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slj678

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I just graduated from a student program and I have about 3 more jumps until my A license. I'm trying to figure out what I need to be using and a general price range I should look to spend. Sorry guys still a noob at the sport and I'm just lookin for some help! Not sure what is considered too many jumps or too many years old. Just any insight into a general direction would be nice. I weigh about 170 and flew a 190 main on my last jump. I'm in college so a new setup is out of the question [:/] thanks
"I didn't know they gave out rings at the holocaust"

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I just graduated from a student program and I have about 3 more jumps until my A license. I'm trying to figure out what I need to be using and a general price range I should look to spend. Sorry guys still a noob at the sport and I'm just lookin for some help! Not sure what is considered too many jumps or too many years old. Just any insight into a general direction would be nice. I weigh about 170 and flew a 190 main on my last jump. I'm in college so a new setup is out of the question [:/] thanks



the generic, canned answer is to ask your instructors for advice on sizes.

as far as pricing - best way to gauge the market is to look in the classifies section, it will give you a good idea of whats out there and how much it'll cost.

realistically, if you are not picky, you can score a nice used system w/o AAD for $1500-2000. There are definitely cheaper and more expensive options as well.

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Just a quick response..... but for good top end used gear look for canopies that have around 200-300 jumps on it. Canopies with close to 500 jumps may need to be relined. Look at spending maybe $3000 on your first second hand kit with AAD. The less jumps on everything the better the resale price will be for you.
Search for the username 'likestojump'. he deals in second hand gear at reasonable prices and it seems his gear is always decent.

If you are looking at buying new gear you will be looking at between $5000-$7000.

I would only think about buying new gear if your instructor says that he wants to see you on a 190 within 40-50 jumps. that way you can buy new custom made kit made for a 190 so when it is made you will have got enough jumps on the 210-230 or whatever and ready to jump your new kit. Then that kit with the 190 in it would last you a few years if not many years as it should be able to downsize to a 170 later on when you have 150 odd jumps.
Bear in mind buying custom made will take an average of 17 weeks so you would have 17 weeks to hire kit in preperation to downsize. However, this is a touchy subject and you should only consider this option after speaking with the instructor that has been by your side and will be watching and coaching you in preperation to downsize you to a canopy you can be on for years to come.

Looking for second hand gear, personally i would suggest you look for a Wings container as these are priced well and hold shape really well. Icons are similar and in the same price range. Look for a PD reserve or a smart reserve as these are very common. Try and get one with zero jumps but I would also look at those with 3 or 4 jumps on them. Sure they are good for more, i just know i am picky about my reserve.
Look for an AAD, i would say Cypres 2 as these are the Jonny walker blue label of the group.

Look for a Sabre 2, Pilot, Safire 2, as a main canopy if you are suggested by your instructor to buy a 9-cell canopy. He/she may suggest a 7-cell for your own good though so make sure you sit down with your instructor and have a good chat about gear and what is suitable for you. if your instructor is not easy to approach or does not have the time of day for you then go to a different dz where you have an instructor paying close attention to your jumps and canopy control.

There is so much to consider when purchasing second hand gear, even new gear so take my advice as a 'general common' approach and do not go looking for gear with my advice. This message is just in case you are reading throguh all the classifieds and just want some things to look out for.

You MUST sit down with an instructor as there is nobody who does not know you on this website who can tell you what gear is suitable for you when it comes down to size or canopy. The only person who can help you there on this entire planet is the person who pays close attention to every landing you have done to date.


.Karnage Krew Gear Store
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Hmm thanks for the info, it just seems like everybody has a different opinion about everything, just trying to gather as much information as possible. Whats the main difference between a 7 cell and a 9 cell? And you don't think that I should buy a 170 or something so I can keep it for a while?
"I didn't know they gave out rings at the holocaust"

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Maybe a 170 is the perfect canopy for you. Maybe it is not. That only your instructor can tell you.
A canopy size can be the difference between life and death and should not be advised to you by people who have never seen you land a canopy ten-20 times in a row.
The same goes with a 9-cell and a 7-cell.
To tell you the difference in what you would understand at this level... a 7 cell is a more doscile canopy than the more radical 9-cell canopy.

