Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Best setup for soft openings

 

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Braz933

Dec 3, 2008, 11:53 AM
Post #1 of 78 (2155 views)
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Best setup for soft openings Can't Post

I have read through several threads about which canopies open the softest, as well as ways to mitigate the risk of a hard opening. Most of those threads are at least a few years old, so I wanted to revisit it.

My goal is to put together a rig with the lowest possible chance of a hard opening...and yes I know nothing is 100% guaranteed, but that is no reason not to try.

For starters, let's ignore packing methods, body position during deployment, or any other "operator error." Just want to focus on the gear. However, mods to the gear that aid in softening the opening would be good.

In reading the old threads on this topic, a few points stand out.

1) The Spectre, Safire, and Crossfire canopies have the best reps for soft opening. That may have changed by now. Any new contenders?

2) Dacron lines seem to be the way to go. Is this still true?

3) Mods to the slider, such as having a pocket sewn in, seem to slow things down. Any new developments in this area?


Thanks in advance..


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Dec 3, 2008, 12:16 PM
Post #2 of 78 (2134 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

I need soft openings too. I jump a Spectre with Dacron lines and a factory slider. It opens like butter compared to my old Spectre with Spectra lines.

The previous owner had an additional set of brake stows added that, when used, make the openings even slower; the few times I've used them, I've had to bring the slider down and pump open the end cells.


Andy_Copland  (A 105852)

Dec 3, 2008, 12:27 PM
Post #3 of 78 (2118 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

You might want to look at the pilot too. I've only got 20 jumps or so one one but it was another level of comfort on opening to anything i've jumped.


jakee  (C License)

Dec 3, 2008, 12:30 PM
Post #4 of 78 (2114 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
3) Mods to the slider, such as having a pocket sewn in, seem to slow things down. Any new developments in this area?

I think you can just trust modern canopy design on this one. Modern designs like the Pilot, Safire2 etc. already snivel for an obscene amount of time.

(For reference, my Sabre2 120 has a much larger slider than my old Sabre1 150 had, and I've jumped a Pilot 104 that had about the same size slider as that old Sabre.)


Joellercoaster  (D 105792)

Dec 3, 2008, 2:58 PM
Post #5 of 78 (2028 views)
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Re: [Andy_Copland] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You might want to look at the pilot too.

+1

To be honest, the canopy I jump now opens quicker, and it's still buttery-soft. Pilots are amazingly gentle.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Dec 3, 2008, 4:23 PM
Post #6 of 78 (1979 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

>1) The Spectre, Safire, and Crossfire canopies have the best reps for
>soft opening. That may have changed by now. Any new contenders?

Pilots in sizes 124 up. Below that they tend to open a bit harder.

The Storm gives great openings as well.

Dacron lines will give you a little extra protection from a real slammer, but ordinarily do not do much.

Both pocket (or kangaroo) sliders work. Domed sliders work as well. Larger sliders _sometimes_ work, but sometimes just cause more trouble.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Dec 3, 2008, 5:29 PM
Post #7 of 78 (1946 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

Check out a Silhouette. Very soft openings. Spectre is great w/Dacron (or the one I had for a while was) The Silhouette, I can pack without anything special, basically just a fast flake, clear lines, roll n' stuff in bag.
Consistently soft openings, great for camera flying.


Braz933

Dec 3, 2008, 5:50 PM
Post #8 of 78 (1938 views)
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Re: [billvon] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, who makes Pilot? Thanks.


Braz933

Dec 3, 2008, 5:53 PM
Post #9 of 78 (1932 views)
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Re: [DSE] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

I forgot to mention the Silhouette in my original post. I have always thought the combination of materials sounded like a great feature, and considered it an option for me...but it is rarely mentioned. Not sure why that is, but I would never be one to slight the underdog!


Braz933

Dec 3, 2008, 5:55 PM
Post #10 of 78 (1929 views)
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Re: [skybytch] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds interesting. Any idea how much a mod like that costs?


Braz933

Dec 3, 2008, 5:58 PM
Post #11 of 78 (1925 views)
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Re: [Joellercoaster] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

Are you jumping a Pilot, or did you change to something else? Maybe I misunderstood your post. Thanks.


Premier likestojump  (D License)

Dec 3, 2008, 6:14 PM
Post #12 of 78 (1916 views)
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Re: [billvon] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

never jumped the Storm.

I think out of micro/vectran lines canopies :

Crossfire by a good margin is the softest opening canopy. The Spectre was consistent but nowhere near, also a fairly short flare compared to 9cells. Pilot was not bad either. Sabre2 was fine, but nothing spectacular.

