I know this is an old thread but I thought Id ask here. Has anyone else felt like theyre going to break their sternum opening the SP umbrella style Octa? Ive only had to do it twice and I had to set it against the ground and push down to open it. Granted, Im a complete weakling but it seems a bit too difficult.
GI Joe kung foo grip!!!
It doesn't matter if its mounted to a strobe or not with this method either. Open up the rear flaps next to the speed ring and insert both hands. Leave both thumbs on the fixing ring closest to the four wire support cage. Use three or so fingers on each hand to pull against the round tensioner that travels the central shaft. Doing so will not require any additional pressure against the sternum.
During the close, I do pinch the ring to my sternum after squeezing the rings together like the open process. Using one hand to maintain tension, I use my second hand to release the lock.
Some people have broken the lock by forcing it to release under pressure. You have to release that pressure somehow...