I would say more jumpers buy a 9cell than a 7cell but alot of students are advised to make their first canopy a 7cell due to not having a natural skill in canopy control or just because an instructor does not think you are suitable for a 9 cell canopy yet. There are so many reasons and i can only be vague over the forums because only your instructor can advise you what you should be on. In some cases an instructor may not let you jump a 9cell full stop as he thins you will hurt yourself from what he has witnessed to date from you.

I am not sure why you think people have different opinions as only two people have replied to your post. If you say that people have different opinions because people on your dropzone are saying different then i suggest you listen to hose than know you and know what you are capable of.

Answers to your post in this forum as to what will be good for you can only possible be vague at most and anyone that tells you what canopy you should go out and buy is giving you irresponsible advice if they do not know you and are not your instructor.

I sell custom made gear for a living and i am trying to be very careful to only answers some of your queries without giving you any advice other than to speak to your instructor as his reccomendation is the only one you should be looking for.

As your instructor given you any advice as to what to look for? If so, let us know what they have suggested and maybe we can guide you to the right gear that is in the classifieds for you to take back to your instructor and show him a short list of what you have found.


.Karnage Krew Gear Store
.

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Also you got to take into account the material, whether f1-11 type or zero-p, I found an absolute MASSIVE difference moving from a PD f1-11 to my current Sabre2.

I had people telling me to get a 150, so I could stick with it for a long time, I wasn't comfortable doing that.

I ended up getting a 170 loaded @ 1.0 and I'm loving it, I feel safe but challenged.

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Also you got to take into account the material, whether f1-11 type or zero-p, I found an absolute MASSIVE difference moving from a PD f1-11 to my current Sabre2.



HUGE difference and it can actually work both ways.


.Karnage Krew Gear Store
.

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a 7 cell is a more doscile canopy than the more radical 9-cell canopy.



A Diablo is a 7 cell and is not particularly docile. A Sabre2 loaded at 1.0 is not radical.

The biggest difference between a 7 cell and a 9 cell is in glide angle - generally a 7 cell has a steeper glide angle and a 9 cell has a shallower one. Has nothing to do with docility.

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speak to your instructor as his reccomendation is the only one you should be looking for.



Yeah, because no instructor would ever tell a novice to buy something that is too small/fast for that person's ability or risk tolerance...

Now for some information that may actually be useful to the OP - a wingloading of about 1.0:1 (that'd be the OP under a 190) is considered to be conservative and is a good starting point for someone just off student status. You've still got a LOT to learn about flying a parachute. Better to learn under something that isn't likely to cause pain when you screw up (and you will).

You're planning to buy used, right? You can buy a used 190 main, put 100-200 jumps on it, learn a crapload and then sell it for about what you paid for it. Then you can buy a used 170 main and put it into the container you already have - you don't have to get a whole new rig.

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[
realistically, if you are not picky, you can score a nice used system w/o AAD for $1500-2000. There are definitely cheaper and more expensive options as well.



That seems steep to be middle of the road. I got a used container + main + reserve + vigil for $2000. You should be able to get a rig without an AAD MUCH cheaper than that.

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I have a friend who's just coming of student status who can't land on a large hybrid (zp top skin & F111 bottom) student navigator without butt sliding in. He's now flying a 210 safire 2 loading at <1.0 to 1. He flares too high & just hasn't figured it out yet. He will or he'll hurt himself. If he were to buy gear (he's starting to think about it) I personally (and my wife who's a coach) could *never* recommend a smaller canopy. I do watch his landings and my advice to him is figure out landing *before* getting gear. I'm no instructor though. A person with good experience has suggested a Triathalon 160 which I can't believe would be a wise choice.

Think about it this way, you could have problems landing (you may also be excellent!) such as my friend where you can't get the flare timing down and have a mental block about standing up your landings (sometimes he does well but slides anyway). If you're on a 7 cell with a steeper glide angle, is that better or worse? Is faster ground speed better (from a 9 cell)? Is it better to have a more responsive canopy? If you don't know the characteristics, it may be worthwhile talking to someone about that more generally. As mentioned, different canopies fly differently regardless of the general "7 cell is more docile" rule.

