Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Wing Suit Flying:
Body Comp & Ideal/Max Performance Relationship? (Range Suits Specific)

 


Lance_Brown  (C 40381)

Jan 22, 2013, 3:55 PM
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Body Comp & Ideal/Max Performance Relationship? (Range Suits Specific) Can't Post

Hey everyone, been a member for a few years, but never posted anything since I always got answers at the DZ by just asking in person. But now I seem to have stumped myself, not to mention others.

So here's what I got (Sorry if this has been asked before):

Is there a way to [pre-] determine your [theoretical] maximum/ideal suit size for RANGE/ Forward SPEED based flying determined by body composition ALONE?


My question is based on what PF wrote on their web site (Other's have said the same):

"Your body type and weight are large determining factors in choosing a wingsuit.
Someone with a heavy frame may require a bit more wing to keep up with formations of different speeds. At the same time, someone with a small, light frame may not have the wingload to fly a bigger suit at the speeds his or her heavier buddies are. It's important to know that bigger isnt always better."


Aside form just buying a ton of different suits and trying them (When my skill level will allow it) I can't figure out how else to EFFICIENTLY and accurately, and feasibly answer this question. Sure, in theory I could borrow or even buy all the larger suit when I get some more WS jumps in, but in the case of borrowing, most people I now just are way bigger than myself so this option is out the window. So consequently going on data is the only feasible and practicle option I can see.

MALE
5' 8.5"
145 lbs
Athletic build (i.e. runner)

I'm not ready for a big suit yet, but I'd like to know where my maximum/ideal is so that I don't end up blowing $2k someday just to realize I made a mistake, and that I was better with what I had all along. Selling a suit used for a guy my size isn't easy and I don't ever want to be forced into that position if possible.

For those of you who will need/want more info about myself in order to answer this question a bit better, just let me know. I'm not going to post more details unless necessary because I'm trying not to muck this post up.

Thanks everyone!!!


(This post was edited by Lance_Brown on Jan 22, 2013, 4:20 PM)


The111  (D 29246)

Jan 22, 2013, 5:11 PM
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Re: [Lance_Brown] Body Comp & Ideal/Max Performance Relationship? (Range Suits Specific) [In reply to] Can't Post

There is no equation, but people who have been in a lot of flocks can guess, so you can ask them. :-)

Since you mentioned the PF website, you basically have 4 real choices as I see it if you go with them. Phantom/Shadow, Ghost/Havok, Vampire, Venom. At your height/weight, the Venom is probably out of the question for flocking, assuming that is your goal. The Phantom series would probably serve you very well, but on extremely slow flocks you'll be challenged. The Ghost or Vampire would also serve you well in many flocks, but in faster flocks you might be challenged. The Vampire will have more forward speed, the Ghost will have better backflying. My advice: get a Phantom, fly the hell out of it, and if and when you want a bigger suit, you'll love the Phantom so much you'll keep it, and still use it often, in addition to whatever bigger suit you get.

Remember, there is no single suit that will serve you on every jump. A good quiver of suits is no smaller than 2. :-)

The only people who need to take that advice you quoted really seriously are people who are way under or oversized, i.e. a giant guy in a Phantom will have a hard time flocking (but this does not mean he should buy a Venom for his first suit). You are pretty average, which is a good place to be.

And of course, try the other brands of wingsuits too! The models above are just the ones I know best. :-)


lurch  (D 27583)

Jan 22, 2013, 5:54 PM
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Re: [Lance_Brown] Body Comp & Ideal/Max Performance Relationship? (Range Suits Specific) [In reply to] Can't Post

Bare minimum, need to know, have you flown a suit at all, yet? If so, how many flights and in what suit?

Gotta tell ya, your weight and build are damn near perfect for it. I'm 5' 10" 135 lb myself. If you really take the time to learn it well, you'll be able to catch any flock, in any suit. I had a 9 year 2000+ jump progression to work my way up to the huge flying mattress suits and the thing that will eventually allow you to catch anything in the sky will be if you spend long enough learning to use small to medium suits to their limits.

