Feb 13, 2003, 12:05 PM
Post #1 of 73
Types of Canopies
Well, here I go again, asking a newbie question...
First a little background... In understand about wing loading and keeping it well under 1:1 for beginners. At my DZ, I use the largest rig (read main and reserve). There is only one rig of this size. So I have be "grounded" a couple of times, usually because of reserve repacks. One was a scheduled repack, the other was my own cutaway. So, I've been really considering getting my own first rig. That way, I always have a rig, pay to have it repacked, and maybe get it repacked sooner (usually takes a week when it is the DZ's equiptment).
So anyway, here's my question. What is the difference between the different models of canopies? Or more specifically, what model would make a good first canopy?
Like I said, as far as size is concerned, I can do the math and figure out wingloading.
Also with different models, does the Beginner wingloading change from say .7?
Or more specifically, what model would make a good first canopy?
I'd recommend the Spectre, Triathlon, Sabre2, Hornet or Safire2 if you're looking at new. Which one depends on what you're looking for out of your first canopy.
If you like a more "surfy" landing, think you may want to learn high performance landings later and/or jump at a dz where there aren't many outs, go with a nine cell (Sabre2, Hornet, Safire2). If you want an easy to be accurate landing, aren't into swooping and/or are a bit conservative, go with a seven cell (Tri or Spectre).
With any of those canopies keep the wingloading (exit weight) around 1.0. Go a bit less (.8-.9) if you're more conservative, have previous injuries to protect or aren't real confident under canopy yet. Go a bit more (1.1) only if you're a more aggressive person, in excellent physical condition, and are doing very well with canopy control.
As always, take any advice given here (including mine) with a grain of salt... your instructors are likely the best source of info as far as sizing goes.
Ok, rant time. Just because you can ask here, WHY ARE YOU!. Talk to your instructors, riggers, DZ owners, other respected jumpers at your DZ! Not that you'll get better answers, but at least you'll know who they are coming from. One of the most frustrating things is students coming up with emails or user group messages and saying "This guy says I should.....". The locals may know if you've already got this figured out, or should be on training wheels for awhile. Like I was 24 years ago. Talk to the people who know you and your abilities and limitations, can lead you through a ParaGear catalog to show you many of the models available, give you advice on used gear that may be appropriate and available in your area, etc. etc. Then, maybe, ask a question here about a certain choice or option. Ok, Rant Off.
Every skydiver here will be glad to offer you an opinion. The thing that skydivers like doing second to skydiving is talking about it. But we don't know you and you don't know us.
BTW, I doubt that a DZ these days will let you use your own rig until your no longer a student. And you don't want to buy student gear, you want to buy beginner gear.
(This post was edited by councilman24 on Feb 13, 2003, 12:55 PM)
I recently posted a question that you'd probably find equally distasteful. It seems, though, that this is a forum for discussions and questions. Because we beginners are asking questions here, it doen't necessarily imply that we don't ask questions of those jumpers we know and respect too. It means we are trying to gather AS MUCH information as possible from as many sources. I would think this would be encouraged, not discouraged. If you, as an experienced jumper, can provide helpful insight into different canopies, why wouldn't you?
My FIRST freefall was on my own gear. Crossbow harness and container (you really could take the container off the harness), Crossbow reserve, Comp. Para Comander (Merry Widow pattern), with shot and a half Capwells, cones on both main and reserve, last hope rope, and REAL toggles. Most of you ever wonder why toggles are called toggles? They used to be wooden dowels with holes drilled to tie on the steering line.
I understand not wanting to find out that someone got hurt because of advice that was given to them. But not to share the wealth of experience that you have accumulated over the many years and thousands of dives, ends up doing as much of a disservice.
Skydiving, like any other sport, is loaded with new sounding equiptment that those of us who are just getting into it can become daunted by. Help us to clear away the mystique.
I answer a lot of questions here. I also answer a lot of questions in person. I didn't find this question distastful, just misguided. My rant wasn't at anyone trying to learn more. But this isn't like buying a car. The instructors and experienced jumpers that know a student or beginner know their strengths, limitations, experience, and need. I encourage people buying new gear to talk to me about their choices, as an instructor and a rigger. And coming over to my house or calling in the middle of winter in Michigan is the best time, because neither one of us can jump. Skydiving is still dangerous, and beginner gear can kill just as easily (ok not quit as easily) as the latest 80 mph surfing canopy.
I always caution people that the information they get in any internet forum is like picking up used chewing gum on the street. You take it for what it's worth. Now there are some people who, after time and if you know enough already, you can recognize as people to listen to. And when people like Bill Booth answer questions, it's time to read it, even if you don't agree.
I PM'd virago to see if he's be interested in my canopy (too small for him) and thougth I'd post my respond on the forum instead of over PM to bounce off of everyone else:
To tell you the truth...I don't really know either. With only 104 jumps I don't intend on doing any high performance landings so all that matters to me is "..is it there, is it square, can I land it." When I was looking for my first canopy I just wanted something stable that I could jump. That's pretty much any canopy over 150/170 sf that you load at 1:1. Below 150 the airfoil begins to have a greater interaction with turbulence regardless of loading. So, you loading a canopy at 1:1 would be much more stable than some 120 lb'er loading a canopy at 1:1. The only thing you could do to make whatever you purchase more unstable would be to get one that is elliptical or semi-elliptical. This makes the canopy more twitchy and from what my DZO says, results in more line-over malfunctions. Another thing I was worried about for my first canopy was how fast it would open. Mine opens nice and soft so I was happy, but when you're looking at something to buy then find out its opening characteristics.
So, do (semi)ellipicals result in more line-over malfuctions?
(This post was edited by DJL on Feb 13, 2003, 2:50 PM)
They are very nice people there an their Queen's sweet! They'll guide you in the right direction when it comes to canopy selection. I know that virtually all the jumpers and instructors there are very conservative when it comes to canopy size, and that is a good thing. Talk to Peter and Fritz or any of the other instructors.
With all the respect I feel that "at times" you guys are over-regulating the forum. A bit of sarcasm, as far as I know, is not a killer. I think life is too short to be too serious. But then again I'm on the other side of the fence and I'll obey at the orders because I respect the time and effort you guys put to maintain this.
(This post was edited by nicknitro71 on Feb 13, 2003, 3:10 PM)
Read. Read all you can about parachute design and why they do what. Why a 9 cell will (most times) out glide a 7 cell. Why a flare works. Look at canopies that manufacturers classify as beginner or mid range. Like pd's spectre or sabre2 or Icarus' Safire2, omni or omega. Try to learn the most you can on your own so you can make the most of the advise that is given to you.