Dacron would make a noticeable difference, as others have said.

But all those canopies are good wings, and we are all quite subjective in what we think . Probably best to jump all if available in your safe size and see which one you like the best.

good luck


Braz933

Dec 3, 2008, 6:18 PM
Post #13 of 78 (1912 views)
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Re: [likestojump] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

I must say I am a bit surprised to see Sabre2 in your post. I recall reading more than a few posts about people getting slammed hard by the Sabre family of canopies. No?


Premier likestojump  (D License)

Dec 3, 2008, 6:22 PM
Post #14 of 78 (1907 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I must say I am a bit surprised to see Sabre2 in your post. I recall reading more than a few posts about people getting slammed hard by the Sabre family of canopies. No?

That's a tricky topic. Notice how I qualify my post as being subjective, thus obviously biased on my personal experience or of those people I trust.

Also make sure you know the difference between the original Sabre and the Sabre2. Sabre2s are a fairly different canopy as per PD's claim - but there have been reports of some bad apples coming from the factory. I don't have many saber2 jumps, probably 100 over 4-5 different canopies, so it's best someone with more experience shines in. Or I am sure a search of old posts will give you some data.


Andy_Copland  (A 105852)

Dec 3, 2008, 6:32 PM
Post #15 of 78 (1902 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

Pilot is made by Aerodyne.

Freak accidents happen on them all as i know you are aware, my first jump on a Spectre gave me a gut wrenching hard opening. Laugh


Halfpastniner  (D 30747)

Dec 3, 2008, 7:02 PM
Post #16 of 78 (1886 views)
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Re: [Andy_Copland] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Pilot is made by Aerodyne.

Freak accidents happen on them all as i know you are aware, my first jump on a Spectre gave me a gut wrenching hard opening. Laugh

lol me too!

to the OP, it could be that you hear more stories of slammers on the Sabre family, because between the two, there is a SHIT load of them being jumped.

The pocket slider on my Sabre1 makes it open absolutely perfect. I never actually jumped it without the mod, didnt feel it was worth waiting to see if I would need itLaugh


councilman24  (D 8631)

Dec 3, 2008, 7:16 PM
Post #17 of 78 (1878 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the mod she's talking about is just a second 'cat eye' or loop to set the brakes with. Lower than the factory setting, meaning the brake line is longer when set for opening. This means the tail is pulled down less and will catch air less. The problem with this is the canopy is also trying to fly faster than normal and can cause some funky openings. Maybe too slow, meaning cutaway or to unstable with the canopy trying to fly.

I used to add an additional cat eye to Ravens and other for use as BASE canopies. These where higher (shorter brake line when set) to catch air more and open faster.

We didn't have any manufacturer guidance, it was all emperical.

With today's canopies opening so damn slow (much too slow for me because I want to be able to get out at 2000') I wouldn't bother unless the manufacturer offered guidance that they had tested. Otherwise you or someone else is the test jumper.

Cost to do it. Depending on whether changing the brake line or just threading a new cat eye $5 or $10 to maybe $50 to $100. Probably never that high. But not sure how I'd do it on spectre brake lines with loops instead of cat eyes. Need two loops. Needs to go through the guide ring smoothly. Has anybody already done this?


Remember, opening soft usually equals opening slow. And if you go too far it called a streamer. To me some of the current canopies are malfunctions that happen to open.Wink


Braz933

Dec 3, 2008, 8:08 PM
Post #18 of 78 (1845 views)
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Re: [likestojump] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

"Also make sure you know the difference between the original Sabre and the Sabre2."

------------
I am clearly no expert, but "Sabre?" seems to be synonymous with "more likely than not to slam you!" Sabre or Sabre 2...no matter. Seems both have a tendency to slam people more often than other canopies. Again, I have no experience...I am just basing my statement on the posts of others.

I don't mean to offend those that jump a Sabre...rather I admire your bravado...kinda. Unsure


Braz933

Dec 3, 2008, 8:11 PM
Post #19 of 78 (1843 views)
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Re: [Halfpastniner] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

"to the OP, it could be that you hear more stories of slammers on the Sabre family, because between the two, there is a SHIT load of them being jumped."


The pocket slider on my Sabre1 makes it open absolutely perfect. I never actually jumped it without the mod, didn't feel it was worth waiting to see if I would need it"
-------------------------------------------------

You can't argue with numbers. However, with the Sabre line being responsible for so many hard openings...and involved in more than a few fatalities...I don't think that I would trust one.