A rough recommendation would be to start with either a Tony T-bird (best conservative choice but limited potential) or R-bird, (kind of like a downsize from 170 to 135 skipping the 150... has much more potential but higher risk at first, and forget the S-bird for now, its the lightest of the heavy suits and NOT for beginners) or if you like the look and feel of Phoenix-fly's gear better, you can't go wrong with a Phantom. Its probably the best Light General-Purpose suit out there, good for beginners, but has enough serious potential to keep you learning and satisfied for years.

A good progression might be to start with a Phantom, master it, then step up to an S-Bird in a couple years which is good enough to last your career. The X class suits, guys our size will never need unless we're competing or cultivating a deep addiction to ultimate distance and maximum possible time aloft. I've got one, but flying it with others requires bizarre technique and its inappropriate... like using a Formula car for your daily commute to the office. Not what the suit is for.
If you wanted a Tony suit progression I'd say borrow a T-bird for 50-100 jumps (you'll likely reach its limits quickly) then get an R as your personal suit and fly that for 2-3 years. Then if you want more but don't want to get too radical and you want a suit you can use for everything, heavy hitter you can still fly with others get an S. If you're satisfied with the R for flocks but you want to go to the ultimate limits for cloud surfs, solos or competing, thats what the X-class suits are good for but you need mega experience to use it. Nearly impossible to fly with others unless they all have megasuits, but it will get you well over 4 minutes flight time with ease.

Another sensible choice would be to start with an older used Birdman suit, can be found everywhere cheap, consider it a disposable starter suit to build enough skill for an R. Either way, the R or Phantom will be all the suit you need for years to come. Intrudair Piranha is also an excellent light suit, again somewhat limited but great to learn on, good for acro, and although its a bit of a challenge to catch distant fast moving flocks with it, it can do it, and when you can do that with it, it means you really know what you're doing with it. I tried one last season and I recommend em highly. You'll get far more respect by flying the smaller suits badass than you will going to the big suits too early.
-B


Lance_Brown  (C 40381)

Jan 22, 2013, 6:17 PM
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Re: [The111] Body Comp & Ideal/Max Performance Relationship? (Range Suits Specific) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey man thanks for help! I'll just ask more people who are serious flockers then. ;)

Quote:
You are pretty average, which is a good place to be

Very encouraging to hear. And Thanks for your take on the suits. Much appreciated.

T clarify though, I'm not committed to either brand per se, although Squirrel's suits are looking pretty fuck'n amazing, and they should be out with an intro/intermediate suit in the next few months if I read that right. Also I'm from SNE, and Jeff Nebelkopf has large presents there with the exception of last season, so I'm exposed to them more than any other suit on average. PF is on the radar though as you 'll see:

I was originally looking at this line up:

1.Havok (For back flying and it's over all agility Which the Host lacks?), flocking and working with students way down the road. Seems like it could replace the an intro suit if flown right. Almost a jack of all trades suit it seems.)
2.Colugo or X2 (For all things range and speed, obviously not right now though. Even though I know someone who went from an I bird and skipped to a V4 and has been ridding it steady for a year + now. I have to admit this makes me want to go faster in my progression then I should when I hear this because I'm a fast learner.)
3. Something bigger? Time and experience will tell...

As far as intro size suit, Squirl's soon-to-be-released version sounds interesting. I love the P3, but I'm trying to see if the Havok could just take it's place due to it's agile and versatile nature.

What's you take this and the above line up?

To clarify my goals:

While all things wings is pretty damn fun all around, solo activities such and speed and distance comps have way more of my attention, with WS BASE being the long term goal. But I love back flying and that's usually juxtaposed to the suits I would need for the above disciplines. Hmmm. Guess I'll just need 2 suits then Tongue. The small flocks I've been in have been fun. They're just not my end objective. I look at them as serious skill builders more than the discipline I'm interest in. Kind of like free flying. Very import to have those skills sets but give my horizontal flight any day over vertical.

