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HIGH1

Freaks, Fogheads, Hunters...oh My!

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Big wingsuit acrobatics including but not limited to XRW, back flying, camera, carving, flocking, docking and rolling...

Which manufacture can you count on when there isn’t enough suits in the sky’s to try? I like Wicked Wingsuits because you can try before you buy but at what cost will you buy a suit before trying...

Depending on your country and internal influence from DZ preference...One suit may be preferred over another without trying for comfort and durability while considering customer service and flight characteristics.

Tis choppy but which suit will meet your needs in the long term without switching out the clothing hanger every season?
How many jumps will you commit to one wingsuit before you switch teams?
Are you doing the reccomended minimum jumps before switching teams and/or advancing?
How many jumps have you dedicated to your current wingsuit before saying "Hey, I need a bigger piece of the humble pie"?
Experience from height of exit, time aloft, and jump numbers can all come down to one individual but judged by who? and When was the last timed you got schooled?

All three big wingsuits have a tail length between ankles and an arm wing length which extends between wrist to ankle.
shapes and sizes slightly different with each suit.
Non-rigid as well? Perhaps with Squirrel and PF but definitely not TS.
What distinguishes the performance and capability unless they are flown together and tested on sub-disciplines?

Too make your wingsuit life more deciptive; All three manufactures offer the smaller version
R-Bird 2
Funk
Carve

What distgunishes small and big wingsuit acrobatics besides the pilot?

Thank you for your open minded thought on the new age wingsuit market.
Here is the clickables...

http://phoenix-fly.com/portfolio/hunter/

http://squirrel.ws/wingsuits/freak

http://www.tonywingsuits.com/rbird2.html
Check your ego at the door. Stay humble.

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I really like the Foghead, the Carve, and the Funk. I've owned all three. I had issues with my handles on the Funk, so I sold it, but I liked the way it flew. I still have the other two.

I really didn't see much performance/acro difference between any of the three.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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Firstly, thanks for the love. ;)

It's a good question and if you want to do true acrobatics at the competition level you need to keep in mind the "fruity loop" move. It's a front loop and the tail on the suits you have listed will prevent most regular flyers from pulling one off

We had success in a T Bird and the Honey Badgers did well in S-Fly. The P3 a team had busted it nicely also.

There is a prototype in the works at TS to focus on modern acrobatics at the FAI and National level, and I expect there will be more across the board for next season.

It is exciting and fun stuff which makes a nice change from flocking and performance. This stuff is just growing and growing!!!

Bottom line is, don't buy an acro suit just yet and you might get a better model in the spring. If you don't want to compete then it isn't a factor.

Summer Rental special, 5 weeks for the price of 4! That is $160 a month.

Try before You Buy with Wicked Wingsuits - WingsuitRental.com

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HIGH1


Too make your wingsuit life more deciptive; All three manufactures offer the smaller version
R-Bird 2
Funk
Carve



I haven't tried Freak, but from the shape and based on ther experience with Squirrel suits, I would expect it to be quite different than Funk, so I wouldn't say Funk is the smaller version of Freak

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Freak is a completely different animal compared to the Funk or similar suits; so the Funk is a high performance intermediate class suit, and it feels just like that flying it. Freak on the other hand is a high performance class suit, you feel the Colugo2 power dna, only this suit has been tweaked to become extremely agile and absurdly easy to fly. That's how it feels flying it, comparing to the C2. Squirrel says that performance has been sacrificed a little in order to get these properties, but I have as good performance on the Freak as I have on the C2. I have extensive experience on the Funk and the C2 and I just got the Freak. So to help people get their heads around this; Funk is a flocking/acro/camera/instructor suit. The Freak is a purebred racing machine based on the C2, and invisible to the eye it has a lot of tweaks that adds loads of agility. Hope this helps, someone..

