A great introduction and a partner for life!
Review by: C00KIE, 2006-09-26
I have not jumped any other wingsuit as yet, so I review from a limited perspective. However, I can vouch, that this is a superb choice for a starter. The suit is easy to hook up and unhook, easy to check in the plane, and really takes a lot of stress out of the flight-line check stage leaving you free to concentrate on the jump. Similarly the suit feels so stable in the air, instantly, that it is easy to relax (really relax!) and start playing with the performance. I have around 50 jumps on this suit now, but started throwing it around after 15-20 simply because it has given me so much confidence. The suit is really quick to recover after going unstable. The wings are easy to pull manoeuvres such as barrel roles, loops, etc and if all goes a bit funky, just ball up and come back out to re-inflate in an easy smooth stable position again - it's wonderful for this! The only cons I can add here are that I am struggling a little with back flying, and I'm thinking it might be the fact that a majority of all the air venting it on the front (arms), and also the cut away can turn in to a bit of a fumble, as I found out one day after trying it out of curiosity rather than emergency. However, saying that, the suit is so solid that it's hard to imagine ever needing to cut the arms, and even so, something you should be aware of rather than be concerned about. No big deal.
I've flown with Vampire 2, GTI, S3, S6 and maybe a few others and found the performance equal, if not a little better on a few occasions. The lift you can get out of it is quite surprising and once you put your shoulders and head down in to speed it can really shift. I have only ever been out-run by a Vampire and the guy was a superb flier and I had about 10 jumps at the time so...I can forgive myself for that! But next time...no chance! I get the feeling with this suit that it really is the flier doing the work, and not the material.
And that's the other thing, being a mono-wing, I really get the feeling that my body is determining the flight, and not the suit. What I mean is that I'm not fighting with various bits of it, such as left arm wing, right arm wing, leg wing, etc - you just shift your weight to make it move, kinda like harness-flying a canopy. Very smooth! And thus, much easier to recover from a tumble, too.
Once again, I can only write from a limited perspective but I can say that this has been great for me as an introduction and going forward. It is not something I can see myself tiring of either. When I asked for a recommendation on which suit to buy, a good friend of mine immediately said ‘S-Fly’ and for once, it is a recommendation that has withstood the test of time, so I’m keen to recommend it to others. As a first wingsuit, I am just so glad I had the S-Fly because it is so hassle-free and such a good performer, that I had no stress getting in to the sport. I watch people starting wingsuit today and it amazes me the level of anxiety they get in to during their first few jumps (and some never really get over it, it seems!) and I dare to say that you will never get that from this suit. It’s a real confidence builder!