I dropped out of school, started working at a DZ, got my WFR, took my FFC, then my FJC (and am taking another one), bought my SD and BASE gear, have stared rock climbing more and trying to get in all related disciplines that will help me in my goal. And am looking for a mentor as we speak. I'd like 300 WS jumps minimum with 20 balloon exits in a WS, before even attempting it in BASE and even then I'd want 100-150 BASE jumps before I even started WS BASE. Respect is key. ;)

The above goals are all self oriented I admit. The ultimate and final goal though is to be able to teach in some capacity. Nothings even touches the rewards teaching. EVER.

Hopefully I've give you better idea of what's going on now.


(This post was edited by Lance_Brown on Jan 22, 2013, 6:24 PM)


Lance_Brown  (C 40381)

Jan 22, 2013, 6:29 PM
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Re: [lurch] Body Comp & Ideal/Max Performance Relationship? (Range Suits Specific) [In reply to] Can't Post

Lurch... fuck man, that's seriously helpful. I wish I had read your responded BEFORE I had responded. Not that I'm demanding a response to everything I just wrote but I think it might have given you all the missing info you were looking for on my part. I've got 23 WS jumps (P3) and almost everything else is angle and tracking.

BTW THIS makes me smile
Quote:
Gotta tell ya, your weight and build are damn near perfect for it. I'm 5' 10" 135 lb myself. If you really take the time to learn it well, you'll be able to catch any flock, in any suit. I had a 9 year 2000+ jump progression to work my way up to the huge flying mattress suits and the thing that will eventually allow you to catch anything in the sky will be if you spend long enough learning to use small to medium suits to their limits.


Quote:
You'll get far more respect by flying the smaller suits badass than you will going to the big suits too early.

THANKS man! Look forward to your response!


(This post was edited by Lance_Brown on Jan 22, 2013, 7:27 PM)


Butters  (C 37840)

Jan 24, 2013, 7:47 AM
Post #6 of 8 (809 views)
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Re: [Lance_Brown] Body Comp & Ideal/Max Performance Relationship? (Range Suits Specific) [In reply to] Can't Post

A Phantom is a great suit to start (and end) with (especially at your size). I've worn my Phantom out.


The111  (D 29246)

Jan 24, 2013, 11:34 AM
Post #7 of 8 (760 views)
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Re: [Butters] Body Comp & Ideal/Max Performance Relationship? (Range Suits Specific) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
A Phantom is a great suit to start (and end) with (especially at your size). I've worn my Phantom out.

+111


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jan 26, 2013, 6:48 AM
Post #8 of 8 (652 views)
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Re: [Butters] Body Comp & Ideal/Max Performance Relationship? (Range Suits Specific) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
A Phantom is a great suit to start (and end) with (especially at your size). I've worn my Phantom out.

@ the original poster: I've got 15 wingsuits and I've got to tell you, bro, that I VERY rarely take my P2 off of my wingsuit rig. I only put on my bigger suits when I've got tall, lanky students or I'm flying with a group of also-very-experienced wingsuiters who are all jumping larger suits and know how to keep their damn legs out. I generally have no problem whatsoever flying with/ out-flying mediocre wingsuiters in big suits with my Phantom. I've worn two Phantoms out and I still own two; they are great.

Again, @ the original poster: you say you have a bit over 20 jumps on a P3. Do you own it? If you do, never sell it (or sell it to me). If you put this thread up because you are tired of borrowing/ renting suits and are in the market to buy, then I'd recommend buying a Phantom 2 or 3 and putting a lot of jumps on it. At 225 jumps total you have neither the general experience nor sufficient wingsuit experience to be worrying about big suits and their "potential maximum performance". Buying a big suit and "figuring it out as you grow into it" is counter-productive in my opinion.

Chuck Blue, D-12501
AFF/SL/TM-I, PRO, S&TA, PFC/E
DragonFly Wingsuit School



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