(This post was edited by Braz933 on Dec 3, 2008, 8:12 PM)


Premier likestojump  (D License)

Dec 3, 2008, 8:11 PM
Post #20 of 78 (1839 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
"Also make sure you know the difference between the original Sabre and the Sabre2."

------------
I am clearly no expert, but "Sabre?" seems to be synonymous with "more likely than not to slam you!" Sabre or Sabre 2...no matter. Seems both have a tendency to slam people more often than other canopies. Again, I have no experience...I am just basing my statement on the posts of others.

I don't mean to offend those that jump a Sabre...rather I admire your bravado...kinda. Unsure

Preconceived notions. If you are not 100% opposed to them, try one.

Then again, if your #1 goal is soft openings, then don't even bother unless it has a dome slider and/or dacron.


Premier likestojump  (D License)

Dec 3, 2008, 8:15 PM
Post #21 of 78 (1836 views)
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Re: [councilman24] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I used to add an additional cat eye to Ravens and other for use as BASE canopies. These where higher (shorter brake line when set) to catch air more and open faster.

Are you sure it was not done to compensate for extra length not restricted by the slider during sliderless jump ;so 2 break setting were needed ? Or to open in a minimal forward movement mode in case you opened facing the object you jumped from ? It's called deep brake setting.


erdnarob  (D 364)

Dec 3, 2008, 9:12 PM
Post #22 of 78 (1820 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

Everybody wants soft openings. The price to pay for a soft opening is an opening vertical distance increase. Here are again the many factors influencing the opening shock :

1) type of canopy (elliptical canopies are generally softer)
2) canopy size and fabric
3) pilot chute size, way to set it up, fabric and shape (curved ones give you softer opening)
4) use of tuck tab (magnetic riser covers are better to guarantee the same resistance
of both risers at opening unlike tuck tabs which can give once in a while very hard
openings (see Bill Booth video at the Reno PIA symposium)
5) line stow length (too short stows can generate a line dump)
6) tightness of rubber bands on the POD (very tight rubber bands make sure to avoid a lines dump)
7) position of the jumper at opening (after you pull resume your free fall position, reverse the arch and look at the horizon)
8) suspension lines : Dacron or Polyesther has more elasticity but is more bulky while
HMA, VECTRAN have almost no elasticity but are stronger. Spectra has a little
elasticity but get shrunk with the friction of the slider.
9) way to pack the canopy (rolling and creasing inward the 4 cells each side of a 9 cell canopy make opening softer)
10) slider position against the stoppers ( an inch between slider grommets and their
stoppers can make a very hard opening) when bagging the canopy, make sure the
slider grommets are still against the stoppers
11) the pitch angle of the canopy (this is the angle of the chord of the canopy with respect to the horizontal when flying at
maximum speed toggles up.

It seems to me that canopies which are tapered especially on the front or nose are generally softer for opening but they belong to elliptical class of canopies.


hackish  (No License)

Dec 3, 2008, 9:27 PM
Post #23 of 78 (1816 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am clearly no expert, but "Sabre?" seems to be synonymous with "more likely than not to slam you!" Sabre or Sabre 2...no matter. Seems both have a tendency to slam people more often than other canopies. Again, I have no experience...I am just basing my statement on the posts of others.

I swapped sabre2-170's with someone once. I got brutally slammed. People on the ground thought it was hunting season and 4 months later my hip still bothers me during certain activities. The other guy was amazed as how nice mine opened (despite being badly out of trim).

I packed his rig and he was like "wow how did you get it to open like that". I know you want to ignore packing but I really think it's the primary contributor. Most people I've talked to who complain about being slammed by a sabre1 never even read the manual which is very specific on what to do with the nose.

I'm very happy with how nicely I've gotten mine to open. Having said all that I think you're on the right track with the dacron/spectre idea but I never worry when I pull on one I packed.

-Michael


Joellercoaster  (D 105792)

Dec 4, 2008, 2:42 AM
Post #24 of 78 (1774 views)
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Re: [Braz933] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Are you jumping a Pilot, or did you change to something else?

I changed to something else, as an experiment for a while - most of the preceding 350 jumps were on two Pilots, though.

I'd certainly buy another one in the future!


jakee  (C License)

Dec 4, 2008, 3:13 AM
Post #25 of 78 (1767 views)
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Re: [billvon] Best setup for soft openings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Pilots in sizes 124 up. Below that they tend to open a bit harder.

I know 'harder' is a relative term, but it seems wrong when used to refer to any Pilot. 'Faster' maybe, or 'in less height' but surely not 'harder'Tongue


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