Aug 10, 2003, 4:56 PM
Post #1 of 32
Freefly Pants Choices
I am looking at purchasing a new set of FF pants for HD work. The two types that I have been looking at are the new BirdMan Pantz and the Bomber Gills pants. I am a bigger guy and need all the help I can get to slow down on my head. Anyone that has either of these I would like to hear your input on how they fly.
I got a totally unexpected spam mail from them today. I'm trying to remember hard, but I think this is a first from a skydiving related business. Since it's nothing to celebrate I think matter clothing should buy the beer.
As far as freefly pants are concerned I recommend calling Firefly Suits. Tell Sherry that your a big guy and you need to slow down.She'll fix you up. Unlike matter suits, Firefly pants are custom made to fit. You may have to wait a few weeks for them. For that wait you will get a proven pair of freefly pants from a proven company with some of the best customer service out there.
Levin, I'm all about plugging my favorite companies, or maybe the ones who hook me up with stuff, but are you implying that Matter Clothing doesn't produce proven gear, nor isn't a proven company? That's kind of what I got from that...
Beavdog, I'm not so sure that you really need the gils to fly head down, nor how the birdman pants may or may not aid you in your quest to fly head down...
There are a lot of companies out there offering very similiar products with a couple of mostly cosmetic differences. I mean, pants are pants, right?
It seems to me that certain body types seem to stick with certain companies and cuts. I've found that in my personal experience people that want a tighter cut tend to fly firefly suits, merlin suits, Tony's Spacesuit, Freedom means Choice and from pictures that I've seen, Matter suits. (I'm sure that there are people jumping larger cuts from all of these, but I'm simply stating what I've actually seen either in person, on video, or in pictures). In my own personal experience, I've found that people that are jumping jumpsuits with baggier cuts tend to fly Bomber Pants, or Bomber Freefly Suit (both by Flite Suit), Tony Suits, DaKine Rags, or Michigan. (Again, I'm not trying to list every manufacturer on the planet, instead I'm making a couple of generalizations here, you know?)
People who live or jump near certain manufacturers tend to purchase their products. For instance, if you go out to Davis California, it seems like the entire dz jumps in Flite Suit jumpsuits, or pantz. The Manufacturer happens to be right down the road.
I think that whichever manufacturer you choose, from a to z, you will be happy with. They'll all offer you custom fitting gear, and depending on which company you choose, you can add any number of mostly cosmetic options.
Very soon, you will control your body regardless of which way is up and which way is down, regardless of which pants, shorts, or jumpsuit you're sporting. You may eventually find something like gills annoying or unnecessary... You'll probably find that you won't need any help slowing down on your head (outside of a normal baggy jumpsuit) .
My first "jumpsuit" was a pair of Bomber Freefly pants, cut pretty baggy... After about 500 jumps and feeling pretty comfortable on my head, I opted for the Tony Space Suit, cut tight. Now I've just ordered the Matter Pants and JAcket cut somewhere inbetween. I never really considered the Bomber Gills... seems a little unnecessary if you ask me, even if you're a big guy. I know nothing about the Birdman Pants... don't they inflate or something?
Good luck in your search. -drew
(This post was edited by freeflydrew on Aug 12, 2003, 6:49 PM)
I have a pair of Birdman Tracking Pantz (BASE model) and they've become my freefly pants of choice.
The inlets are such that they do not inflate when I'm in a sit or head down. So no you won't look like an inverted clown.
Everybody's body type & slying style is different, so I personally don't think there's an "optimal" clothing configuration for everyone. You just need to try different things and see what works best for you. And that may change over time.
In my case, I'm kind of light & floaty, and I found that the Pantz work well because they aren't flared that much at the ankles. The looseness of the fabric is more evenly distributed and that seems to give me better control than super-flared pant legs.
I've done a few tracking dives with the Pantz and they're a blast. It takes some getting used to, because if you go hard with the legs, you tend to tip severely head down. When you hit the "sweet spot" on these things you know it, but I've only been able to hold it for a couple of seconds.
I've managed 90MPH average on a tracking dive, but I think with more practice I could get them down into the mid-to-low 80s.
