Which gear?

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Hi all, I'm thinking about getting some new gear and so I'm looking for some advice. Usually I just jump the stuff I have, so I don't really know the rest that's on the market, especially the new stuff.
I mostly jump big cliffs, very often with my wingsuit, so I don't need stuff especially designed for low jumps.
I was told there are some wingsuit-rigs out now - does anyone have experience with them?
I think a canopy should have
- on-heading, soft openings ("soft" is relative... I just don't like brutal openings)
- low forward speed and good slow-flight-characteristics (more important to me than good glide ratio)
- good flare as well as the ability to sink it in

Thanks for your input, Obi

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mostly jump big cliffs, very often with my wingsuit, so I don't need stuff especially designed for low jumps

That calls for a two pin.

My top two a the Perigee Pro and the Gargoyle. You can't go wrong with either one.

I have a Pro and I think it's the shit.
Memento Audere Semper


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Well, of course I won't go Velcro...
I thought about the WSXtreme. Any experience here?
What about all the new canopies? Troll? With MDV? Flik? Black Jack? The list is long.
Tom, as far as I know you have quite some experience with different canopies. What do you think suits my needs best?
Of course any other input is apreciated as well :)

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I agree with Blair. Need to look no further than what Mr Phoenix Fly Robert Pecnik is jumping. He jumps a wsXtreme from Morpheus and a Troll by Attair. Stane the founder of Attair is also a very avid base jumper especially big walls and works closely with Robi on perfecting the Troll. If you notice some of Robi's super low pulls you can tell he has lots of faith in the wsXtreme and Troll. No gear fear there. Might want to shoot morpheus an email or a call.

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If you notice some of Robi's super low pulls you can tell he has lots of faith in the wsXtreme and Troll.

I have the same faith in my tried and tested P Pro / Mojo and I pull just as low with it. Still, as technology advances, I want to know what else is there when I look for new stuff. The rig is quite easy to choose, I like the idea of a flat rig for the ws. I once got my hands on a Gargoyle and it looked really nice - I guess they put the same quality into the WSX. But when it comes to canopy-choice it gets much harder.
First decision is vented vs non-vented: for big walls and ws I surely don't need to go vented, but I do other stuff as well, so it might be nice to have the vents. What is the experience with wingsuits and vented canopies? Are the openings ok or too hard? What about terminal tracking?
I'm quite sure I don't want zp topskin, that's what I meant with "designed for low stuff".
Then there are some newer airfoils. Everybody is speaking about the Troll and I hear only good things about it from the people jumping it. But most of these people have never jumped other canopies and I remember seeing a couple of very nasty openings some years ago. I also remember some old posts by Tom where he very much discourages the use of non-MDV-Trolls because of unpredictable openings. Maybe they have adressed this problem at Atair, I don't know, that's why I'm asking here. I also hear that the Troll has quite high forward speed. How does it behave when you dial in your brake-settings so it doesn't move too much after opening? Do the openings stay clean?
I hear very different things about the Ace. Some really like it, some others say it tends to open off-heading. What's with that? What about the Black Jack? Or the Flik? I don't want the Fox V-tech, I saw quite a couple of it and I think the flare sucks.

Thanks for any input. Obi

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I think,let me say that again, I think Morpheus is working on or has a newer version of the Gargoyle that is in between the standard Gargoyle and the WS-Xtreme.
"When it comes to BASE, I'll never give advice, only my opinion"

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Hi Obi,
I've followed your thread with some interest because I've just ordered another rig and my desires were not too different from yours: a good wing suit rig that will be at home in all environments.

My natural habitat is predominantly 5s delays and less though, so I perhaps want a more of an all round system.

My experience with my vented & valved Flik in a Gargoyle and my S3 (36 ZP PC, small mesh slider, direct & indirect control) is that opening in full flight & remaining in full flight gives royally hard openings. This is predominantly because of the similarities with dumping head down in skydiving, in terms of what your body goes through. I found that by closing the wings a bit the opening dynamics become acceptable, but of course you then lose a lot of altitude. Perhaps further slowing the opening would give reasonable openings in full flight. I think some one with real experience on this topic, like Robi, would be able to give you some very valuable advice on this.

Because I've been so happy with my Gargoyle I naturally looked very closely at the WSX & Troll MDV package, which is very competitively priced.

