A more doscile canopy might be a good idea for the first couple tube jumps. Deploying while holding a tube isn't the easiest thing in the world. I have only done one but it was certainly the toughest jump I have ever done. Flying a tube isn't that easy. Get a really experienced person to give a few pointers on staying stable. I broke off at 5500 and deployed at 5,000. It went fine but that being my first one I wanted plenty of time to deal with a tube main entanglement. No such thing happened. I put the tube in my left hand around 6,000. Bellied from a sit at 5,500 and deployed holding it comfortably out in front of me. I watched my main deploy with the tube dancing around the left side so I stuck my arm out to 90 degrees from my shoulder and the tube went behind my canopy. Everything was cool but it made for a long canopy ride. Above all else, remember that all you have to do if the tube gets to be too much is LET GO!!!!
"and I'm not easily impressed...Ooohh look...a blue car!" -Homer Simpson
Also, a couple of things I've noticed that may be of some help. I'm at Perris a lot, and the Flyboyz have been playing around with tubes a lot since the film festival. They made a few that had a smaller diameter, and they are really fast. You can do tracking tube dives even in a sit position with them because of it. Also, you can let go of the tube, and then pull just as soon as you let go. Eli "dogfights" the tubes until he finally catches them, and he's gotten very good at it. the idea is to hit the tube around the center of it and grab the material, not the hard ring at the bottom of the tube.
The 20 foot tube that I'm planning on making in the spring is going to use a small bicycle wheel (16 inch) as its ring. By leaving the spokes in the wheel, you can help prevent the handle or even your pilot chute from going up the tube if you have a small PC. The other advantage is that it lets you center mount the handle and its now able to rotate freely. I'm adding a few pounds of weight on the ring to let it fall straight down when chopped. I used to jump the tube with a Spectre 170 and would not hesitate to do it on my Cobalt 150 right now either. Anything smaller or more radical, or a spinner canopy, I would hesitate about it. But I've only got 255+ jumps so I'm still on fairly midlevel canopies.
I want to touch the sky, I want to fly so high ~ Sonique
Yikes, a bigger canopy is indicated for this. Different tools for different jobs. Stay safe.
I strongly suggest that you have or use someone elses larger rig. My buds normal rig is an Alpha84, but now has a VX or FX little one, I cant remember which. He still keeps his Specter 120 for the tube jumps. He is the most careful skydiver I have ever seen. Always breaks off at 5k. You see the red and yellow dude in my picture beside my name, thats him.
Now he thinks he is getting a base rig, not. I will send him my little Hey Jude song. LOL If the kid doesnt call me every Tues I loze my mind with worry. Mother AirAnn