Great wingsuit canopy!
Review by: hedge, 2013-03-09
Why I got the storm...
I've got ~450 Jumps now. Before I got the storm, I did a bit more than 300 jumps on a Sabre2 170, which I think was the perfect entry-level canopy for me. I spent those 300 jumps doing a Flight1 canopy course and working actively on my canopy piloting skills. When I was able to safely and repeatedly execute precise, clean and smooth 90° frontriser-turns for landing I decided it was time for a new canopy, and I selected Crossfire2, Sabre2 and the Storm as possible candidates for my second canopy. The Crossfire would have been the most powerful choice, but given my low experience (~350 jumps at that time), I decided it would be better to get a more docile canopy that would be more forgiving if I ever fuck up a landing (Murphy says I will at one point). I already knew the Sabre2 (and sincerely loved it), but it would be nice to experience a new canopy, and since I do a lot of wingsuiting, I decided it would be a good idea to get a Storm 135 as a next canopy.
I load the canopy around 1:1.35 and have put a little more than 100 jumps on it.
Quick and responsive, with a very long range on inputs. You can fly them quick and responsive, and also slow and altitude saving. The brake setting seems quite deep, so when you unstow the brakes the canopy goes into a relatively deep dive, which you will get used to quickly.
On the fist jumps I quickly noticed is that its a lot more responsive on harness input than I expected from a 7 cell, you can easily turn the canopy around with harness right after opening with your harness while the brakes are still stowed, which is great for wingsuiting. The counter part of this is of course that especially after downsizing, you might sometimes perform accidental 180° turns during inflation, I learned to control this after a couple of jumps though.
I found the openings to be generally nice, it's got a longish snivel, but the last inflation phase tended to be a little bit brisk, which I didn't like, because I'm jumping heavier cameras frequently. So I tried to find a solution in packing, and guess what, I found it. During the last 50 jumps I stopped flaking the canopy during packing. I only check the lines, give the canopy a decent shake and directly quarter the slider. I do not even touch the inside of the canopy in any way. This gave me a noticeably (!) softer second inflation phase during opening, and safes me a couple of minutes while packing, which is great!
As I mentioned earlier, I'm very interested in learning the basics of high-performance-canopy control, as I simply like the learning process, and it's tons of fun! At the first landings I found it a lot harder to load the storm with power, than it was on the Sabre2. Although 2 sizes larger, I had much more power and longer swoops on the Sabre2 170 with 90° turns. This on one side seems to be due to not yet perfect technique and on the other side the much shorter recovery arch of the storm (7 cell - thicker profile). I managed to refine my technique a lot during the last 100 jumps on the storm, but the first jumps were very frustrating. I had to put down my setup a lot lower than I was used to from the Sabre2 (which I found scary). Since the last 100 jumps I got used to the quicker recovery, and while refining the technique I could put my setup back up to less scary heights, but still, the storm loses the power much quicker than the sabre2 (no real surprise, is it?).
This is a con if you wanna have long swoops, but then swooping is not the reason why you would get a Storm. On the pro side, the short recovery-arch makes me very comfortable landing in tight spots with that canopy, since I know I can get it to a stop very quickly and safely.