My only reservations with this system lay with the canopy. I've seen enough low and mid range delay jumps on the Troll MDV to be personally satisfied that it absolutely does the business there. I have a lot more respect for it in a terminal environment, though, particularly with a good wing suit.

I saw one Troll MDV opening off the popular exit point at Kjerag where the guy lost his trainers and it wasn't a one off, shit happens thing because I saw a couple of similar openings with that same system and exit point. To me the hardest opening looked like something between severe line dump and a slider down opening. You can reasonably discount either scenario, as these guys were paying for pack jobs off a small talented Aussie, who has been around a while and uses a healthy bite on his indirect control. The glaring issue with those openings were that a large mesh slider was used, whereas the manufacturers strongly recommend small mesh for terminal. I believe that some owners also recommend a few rolls in the nose.

I know that I'm very happy to jump my Vented/ valved Flik all day long there with a large mesh slider and no special nose treatment though, for non WS jumps.

I decided that I'd look at the Rock Dragon and Merlin that our loud Texan friend GF was flying with his S3 so competently in the valley last summer. I emailed him about it and he is still happy with it, specifically the fact that the rig is a couple of inches longer than the standard, useful for WS. He had no complaints about the canopy either.

I also managed to get some valuable feedback about the canopy from a very experienced jumper that posts here sometimes. He has something like 1500 BASE jumps to draw upon and rated the Rock Dragon very highly on heading performance. He didn't compare it as up to a Blackjack for its ability to sink in to tight spots, but the impression I got was that it was still very competent. He did emphasise that he hadn't had the opportunity to do loads of jumps with the RD yet, but was confident that he'd select it if heading performance were the crucial issue.

As for the Rock Dragon on WS jumps, I watched a number of GF's openings and they looked pretty optimal to me, not unlike a Mojo.

I had the opportunity to do a non WS two way with GF from the exit point in the valley that is very overhung for a few seconds and then very underhung and we pulled with side separation of ten feet apart and the same altitude, just enough to clear the trees after the landing area below and land the other side of the road, so we had a long flight. I only load my canopy 0.68, but throughout the entire flight I was outgliding his Rock Dragon with my Flik, both conserving altitude and driving ahead. I know that many people do not like "skydive canopy like" Flik behaviour though, which I happen to like, generally speaking.

The short version, I suppose, is that I've just ordered a Rock Dragon in a Merlin. It may not be particularly well known at the moment, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Maybe you might want to consider this system too?


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Well, many Q here...

I'll give you my opinion and also some info about the Troll DW here.

Obi, you are trying to find the most suitable gear for WS flying, right?

Regardless of my personal preference (Troll & WXtreme) I want to say that as long as you have any BASE-specific canopy and pin rig on your back, you're gonna be OK and on the safe side.

.......but, if you're really looking for more advanced stuff, here it is:


Why WS Xtreme?!
WX rig was designed for WS BASE on the first place. It has a low profile, it has upper closing loop like the skydiving reserve containers (keeping the low profile of pack, no matter how bad the pack is), it also has dynamic corners and spandex pocket and additional small pocket for securing a bridle (in case of using the PC pouch (like with S3, V1 suits)). You can get WSX with a soft yoke (no 3-ring) and in that case it is really comfortable, low drag rig.

Other rigs:

All of them are OK as long they are one-pin or two-pin rigs.


All you need is the non-vented, small packing volume specific canopy.

If you need the canopy just for WS BASE, than the choice is easy. Take the canopy you trust in and that's it. If youre going to combine WS BASE and other low, sub, or high alt BASE jumps, it would be better to consider a canopy with secondary inlet (no need to explain why - it was said so much about that already). To make WS BASE or terminal tracking w vented canopy is 100% OK. Openings are sometimes a bit harder, which is better than dealing with snivelling anyway. An option to slow down the opening by using the small mesh slider is always there anyway.

The bad side of having the vents for WS BASE is bulk, but that is a minor issue.

The easiest way to avoid this bulk problem is to have two canopies ;o)

I can't say much about other canopies than Troll, since I have done only a few jumps on Fox and Mojo.


The Troll is on the market for over 5 years now. During that period, Troll has been tested and tuned in order to assure good openings and nice glides and landings to their users.

The opinion placed by Tom a few years ago was based at the very first series of Troll canopies. This was solved by simply increasing the size of the cross ports.

For over the 4 years Troll (no MDV) had no problems w slider off openings.

