Oct 18, 2011, 11:33 AM
Post #1 of 15
From Katana to Velocity
Right chaps "n" chapesses........im currently jumping a katana and love what i get out of it but seriously thinking about moving onto a crossbrace. Ive done just under 1000 jumps and love my swooping. Ive pushed my katana to the limits, into wind, cross wind and down wind when its been pretty breezy, landed on rears after a brake line snap. I know i can fly it whatever the weather in any situation but want to step up. Any feedback/advice much appreciated. Currently jumping Kat 120 loading approx 1.9 to 2
katana to a velocity will be an easy transition. start of with a similar sized crossbrace for your first few jumps until your recognize the differences between non xbrace and braced canopies. If what you say about your katana is true it sounds like your more than ready. pull high and notice how much overturn the velocity has and how much more it dives after a turn. Stay safe have fun.
Oh and to edit: If you notice people taking a close look at their palm after asking for advice you shouldn't have asked them
(This post was edited by packing_jarrett on Oct 18, 2011, 5:07 PM)
Ive done just under 1000 jumps... Ive pushed my katana to the limits
In reply to:
start of with a similar sized crossbrace for your first few jumps until your recognize the differences between non xbrace and braced canopies. If what you say about your katana is true it sounds like your more than ready.
I'm a UK CP Coach and I've done the Katana to Velo transition. I am willing to give you some advice without flaming you but I need some more info first please. (Bear in mind this may not be the advice you are looking for). In your profile it says from your total jump numbers that you've done 300 swooping jumps...
Have all these been H&P's? How many were coached, video-ed and debriefed? Who is coaching you? And how much coaching have you had so far? And in what format? ie. 1 to 1, CP courses etc. How many jumps do you have on the K120? What degree of rotation are you doing and from what altitude? Are you putting your turn onto a lane and/or onto gates? What is your weight with gear in lbs? (Guessing around 230lbs). What other canopies did you jump prior to the K120? Please give a brief canopy progression. Thanks
(This post was edited by d100965 on Oct 19, 2011, 6:26 AM)
I made several hundred jumps on the KA 120 before I felt I was ringing it out.
According to your profile, you also made 7000-ish other jumps, which would probably help you to 'master' a canopy quicker than the average jumper.
The OP has under 1000 jumps total, so if you do the math and figure on student jumps, beginner canopies, and jumps before he started swooping, the total number of swoops or jumps on the KA has to be considerably less than 1000.
It's the same mistake people make all the time. They rush into swooping, then rush into higher WL (the OP is at 1.9) and then rush into the highest performance canopy on the market (by that I mean any x-brace). Sooner or later all that rushing is going to catch up to them. The lack of accumulated 'seat time' will show itself eventaully, and the faster the canopy, the sooner that time will come.
People need to understand that swooping is an 'expert' catagory activity. You might be something short of an 'expert' when you start to learn swooping, but at the same time you're not doing expert level swoops at that time. Moderately loaded, mid-level performance canopies, and smaller turns are all the stepping stones to 'expert level' swooping. By the time you feel like you have an HP canopy like a Katana all figured out, and are ready to move to the top of the list, you should ask yourself if you really consider yourself an 'expert'. Maybe even ask a canopy pilot you respect (and consider an 'expert') if they would consider you an 'expert'.
Where I come from, it takes 1000 jumps to be considered an expert, at least in terms of swooping. You need 1000 swoops to be considered an expert, not under 1000 jumps total.
Maybe dude hasn't updated his profile (trying to give the benefit of the doubt) but none the less.
As a side note, a friend of mine has a KA107 and I borrow that rig sometimes. Honestly, I don't like jumping the KA at that wingloading. I find the velocity to be more controllable, less divey and more recoverable if you're low than the katana. I have to discount that opinion with the fact that I do have substantially more jumps on the velocity, but at close to/just over 2.0 on both, I feel the velocity is a much wiser choice.
I dunno, could just be a feeling thing. I have over 1000 jumps on my velocity and only 30-40 on said katana.
You will probably find that you like the velocity alot. It's a good transition if you are ready for it.