You're not the first person to go through this, I think we all have. It's been shown through empirical testing (i.e. a lot of people going crunch) that the best way to downsize is to talk to someone who has a lot of experience (i.e. not me!!!). Have them watch your landings and give you advice. Your instructor is the best bet here as they should be watching you already.

I am fortunate to have a few friends with thousands of jumps who told me to wait & then told me to go for it. Use caution in this choice because it can get you hurt, it's hard to swallow the ego (I had to) but it's for the best.

Having said all that, Brian Germain recommends a loading of 1.x to 1 where x is your number of jumps divided by 100. So, I have 87 jumps, that would put me at 1.087 to 1 (he actually says add .1 per 100 jumps over a 1.0 wing loading but I'm just extrapolating to my own end LOL). I'm actually loading at 1.1 to 1 and am comfortable. I usually have nice soft landings in all sorts of winds. I'd say second hand gear is the way to go as long as it fits properly. Ask a rigger, instructor or experienced friend. Check that it's safe to do what you want to do (free fly for example). Make sure it's going to fit the canopy you want to fly (check the manufacturer's website or ask a rigger).

Talk to your instructor or other experienced person as suggested, they can answer questions you don't even know to ask. :)

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Hmmm thanks for the info, guess I am just trying to figure out more general info about different parachutes. So there is no general rule of thumb for any certain material or number of cells? Just that every manufactured parachute is different?
"I didn't know they gave out rings at the holocaust"

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Here's a general guide on which canopies are suitable for whoch number of jumps and at which wingloading, it's in Dutch but easy to understand. click
Category 2 is a good bet (+ sabre 1 from cat 1 and excluding the Foil), category 3 is more high performance but still ok for your first own gear (except Lightning).

ciel bleu,
Saskia

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Hmmm thanks for the info, guess I am just trying to figure out more general info about different parachutes. So there is no general rule of thumb for any certain material or number of cells? Just that every manufactured parachute is different?


It really depends. ;)

I'm no instructor or coach, I'm just parroting what I've been told. Please keep that in mind, this is not advice. I have had the opportunity to jump a Spectre 190 (7 cell) and a Sabre 2 190 (9 cell) before I got my own gear which is a Sabre 2 170.

I'm sure I'll be corrected if any of this is wrong - I wouldn't be surprised or offended. :)
Like has been mentioned the generality is that 7 cell canopies are meant to be more docile. 7 cell canopies tend to have a steeper glide (you loose more altitude relative to horizontal distance covered across the ground) as compared to 9 cell canopies. 7 cell canopies tend to resist turbulence better. These are all things I've been told regarding the differences. My own (limited!) personal experience is that the riser pressure on the Spectre was much lighter, that's front & back. The flare was different on the Spectre, the first stage was higher for me. To be honest I can't confirm any of the other generalities. Going beyond the number of cells, the shape of the canopy is very important as well as the line length. Elliptical, semi or fully, canopies behave differently to "square" canopies. Shorter lines mean the canopy is probably more responsive. Wing loading makes a difference as well as the material it's made out of - ZP or F111.

How much you load your canopy and how good a pilot you are play a huge part in what canopy is right for you. The number of jumps you have and your relative skill level are critical. You skill can only be judged by people who've actually seen your landings (more than just a couple) in different conditions and actually know what they're looking at. That's why people always point to an instructor or experienced person.

We all build pictures in our minds of how good we are (me included), finding someone who has enough experience and cares sufficiently about you to give you the right advice even if it's not what you want to hear is very important.

