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agaace

Easiest to land beginner canopy?

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Noob here. I'm looking for a 190 canopy I will be loading ~0.85 that would be the most forgiving at landings, precisely when I screw up flare timing - flare too early, flare too slow etc. In other words, a canopy that will give me the most chances to learn my shit without breaking any bones ;)

So far I've tried (20-ish jumps total)
- Triathlon 190 - and quite liked it, I think those were my best landings (but also never really landed it in true no-wind hot day high elevation conditions, so it may not count), also loved the openings, always soft, always on heading, and I think I had best accuracy with it (i.e. it still sucked, just sucked less :P)
- Sabre 2 190 - I found it a bit too 'aggresive' (but it was in no-wind high elevation when I jumped it)
- Pilot 188 - I quite liked it as well, put the most jumps on it, but had less than ideal off heading openings a couple times on hop'n'pops (but that's probably me, not the canopy)

My coach also suggested I try a Pulse 190 and Silhouette 190 (after seeing me land the Sabre 2 :P). Those are not available at my DZ, maybe when I jump somewhere else, but I have an opportunity to try a Spectre 190 at my DZ.

Any thoughts on what other models I should also try? Or any models I should steer away from as a beginner (other than anything truly elliptical)? Any personal memories from the times when you were just learning all the stuff yourself, what was your favorite model? What's in your opinion 'easier' to land for a beginner - flatter glide (9 cell) or steeper glide & powerful flare (7 cell)? Rectangular or slightly tapered? No, I don't plan to swoop, like ever :)
Thanks!

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The Silhouette is like a big slow comfortable RV, especially at the wing loading you are looking at.
I jumped a 210 back in Nov about 10 times down at Deland. Forgiving of early flares, which I kept doing because I was used to jumping old F-111 and having to bury the toggles.
Might be just what you are looking for.

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Newer Pulses (ones with the "landing upgrade" - really just some changes to a few line attachments) are much easier to land than the old ones. Don't let someone give you misinformation about how you can't flare them. My openings with a 210 are generally on heading, fairly soft, and quick - I wingload around 0.85-0.9 depending on average monthly doughnut consumption.

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I'd say over half my jumps have been on various Pilots. They are extremely forgiving of flare timing in larger sizes... I can think of a couple of screwups in my first few hundred jumps where I was glad of it :P
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

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It's an older design, and it's a hybrid. Top skin is ZP and bottom skin is F-111

It is a great canopy for a beginner. I had a 190 as my second canopy, and loaded it at 1.3(probably not the best idea), I had not problems at that wingloading

Disclaimer: I am not recommending going over the manufacturers posted limits!!

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I go a Pilot when I had 20 jumps. I jumped it 3 times and then was visiting a DZ while on vacation and rented a Pulse, the same size. Wing loading is 0.93:1. I didn't see any difference that I could detect at the time worth mentioning. Both were easy to fly and land.

That Pilot is still my main, 300+ jumps later.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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I wouldn't rule out the Sabre2 so quickly. It has tons of flare power and is very easy to learn/adjust your technique. Compared to a Pilot it has a steeper angle of attack so you're accuracy will be much better. A Saber2 has a longer recovery arc so expect it to take longer to return to normal flight than a Pilot. I have 140 jumps on a Pilot and 100 an a Sabre2. If I were to choose between the 2 canopies based solely on openings and landing flare the factors would be.

Pilot opens softer, not as much flare.
Sabre flares better, but inflates briskly on opening.

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There is no perfect beginner canopy. Rather than spend money trying to find a perfect canopy, why don't you spend some time and money on a canopy course so you have the skills to land ANY canopy you jump.

I worked at a DZ that had a Pilot 190 that we used as a student canopy with great success at your wingloading. Still, you should take a canopy course.

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jonathan.newman

There is no perfect beginner canopy. Rather than spend money trying to find a perfect canopy, why don't you spend some time and money on a canopy course so you have the skills to land ANY canopy you jump.

I worked at a DZ that had a Pilot 190 that we used as a student canopy with great success at your wingloading. Still, you should take a canopy course.



I think your conservative wing loading is a really great thing that you are doing. Are you going to purchase a canopy based upon someone else's recommendation you get here? You know you can demo just about anything?
You might not want to hear this but if your this concerned about your landings you can always go up size a bit to make learning easier for a time? I second what Jonathan has to say about this and additionally it is a very difficult thing to get the experience to be able to judge the differences in canopies with your jump numbers. The other thing is with all of this dicking around trying to get the "perfect" canopy your not spending any time with any one canopy to learn how to master "that" canopy. It seems this constant switching will interfere with learning.

I'm not picking on you here :)
All in all I would say jump more, and get someone to vid your landings (or have a more experience jumper watch your landings,) so that you can post something we can look at here. Additionally you get a really much better picture of what your doing if you can watch your own landings. Good luck, I enjoyed reading about your thought process:)
C
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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Thanks a million for all the advice!

