Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Canopy sizes for Classic Accuracy?

 


John-DownUnder  (F 278)

Nov 26, 2012, 4:40 AM
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Canopy sizes for Classic Accuracy? Can't Post

I'd appreciate advice from experienced/expert jumpers on canopy size selection. I am a "returning" jumper with 1,000 jumps between 1980 and 1991 and am serious about purchasing a PD Zero and Optimum reserve.

I am 55 years of age, weigh 72kg (160 lbs) and am losing weight. So geared up, work on say 165 to 175 lbs. My jumping experience is in student instruction, RW (flat) on a 220 sq ft Fury and competition Classic Accuracy on a Parafoil 252. I have no interest at this stage of downsizing to high performance canopy. As an experienced accuracy jumper, I initially want a single rig and to jump the Zero for ALL my jumping.

My starting point was to consider an Optimum 176 and a 265 Zero. Comments anyone?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 26, 2012, 5:09 AM
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Re: [John-DownUnder] Canopy sizes for Classic Accuracy? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I am 55 years of age, weigh 72kg (160 lbs) and am losing weight. So geared up, work on say 165 to 175 lbs

My starting point was to consider an Optimum 176 and a 265 Zero. Comments anyone?

For starters, it's generally a mistake to buy gear for what you 'think' you'll be able to handle at a later date, or how much you 'think' you're going to weigh at a later date. Buy what will work for you the day you order the gear, and go from there.

That said, you need to give the newer canopies a chance. If you got out in 1991, you missed out on all of the ZP canopies and everything that came with them. They are very good, and are a much better choice for just about everything, and in my opinion, including accuracy.

Even at an exit weight of 185lbs, a 265 is going to be way too much canopy for 'everyday' jumping, and is going to require a very large rig to hold it. I think you would be very surprised to see the type of performance and flare that you can get out of a 190 sq ft ZP canopy. It will provide you with softer, more consistant landings than F-111 ever could, with better glide and wind penetration as well.

Given your time out of the sport, you're going to need some training to get back in the air. Take advatage of this, and jump the student gear at the DZ. They should have some more modern canopies by now, and you can see what it's like. Furthermore, you can demo other canopies from different manufacturers, and the DZ can probably rent you a student rig to put them in. You get a canopy to try, the DZ hooks it up in a student rig, and you're all set.

Another thing to keep in mind is that ZP canopiues will literally last for 1000's of jumps with no loss of performance. The lines will wear and go out of trim, but the fabric can last 10x longer than F-111. What this means is that you can buy used canopies, and provided the lines are in good shape and in trim, you can expect the same performance as if the canopy was new. You can buy used canopies, try them out for a while, and then move on to try another.

Finally, before you commit to a rig with a 176 reserve, make sure you downsize yourself to the point that you can safely jump a 170 sq ft canopy. i'm not sure how you think you'll find a rig that will hold a small-packing 176 reserve and a 265 sq ft main, but in any case, if all you have jumped recently was a 265, I don't think a 176 would be a good choice for as a reserve.

What you need to do is jump canopies for long enough to get the hang of them, which could be anywhere from 10 to 50 jumps on each size. Once you are 'good' with a certain size, then you can move down one size and start over. Keep this process up until you can safely jump a main the same size as the reserve you want. Even if you go back to a larger main, you need to know how to fly whatever is on your back.

My reccomendation would be this - use the student gear at the DZ to safely downsize to about a 210, and then buy a rig with will hold a 210 main, and similar size reserve. Buy a used 210 main, which will be cheaper and easier to pack than new, and just jump. The rig will hold a 190, and probably a 170 main as well, so you have room to downsize if you want in the future.


mircan  (D 32291)

Nov 26, 2012, 6:28 AM
Post #3 of 6 (836 views)
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Re: [John-DownUnder] Canopy sizes for Classic Accuracy? [In reply to] Can't Post

Most of the guys here that jump the gear you refer are in 280/300sqft range for main (Parafoil/Classic) and 150/170 range reserve. Containers are mostly Centaurus and Parachutes de France Atom Axis. PdF Aixs is very much praised but, I hear the waiting period is long...
Still, if you want to jump something else besides classic accuracy, IMO it`s best to consider Dave`s advice.


CarpeDiem3  (D License)

Nov 26, 2012, 10:07 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Canopy sizes for Classic Accuracy? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
ZP canopies and everything that came with them. They are very good, and are a much better choice for just about everything, and in my opinion, including accuracy.

Dave: ZP canopies don't work for classic accuracy - you can't sink 'em straight down. Try as you might, they just won't seep air!

John DU: A 265 with a weight of 185 is a wing-loading of .7. That might be great for accuracy, but it's going to severely limit the wind speeds in which you can jump. You'll be sitting on the ground a lot of days, when everyone else continues to jump, or else getting blown backwards away from the airport.

Here's an idea that can give you the best of both worlds, without having to spend all that money on a complete 2nd rig. You can get two canopies to fit the same rig. Size the rig for the 265 accuracy canopy, and then get a second ZP canopy, say around a 210-220, for higher wind days and fun jumping. The sizes are close enough that the smaller one will still pack in the container without being too loose (you might need a shorter closing loop for that one), and you can swap them back and forth to get more flexibility in jumping in different conditions.


(This post was edited by CarpeDiem3 on Nov 26, 2012, 10:14 AM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Nov 26, 2012, 10:10 AM
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Re: [CarpeDiem3] Canopy sizes for Classic Accuracy? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
John DU: A 265 with a weight of 185 is a wing-loading of 1.4.

0.7 would be the WL


pchapman  (D 1014)

Nov 26, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Re: [John-DownUnder] Canopy sizes for Classic Accuracy? [In reply to] Can't Post

IF you really do want to do accuracy jumping, and will be at a DZ where that is done, then the PD Zero makes sense. Pea gravel bowls are getting rarer, but maybe if you are thinking about accuracy you've got a DZ with a bowl or tuffet already lined up. It's a lot less fun to do any skydiving discipline if nobody else at the DZ is playing the same games!

If you have the money, sure, get two canopies, maybe a new Zero and a used something-else ZP that is known for soft openings. Better look up the difference in pack volumes though. Traditionally, accuracy canopies were huge even for their square footage, but more modern construction on the Zero might bring that down. Otherwise a 265 and a 210 might be a little far apart in pack volume. If you did change canopies back and forth, you may need to buy a rig that uses a long closing loop (that can adjust more) that goes from the tray or reserve wall, not one with a short loop from the bottom flap that is not supposed to change size much at all.

I jumped a 265 canopy at 140 lbs plus gear for something like my first 500 jumps in all wind conditions (in the 1990s), only standing down when others started to do so. It wasn't quite as slow as a Foil but still slow (Pioneer Titan). So one can fly big stuff in strong winds, if one has accuracy skills. Usually one isn't actually backing up on landing, even if doing so until 100 feet.

However, one thing that has changed is that one might be jumping turbine aircraft instead of a C-182, so you don't always get to pick your own spot as easily. That's where having a faster canopy nowadays makes it easier to get back to the LZ.



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