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Well in the program I was in it seemed like I had a different instructor everytime... I used a 210 sabre 2 for a good portion of the jumps and landed it perfectly almost every time. I guess I'm just not sure when is the appropriate time to move on if you have mastered landing and controlling a certain kind. Right now I feel comfortable using the 190 but not near like I could the 210. However, it just seems kind of dumb to buy a 190 if i'm going to have it completely down in another 10-15 jumps. I just don't know much and don't want to assume things, so I was trying to find out what people experienced themselves I guess, rather than advice.
"I didn't know they gave out rings at the holocaust"

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Well in the program I was in it seemed like I had a different instructor everytime... I used a 210 sabre 2 for a good portion of the jumps and landed it perfectly almost every time. I guess I'm just not sure when is the appropriate time to move on if you have mastered landing and controlling a certain kind. Right now I feel comfortable using the 190 but not near like I could the 210. However, it just seems kind of dumb to buy a 190 if i'm going to have it completely down in another 10-15 jumps. I just don't know much and don't want to assume things, so I was trying to find out what people experienced themselves I guess, rather than advice.



A 190 is the smallest size that's nearly universally accepted as prudent (Reference Brian Germain's Wingloading Never Exceed formula. Brian has 10,000 skydives, designs parachutes, teaches canopy flight, and writes books on sports psychology. He knows more than your instructors). It's still enough to add an extra joint to your leg (shin bone not connected to the ankle bone).

In some countries, it's the smallest size you'd be allowed to jump.

It'll feel slow in 100 jumps but that's OK. What'll be relatively safe then isn't now.

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Right now I feel comfortable using the 190 but not near like I could the 210. However, it just seems kind of dumb to buy a 190 if i'm going to have it completely down in another 10-15 jumps.

You buy a canopy that you can fly in the BAD situations. I don't have a lot of jumps, but I have spent the past 12 months out at the dropzone watching some of the more eager jumpers go from AFF1 - jump 200 within this time frame.

Every single jumper goes through a large amount of shit. Several off landings, several landings in gusty winds, bad patterns where they have to avoid objects.

The guys on the "slow canopies" that they had lots of confidence in flying, ended up walking away with a dirty rig/jumpsuit and a racing heart rate.

The other guys on "too small" canopies, despite having butter smooth stand up landings 100 jumps in a row, end up going away in the ambulance.

Buy conservative, think long term.

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Well in the program I was in it seemed like I had a different instructor everytime... I used a 210 sabre 2 for a good portion of the jumps and landed it perfectly almost every time. I guess I'm just not sure when is the appropriate time to move on if you have mastered landing and controlling a certain kind. Right now I feel comfortable using the 190 but not near like I could the 210. However, it just seems kind of dumb to buy a 190 if i'm going to have it completely down in another 10-15 jumps. I just don't know much and don't want to assume things, so I was trying to find out what people experienced themselves I guess, rather than advice.



How many times have you landed out in a parking lot or backyard?

How many times have you landed down-wind?

How many times have you made a turn at 25 or 50' to go around an obstacle you didn't see or avoid some one who "cut in front of you"?

If the answers are 0, you don't have the first hand experience to determine what sort of canopy you can handle when things aren't going well.

If they're more out of only tens of jumps you have bad judgement and shouldn't be jumping a smaller canopy that will amplify the effects of your mistakes. It's much better to end up with a new grass stain on your rig than in the emergency room with broken bones.

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This is my experience & contains opinions of noob.

My personal experience was that I started on student gear ranging from 280 down to 200. They are Navigators which are (at my DZ) hybrid canopies. Due to the fact that I couldn't always get one or another I changed canopies a lot. Sometimes the 280, then 240, 260, 200, etc. I had a cutaway at jump 12 where I caused spinning line twists because I didn't know what I was doing. I stood up the reserve landing. Realistically, the student canopies were in two categories. 280 - 240 flew quite docile. The 220 & 200 were more like sport canopies. I spun up the 200. I was able to stand up most of my student landings but I was at about 50% at jump 6 and then for the most part stood everything up (landing off too).

I did Brian Germain's canopy course at about jump 15.

