Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
need gear need help


fool  (B 5047)

Jul 7, 2001, 2:06 PM
Post #1 of 16 (1865 views)
need gear need help Can't Post

I am a beginner in this sport and I am looking to buy gear in the near future. I currently have about 30 jumps and will probably have about 50-60 when I'll be purchasing. I am 5'6" and 120 lbs. I would like to hear advise on canopy manufacturers and container systems to fit someone my size. I am currently jumping a 170 promain that I borrow from one of the other jumpers at the dz. -Basically people there have said go with the sabre 150 or 135. I will probably go with this advice but I am interested in other opinions.

Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Jul 7, 2001, 5:49 PM
Post #2 of 16 (1825 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

Try a Spectre 150 or 135 also. I have a 170 that I've put 100 jumps on this year and I love it. I'm actually starting to look for a 150 Smile. The Spectre will open really soft and it gives a lot of range of control. You can hook it and swoop (one of the Pro Blade comp's used one this year) or you can do a nice slow straight in approach and land it. The glide path is a little less then most 9 cells but use the rear risers and you can glide like a 9 cell.... Just some food for thought.

Whoa... That was cool!

Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jul 7, 2001, 5:59 PM
Post #3 of 16 (1824 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds to me like you're getting good advice on canopy size. You'd probably be happiest in the long run with a 135, but fly both a 150 and a 135 for a few jumps before you buy just to be sure.

Personally I think the Spectre or Triathlon are great first mains because they open relatively slowly and are very easy to land standing up and accurately. Both are 7 cell zp; the Tri is a bit easier to pack brand new because the manufacturer uses a less-slippery fabric than the manufacturer of the Spectre, the Spectre turns a bit faster than the Tri due to it's "tapered" shaping. The Sabre is also a good entry level canopy, but it has a reputation of occasional very hard openings regardless of how it is packed. Another nine cell to check out is the Safire.

Stay away from the "fully elliptical" canopies like the Stiletto, Cobalt, Crossfire and Vengeance and the very high performance canopies like the Velocity and Extreme until you have quite a bit more experience flying a canopy.

I highly recommend putting some demo jumps on whatever type/brand canopies you are interested in. PD (maker of the Spectre and Sabre) and AR (maker of the Triathlon) will gladly send you out a demo canopy to play with for a couple of weekends; just give them a call. If you can't get the canopies you are interested in to come to you, it might be worth making a trip to a large dz or boogie where demo gear is readily available.

For containers, the best way to find out for sure which is for you is to jump several different brands. It's a bit harder to get ahold of a demo container; again, a large dz or boogie may be the best place to go for that. Don't be taken in by marketing - the most expensive container isn't necessarily the best container. My personal favorites are the Vector 3 and the Infinity, but there are a lot of other containers out there, and one of them may be better for you, your body size and your budget.

Read the gear reviews and the articles on choosing your gear here on Look through the postings in the gear section of the forums for people's opinions on various canopies and containers. But - remember that skydivers tend to be very brand loyal; many will tell you that what they jump is the best and the only thing you should consider. Check out the various manufacturers and dealers websites, too - there are a bunch of links here on

pull and flare,
I don't think much, therefore I might not be

Kirils  (D License)

Jul 8, 2001, 6:15 AM
Post #4 of 16 (1797 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

I must agree the Triathalon is a great 1st time chute. I would suggest you check out a Hornet as an option. It's the
best buy/performer out there for a new jumper.


Skydiving is not a static excercise with discrete predictability...

fool  (B 5047)

Jul 10, 2001, 11:19 AM
Post #5 of 16 (1730 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the tips and advice. I would still like to hear more opinions from anyone who would be willing to offer it, especially on the comparisons between the Sabre and the Spectre. Like how does the performance compare an d would you still recommend the same size canopy. I think I am leaning towards the 135. Also comparison of flight characteristic and openings etc... as I have heard that the Sabre's opening can be a little harder than one would hope. Is this true for the spectre as well. I really would like to swoop in the future (not the near future obviously, but down the road anyway.) Thanks.

robellis  (C License)

Jul 10, 2001, 12:26 PM
Post #6 of 16 (1721 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

The Sabre is a REALLY OLD design! It's been around for donkeys years. The spectre is a much newer design and lightly tapered (slightly eliptical). This is the reason that the spectre, although it is a 7 cell, performs better than the 9-cell sabre. The main difference I have found (IMO) between a 7 cell and a 9 cell is that the 7 cell can be pushed to a limit, and then stops - it's all round more safe. That is not to say that the spectre can't kill you quickly!

