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Westerly

Deployment Techniques

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I completed an FFC not too long ago with one of the Squirrel coaches. I was taught on deployment to give a hard arch, symmetrically collapse arm wings and bring my feet up at 90 degrees. I was told not to collapse the leg wing, but bring the legs up a bit, similar to a relaxed belly freefall position.

Anyway, I was reading the user manual for some Phoenix Fly suits today and noticed that it said to never bring your legs up during deployment, and instead collapse the leg wing and keep your legs straight. In other words, the exact opposite of what I was taught. It does make sense that bringing your legs up at a 90 could increase your risk of the D bag hitting your foot or leg wing, which would not be cool.

So what is the proper deployment technique then for a smaller modern suit? Something like a Swift, Hatch, or something of the sorts.

I watched this video and it seems to show flying the suit in full flight with little or no change in the legs.

https://vimeo.com/239867145

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Both will work.
In both cases above you are reducing the size of the leg wing. The idea of that is to balance the fact that you are pulling your arms in to complete the pull, and you don't want a maxxed out leg wing to send you head low.

There is no one correct method. Having said that I believe that key to getting a good deployment in a wingsuit is to be able to fly stable with your hand on the PC handle - for me that is in a slight arch and dialling back on the legwing, both hands on my BOC. If you can hold that position then it means you're not trying to rush the deployment (e.g. trying to dump it out before going unstable) and can get it out with both shoulders level with the horizon.

Yes bringing your feet up at 90 degrees at the wrong moment could mean you kick the D bag, it's happened to me a couple of times, but usually when I was deploying in full flight and THEN kicking my feet up as it extracted.

I fly mainly PF suits and deploy closer to how you've described above as the advice from the Squirrel coach. I'm not aware of any brand-specific methods.

For you as a beginner I think just keep jumping and asking other wingsuiters and you'll settle into a technique that feels natural for you.

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The short answer is you will get 100 different answers from 100 different people and they all work. The way you learned is how many have learned. I learned on the hatch to arch and keep the legs straight.

The video you linked from squirrel/next level talks about speed and symmetry. Flying the leg wing, collapsing but straight or bringing the knees in a little all want you to have that symmetry.

FWIW, I fly the tail with my legs straight through pull on the swift and ATC. I just don't arch like I used too. Just keep getting continued coaching and they can help with pull techniques as you get new suits.

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Deployment best practices tend to vary based on various characteristics of the suit. You should contact the manufacturer if in doubt. The general theme is you want your canopy in cleaner air, with more vertical speed and limited horizontal speed.

On small suits it really doesn't matter that much so long as your gear configuration is reasonable. When I break out the shadow I tend to get lazy and pitch from full flight...

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As others have said, many ways will work fine.

One thing that I wish that I had learned earlier than I did was to fly stable a deployment position. In my early days I would tend to be a bit head low during deployment.

One day the wind at 3500 feet was over 40 MPH and I am lightly loaded under canopy. I didn't want to pull in that wind, and I didn't want to be low and have problems with my pull. So about 4000 feet (normally would pull 3500-4000) I put my and on the handle, folded my legs enough, and started falling almost straight down like a belly jumper. I keep my hand on the handle and my eye on my mudflap altimeter and waited until below 3000 to pitch. My terminal speed was about 70 MPH so that fall was several seconds. It was a great learning experience for me. It taught me to focus on my stability and that rushing deployment in any way was not necessary.

I would encourage any new bird to learn to fly with both hands on the bottom of your container for 10 seconds, stay stable and in control. You can steer with your shoulders. Practice that a few times and it will help your deployments, because you can better focus on your flying once you have a bit of practice at managing "level" attitude in that position.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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dthames

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I would encourage any new bird to learn to fly with both hands on the bottom of your container for 10 seconds, stay stable and in control. You can steer with your shoulders. Practice that a few times and it will help your deployments, because you can better focus on your flying once you have a bit of practice at managing "level" attitude in that position.



I really try to hammer this into their heads when I’m doing an FFC. The most common problem I see on first deployments is instability that arises from rushing it and pulling unstable, whereas if they just learned to be stable with the suit collapsed you can pitch when you’re perfectly square and won’t have any issue.

As for my current deployment in my Strix - I honestly have better openings when I initiate the deployment from a backfly lol.

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Kinda been beaten around the bush a bit but basically it comes down to what are you trying to do and what is likely to go wrong.

With students, you teach them to start collapsing stuff basically to get super stable because you don't want them to roll or pitch head down when they pull. (I rolled once flying a suit too big for me; and I watched two different people pitch head down, suit was fine they were just new). So a "good student flare" is not necessarily a "good experienced wingsuiter flare," but as long as you aren't having problems, do whatever you want.

So to answer your question, you have to specify who is pulling and what is their biggest concern? After a while stability isn't an issue anymore and you don't care about collapsing things or having a "wingsuit friendly" main for instance. E.g. Backfly deployment guy like 2 comments up.

Personally I like max flare because it is soft; like softer than a hop and pop, so I fly>flare>pitch>go back to flaring. Arms and legs are mostly straight the whole time "It's all in the hips/shoulders." Anyway, I wouldn't recommend that for someone who stability might be a problem for. But someone who isn't worried about stability and wants a softer opening, then yeah, give it a shot.

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dthames

As others have said, many ways will work fine.

One thing that I wish that I had learned earlier than I did was to fly stable a deployment position. In my early days I would tend to be a bit head low during deployment.

...

I would encourage any new bird to learn to fly with both hands on the bottom of your container for 10 seconds, stay stable and in control. You can steer with your shoulders. Practice that a few times and it will help your deployments, because you can better focus on your flying once you have a bit of practice at managing "level" attitude in that position.



Very similar experience here too and I agree 100%. Started getting unstable during a terminal reserve deployment. Did a whole jump after that just touching my handels, 1 at a time, both at the same time, PC, etc. I'd also stop at the hand-on-PC stage during deployments for a few seconds for a number of jumps after that and just fly it. Felt a lot better about it after some practice.

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