Determining when you are ready for swooping or xbrace canopies is more than just jump numbers. Its an attitude, its competence, commitment to excellence and a discipline. If you are going to make the switch, dedicate your time to it while you are in the air by yourself (hop n pop). Have fun and be safe.
I put about 700 jumps on the Katana 107 before switching to a velocity. My opinion is that the velocity is a lot more responsive in recovery inputs. The katana has similar speed, similar dive but much less response on rears and toggle inputs at the end of your dive.
The way it was described to me was that a velo is like a 1000cc sport bike. The katana is the same sport bike except is has really crappy brakes.
If you switched to a velocity and someone asked you, "Why are you jumping such a small canopy?", what would you tell them? Someone on the internet said it would be okay? Having jumped both canopies I can tell you there really isn't that much of a difference between the two. At that wingloading if you are behind the curve they will both willingly fly you into the ground hard enough to kill your sister. The katana is a very aggressive canopy. If you want to jump a velocity, and can accept the consequences of screwing yourself in the ground or wrapping up a buddy, then do it. That is what is cool about this sport, at least for now. We are relatively free to make our own choices. If common sense was the deciding factor in gear choice, we would all be jumping big spectres. Swooping and small canopies are fun. Do you honestly think that all the swoopers who stress progressive downsizing actually did that when they learned? I sure didn't. I am glad and ashamed at the same time to say that I was lucky not to die more than once along the way... Man up and make your decisions for yourself. This is serious shit.
The front side of each canopy has pretty similar characteristics. The toggle side of the Velo is more responsive than Katana. Velo definitely has more dive. My first 90s on the Velo 84 (2.25:1) were almost the same altitude as 270s on the Katana 97 (1.95:1). And even 90s were very, very fast. Velo is by far the most fun canopy I've flown -- absolute speed demon in a class on its own.
And of course with that speed comes responsibility. As much as I wanted a Velo, I had to pass. About 25% of all my skydives have been hop and pops (most from full altitude). I did a ton of full altitude H&Ps on my KA97 before trying the Velo, and all of my ~30 Velo jumps were H&Ps (most from full altitude). I also have a ton of speedflying experience. I'm very comfortable under a canopy, and under fast canopies. The Velocity really is a different beast altogether. I grew into it and really loved it when I had the sky to myself. But it was a little more than I was ready for, and definitely more than I was ready to fly into traffic -- something you really need to consider when downsizing.
I seriously doubt you've pushed your "Katana to the limits". Flying a small canopy in all weather conditions is a terrible gauge of your ability. Smaller canopies have less drag to be affected by the atmosphere -- they cut through the air better -- making them easier to fly compared to big wings. That's why paragliders and kiteboarders downsize when it gets windy. But a 720° to final downwind? Barrel rolls? Bailing from a low swoop? Getting back from long spots and holding your place in traffic? Using rears to eek out a little extra distance? Not needing rears after perfect gate entries? Not suggesting to go try those right now, but did you know it could do those?
When you've slowly, slowly, safely worked your way up to truly learning and exploring every parameter of your wing, not the weather, that's when you're ready.
BTW, for those who have moved to faster wing to "look cool", everyone at your DZ actually thinks you look like an idiot. It does not impress anyone to fly a wing you can't handle.
I think you said it best. These posts always draw a mixed bag of responses. No disrespect to any of those of you who consistently tell people that they aren't ready due to statistics provided by the jumpers via the internet. Preaching via the conservative route is often the safest way when requesting and giving information over the internet. While there are a lot of people that make poor decisions regarding their gear, there are (in my opinion) an equal base of talented canopy pilots that are capable of progressing a bit faster.
Brumby, without anyone seeing you fly your gear NO one can tell you if you're ready for a Velo via internet forums. This is the absolute worst place to get an endorsement for making a gear change with high performance canopies. There are a lot of very talented and very knowledgeable canopy pilots on these forums that are an incredible wealth of information, but again I don't feel as though anyone can flat out say that you aren't ready for it. It would be different if you had like 50 jumps and you were inquiring about velocities lol
(This post was edited by matt3sa on Jan 14, 2012, 7:17 PM)