The spectre opens in about 800-1000 feet and is the smoothest canopy I have ever flown. Turns are super snappy and the glide is awsome. I load mine at 1.4 and it is enough to scare you on landings! If you have over 100 jumps in the last 6 months, I would recommend around a 1.2 loading. Your estimate of a 135 is good if you stay current.

The so called Sabre-2 (due then end of the summer) is a replacement, with a more tapered planform (shape when viewed from above). I am unsure about how the sabre will be marketed in relation to the spectre (how much better than the spectre can you get?).

If you are buying new, I wouldn't even blink at the Sabre. In addition, the market is saturated with second hand Sabres making buying a new one not exactly economical in the long run. Finding a good Spectre that ppl are willing to part with is simply a bitch.

Hope this helps / sparks controvosy with sabre owners :-)


Krishan  (D 26361)

Jul 10, 2001, 12:55 PM
Post #7 of 16 (1714 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

i used to own a saber 170. I bought it new a year ago. I would not recommend it now, at least not the current version. I ended up getting rid of mine due to the fact that the openings sucked. I never really got super whacked on opening, but enough to tire of, especially with a camera. I did really like the way if flew though. I have jumped a spectre 150 and it seemed slower and a little less responsive, but I dont think I put enough jumps on it to really learn its characteristics. I did also get kinda smacked on the specter. It snivelled for 500 is feet and then just inflated the rest within half a second, that one kinda hurt. I just ordered a Lotus 150. It is an airlocked canopy, made by BigAir Sportz, by the guy that invented airlocks. It can be compared to a saber, only it's slightly tapered and of course it has airlocks. Oh and there is a full money back guarantee if you dont like it.

Anyway, good luck

Jul 10, 2001, 3:42 PM
Post #8 of 16 (1693 views)
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skymedic  (C 33561)

Jul 10, 2001, 3:57 PM
Post #9 of 16 (1690 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey spectre, what happens on the spectre when you pull on the rear risers during these long long snivels I hear about? would that help to avoid these long deployment with out banging ya? I would like to know considering I might buy one soon.


fool  (B 5047)

Jul 11, 2001, 1:51 PM
Post #10 of 16 (1656 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been trying to find out as much as I could about the Spectre and Sabre as I have pretty much narrowed it down to one of those in a 150 or 135. I think 135 but it will depend on availability when I buy. I'm just curious as to what the deal is with the stories people say they've heard about the brake trim or something like that on the spectre. If I had to chose between harder openings or brake problems I think I would chose a little bit of a slam, but I have no idea what they are refering to. Anyone who could fill me in would be appreciated. Thanks.

skymedic  (C 33561)

Jul 11, 2001, 2:20 PM
Post #11 of 16 (1652 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

I know a guy who got spanked so hard by a stock sabre he broke his neck. I think that is what they are talking about.


weid14  (D 20292)

Jul 11, 2001, 4:44 PM
Post #12 of 16 (1638 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

I got hit so hard by my old Sabre (old meaning I got rid of it) that I couldn't stand up after I landed, had trouble breathing, and my back hurt for months. I put that canopy away in favor of a Safire (and also a crossfire), which both open much better. The spectre opens soft and long. The Sabre can be tamed, but you need to pack it yourself and be very, very careful. The spectre vs. sabre flying is really not a good comparison since they are truely different designs. Demo many, pick one. Square (1,2,3 pick one), Pier, and other gear shops have demo programs and you can apply that cost to gear (not sure about if you buy used vs. new from them though).

fool  (B 5047)

Jul 11, 2001, 6:53 PM
Post #13 of 16 (1626 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess my last post wasn't really clear enough. I was wondering what people were talking about in regards to the spectre brake problems. If somebody could explain that to me it would help a great deal. I am really leaning towards getting a used spectre 135 I think, provided I can find one. I do plan on trying more than one before my mind is made up though so please keep the suggestions and experiences coming. Thanks.


Jul 11, 2001, 7:17 PM
Post #14 of 16 (1624 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know what the deal with Spectre having a brake trim problem is, but brake trim can be easily adjusted by a rigger.

cielos azules y cerveza fra


cobaltdan  (D License)

Jul 11, 2001, 7:59 PM
Post #15 of 16 (1621 views)
Re: need gear need help [In reply to] Can't Post

"that guy" ....there are alot of them...

myself included....fractured C6 on opening of a sabre 135.



schumacher  (D License)

Jul 11, 2001, 10:22 PM
Post #16 of 16 (1610 views)
Spectre-135 [In reply to] Can't Post

I have very deep brakes on my Spectre-135. If I need to stall it, I have to pull my brakes to full arm. I don't know if it is good or bad. I've talked with my rigger, but he suggested not to trim brake lines, because I can easily do front riser turns without pulling my brakes.

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