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birdynamnam

Freak is a completely different animal compared to the Funk or similar suits; so the Funk is a high performance intermediate class suit, and it feels just like that flying it. Freak on the other hand is a high performance class suit, you feel the Colugo2 power dna, only this suit has been tweaked to become extremely agile and absurdly easy to fly. That's how it feels flying it, comparing to the C2. Squirrel says that performance has been sacrificed a little in order to get these properties, but I have as good performance on the Freak as I have on the C2. I have extensive experience on the Funk and the C2 and I just got the Freak. So to help people get their heads around this; Funk is a flocking/acro/camera/instructor suit. The Freak is a purebred racing machine based on the C2, and invisible to the eye it has a lot of tweaks that adds loads of agility. Hope this helps, someone..



Thank you to birdynamnam, Skow, skwrl and Wicked Wingsuits for the detailed follow up.
It helps clear up smoke between all the acrobatic wingsuits available and the big question "What Distinguishes small and big wingsuit acrobatics besides the pilot?"

Yes, there is major differences with SHAPE, size and trim but really, There is six wingsuits in the acrobatic catagory. Small and Big.
Of Course, You can make the WS perform to those capabilities (X, Y, Z)but the WS may not give the proper feed vice using proper suit.
I can appreciate the Intermediate to Advance difference but everyone wants one go to WS for everything, Fun! Including me...

A wee bit of back ground... I have been flying a R-Bird for the past 240ish jumps with distinct focus on floppy fun fly...back, head down 2-way, flocking, WS vs track, barrel rolls, front loops and everything else within the realm of fun
My r-bird does Not have back vents which makes it unstable on back and HD but it does not stop the fun! Sure time aloft would be nice...but time while twisting, turning, learning and buring time would be better!

which is the right weapon? There is soo many suits flooding the market. TS and PF are the only manufactures to my knowledge who provide a try before buy (If your on the same continent) then The answer would be easy after trying a few suits.
Now, where is the next breath of fresh air with a different WS which can please all of our needs? I would like to focus more on fun-ner flying. A stable but..."fun" and agile suit in all axis of flight.

There is Soo many Wingsuits to choose from and soo little time in our short Canadian season.
I can appreciate constructive criticism but any clear and specific information could help a lot of other fun flyers.
Check your ego at the door. Stay humble.

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WickedWingsuits

Seems like it would be a cool idea to have an industry event with lots of suits to try with different organizers under different conditions.....



That would be cool, but I would put serious cash on it never happening, each manufacturer would need a demo fleet which no one has. Wicked's arsenal only goes up to the S-Bird and every manufacturer I've contacted (Squirrel, Tony, and Phoenix) about a big suit demo has responded with "we really don't have any demos."

With a manufacturer that will remain unnamed, I eventually got them to agree to send me a big suit "demo" but it came with "don't tell anyone we did this, we don't want people thinking we give out demos" and a whole slew of stipulations causing me to decline the offer and purchase from a different manufacturer. (Those involved I'm sure know what I'm talking about).

Regardless of being a much smaller market, much smaller companies, and having to have several different sizes of each suit; it would be really nice for the wingsuit companies to follow the lead of the canopy manufacturers and have a demo program for people looking to purchase. Wicked's rental fleet is nice but essentially stops at the S-Bird and only represents one manufacturer. I'm not suggesting a "rental" fleet but rather a "demo" fleet, i.e. one to two weekend demos for $50 or something, just enough to fly the suit, not 1 month for $200+ (e.g. Wicked).

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HIGH1


I can appreciate constructive criticism but any clear and specific information could help a lot of other fun flyers.



Anything mentioned will be better than your R-Bird (It use to be "intermediate" but now is kinda "beginner+.")

If you don't have to fight for lift and aren't flying with big suits the Havok Carve, Funk, and Swurve are all direct competitors with each other (different manufacturers, basically the same product). However unless you are super tall and thin XRW is out of the question.

If you need more lift and want the capacity to fly with big suits while still being able to do some acro and back flying, get the RPro or Freak, more or less direct competitors. (Ghost Hunter maybe, still too new to know) XRW is possible but will require a great deal of skill unless you are again, super tall and thin.

If you are looking for more XRW friendly and willing to sacrifice acro/back flying, the Venom Power, Xs, Apaches, and Rebels come into play.

