Jun 21, 2012, 1:53 PM
Post #1 of 9
What about S BIRD?
Hi. From TS we heard a lot only about x and apache but no many review of the S Bird. Versus V3/V4 or the X what can you tell about it? I look for the next after my P2z, i think i ll take a Vampire but Sbird can be an alternate (for skydive and base)
Personally I loive my S-Bird. I find it is very comparable with the V series. Some say it might be a little slower forward but the float I find to be better. That said you can get it to go very fast forward as well. Really good I find also in Flocks. Try one if you really want to compare the two suits. I consider them in the same class just below the super big suits (X's, Apache and Venom suits)
My S is my "working suit"....it can fly a slot, set a base, video above then below and then back above....and it even placed above some X's and V*'s in the world distance competition. This suit is not to be underestimated.
I would recommend an intermediate suit like a Ghost or R Bird before stepping up to the S.
(This post was edited by WickedWingsuits on Jun 21, 2012, 6:25 PM)
It is "the best suit". Very easy to get a lot of performance. There are bigger floatyer, maybe a little faster suits but you will work to get that performance. The S-bird does what you want. It has won many competitions, even over bigger suits. Not super demanding to fly.
Everybody that went from a Phantom or Ghost to an Apache or X-bird that didn't stop and fly the S-bird first for a while will have a steeper learning curve. You want to do XRW? Stop here for a few.
Best general-purpose medium/large suit out there weighted more towards power than most medium suits. Need to build experience with lesser suits before stepping up to this puppy but once you do, it'll keep you happy for years. Properly used it can catch almost anything in the sky.
I've spent the last 2 years or so flying one and I still consider it a "perfect suit." It will dust anything in the sky short of an X, Venom or Apache, and it can at least keep up with, if not beat even those. Good to fly with everything from megasuits to T-Birds. Best matched with XBirds through R-Birds or Phoenix-fly equivalent. Strengths: Maneuverability, versatility, flexibility, useful range, durability. The variable airlocks are a MAJOR boost to usability and being able to set the suit for anything from rodeo chases to 4 minute hangtime flights was one of the best things about it. Open em up, and its ok for acro, better for rodeo chases, chasing students, good for most high fallrate stuff. Close em up for cloud surfing, competition, long hangtime cruising flights. You do have to push the suit to tell it to fast, but go fast it will, and I used it to good effect in Speed rounds at Elsinore last year getting a bronze.
Weaknesses: Acro, Backflying- It does both adequately, but it tends to be a little head-low backflying, not that I backfly much, a better backflyer may feel different, and although its acceptable for acro, its a bit graceless and clumsy for that just because its wings are big enough and its a floaty enough suit that its transitions and recoveries tend to be a little on the punchy side when flown with lesser suits. If you want to do acro with it, pair it with another S-Bird. You can scary roll and rapidfire-dock with suits as small as Phantoms, but you'll spend a lot of effort keeping the suit on a leash at those fallrates, it flies better when let loose.
In pure distance and time competition its a bit outgunned by the Xbird-Venom-Apache range but its still a credible entry-level Open class competition suit and I was able to break into the top 5 Distance stats with it. I showed up at the comp in Gransee last year thinking "Uh oh... I think I might have just brought a knife to a gunfight." I'd first seen the Apache a year earlier as some weird prototype Justin got ahold of, and by the time I got to comp seemed like half the serious competitors were already flying them. When I saw all the Apaches and X's and assorted heavy suits in play I figured maybe I shouldn't have bothered stepping up if all I've got is an S against a bunch of megasuits, then did a lot better than I expected and pulled out a 76 second run that held 3'rd place in the global Time challenge for awhile. Right now I'm learning to fly an Apache of my own and when I have a real handle on it, I'm tempted to go back to my Sbird and see how much of a performance I can pull out of it with a little more practice. My Apache is the new dreadnought/dragster/air superiority toy of my personal fleet but my S-Bird will remain the default suit I use for everything where an Apache is just too much. A good suit. I recommend em. -B
Weaknesses: Acro, Backflying- It does both adequately, but it tends to be a little head-low backflying, not that I backfly much, a better backflyer may feel different ...
With all of these reviews I'm tempted to try an S-Bird. Just purchased a Ghost because I spend most of my time on my back and the Ghost is made for backflying ... Quick question, with the airlocks closed, how difficult is collapsing the wings to pull? I remember you stating that the Apache is almost impossible.
I have an X-bird, an S-bird and an archaic Mach 1. I have access to a P2/3 (not really sure where the suit falls the Phantom development spectrum) that I've been using a lot for back flying lately.
Of the four suits, but S-bird is the one that gets the most air time. It's great for camera flying with a flock (I can fly with it, around it, etc.) with a huge amount of range. I've used it to chase rodeos (fast fall rate, slower forward speed), used it to move all around large vertical stacks (need to be able to decrease fall rate fast to do that), and used it to regularly chase tight flocks of the biggest suits. Range and power when you need it.
If I was stuck on a desert island and could only bring one wingsuit with me, the S-bird would be the one. Killing that metaphor: if the bigger suits are Ginger, the S-bird is Mary Ann. Sure, Ginger is sexier, but you're going to get tired of her crap fast, and just want versatile and fun.
Flown really well (i.e., not by me) it can and has kept up with the big suits, but will no doubt fall in the "max performance" rankings as time progresses and suits get increasingly absurdly large.
It's not a beginner suit, as others have pointed out.
As others pointed out, it is more challenging to backfly in. The bigger tail and wingroot have a tendency to push you head low when backflying. This can be mastered, of course, but it's more challenging.
My background: I have about 1100 skydives, of which about 875 are wingsuit jumps. I'm not sponsored by anyone, but PF supplied the suits to the school I'm a member of (Northeast Bird School). I've never been compensated by any suit manufacturer for anything. I like Tony when I can understand what he's saying. I am not a wingsuit instructor, coach, or anything like that. I take pictures. I'm also a Leo who likes long walks on the beach.
As I've said before, don't buy any suit you haven't tried. See if you like it, if it fits your flight style, or it it makes you look fat.
I've never had a problem closing my S-birds wings with the airlocks closed. It's far easier than, for example, an X-bird in that respect.
(This post was edited by Skwrl on Jun 22, 2012, 7:04 AM)
I've not jumped a V4 enough to give a meaningful comparison - I can only really compare it to the suits I've jumped regularly (S, X, P2/3, the smaller Tony suits - like the I, T, and R - and some very out of date suits).