RE: Canopy choice vs canopy course
I don't see how this is relevant. I did a canopy course, but it's just a few jumps. I got great feedback on what I keep doing wrong & need to fix, now I have homework to learn to be more consistent. I would simply like to start the learning process with a canopy that will make it easiest and safest for me before I'm decent enough to land any canopy (probably after a few more canopy courses). I also asked in case there are any totally bad choices I should avoid. Sort of like choosing your first car: you ultimately want to be able to drive any car, but you won't hop in a 400 HP sports car with your freshly printed driving license in hand. Cheers!

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GoHuskers

I wouldn't rule out the Sabre2 so quickly. It has tons of flare power and is very easy to learn/adjust your technique. Compared to a Pilot it has a steeper angle of attack so you're accuracy will be much better. A Saber2 has a longer recovery arc so expect it to take longer to return to normal flight than a Pilot. I have 140 jumps on a Pilot and 100 an a Sabre2. If I were to choose between the 2 canopies based solely on openings and landing flare the factors would be.

Pilot opens softer, not as much flare.
Sabre flares better, but inflates briskly on opening.



You've just described all the reasons why a Pilot is a more forgiving canopy for a beginner than a Sabre2 at comparable wing loadings.

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The triathalon would be my last choice, old technology, vwery narrow window on the flair, but if you can learn to stand up all your landings on this canopy, you can land anything.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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Andy9o8

***I wouldn't rule out the Sabre2 so quickly. It has tons of flare power and is very easy to learn/adjust your technique. Compared to a Pilot it has a steeper angle of attack so you're accuracy will be much better. A Saber2 has a longer recovery arc so expect it to take longer to return to normal flight than a Pilot. I have 140 jumps on a Pilot and 100 an a Sabre2. If I were to choose between the 2 canopies based solely on openings and landing flare the factors would be.

Pilot opens softer, not as much flare.
Sabre flares better, but inflates briskly on opening.



You've just described all the reasons why a Pilot is a more forgiving canopy for a beginner than a Sabre2 at comparable wing loadings.

The Sabre2 has a significant advantage in accuracy, that shouldn't be dismissed.
The OP ruled out a Sabre2 based on 1 day of overflaring. IMO 1-2 more days at the DZ and he will iron out overflaring, hence the comment about not being so quick to rule it out. Openings and recovery arc are better on the Pilot, to which I wholeheartedly agree. Another advantage the pilot has is packing tabs which are an awesome aid when you're learning to pack.

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I'm surely no expert, but FWIW,

Pilot: No experience, but have never heard anything bad about them.

Sabre2: My current main, for the past 100 jumps. I load it @1.1:1. Almost always a 90 degree off-heading opening. That never bothers me. End cells are almost always collapsed on opening. Again, no big deal. I automatically kite it for a couple of seconds when opening. Wouldn't stop me from turning, if I had to. It has a very strong flare. I've always appreciated that fact.

Pulse: The nicest opening canopy I've ever jumped. Soft n snivelly, w/on-heading openings. Much easier to pack due to its being a hybrid. The flatter glide makes it easier to time the flare. I think the easier flare timing offset the stronger flare of the Saber2, for me. I REALLY appreciated the easier packing, especially when cramming it into a tight container.

A Saber2 came available at a good price. So, that's what I bought. I'd have also gone w/a Pulse, had one been available. Both are good choices, IMHO. I've heard Pilots open a bit better than Saber2s, but have a tad less flare power. I've rarely heard anything good about Triathlons...

Used canopies in your size range come available fairly regularly. You can always rent one for a few weeks to try it. Good Luck in your search.

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I flew a Spectre (230, 210, 190, 170) from beginning to jump 170. It's a great canopy to learn on. Easy openings, always on heading, pretty good flare.

I'd also recommend a Sabre2 because it's a canopy you can stay on to the smallest of canopies and it only gets more and more fun. I never flew it as a student or low number jumper though.

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Throwing in my two cents for the Pulse. I have a Pulse 190 loaded at 1.1 and I've put between 50 and 60 jumps on it.

I read somewhere that the Pulse was supposed to replace the Silhouette, but I'm not sure about that. The Pulse and Silhouette are very similar and have the same target audience at the very least. The Pulse allows for a higher wingload and downsizes further than the Silhouette.

Having said that, I did about 15 jumps on a Safire2 190 and although it has a steeper descent than the Pulse, it was amazing to fly. I had one landing where I got distracted and flared about 2 feet off the ground and although I ended up on my hands and knees, it was still a really soft landing. The Safire2 is comparable to the Sabre2, but I've heard it's more forgiving and less likely to open off heading.

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Might also look at the Firebolt by Parachute Labs. It's becoming very popular. Opens incredibly soft, strong flare, easy to pack, & fun to fly. At a 1.0 WL it'd be docile. If you call them I believe demoing it was basically the cost of shipping etc. Try it.
Woot Woot!

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