If you want raw speed Jedis and anything with "race" in the name.

Any big suit can be shut down and flown with any small suit, even trackers, it just depends on the skill of the pilot, obviously the bigger the suit the more skill it requires.

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The following is purely my personal cynical opinion based on first hand experience and countless observations. Concerning all the "other" Tony Suits not mentioned.

Because you asked and because it frustrates the hell out of me...

Worth mentioning because it adds significantly to the confusion is that Tony vomits out models with unprecedented frequency and lack of market use before vomiting out yet another, some of which seem to compete with each other, and has a woefully inadequate website or description of what is even in production anymore (e.g. are scorpions still even made? Don't tell me yes because the order form is up because if that is the case I can still order a Nebula). The current website is a mashup of new stuff and bits and pieces that haven't changed in years. (All the result of a crazy old man with an enormous ego running the show).

Yes they make some good suits, but are 4 variations on the R-Bird all in production at the same time really necessary (particularly when the RPro has very little in common with the original)? I think not. He is just throwing stuff against the proverbial wall to see what sticks, and yes, every now an then there is a winner. There are RPros, R2B2s, R2s, Fogheads, etc etc ad nauseam. Every now and then I see something for sale second hand that was never advertised and I've never heard of, recently a "T/R-Bird."

So when it comes to Tony, you have to use a bit more discretion and find more info to understand what each model actually is, what is available, and what is actually in wide circulation or what was a very limited production/prototype released to the public.

I wager Tony may have more models available and in production at this time than all other manufacturers combined, that is not a compliment.

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I couldn't agree more. I mean Tony suits seem to be very good and of very good quality but I was always afraid to buy them as I didn't know what I would get.

E.g. description for Rebel and Jedei is the same on the site, so it's up to you to guess the difference, but you may be up for a surprise as e.g. C2 and Freak on the pictures look almost the same, and they are quite different.

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...a woefully inadequate website or description of what is even in production anymore...



This is where Squirrel have completely changed the game. A product information page that is up as soon as a suit is available for purchase with detailed photos, a full list of features and a description of flight characteristics, intended purpose, strengths and weaknesses that is unprecedented. S-Fly seem to have twigged to how important this is and are making a good effort but so far Tony and Phoenix don't seem to think it's important for a consumer to know that much about what their wingsuits do apart from 'this one's big,' 'this one's fast' or 'this one backflies' and they're wrong.

Tony has undoubtedly the biggest, fastest starting suit out there (which a few years ago would have been enough to shift tons of them) but it'll be killed in sales by the A2 because that's the one you can read about. The PF Sukhoi seen up close is an unrivalled display of perfectionism with a host of features and design tweaks aimed at optimising every single part of the suit but which you would never see from a photo of the whole suit and which I wager will never be highlighted on the PF site if or when the product page is ever put up there. So will people buy that or the C2 with its 15 itemised features in addition to detailed description?

Guys - you have the suits, you've done the work - just f*ing tell us about them!

(OT rant over :P )
Do you want to have an ideagasm?

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jakee

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...a woefully inadequate website or description of what is even in production anymore...



This is where Squirrel have completely changed the game. A product information page that is up as soon as a suit is available for purchase with detailed photos, a full list of features and a description of flight characteristics, intended purpose, strengths and weaknesses that is unprecedented. S-Fly seem to have twigged to how important this is and are making a good effort but so far Tony and Phoenix don't seem to think it's important for a consumer to know that much about what their wingsuits do apart from 'this one's big,' 'this one's fast' or 'this one backflies' and they're wrong.

Tony has undoubtedly the biggest, fastest starting suit out there (which a few years ago would have been enough to shift tons of them) but it'll be killed in sales by the A2 because that's the one you can read about. The PF Sukhoi seen up close is an unrivalled display of perfectionism with a host of features and design tweaks aimed at optimising every single part of the suit but which you would never see from a photo of the whole suit and which I wager will never be highlighted on the PF site if or when the product page is ever put up there. So will people buy that or the C2 with its 15 itemised features in addition to detailed description?

