The activation handle is the command and control center of the P.RIDE system. Pulling the handle activates your own airbag, the airbags of the entire group or a specific member‘s TwinBag – all these functions are available automatically when the activation handle is opened.
Flipping open the activation handle triggers an immediate system check: including battery charge, correct positioning of the carbon inflator and operational readiness. A wireless connection with partners standing together in a 10 meter radius is also established within the first 20 seconds and a push of a button. A flashing light on each partner‘s activation handle indicates successful creation of the group.
To define activation for individual group members, these members press a button on the activation handle to switch to single mode. If one of the protecting partners then pulls his or her activation handle while pressing their single mode button, only the TwinBags of these specific group members will be activated. The ability to protect both yourself and partners from burial adds a new dimension to companion rescue.
The control module receives the signals from the activation The control module receives the signals from the activation handle and connected partners. The signals are interpreted, operational readiness is checked and, in an emergency, the system is activated. A single charge of the integrated high-performance battery provides at least 240 hours of operation in standby mode. The integrated USB cable can be used to charge the battery at any time without reducing its charging capacity. A full charge takes around 2 hours. The minimum capacity is 6,000 hours, with a remaining battery capacity of around 80% still available.
The carbon cylinder is connected to the activation module. Irrespective of temperature or external pressure, 190 ml of inert gas – nonflammable, non-toxic, component of breathable air – fills the TwinBags in 2-3 seconds. This is the most reliable filling method. The unit can be easily replaced and is refillable. The carbon cylinder is a high-tech product made from top-quality materials.
This combination part is connected to each airbag. The button for the release valve is located in the middle of the black suction and release unit. The net cover over the suction and release valve prevents snow entering the airbag when it is being filled.
The airbag is the heart of any avalanche airbag. In the ABS® TwinBag system, there are two airbags. Although both are inflated simultaneously, each is completely independent. Any damage sustained by one airbag will have no effect on the functionality of the second one. A benefit that could even mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. A mono system with a damaged airbag loses its effectiveness, rendering it useless. The shape and position of the airbags play a decisive role in terms of optimal effectiveness. The larger the effective area generated, the greater the probability of staying on the surface. The positioning of the airbags at both sides is also designed to provide good all-round protection and prevent any accumulation of compressed snow between the back of the head and the airbag. The new 3D webbing technology increases the bearing surface by 30% together with a reduction in volume. A unique weaving
technology is used to produce a fabric that keeps its optimal shape. Its puncture and tear resistance values exceed the required DIN standards.
With the introduction of partner activation, P.RIDE is ushering in a new era of self-rescue and companion rescue. For the first time, a built-in wireless connection with partners makes it possible to actively protect other group members before an actual burial situation occurs. P.RIDE therefore closes the functional loophole in all previous avalanche airbags – representing a life-saving innovation. Group members are synchronized automatically when they simultaneously open their activation handles. This enables partner activation – with no need for complicated programming. Group mode allows a backpack wearer to simultaneously activate his or her own airbags and those of all other members. If the members of a group plan to tackle a slope individually, one or more of these winter sports enthusiasts can temporarily switch to single mode. In the event of a critical situation, this then allows specific remote activation of individual airbags.
In an avalanche, in addition to volume, projected area plays a decisive role in ensuring you stay on top of the snow. P.RIDE airbags have a 30% greater effective area in comparison to traditional airbags. In combination with the body, P.RIDE airbags therefore create a larger bearing surface. This places the body in a particularly advantageous horizontal position that significantly reduces the risk of injury and increases the probability of remaining on the surface. The novel method used to secure the airbags ensures they stay in their optimal “wing position” after opening, regardless of which pack is zipped on. Effective surface on top of an avalanche: 1055 m2.
After the system is enabled, operation is monitored automatically and continuously. LEDs on the handle provide a clear and easily understandable view of the current status. The high-performance battery supplies energy reliably at temperatures down to minus 40°C and allows at least 6,000 hours in standby mode.
Avalanches do not simply flow over smooth mountain meadows. On the contrary. Their path can be impeded by obstacles such as stones, rocks, mountain pines and tree stumps. In the case of a mono-airbag without separate compartments, a single tear in the outer material can be enough to put the entire system out of operation! As the company with the greatest practical experience, ABS® relies exclusively on TwinBag technology with two independent airbags.
My career is in ski racing. For my second passion, freeriding, I accept just as few compromises as I do in racing. So as well as the standard equipment of transceiver, shovel and probe, my ABS® backpack has been my constant companion for years. With the new system, ABS® has managed to close an important safety loophole: the risk of being unable to activate your own backpack. The ability to activate the airbags of other members of a group opens up a whole new dimension in avalanche safety. I think it’s fantastic that the new partner activation is built in as a standard feature and that it’s so easy to use. As well as ensuring greater safety for my partners if they don’t manage to activate their airbags in time, it also gives me the feeling of more personal safety.
As professional riders, we serve as role models for the next generation of freeriders and can make a significant contribution to increasing their awareness of risks in backcountry. You should always be properly prepared in open terrain and never venture out there on your own. And under no circumstances should you be without other important aids: your emergency equipment, consisting of an ABS® avalanche airbag, transceiver, probe and shovel. However, even with a full emergency kit, you should never expose yourself to high risks. The ABS® TwinBag has been my longstanding companion. I am therefore particularly pleased to see the inclusion of avalanche airbags as mandatory competition equipment for the last two years and ABS® is also a partner of the Freeride World Tour.