Jump 26 I was on borrowed gear (awesome friends!). It was a Spectre 190. I stood up the first landing then dive rolled the second. Stood the 3rd & then PLFed the 4th. I went and asked a friend (thousands of jumps) what I was doing wrong. He asked me if I'd worked out where in my flare the canopy planes out. I said I hadn't. Once I worked that out, I stood every landing up and started working on BillV's downsizing checklist. After about 20 jumps on the Spectre the same friend loaned me his Sabre 2 190 (like I said, awesome friends!). I made sure to work the flare out on that first jump. I PLFed one landing on that canopy due to dodgy winds that sprang up after the plane had taken off. They pulled the students but didn't tell any of the other jumpers (that I heard anyway). After about another 20 jumps on that (practicing the downsizing checklist) my experienced friends said I was good to downsize. My wing loading on a 190 was .97 to 1.

I bought my own gear which included a Sabre 2 170 which I'm loading at about 1.1 to 1 (as I mentioned). I've done about 20 jumps on this now. I hate the openings (just like the Sabre 2 190), they're all over the place but I've stood up every landing on it and am practicing the downsizing checklist. Not to downsize (maybe the end of next year I'll think about it, depends on jumps & proficiency of course) but to practice the skills.

I take downsizing very seriously, I was *really* keen to get off the 190 because I was tired of being passed in traffic all the time. I didn't feel very safe having just about everyone on the load come past me at some point, often in the pattern because there wasn't another way (small DZ). I never felt in real danger, just didn't think it was a great situation to be in. Initially I was just keen because I wanted a smaller canopy but that faded away as I focussed on *actually* doing the downsizing checklist. Not to say I did I all as I didn't think doing some of it at our DZ was very safe but I certainly practice all the points, maybe not close to the ground in the pattern.

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yeah...but are you able to land it down wind...cross wind or when you are in a tight spot. just because you can land a 190 doesn't mean that you should be jumping a 170. think about the downsizing checklist ----- then again a 170 may be right for you but this will at least give you something to think about and look at before you downsize.

i jumped a 190 for about 150 jumps and then downsized to a 168 and have about 100 jumps on it. had a bad landing and blew out my knee...out for 3 months and am just coming back.....will be going back to the bigger canopy for a while needless to say.
DPH # 2
"I am not sure what you are suppose to do with that, but I don't think it is suppose to flop around like that." ~Skootz~
I have a strong regard for the rules.......doc!

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I hate the openings (just like the Sabre 2 190),

Really?

I only have 5 jumps on my Sabre2 170 at the moment, but the openings are the softest I have ever experienced. End cells have been closed all 5 jumps though, apparently I should get used to it.

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A bit OT but the problem with the closed end cells from my (possibly mistaken) understanding is that is what causes the Sabre 2 classic hunting opening problem. That is, the canopy is already out of the bag and at line stretch and then decides to switch from one side to the other. I've had experienced packers pack the 190 I was jumping & had the same problem. The openings are soft, just not what I'd call smooth. Compared to the Spectre anyway. I'm sure something I'm doing is exacerbating the problem but I'm not sure what yet. Probably body position. :D

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I have the same experience with my Sabre2, I have about 100 jumps on it right now. The endcells are always closed, every jump, without fail (except the occasional harder opening). I am not yet completely convinced that this causes some of the off-heading openings I've been getting but it probably is. Some weekends it seems my canopy opens perfectly on heading, some weekends it seems every jump I'm going to my rears. Before I stopped watching the opening it was so bad that I'd get line twists sometimes but that was definitely a body position problem.

Keep in mind that any canopy can open off-heading and that you should always have your eyes peeled and your hands on your rears as soon as the canopy finishes inflating.

In my opinion this is a fairly minor problem, YMMV. Of course I would prefer on-heading openings every time. I would also prefer a new cold beverage in the slider after every openingB|. It doesn't take anything to pump your rears and open the endcells, it's part of my routine now, I don't even think about it. This probably makes the Pilot a slightly better canopy, I haven't tried it, there were no Pilot 150s in stock when I got back into the sport this summer. I'm much more concerned with the fact that Sabre2's appear to be prone to the occasional very hard opening. I haven't had anything where I was seeing stars on deployment but it came close once. I always make sure the slider is fully unfolded, all the way up and covering the nose (which I tuck in but don't roll). Not dumping in a track also helps. B|
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