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Reviews for Katana Average Rating = 4.75/5 Average Rating : 4.75 out of 5

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Katana 120 @ 1.65 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: Dutcher, 2014-07-15

Coming from a Stiletto 135, I was advised an x-fire 119 to be my next canopy. Hated the frontriser-pressure on the Stiletto, and hoped for better on the Crossfire. I liked it very much, till someone let me jump a Katana 120. Now that's what low pressure is about! I instantly sold the X-fire and ordered a Kat 120 from PD-stock. I now have 70 jumps on it and a lot of what people say is true. It can be searchy on openings (X-fire opens like a dream, always, everytime) but I have only had one single twist so far.
It really dives like hell once you let it built up speed on fronts, and you better be careful: I've been a few times deep down in the corner because it tends to keep diving after you let go of the risers. The emergency-digging-out on toggles made me swing forward so fast I pitched up some 15 feet above the ground. Well, I survived without injury, and learned fast...
Now that I am somewhat used to it's characteristics, I start to feel confident about the Katana. This is really the modern way of flying. You have to be active and keen on every aspect of your flight. No more fun-360's and other aerobatics before you start your landing pattern. You'll be on the ground in no time if you do that. Is that a shame? No way!
When flown with dedication the Katana is very rewarding. Fast, clean, yet smooth turns, very predictable. The canopy is diving fast, but puts you exactly where you want to be. Turbulence, strong headwinds, no problemo: It cuts through the air like a razor. Don't be dazzled by it's high speed once it recovers. Don't brake in panick but start your flare gently and higher than you're used to. Once it starts to decelerate you can easily flare it to a full stop, surfing with your toes through the grass forever. I really love this canopy, but handle it with care and respect! Still a lot to learn, but getting there. Starting my 270's at 800 ft and ending up a little high, but that's good for now.

BTW: Have to keep my fullface closed, since I wear lenses. The relative wind blows them out of my eyes in a steep turn. A speedy ride, everytime. And big fun!

PS: Some extra advice on the openings. Katana has a reputation for it's unpredictable openings, easily leading to twists. After about 150 jumps I have found out wat works for me just right te prevent this.
1) Divide the slider between the line-groups and push it down firmly and tight to the sliderstops and keep it that way until you put your lines on the first stow.
2) Keep your stows fresh. Replace them when they start to wear out, don't wait for them to break. Line dump is a bad thing for openings, but the Katana really hates it.
3) And most impotant: perform a fast and "positive" throw-out of your pc, after that immediatly fix your shoulders and upperarms and look at the horizon. Try NOT to look up at your opening canopy before you feel the snivel has finished. Body position is everything.

Perform this way you will experience the Katana is a very smooth, somewhat slow opening canopy (900 ft is normal) that keeps heading quite well and is a relief for your back. Stressful openings are often caused by fear of line-twists, resulting in a quick head-up and/or shoulders-turned bodyposition, making the opening progressively worse.


Game changer. 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: Arcticanalog, 2014-04-08

I bought a 135 loading it at 1.64. I clearly didn't know anything about good flare before getting underneath this wing. Transitioning from rears to toggles is an absolute pleasure. Just when I think I used everything up on the rears, the breaks make any swoop a nice soft step off the curb. I could never really get too much harness input on my sabre2 either. I can basically spiral this thing with my breaks stowed. The openings are in no way as bad as everyone says. I was terrified at first. I've put 100 jumps on it and it's only twisted up on me once which was definitely packing error. For the most part, despite the sometimes searchy-snivelly openings, they are on heading. I dig it and plan on jumping it for sometime to come.


Katana 97 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: Rigless, 2011-09-26

So I got myself a Katana 97 loaded at around ~1.5, coming off a Safire2 129. It's truly a high performance wing.

Openings require good body position if you don't want to get into linetwists and with such a small wing you really don't want to! So be careful and be ready cause this is a demanding one.

Once open it flies like a dream, it is true that it's very ground hungry, with fronts it dives like a beast, super easy, practically no pressure risers, contrary to what others say very good range on rears, got me from a long spot no problems, though not much altitude left for any HP turn after that.. But hey you can't always have everything. Also has a very powerful flare that starts early.

Overall an amazing canopy, I've got nothing bad to say against it, it's just that it's a high performance canopy and demands careful attention to every bit of the flight, but it's designed that way.

Katana 170 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: erdnarob, 2010-10-31

Opening are very soft and consistent. Average (on 10 jumps) vertical distance for opening is 600 ft calculated with data obtained from my Vigil download. A lot of fun to fly even at low speed. I load it at 1.65. No problem for landing even with no wind at all. The best flare I have seen. Packers love it for packing. The Katana is soft and pliable when flying, not a stiff piece of metal above you like some other canopies, long toggle range giving you more precision, easy on toggles. People I have met flying a Katana feel about the same. Nobody so far regret it. Very docile canopy when flown conservatively but with a full potential if you want a challenge for swooping for instance. I have now about 320 jumps on it.

