Considering Buying First Rig

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Well, I am almost done with my A license and have been considering options for getting my own gear.

I know this topics has been done often and I have done searches, talked with instructors and other jumpers. Just though I'd see if anyone here has any additional advice.

I am 5'10", 48 yrs old, weigh 205lbs and have been using a student PD Navigator 260 (which has worked great so far).

I'm not looking for anything too "sporty", just want to get something I can continue to learn on and have fun with (soft landings and soft openings preferred).

From what I hear so far, a PD sillhouette seems like a good choice (probably 230).

So if anyone in a similar situation has any words of advice I would appreciate it, like:

would this be a good canopy?
would this be good size?
how do you go about possibly finding a used one (I'd buy new if I have to, but used seems to make sense if I could find one that I could trust)?


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I was thinking about the Silhouette at first. Now I am glad that I was recommended to buy a Pulse (210). I have also tried the Silhouette for some jumps (230).

Silhouette/pulse are quite similar but some how I found the Pulse more "smooth" in flight..and I did not experience the Silhouette as more reliable (my first twin came with the Silhouette and I also had my first off heading with it).

But with the Pulse I also have 95% off heading openings and so far have not been able to detect why.

Except from the off headings it opens great and how you expect it to, the same goes with toggle input.

I am about 8 years younger than you so I was also looking for a conservative canopy.

My student canopy was a Navigator 260.

Good luck with choosing a first rig/canopy:)

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I weigh 195 out the door, am 54, got a Pilot 210 at jump 21. That puts me at 0.93 WL.

This is a very good fit for me and I will most likely stay with it with no real desire to downsize.

I jumped a 210 Pulse twice, a few weeks ago. I did fine with it. I don't think I would favor it over the Pilot, but with only 2 jumps, I can't really say.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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In order:

Yes, it's a good canopy. Just about any non-elliptical would be appropriate.

I won't comment much on the size other than to say that keeping the W/L under 1:1 is smart.

Used that size can be tough to find. Scour the classifieds daily. Hit up the major gear shops (SQ1, Chutingstar ect) Hit up the less major dealers (likestojump and Gravitygirl on here among others). Post a "wanted" ad.

Search "Rigger as escrow" or just "escrow" to find out how to buy something safely through the classifieds. Chutingstar also has some really good articles on iit on their site (I'm too tired and lazy to dig them up right now). Chutingstar also offers free escrow for purchases, you just have to pay for the inspections.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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I bought my first rig this year and it's got a Silhouette 230. I'm loaded at just under 1:1; I weigh about 195. The openings have been soft and on heading. I found it simply by luck; somebody brought it to our DZ to sell it and I grabbed it immediately. It only had about 50 jumps on it.

One difference I noticed is that the flare is not as powerful. I was jumping a Navigator at a similar wing loading and was getting great flares, even on no wind days. The Silhouette comes in hotter on landing and I have to be more aggressive with my flare. It's got a great glide ratio and you can perform really quick turns with the toggles. I recommend doing a demo jump on one if you can.

Hope this helps and happy hunting. It's GREAT having your own gear!
That which can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

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I have tried the Navigator as a student, a Fusion, a sillhouette and a Pilot. I am currently jumping a Pilot 188 at 205lb exit weight. I find the Pilot to have great openings on heading, responsive toggle input and a very powerful flare. Either canopy would be a great choice but I like the Pilot myself. As always, asking the instructors at your DZ is always the best way to go.

Blue Skies

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any opinions on the difference between a triathlon vs silhouette for a beginner. I've just been told that a triathlon may be a good starter canopy as well.

Both are OK beginner canopies. They just are quite different canopies. Jump both, decide which one you like better.

Good beginner canopies include: spectre, triathlon, omega for 7cells, silhouette, pulse, safire 1 or 2, pilot, sabre 1 for 9 cells. The most high performance 7 cell you would buy as a beginner would be a storm or omni, for most high performance 9cell a fusion or sabre 2.

ciel bleu,

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