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SecondRound

PD Pulse, and why people seem to have such strong opinions about it

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I personally found the Pulse to be too docile for my tastes and the flare weak. I am not a high performance guy...I fly Sabre2 190s at 1.25. I like the flare and handling of the Sabre2 much better.
Chad B Hall
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I never had a hard landing with my Pulse loaded at 1.1 in over 400 jumps, so the flare is okay for me. I agree it's not very sporty but as a wingsuiter, I like the openings and the flat glide that will get you back from a long spot.

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The Pulse fits into the "left hand" fork of John LeBlanc's two paths of canopy progression.

As such, it is trimmed flat (and flies flat)... this is, all other things being equal, going to give it less flare power at the bottom than a steeper-trimmed canopy like the Sabre2. This is partly subjective (it's already flying flat and so has less distance to go towards level flight) and partly physics (more downward speed gives you more lift when you flare and turn it into forward speed).

I would say that is is super easy to land, though.
--
"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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SecondRound

Why the sharp divide as to how the Pulse lands?



Because opinions are like assholes, and everyone's got one?

There are certain areas of gear choice (particularly at your level, as a relatively inexperienced jumper) where it's a really good idea to take advice and recommendations from other people. For example, they can help you understand which types/brands of canopies are good values, and which may not hold their value well. This might be an important criteria to you as most skydivers buy and sell at least a couple of canopies throughout their career. More experienced folks can be good sources of information as to the types of canopies that would be appropriate choices for someone of your experience level - they should be able to give you a list of canopies that would be good ones for you to consider. Some of those will be 7 cell, some'll be 9 cell, some will have flatter glide, some will have steeper glide. Flare points will be different, etc.

That's where your opinion becomes the one that matters most - choosing within that group of potential appropriate canopies. A Pulse, appropriately loaded, will be an appropriate choice for your experience. But only you can decide if it's a canopy you love, or don't.

If you can narrow down to a few canopies that you're interested in, demoing will be the best way to find out whether it's the right canopy for you. You might be able to borrow if someone in your area has what you're looking for, or you might need to demo through the manufacturer or a large gear store.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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SecondRound

I hear and read strong opinions about how poorly it flares. Why the sharp divide as to how the Pulse lands?



Not every canopy flares the same. I have found that when flared appropriately the Pulse has a strong flare. I have 70ish jumps total on various size Pulses and have coached a large number of jumpers who fly a Pulse. Those who have found the Pulse flare weak typically are flaring the canopy like their current canopy rather than learning to find the sweet spot of the Pulse.

DJ Marvin
AFF I/E, Coach/E, USPA/UPT Tandem I/E
http://www.theratingscenter.com

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SecondRound

Thinking about a Pulse for my next Canopy. I am a FS Skydiver and it is highly recommended by my local experts. At the same time I hear and read strong opinions about how poorly it flares. Why the sharp divide as to how the Pulse lands?


PD actually did adjust the lineset for the larger Pulses (and somewhat recently just did the same for the smaller ones) to address the flare. It's possible a decent chunk of that negative opinion was from the old configuration.

http://www.performancedesigns.com/docs/Large_Pulse_Upgrade_Notice%202012.pdf

http://www.performancedesigns.com/docs/Pulse_120_170_Landing_Performance_Upgrade.pdf

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My first new canopy purchase was a PD Pulse a few years back. I demoed a Pulse and a Pilot and liked the demo Pulse just a bit better and it packed much more reasonably than a Pilot. So, I ordered a 190 (wingloading of 1:1) from PD stock and when I jumped it I immediately knew something wasn't right. My S&TA jumped it and said the same thing and then I spent a couple more jumps trying everything to get a decent flare out of the canopy before contacting PD. I was told that it was my perception and not the canopy that was the problem and to work on flaring better. Less than a week later they revised the line trim so I contacted them to see if I could get the lines redone on mine, which I had purchased at full retail from stock less than a week prior and with a total of five jumps on it. I was told they wouldn't be doing it on any used canopies so I sold the thing at a loss and purchased a Safire2.