There are some ''strange'' openings we can see on all of the canopies occasionally, both in BASE or skydiving and it will take many, many years to find all the reasons why something happens despite of all the knowledge we have.

Flight characteristic of Troll are great. Glide ratio is the best I have seen in BASE so far.

At the time the Troll was designed, the glide ratio and a good penetration into a head wind were the main focus.

As we all know, sometimes the forward speed (in a full flight mode - not during the openings) could be a bad thing to deal with if the LZ is small and require a steep approach. Exactly that was the reason for making the next step in ATAIR.

Troll DW is designed for tight areas as well, were the steep approach is required and at the same time the openings and the glide remains the same.

Robert Pecnik
[email protected]

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Ok, some thoughts:

As Robert said, the best choice for a aerodynamic tracking/wingsuit rig, and a low/bad landing rig would be to have two rigs--one for each application.

If you are looking for wingsuit/tracking gear, I think the WS-Xtreme is the way to go. The WS-Xtreme is the most aerodynamically sound of the BASE containers. This is especially true if you are flying PF suits, because the WS-Xtreme was essentially designed to work with a PF wingsuit. Second choice for an aerodynamic container (perhaps even better than WS-Xtreme for regular tracking, but not so good for wingsuit, would be the Merlin).

In terms of canopies:

The modern versions of the Troll do not have the opening problems that I observed with early versions of the canopy.

The current (re-trimmed) Ace/Blackjack appears to have addressed the slider up opening inconsistencies that some people were experiencing.

For terminal use, you probably want a canopy with minimal pack volume. So, I'd probably go with an unvented canopy. The only unvented canopy on the market that I like (in fact, the only one that I think has really acceptable openings) is the Ace. If you decide to go with an unvented canopy, to minimize pack volume, I'd probably say that an Ace is a good choice for your (mostly terminal) jumping. Put it in a WS-Xtreme, and you get low pack volume in a very aerodynamic container, with good, consistent openings.

If you want to also be able to make low jumps (and hence want bottom skin vents), the canopy game opens up.

The Rock Dragon, as somebody earlier mentioned, appears to have a tad worse glide angle than some other choices. It's also exceptionally stable in deep brakes, and sinks well. These are great characteristics for many jumpers, but probably not so important for you, given where you will mostly jump.

The Troll DW looks like a nice choice, and as an advantage, you can buy it in a package with a WS-Xtreme. Pack volume will be slightly higher than an Ace, but not unacceptably so.

My personal favorite slider down canopy is still the Blackjack. I've made many terminal and wingsuit jumps on this canopy, and feel that the openings (with the small mesh slider and the new line set) are great. Also, it has great sink, powerful flare, and good glide ratio.

So, what does all that mean?

If you were going to get two rigs (one for low, and one for terminal) I'd get an Ace in a WS-Xtreme for the terminal stuff, and a Blackjack (in whatever) for the low stuff.

If you're just looking for one rig for both things, I think I'd go with either a Blackjack or a Troll DW in a WS-Xtreme. Because of the ease of ordering, and perfect (designed) sizing, I'd give an edge to the Troll DW.
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]

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The current (re-trimmed) Ace/Blackjack appears to have addressed the slider up opening inconsistencies that some people were experiencing.


I might be nit-picking here, but what I understood from talking to Adam about the mods to the Blackjack is that they only moved the inboard brake-line attachment locations and now ship the small hole mesh as standard.

I do not think that can be called a re-trim.

But then, he might just have been talking about the mods made between the time my 1st Blackjack was made and my 2nd one ordered.


soon to be gone

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tach obi,
martin hat schon recht mit dem gargoyle/troll package. denk mal kurz über die kante: die vents geben der kappe bessere stabilität, speziell wenn es mal gegen die wand geht oder du lang in tiefer bremse fliegen musst. die etwas härteren öffnungen sind durch versch. packtechniken zu vermeiden. ausserdem hast du dann auch für die ab und an tiefen sprünge eine der besten kappen auf dem markt. lass die 5 leinen option weg und du hast ein premium rig mit bester kappe.
ausserdem ist der troll in deutschland zugelassen, heißt mit deiner versicherung abgedeckt, heißt bei einem vergehen oder unfall bist du erheblich besser gestellt als mit einem black jack oder flik.
in english: take the gargoyle /troll package and you´ll be happy and satisfied
greetz from da base, hajo

With sufficient thrust,
pigs just fly well

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