Katana 107 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: jvaliente7, 2010-02-11

loading it @ 1.81 it flies pretty smooth, nice dives and light toggle and risers, when in the corner responsive enough to make safe landings with toggles. Its is pretty fast so can get back from distances to drop zone on brakes.


get one if your looking for the next step 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: 2ndgensteinke, 2009-12-09

Love my Katana, great recovery ark, and great flare even in the end, loaded at 1.5. Great "next step" canopy, already looking for another one as backup rig

Katana 120 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: bzreel01, 2008-12-12

32 year old Male 135 lbs
485 jumps
45 on Katana 120
3 years in the sport

I really enjoy this canopy it is a great step up from a sabre 135. I feel it is not to advanced for my skill level. The openings are great and on heading but they are a little slow for me... like 1200 feet to open i'd rather be open in under 900 feet. Thats just me tho.I am learning to do high preformance landings and so far I have not been in the corner with my Katana 120...If you feel you are ready for a step up I feel this is a great choice.

Review 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: serge32, 2008-11-06

I have about 1000 jumps on a katana and obviously its a nice canopy when its open. I used to have none heading openings as well but now i installed the lazy bag system which provides you with a little harder openings than before(which is still nice n comfy on a katana) but they are on heading. I think the rest was mentioned in the other reviews already

Last step before the Velo 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: meinert, 2008-10-30

Had my Katana for a couple of hundreds jumps...was coming from a Sabre2-120, which i loved, but it was very hard to hit the "sweet-spot" coming out of my 270 because of its natural recovery-arc. Furthermore the riser pressure of the Sabre is pretty hard doing 270-turns.
Jumped a Katana 120 for a while getting used to the canopy - which is completely different from the Sabre: Much lighter riser pressure, more responsive on harness (doing all of my turn on harness now), easy to keep in a dive when getting out of a turn to high an still getting the gate. Now I jump a KA107 and I am still in love...

Only con is the openings....they are soft..thats for sure....but often off heading (everything between 0 to 360 degrees - if 360 degrees of heading opening actually can be called of heading :-)

Katana 83 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: tonka, 2008-03-26

Usually jump a Competition Cobalt 85.

Demoed a Katana 97 and 83.
83 opened and flew much better.
Basically it flies better at 1.9-2.0+
Put 25 jumps on each canopy.
Review is based on the Katana 83.

Trash pack. Shake it out-No flaking.
Shuffle nose in a little bit.
Pull slider Out

Sweet smooth on heading.
Not too fast but not slow.
Never wanted to spin up or jerk me around.
Easy to steer during snivel using harness unput.
Smooth opening for such an agressive canopy.

Very steep trim. Canopy wants to be on the ground.
Long spots are a little trouble because it still sinks in brakes or on rears.
Cant hang out and wait for others to land- Falls out of the sky too fast.
Very stable and fun to fly.
Fairly hard to stall using toggles.
Hard to stall on rear risers.
Not super fast responsive but thats good. Makes for smooth flying.
Any more responsive would be too much on such an agressive canopy.

Very light front riser pressure and moderate rear riser pressure.
Harder to plane out using rears that my Competition Cobalt.
Keeps speed and a dive very well.
Swooping into the wind is no problem-
Cuts right through the wind.
On the 83 loaded at 2.0+ started 360 turn at 800-1000ft. Dives like crazy.
Come out of turn at 200+ feet and put pressure on rears right away.
Planes out very nicely on rears using this technique.
If you are late on the rears use toggles because it will not plane out right away on rear risers.
Can hold double fronts to keep in a dive if needed.
Not a forgiving canopy.
Has good flare.
Not quite as much flare as my Cobalt and Competition Cobalt.
At higher speeds and correct dive altitudes there is much more flare.
Lower speed- Decent flare. (Enough to have a nice stand up but you can feel the need for more)
Low turn=Not much stopping power. Dont do it because you will not pull it out of the dive even if you are deep on the toggles.
270 turn worked best for me. @600+ft
Whether doing a slow carve or a fast dive swoops are great. Fast dive and then hard on rears makes for super fast swoop. Carve makes for a long smooth and fast swoop.

Had to do an aviodance braked approach and landing. Landed much better than expected. Almost half brakes until full flare and it still landed me softly.

Canopy can be jerky if the transition from rears to toggles is not smooth.
Just fly it smoothly.
Jerky Motions(Rears and toggles)=Loss of speed and shoter swoop.
Not much or really any running out landings.
Flies until its almost stopped.

Awesome canopy.
Swoop machine.
If you like to open low then the spot better be good because you will be on the ground shortly.
Most agressive canopy I have flown.
Approaching the dive and long recovery of the Velocity.
Great canopy to try with 750+ jumps and good canopy control and progression.

Not a good idea if you are not current or dont have the swoops mastered on something else.
Competition Cobalt is a good transition canopy to the Katana.

Main negative aspect is that it doesnt fly as well at slow speeds as my Competition Cobalt.
The Cobalt will continue to fly going slow and keep gliding at that slow speed.
(End of a swoop)
Once the Katana starts to die out it will lose the speed and the swoop is over. Still flies well at that slow speed but comes to a stop sooner.

Swoops were longer in distance but seemed shorter in time than my Cobalt.
Meaning it is much faster and covers ground in a swoop very fast.

Great product from the best in the biz. A+ Canopy

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