I bought the Pulse, like many newer jumpers do, in an effort to save a downsize on a container. Looking back, I would have been much happier with a Sabre2, the Safire2 I ended up buying, a Fusion, or pretty much anything else in the tapered category. I also thought PD did a poor job of customer service in this instance. I felt like a really crappy skydiver after the first time I spoke with them, and a sucker after my second call. I'm aware they're known for doing a thorough job testing before marketing but I think they let their guard down on the Pulse. Maybe a newer one with the new line trim is a different story.

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strife

seems weird on the used canopies. Maybe that perspective was changed

Pulse sizes 190, 210, 230, and 260 with serial numbers between 000001 and
001378, Date of Manufacture prior to 16 July 2012.



Maybe I didn't communicate that properly, they were happy to quote me almost $400 (with shipping) to send them the canopy for a reline with the new trim, but unwilling to work any kind of deal, even given the recency of purchase.

I suspect the demo I tried out had the newer line trim and the "new" canopy I purchased had been produced earlier and just prior to the new spec.

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SecondRound

Thinking about a Pulse for my next Canopy. I am a FS Skydiver and it is highly recommended by my local experts. At the same time I hear and read strong opinions about how poorly it flares. Why the sharp divide as to how the Pulse lands?



Very brisk opening but very consistent and confidence inducing, but it is firm.

It does have a weaker flare mainly because there's not much second stage, or to be more specific not much stroke left to generate additional lift as the induced drag bleeds off your speed IMHO. There's more than enough flare to stop your descent, if not you're doing it wrong.

Jump it and make up your own mind. The other advantage is pack volume, you can fit a size larger main in your rig to upsize a bit if you need to.

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The Pulse is a great canopy, I put over 200 jumps on one. One important thing to remember is that after initial release they did have issues with larger sizes but have since changed the line trim and "fixed it" (mine was a "fixed" 210 and flared well).

The flare power issue is often taken out of context. "Compared to what?" should be asked when anyone says it doesn't flare well. It's on par with a Pilot, a Saber2 flares better than either of those, a Firebolt flares better than a Saber2; the Navigator, Spectre, and Silhouette all flare worse than the Pulse and Pilot. It's all relative to what you compare it to. At higher wing loadings the Pulse becomes a nice two stage flare as well.

Just to throw another wrench into the mix, I now have a Fluid Prime and it is in the same category as the Pulse and Pilot but I think flares a little better than either. Check out this thread if you are interested Fluid Prime

There is also a lot to be said about going with what the local experts suggest, especially if you want to get further coaching/advice from them, not only will they be more familliar with what you are jumping and probably better able to help you out, but no one likes to hear "yeah I hear what you said, but a bunch of random people on DZ.com said something else, so I'm gonna go with that." If you trust the folks giving you advice, you should take that over this forum. ;)

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I have two Pulses. While not quite as much fun to fly as my Stilettos were, I switched over mostly for the sweet openings. (I'm usually jumping camera.)

I now have a couple thousands jumps on a Pulse, and I find the flare to be just fine (always have). It takes a little getting used to, but I don't at all agree with the folks who say they don't flare/land well.

Now, if they would only start making the bottom skin in a color OTHER than white ... . :)
-Lambert-

"It's better to be looked over than overlooked."

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Your point about paying attention to the local expert is well taken. In this case the local advice exactly matches the recommendation of the Canopy Piloting professional who taught my canopy flight courses in both model of canopy and recommended size. I am definitely going to find a PD demo opportunity and see for myself. I appreciate all the input I have been given.

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I have a couple hundred jumps on a Pulse 190 I bought new. I was having crappy landings and upsized to it after a canopy course and advice by well respected folks.

It was the best move I made mostly because of the upsize.

It opens great, the flat trim allows you to get back from anywhere, and the landings are awesome. I use just a normal two stage flare. I think it's a good choice for a first or second canopy.

It is docile and has served me well. I'm looking to move on, though, and get a 170.
Chance favors the prepared mind.

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