...The inlets are such that they do not inflate when I'm in a sit or head down. So no you won't look like an inverted clown. ...
What's funny about that line is that when freeflying was in it's earlier developments, being a clown was a good thing, especially cool when you were inverted! There was a bunch of people who called themselves the freefly clowns... Olav, Charles, Mike, Alaska Jon, Omar, etc. (Freefly Clowns, Chronicles 1, 2, 3)
skymama (D 26699)
Aug 12, 2003, 5:12 PM
Post #8 of 32
I recommend Pantz, but not because I know what it's like to jump in them. It's because I see Jari wearing them at the dz, and his ass looks really fine in them. So, do your ass a favor, and get the Pantz.
I'm all about plugging my favorite companies, or maybe the ones who hook me up with stuff, but are you implying that Matter Clothing doesn't produce proven gear, nor isn't a proven company? That's kind of what I got from that...
Thanks for pointing that out. That was not my intention and I apologize to matter clothing for seeming to do so. Actually that implication was to another company and I didn't mention their name. I've never seen and until a couple of weeks ago have never heard of matter clothing or their products. Therefore I assume they are a new company. Generally I usually wait until the bugs are worked out of any new product before I buy one. Especially if it's skydiving related. Not too long ago a new company in South America began selling suits real cheap. I was fortunate to see a couple of their early models and I have to say they were truly designed like shit. Looked like big pillow cases with arms and legs. Those particular suits were not matter clothing products. Again I have never seen nor heard of them. For all I know they could have the best product. I won't know until I see it. But in all honesty I really don't care, which brings me back to "plugging my favorite companies". I believe Sherry and Shelly have some of the best customer service in the industry. I think that Shelly has an amazing ability to fit the right suit for any size jumper. This is one company that I never hear complaints about. Except maybe long wait times of up to 12 weeks. This year they have been swamped with orders coupled with relocating to the other side of the country which involves obvious delays including training a new staff. But I bet alot of happy skydivers out there found their final product to be wellworth that wait. As far as them hooking me up with stuff, I have never personally accepted anything for free from them. Their is too much work involved in our suits to ask Shelly to donate us that much of her time. We paid full price ($340 each 2.5 yrs ago) for our first team suits and 50% off ($200 each) for the rest. All total $2020 for team jump suits. The only thing I have accepted for free from them is a free pair of pants that I am giving away as one of several 1st place prizes for the 2nd annual Fastest Man Contest at Skydive Houston this Labor Day. If I truly believe a company to be "the best", I will fully promote them without a need for compensation. The only other skydiving related company that I can lump into this category is L&B, makers of the Pro-Track and Pro-Dytter.
Take a look in the wingsuit forum for the thread on the Birdman pantz and peoples feedback on them. I will wager you will like them if you have the chance to fly them. Everyone in Rantoul who demo'd a pair came back with cash or credit card in hand and with big grins and stories. it was all good
Edited to add: Skymama is right, chicks can't keep their hands of a mans ass when he has birdman pantz on. It's a proven fact.
(This post was edited by LouDiamond on Aug 12, 2003, 6:26 PM)
Okay, so we were talking pants, right?!? First, thanks Kerry for the info on Matter! I just ordered my two-piece freefly suit from them, and it will be shipped tomorrow! Just for the record, not only does Matter have pants in stock, they also have the jackets... I've been totally hooked on Matter since I saw Emmanuelle Celicout's jumpsuit back in 2001. The fabric is awesome, the design is cool, it looks dope... I'll came back next week and tell ya'll how my baby flies... yeah.... Ah! Great service, too. Cedric is super and helpful. Cool! Latah! T
(This post was edited by ranchhand28 on Aug 12, 2003, 7:01 PM)
Thanks Remster! I was in fact asked by Matter to send them a few measurements just so they could verify my size with the stock ones, which is definetely heads-up and cool of them... As to the cut of their suits, I agree with you. It is definetely more snug than the usual freefly suit, more like the Space Suit from Tony Suits. This seems to be the new trend in freefly. So if you don't need extra fabric... Anywho, thanks again for the tip. Latah! T
(This post was edited by ranchhand28 on Aug 14, 2003, 9:01 AM)