Guys - you have the suits, you've done the work - just f*ing tell us about them!

(OT rant over :P )


Very true, years ago there weren't many choices, so big and/or fast were all you needed to know and the biggest and fastest were undisputed, but now there are several suits that all compete for exactly the same role and who is the biggest or fastest probably has more to do with the pilot than the suit.

Squirrel has indeed changed the game, you see and hear first hand descriptions from professional pilots and get a sense of what it feels like to fly the suit. Based on my personal experience with the C2, their descriptions are exceedingly accurate. They have avoided overhyping their product and losing all credibility.
Squirrel also appears to have a much larger and more diverse group of pros they work with. Phoenix and Tony usually carry one or two high profile loyalists, Squirrel has over a dozen, and each one is a powerful marketing tool and R&D resource. (I'm just talking about what is readily visible to the public btw) Just imagine Phoenix with a dozen Jarnos or Tony with a dozen Jhonathans, changes the public appearance completely.

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jakee

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...a woefully inadequate website or description of what is even in production anymore...



This is where Squirrel have completely changed the game. A product information page that is up as soon as a suit is available for purchase with detailed photos, a full list of features and a description of flight characteristics, intended purpose, strengths and weaknesses that is unprecedented.



An up-to-date website being a 'game-changer' and 'unprecedented'?
I do agree that Squirrel has a nice website but that's not quite a revolution.

There is some nice info here on the Ridge:
http://sflyequipment.com/products-showroom/ridge/

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An up-to-date website being a 'game-changer' and 'unprecedented'?
I do agree that Squirrel has a nice website but that's not quite a revolution.



I reckon their sales figures would beg to differ.

Quote

There is some nice info here on the Ridge:



Ya think maybe that's why I namechecked S-Fly?;)

With that, the Cruise+ and the Jackdaw rig they've got some very nice stuff right now, and I hope the information they've made easily available helps them sell a bunch of them.
Do you want to have an ideagasm?

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Anachronist

Wicked's rental fleet is nice but essentially stops at the S-Bird and only represents one manufacturer. I'm not suggesting a "rental" fleet but rather a "demo" fleet, i.e. one to two weekend demos for $50 or something, just enough to fly the suit, not 1 month for $200+ (e.g. Wicked).



It is a valid observation. We have always tried to be clear that we are a "rental" company with the goal of keeping people flying while they decide on what suit they would like to purchase for the long term. We also avoid anything larger than an S-Bird because we feel a lot of time should be invested in an advanced suit before going to expert and most people will need to own that advanced suit to get the experience. So, we have just a few S-Birds for those waiting for their advanced suit to be made or that just have commitment issues.;)

A "demo" company has to come at the problem from a different direction and really has to stay on top of all the latest designs.

However, we are seeing and hearing the demand for a demo solution and are looking into options to help out. We are always happy to listen and I can be contacted here, via email or on our FB page.

Simon
Summer Rental special, 5 weeks for the price of 4! That is $160 a month.

Try before You Buy with Wicked Wingsuits - WingsuitRental.com

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WickedWingsuits

***Wicked's rental fleet is nice but essentially stops at the S-Bird and only represents one manufacturer. I'm not suggesting a "rental" fleet but rather a "demo" fleet, i.e. one to two weekend demos for $50 or something, just enough to fly the suit, not 1 month for $200+ (e.g. Wicked).



It is a valid observation. We have always tried to be clear that we are a "rental" company with the goal of keeping people flying while they decide on what suit they would like to purchase for the long term. We also avoid anything larger than an S-Bird because we feel a lot of time should be invested in an advanced suit before going to expert and most people will need to own that advanced suit to get the experience. So, we have just a few S-Birds for those waiting for their advanced suit to be made or that just have commitment issues.;)

A "demo" company has to come at the problem from a different direction and really has to stay on top of all the latest designs.

However, we are seeing and hearing the demand for a demo solution and are looking into options to help out. We are always happy to listen and I can be contacted here, via email or on our FB page.

