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plaiskool64

Storm Vs Epicene

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I demoed both canopies last summer during the same event, managed to put about a dozen jumps on each, on both 150 and 135. The Pilot7 was the hybrid type.

I personally found both to have short and better openings than my Storm 150, on which I had about 400 jumps. Landings are fine with either, they all fly slightly different but all three canopies recover from a dive very fast and need varied degrees of robust input.

I ended up buying the WinX 135 and selling my Storm.

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Thanks for the feedback.

If you don't mind me asking, what did you like better about the winx?

Also, did you demo the regular or lightweight winx?

Last question, how small did they pack compared to the storm 150?

Thanks a lot!

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I chose the winX because in terms of openings and landings I found it to be marginally better than the Pilot7. Though I would have been happy (as happy as one can be flying a 7-cell) with the Pilot7.

I demoed the regular WinX, this was last summer.

The regular winX 150 packed pretty much the same as the Storm 150, the hybrid Pilot7 packs smaller and so does the light weight winX, I understand.

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Having jumped hundreds of jumps in many different f-111 7 cell canopies that I owned, and thus knowing how those will have noticeably degrading performance typically starting from aprox 50 jumps - I chose to stay on ZP. For more than a thousand wingsuit jumps, I used the SA2 mostly, then I moved to the Storm150 which was marginally better at openings. I knew that the Pilot would provide better openings, but I never got me a Pilot don't know why. I demoed a Winx150 and immediately ordered one. Openings are fabulous, that's all. Compared to the Storm IMO it has better flying characteristics, has much better flare, and on top of that it packs 10% less. And that is one small packing canopy. So I am finally having a wonderful canopy for wingsuit flying, that I also like "just to fly". For terminal openings, it also opens smoothly and byw it feels soft also.

I am sure the Pilot7 is also great, as it has been developed for wingsuit flying - just like the Winx. I heard from some of my friends that the Pilot7 had some brisk openings though.

So this "perfect" wingsuit canopy discussion, while it is true you should demo before you buy, can be narrowed down to the two current ZP contenders for the most people. If you want to have a non-ZP canopy you must also think about getting some more sqft's and thus upsize, so even though hybrids and f-111's pack much smaller than zp, you will then have to upsize in most cases and thus the packvolume goes up again. I know there are some folks out there who will now say, nonono you just have to frontriser it... But for wingsuiting, I think it is a must to have a canopy that can land you softly flying just straight in, might come handy some day!

I strongly recommend the Winx. Feel free to PM me for any questions

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I would agree with everything said here. I myself own a epicene and just know that the lifespan is much shorter than say a ZP canopy. To me, it all comes down to what you value more. When I bought my canopy, I asked myself, what do I value more? buying a new canopy every 500 jumps but have the peace of mind that when i pitch, i no longer fear having to fight line twists or spinning on my back; or do i value having a canopy that i can buy that will last me 1000+ flights and the openings will be a little more unpredictable.

I dreaded flying big wingsuits for that matter. I stopped the whole ABCD method of deployment after a couple hundred jumps on wingsuits and started dumping with arms out legs extended after a flare and it will give you wonky openings and will lead to cutaways eventually on ZP canopies. The epicene basically got rid of this fear and I actually look forward to my openings because of how awesome they are! 50+ jumps on the canopy and have never had any issues, always on heading

It is ZP nature that the canopy will have much less predictable openings, however the material will last for a very very long time and have much better performance in flight and while landing. It is also better for long spots although to be honest you shouldn't be landing off in a wingsuit if you're responsible.

F-111 or 0-3cfm is definitely shorter lifespan, however the openings are very predictable and quick, which is key to having a lesser chance of linetwists rather than letting the canopy sit back there forever trying to inflate. Openings are on the quicker side, but good technique on flaring before deployment will grant you a soft opening.

Pilot7 from what i have heard and seen is a great canopy, however it still is part ZP and that gets me away from it after having jumped a hybrid like it in the past. the openings are definitely quicker but nowhere near as quick as a f111 0-3cfm canopy. If you value doing all parts of skydiving, I would recommend you get something like this, it gives you the best you can get in terms of Wingsuit, and belly deployments Roll the tail tighter during belly deployments and lesser on wingsuit and this will be the perfect all around canopy for you

Winx I have heard great things about it however seen videos of deployments and again, longer snivel. It comes in all ZP or all ultralight ZP.

Spectre i have jumped myself for about 200 or so jumps and it was a great canopy but i had to pack it to open quicker.

