Apr 30, 2001, 1:38 PM
Post #1 of 6
WANTED: More fwd glide and swoop
I've put just over 100 jumps on my Sabre 210. I am loading about 1.2. I want to get something a little faster with more forward glide and a better swoop. I've watched people cut away from line twists on small eliptical canopies (and watching from under canopy is quite an eye opener). What does everyone think a good main would be? Other stuff to consider, exit weight 135, often have to jump in 10-15mph wind, want to have fun but stay safe.
How much does your gear weigh?!?!?? firstname.lastname@example.org with you weighing 135 give you a 40 lb gear weight. anyway, line twists are caused by two things (OK more, but these are major) - body position and packing (imagine that). If you're in a slight turn when deploying (pick a point on the horizon and dump, see if you turn - some people dip a shoulder putting them in a turn) you're more likely to get a twister. If the lines aren't stowed carefully, or the D-bag launches incorrectly (one side leaves before the other creating a rocking motion) you could also get all twisted up. The twists aren't the bad thing, it's what the canopy is doing during the twist (diving, continuing to twist up, starting to spin) that need to be dealt with. That said, there are some "slightly tapered" canopies that aren't as radical -- a Safire by precision comes to mind, and PD is coming out with some new canopies that probably will fit that description. The Colbalt, although more elliptical in nature, is well behaved at lighter loadings as well as the crossfire. There's plenty to choose from and downsizing will give you much more glide and swoop than what you're currently jumping (even a smaller Sabre will). try a few, read the reviews, buy carefully.
Warning: I mention eliptical parachutes here..flame away.
See if you can borrow or demo a 190 nine cell, If it feels fun, comfortable and safe try one of the following for a little spice
A samurai is the best behaved eliptical I have ever jumped (fantastic on heading openeings, very little oversteer and softer toggle input compared to a stilleto or aplha at the same loading). It builds up nice speed and is easy to land once you learn the flare point, it is great in turbulence, and will make it back from a hella spot. I think one loaded at 1.2-1.3 just might be the most forgiving choice for a first eliptical canopy out there. also Brian Germaine will make you any size you want (well no smaller than 90 or so). my buddy tom (230 pounds without gear had Brian make him a 180, and he loves it. Only thing is they are hell to gather up on a windy day (the canopy stays inflated...watch out)
Also, many people have been raving about the Hornet by PISA. they are very inexpensive >1000 brand new and "claims" are that is more "responsive" than a sabre. It is lightly eliptical (that meaning it has just a little elipticla flavor, not severely eliptical like a stilleto).
This might cause an arguement, but, If you stand up all your landings and tell the truth on your accuraccy landings then... A large stilleto can be docile, but they are rare (maybe a 190). I jumped a 170 loaded at 1.32 and it had nice flat glide, was very well behaved (no wacky openings and easy to land (I had 200 jumps at the time). It did not matter how I packed it or if I mis-judged the wind direction or approach, that canopy took care of me. At that size it was fun, but I felt very safe. A stilleto's character at 1.5 is another story, was very different and opened like you expect them too (dancing left and right). Of course most people are loading their stilletos up 1.5 and higher, so it is reare to find a big one. I would not load one less than 1.2 though (although PDs original max recommended loading for them was 1.3) because it is thought they might be less stable in turbulence when lightly loaded than say, a sabre (although I doubt that it is a really big difference, probobaly is less stable than a 7 cell in turbulence, but 7 cells are more stable than most of the non cross braced, non-airlocked 9 cells out there in turbulence so what do you do)
My choice would be a used alpha or Space or Cobalt when you are ready for a big step in performance, but that can wait, I am not sure you could find a 190 version of those and a 170 would have you at 1.5 which is starting to get pretty aggressive and requires experience.
Talk to some experienced canopy pilots, whose opinions you trust, at your DZ and see what they have to say.
Either your exit weight is 235 and you misquoted it, or you are not loading a 210 anywhere near 1.2. Anyway, if you only have 100 jumps, not just 100 on a Sabre, then I can tell you that there are plenty of things to improve your swoop with the canopy you already have, even though it is quite large. First on my list is a nice carving front riser turn ending with your flare. Not sure if you are already doing high performance landings now or not, so I am just assuming you are flying it straight in at this point. Snapping your canopy around via a toggle hook is not the answer as it is both much more dangerous and really does not produce the longest swoop. If in fact you are already making fairly aggressive attempt to maximize your landing speed and it truly IS time to downsize, then here are some suggestions. First, since we are talking about your first eliptical, I would recommend the PISA Hornet for many reasons, all of which are already listed in other posts in this forum. Many like the Icarus Safire as a first, but I don't really like the "bottom end" on those mains. A Triathalon is a decent mid-performance main, too. A PD Spectre is a nice choice if you like that 7-cell layout. The new "super sabre" or whatever they are going to call it should prove to be a very nice main also.
To go along with one of the other posters, I too would reccomend a lightly loaded Stilleto or Cobalt. You can get a Stilleto as big as a 190 and they are very forgiving at that size. We have a 63 year old man on Raeford who jumps one. His exit weight is about 230. Another hot new ticket from Atair is the new Indigo. It is a 7-cell eliptical along the same lines as a Spectre, but has a much nicer flare.
Sorry, I hit a 1 instead of 2. My exit weight is 235 (well maybe at the beginning of the summer 240). I have asked around my DZ but I like to get outside opinions. My own reading has made me take a close look at the Safire. I am turning and using my toggles to build speed for my landing. My initial thought was to just get a smaller Sabre (190) but then I thought why not move to a "semi" eliptical. Thanks for the input and if any other ideas come up
I'm about 225 out the door, and downsized to a sabre 170 at around 200 jumps. It worked out pretty good. your mileage may vary. I would, however, be vary cautious (in fact I would recommend against it) with toggle inputs low to the ground. If you must build up speed for landings, use a straight in front riser approach, gradually transitioning it into a turn before landing when you get comforable with that. Toggle turns low to the ground can hurt (well, they all can hurt, but a toggle turn gives less margin for error). There are a couple of good canopy schools out there, check them out (DeLand has one and the Ranch another. XKeys also has some very well educated canopy pilots - but they may want to get all tangled up in your lines at some point - CrW that is). Be careful