Great choice for a senior
Review by: elreg, 2012-02-13
I bought my Sabre 210 in 2006, after the sudden death of my first canopy. At the time, I had logged about 300 jumps over the course of more than twenty years, with long interruptions. So I was looking for a canopy that would be reliable and predictable, since I had mediocre experience. Also, I was considering doing fifty jumps per year, so anything too tricky or temperamental was out. I was not looking for the adrenalin rush as I land, I wanted something that could fly smoothly, straight, at half breaks, and with a little release in the last ten seconds, find the oomph to land softly. Ah, and also, not too expensive.
I decided for a Sabre after reviewing comments on dropzone.com, and having asked for advice on various DZs (in France). The Sabre had an excellent reputation.
I weigh 88-89 kgs (195 lbs). I thought 210 would be the right size (my previous, a seven cell, had been 220).
I bought one second hand, with about 600 jumps, pretty old (DOM 1991). I have done 180 jumps with it since.
Every jump has been a pleasure. It is fast, takes you long distances, is very easy to handle, I have found it very predictable in all circumstances.
I have read comments about brutal openings. Frankly, I am surprised. Either I am accustomed to ill treatment, or my canopy is reasonable. To be sure, I pack meticulously and I use little tricks to delay openings. Incidentally, I use a pull-out.
It may be those who experienced hard openings were not under the optimal size canopy. Just a suggestion.
As for landing, well, I find it easy. I do nothing of the exotic type, I am not attempting flares or swoops, I do a classic U pattern with half brakes, choose my landing spot and let it fly a wee bit before landing. I am not sure that is what the designers had in mind when they produced it, but it works for me. My style doesn't stun the boys or turn on the girls, but then, I am 53 and intend to live a long life jumping.
Last point: quality of fabric. Ahhh... that is something. My friends and experienced packers who have a look at my canopy, when they are told it was born more than twenty years ago, are astounded. Fair enough, it has been handled with care by its two owners, both in the air and on the ground, but there is a general feeling that "you don't make them anymore like that" - though this may be slightly insulting to PD, who, hopefully, go on producing with the same degree of perfection.
I do mostly accuracy nowadays, with another canopy (PD Zero, actually), but for style and the occasional RW, I intend to go on logging a few dozen jumps per year. I trust my beautiful, friendly, humble Sabre 1.