Jumped a storm twice and openings were not bad for a ZP canopy however it is very ground hungry. Ive flown side by side with my buddy after deployment and he unstows his brakes and off he vanishes into the green below me. If you enjoy canopy flight a lot this may be the canopy for you as you can swoop the shit out of this thing and have a lot of fun.

Epicene is basically a base canopy just slowed down on openings a bit. The flare is poor compared to ZP canopies all you need to do is give it a nice flare about 50 feet off the ground to build up some speed and you can land it straight in no problem, even on no wind days.

It really comes down to how many jumps do you plan to do per year, can you afford a 2100 canopy every 500 jumps, and what do you value most in a canopy? Longevity and fun or a bit boring but predictable? everyone values different things. Hope this was helpful

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GoneCodFishing

Quote

I actually look forward to my openings because of how awesome they are!



I pretty much stopped paying attention after that



Damn didn't know it was wrong for me to express how I feel about my canopy, while still staying positive throughout my entire post on every other canopy on the market and recommending variety not bashing on other canopies.

Peace love positivity to you :)

Also OP I forgot to mention, try to test out all the canopies before you buy one. Nothing like your own feelings at the front of your decision. Flock & Dock 2017 will be a great place to test out all these canopies, I'm sure every canopy in this thread will be there and people would be happy to help you out.

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I'll echo what some other folks have said about this, it's not the canopy, it's the pilot. The Sabre 2 (of a comparable wingloading) has (arguably) the most powerful flare of any of the lightly tapered "intermediate" 9 cell canopies. If you need to run out your landing either the wind is currently at your back, or you're doing it wrong. Using a really definite 2 stage flare (super quick to the shoulders, then slow to complete shutdown) will have you walking out your landings 100% of the time. That said, no matter what you do the openings will be slightly unpredictable, and I wouldn't really recommend a Sabre 2 as a wingsuit canopy. I haven't had a single line twist in hundreds of freefall jumps on this canopy, but I still find it surges at least 90 degrees on most openings.

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KBUDA

I'll echo what some other folks have said about this, it's not the canopy, it's the pilot. The Sabre 2 (of a comparable wingloading) has (arguably) the most powerful flare of any of the lightly tapered "intermediate" 9 cell canopies. If you need to run out your landing either the wind is currently at your back, or you're doing it wrong. Using a really definite 2 stage flare (super quick to the shoulders, then slow to complete shutdown) will have you walking out your landings 100% of the time. That said, no matter what you do the openings will be slightly unpredictable, and I wouldn't really recommend a Sabre 2 as a wingsuit canopy. I haven't had a single line twist in hundreds of freefall jumps on this canopy, but I still find it surges at least 90 degrees on most openings.




How many wing suit jumps do you have on this canopy?
BASE 1519

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None. I was mostly replying to a previous statement concerning the weak flare of the Sabre 2. My comments regarding the Sabre 2 not being a good wingsuit canopy were based on the assumption that irregular freefall openings would universally translate to irregular wingsuit openings.

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If you are referring to my post, I did not say it had a weak flare. I've owned a number of canopies and my Sabre2 was my favorite in terms of flare.

My friend had issues with the canopy retaining too much forward speed. Some people like that. I certainly liked it about my Sabre2. But I'm younger and in better athletic shape.

Like I said, try a few canopies, find one you like. What one person likes another won't.

Also consider canopies behave very different at different wingloadings. This is very evident with the Storm. Load it up and harness turns become extremely aggressive.

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The epicene is fantastic if the ONLY thing you care about is a smooth on heading open and ease of packing. The landings/flare are terrible on that canopy. My ankles were sore after every weekend of jumping that canopy



It flares great, with speed, you're just not swooping it ;)
Jump more, Bitch less.
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I was fortunate to meet and speak to a VERY experienced WS pilot last week whilst making a few jumps at Z-hills. Some things to ponder on OUR goals for happy WS opening:

Let's start from the ground up. The pack job. How are you stowing the lines? elastics and bag type? I have no experience with stowless/semi stowless but clearly this is in my opinion the way to go. Dynamic corners on the container? Bridle length and PC size...?

While we are "still on the ground", what size WS are we jumping?

The other greatest influence on opening is obviously speed/body position come pitch time. I personally am still working on this. In the past I've simply flown flat and slowed down while trying to maintain heading and keep head and shoulder up right. This however opens up the burble issue. Air moving over the top side is crucial for getting and keeping the PC where it belongs. How do we negate this? Simple, building that speed up prior to pulling and giving a nice flare, hopefully your body position is head and upper body up right and let it fly.