Simon

Keep doing what you are doing. You are indispensable for people getting their first 10-20 WS jumps (myself included). I made my first 15 or so on a Wicked T-Bird. Thx btw ;)

The demo thing is up to each manufacturer, and people demo-ing from you to purchase from Tony would make for a weird relationship and unnecessary middleman-ness.

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You all have made valid points which I understand as a need for more variety in demos and the need for WS companies to have specific information about their suits for the buyer. The activity in helping through forums is great for anyone who reads and actions the words of wise.

Once upon a time, I had to rent from WWS (went from a R-bird > T-Bird > R-Bird) and it made a difference in my flying plus a benefit for visiting zhills because there was a wide selection of suits. I>S. Travis was a great coach who got me back on track, dialed up hidden skill and taught me critical drills.
The reason behind me making so many transitions between suits was to indentify any flaws in my flying...or the specific suit it self. It came down to small tweaks in body position...progressing too fast can be regressive, too.

I have found flying is 100% commitment. Its not to say, Lets jump out flat and happy...all of the time but really, Play with the suit and thats the commitment! In the face of danger (flat spin, line twist or whatever mal) we have to commit to the danger.
So, why not commit and play with the suit thus learn how to Unf!*k the danger! While learning to fly the RB (x, y, z) and feeling its behavior in different positions...it became apparent I was in the wrong suit for fun flying.
I have flown in many configurations including back fly, rolls, loops, carve but while i had the positions locked in, it was feeling unstable to me. Not to mention, I practiced all moves while rolling around on the packing mat before each flight. Focusing on awareness. Closing my legwing, feeling my arms, using arms and ailerons, lifting one leg at a time ETC

Maybe I need more than 240ish jumps in one suit to nail all body positions or maybe fly more consistently throughout the 6mth season but whatever the case, I need to feel the "Magic" of other suits. There is many to choose from...what is progression when there is variety?
Should I transition from R-Bird to funk, carve, RB2 or freak, hunter, foghead? It comes down to personal choice and safety but anyone jumping regularly and follows emergency drill procedures (grab handles in flight with legwing closed and fly stable, fly with one wing with one leg up in full flight and stable ETC)..should be able to fly any suit but at what cost do you risk safety for advancement?

I have spent time reading flight characteristics of the freak but after flying the foghead (1x flight of slow and stable but it felt playfully agile... I spent more of my time doing practice deployments) and knowing people who jump it on the reguarly basis...it would feel more comfortable to use the WS everyone else flys, right? haha
But why follow the sheep herd when everyone needs their own feed back on each suit before committing to hundreds of jumps. What is the one "go to WS" for everything in fun flying? I have not learned XRW or near the hundreds of jumps and experience, so anything below Awesomeness!

Everytime I get one step closer at buying a WS, I look at gauging myself back to a funk or carve... Its the drug everyone else is using without an over dose. It is a bad way to make decisions without trying the suit, first! but where does one go from here?
Check your ego at the door. Stay humble.

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***
What is the one "go to WS" for everything in fun flying?
***

Whatever you have fun in. No matter what suit, there is always someone who "just kills it in that ...". Fly a lot, and youll learn. If you havent learned to do about everything in 200 jumps on a suit, get some coaching, if this doesnt make a difference, consider that you just might suck at wingsuiting. Its not a knock, I suck at lots of stuff. Take a trip to Lodi and fly with lots of people for cheap. Flying with others always teaches a lot more than solos. Good luck, and just pick a suit and master it. For me, its the freak, but im still working a lot on the mastry part.

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Cool! Makes sense and now, everyone knows this information.
Like most canopies, WS could have a similar experimental periode of 200 Jumps becuase you never know how to pilot one specific WS over another unless you fly the [email protected]#k out of it.

At this point, Im caught up betwen the freak and foghead...The foghead because a few friends fly them and it would be better experience base to progress safely. The freak would be based off the unknown.
Does anyone have feed back pertaining to flights and learning with the Hunter, Freak or Foghead?
Check your ego at the door. Stay humble.

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