modular designed so that a wallR can easily become a floorR or the other way around.
Let us think about the price a second time when comparing the grounded products to the simple hanging bars you can find on the market for around 100 bugs not providing the best solution to store a rig. We think our toy deserves more.
Q: Are there any other products in the works?
A: At the moment we focus on introducing the floorR and the wallR to the community. However, there is a number of ideas, for instance a portable version of the flooR for all the BASE jumpers out there. Furthermore, we are trying to transfer our concept into a gear bag series for skydive equipment. Nevertheless, we are always open for any feedback and are looking for a constructive dialogue with the whole skydiving community. Just drop us a line via firstname.lastname@example.org.