So what have I missed? PLEASE lets keep this going and get our learn on! For the record I started WSing with a 190 sabre 1, put about 50 jumps on it and scored a new new Storm 170. I also have a new Sky Snatch. That being said I STILL suffer from line twists from time to time. For me I believe my issue is the pack job and double line stowing every bite... Which of course I'll be fixing...

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It is also very important what you are doing after the pitch when parachute is opening. It is crucial to keep a good, symmetrical position during that time. I personally like to put my hands to the chest as soon as I feel the canopy pulling.

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timski

So what have I missed? PLEASE lets keep this going and get our learn on! For the record I started WSing with a 190 sabre 1, put about 50 jumps on it and scored a new new Storm 170. I also have a new Sky Snatch. That being said I STILL suffer from line twists from time to time. For me I believe my issue is the pack job and double line stowing every bite... Which of course I'll be fixing...



I had a Problem with linetwists quite often and some Point I realized that I always looked up during opening and that this had helped to Twist somehow.
Since then I stopped looking up during opening and had no Twist anymore (sure hope it stays this way ;-) )

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timski

I was fortunate to meet and speak to a VERY experienced WS pilot last week whilst making a few jumps at Z-hills. Some things to ponder on OUR goals for happy WS opening:

Let's start from the ground up. The pack job. How are you stowing the lines? elastics and bag type? I have no experience with stowless/semi stowless but clearly this is in my opinion the way to go. Dynamic corners on the container? Bridle length and PC size...?

While we are "still on the ground", what size WS are we jumping?

The other greatest influence on opening is obviously speed/body position come pitch time. I personally am still working on this. In the past I've simply flown flat and slowed down while trying to maintain heading and keep head and shoulder up right. This however opens up the burble issue. Air moving over the top side is crucial for getting and keeping the PC where it belongs. How do we negate this? Simple, building that speed up prior to pulling and giving a nice flare, hopefully your body position is head and upper body up right and let it fly.

So what have I missed? PLEASE lets keep this going and get our learn on! For the record I started WSing with a 190 sabre 1, put about 50 jumps on it and scored a new new Storm 170. I also have a new Sky Snatch. That being said I STILL suffer from line twists from time to time. For me I believe my issue is the pack job and double line stowing every bite... Which of course I'll be fixing...



Guys, gonna drop some realness, all these sponsored people are trying to sell you stuff, or are so far down the hype rabbit hole they can't see the Sun anymore.

It is all about packing and body position. There is no magic one technique or size that fits all, you just have to be aware of what you are doing and notice what works and what doesn't. And no matter what equipment you have or how you pack, you are going to have a wonky opening every now and then.

Also, some of the stuff that migrates over from BASE is helpful, but they make sacrifices too that aren't suitable for skydiving. If you wanna talk BASE, there is BaseJumper.com for that. Otherwise, why isn't everyone free packing BlackJacks with mesh sliders on skydives? (Done it, it sucks).

You can wingsuit EVERY 9-cell on the market, that isn't geared toward swooping, from EVERY manufacturer, reliably. Yes some are more forgiving than others but there is no magic bullet.

For instance, double stows, sure they are good and I had good results until I started jumping a big suit, then after my flare slowed me down to hop and pop speeds, I've have better results single stowing; but that is just me, with how I fly and how I pack. Someone else on the same gear could have better results double stowing.

Another "for instance," I really like my semi-stowless bag, but I jump with some folks that use a traditional bag who consistently have great openings.

There is only one consistently important gear thing that comes up, bridal length. Once you get bigger than a mid range suit (Funk, Havok, etc) a 6ft bridal has a large probability of causing hesitation. Is there a diffrence between 9 and 11ft bridals, probably not, and you can burble both of them with a crap throw (seen and done it).

Learn to fly the opening and pitch properly, and also take a extra couple minutes to pack well and consistently, then all this wonky opening stuff goes away.

Consistently good openings I've had with 7 and 9 cells on large wingsuits include:

Navigator (don't ask, lol)
Spectre
Saber2
Firebolt
Pulse
Prime
Pilot
Storm* was wonky for me, apparently it happens to some folks, but too many people love it to deny it works well.

So demo a canopy just like any other and pick one that you like its flying and opening characteristics (not WS related), and if you can't WS it, the problem is you, not the canopy.

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Agree with the general statements you write here. Especially that when you upsize to a larger wingsuit, then you must pay attention to PC, bridlel ength (8-9 feet), linestowes and main tray open corners. Flying a small wingsuit there are seldom problems and you get away with a lot. Upsizing the wingsuit changes that sometimes for people. It is important to fly your deployments, not just curl up and dump, but to keep flying after pitching. That has all been said many times, and there is a nice article available on the topic.

I do however not at all agree with you on the canopy developments we have seen lately. Canopies like Epicene, Pilot-7 and Winx, that has all been developed with wingsuiting in mind are noticeably better for wingsuiting than the usual suspects. But then again they are not *required* as you can certainly just use Sabre2's, Pilot's etc especially if you just fly smaller wingsuits. In any case, for those who look to replace their canopy, I would highly recommend to demo those mentioned here. Demoing is the way forward. For me it was an eye-opener honestly, but I also do understand people who are happy flying the normal 9 cells and who do so with no problems, commenting that those are as good.

At World's we had a competitor, off course flying a large wingsuit, use double stowing and I noticed he chopped a twice in a row due to too many line twists. I recommended him to go for single stowing, he then switched to tubestowes and the line twists disappeared completely. It was a no brainer really as we all flare the crap out of these high performance wingsuits so his d-bag was wobling/spinning away like crazy during deployments. But then a semi stowless bag offer better line protection, so in this case that would be the best as a next gear upgrade step.

When flying larger wingsuits, another no brainer is to have the rigger open up the main tray corners, can be done without any visual side effects on rigs like Vector, Mirage, Icon, etc. Doesn't look too good on Javelin's, but Sunpath does have an upgrade available with some installable folding corner-flaps

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I think a stowless bag is a pretty awesome way to improve openings as well. I was getting some weird hesitations intermittently with both my sabre1 and then my epicene, which obviously wouldn't have anything to do with a canopy specifically. Got a stowless bag, no problems since.

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hjumper33

I think a stowless bag is a pretty awesome way to improve openings as well. I was getting some weird hesitations intermittently with both my sabre1 and then my epicene, which obviously wouldn't have anything to do with a canopy specifically. Got a stowless bag, no problems since.



Would have been interesting to see a back facing video. Maybe the stows were hanging it up some? Do a double stow test for posterity?

Someone I know was having hesitations on a X-Bird and turned his GoPro around, turned out the PC was pulling the pin and the bridle (6ft) going to full extension but didn't have the umph to pull the bag out. The PC was inflated the whole time but we suspect in the tail end of the burble and experiencing slow air flow. I think the record was 6 seconds with the pin pulled before extraction.

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Yah before I switched to a larger pilot chute (32" apex vented base pilot chute modified with a kill line) I had a few of those where I would pitch and start waiting. I don't wear a camera skydiving normally, but at ACES a couple year ago, I got some of my rear mount footage and noticed some pretty fucked up things happening behind me. With big ol pilot wing suits, I definitely think that the pilot chute/bridge/dbag combination are even more important than the canopy. Nice docile canopy, as big as you can fit in your container, also helps.

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I jump a Swift 1 (which is mid-size wingsuit) with a Safire2 170sqft (9-cell) and I'm pretty happy with my openings. I totally agree that with good body position and symmetrical pull, the chance of having twists is greatly reduced. I still get - only some times - sudden 90-180 turns though at the last deployment stage, but I correct them quickly if needed. I believe they might be related to my packing technique, since I pack for long openings and the canopy spends more time "searching". But maybe 9-cell canopies are more prone to those sudden off-headings at the end of the deployment, compared to 7 cells?
I also use a semi-stowless bag with 4 locking stows, single stowing with microstows, and a SkySnatch pilot chute.
A friend of mine actually moved from a Storm 135 to an Epicene 150 (or 170, I forgot) because the Storm would nosedive him on openings without stopping by itself, until he ended up with 2 cutaways when combined with line twists. I think that if he had upsized the same Storm to 170, he wouldn't have those issues anymore either.
And all those examples of happy wingsuiters who combined switching to WS canopy with upsizing, are a bit unclear since more than one thing got changed in there. I personally believe that keeping a low wingloading is more relevant than the canopy type.

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People tend to overestimate packing quite much. Couple seconds after canopy is brought to line stretch the way how you've packed a canopy is completely not relevant. (unless you did some mistakes while packing). At this point the canopy is in a shape that is formed by lines and the slider. Any off-heading or canopy diving in the final stage is caused by line trim (or out-of-trim lines) or body position.

For the last 2 years and few hundred jumps the only things I do while packing (assuming canopy is not in a knot) is giving a good shake, straightening and counting the tunnels, yanking the nose (which brings lines to their groups) and quartering the slider. I have packed all kinds of canopies like this (Navigator, Spectre, Pilot, JFX, Scirocco, Leia, Petra etc) and all open just fine.

So if you keep your lines straight, packjob symmetrical and sit straight in the harness, every single modern canopy in the world will open just fine (or how manufacturer designed it).

Keep it simple stupid!

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