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psykx

New heavy jumper wing loading and when to buy gear

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Hi all,
I'm a new jumper (13 jumps so far) and I'm pretty heavy, 213lbs I'm currently jumping a 280 and while standing up landings I'm not looking to downsize yet.

I've been thinking about when to buy gear and looking at a lot of used gear. Nearly everything seems to be smaller than 200. Are bigger canopies more docile than smaller ones at the same wing loading?

Should I just buy new gear? If I rented gear for 200 jumps, I'd spend the same as a new rig.

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Yes they are more docile thats why student canopies are large. Although the design of the canopy is an equal consideration. Lots of discussion about when to buy, or rent, use the search. You just have to look for a larger used rig. Don't buy new, as a used rig could work for you for years and hundreds of jumps. The savings pay for 1/2 of them.

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I'm thinking to buy gear too.

The argument about buying new vs old is if I buy new gear I can sell it and get back at least half of the cost too right?

So let's say paying 7k for brand new gear, sell it after 200 jumps and get back 3.5k-4k

vs

paying 4k for used gear, jump 200 times and then can I re-sell it to someone again? for like 1k?

if so, I pay extra 0.5k~1k for buying new gear. kinda worth it right?

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On 1/16/2019 at 5:58 PM, psykx said:

Hi all,
 Are bigger canopies more docile than smaller ones at the same wing loading?

 

Yes they are. A 170 with a WL of 1.2 is going to be more docile than a 135 at the same WL.

I would not buy all brand new gear in your situation. Buying brand new gear for your first kit is not a good idea in general, but especially in your case because I cant imagine many people wanting to buy a 280 rig. That's a pretty limited market and you're going to have a hard time reselling something like that.

Also, packing brand new canopies, especially as a new jumper, is a total bitch. Packing a brand new 280 is going to have you putting your fist through a wall. Seriously. You're going to struggle hard core packing a brand new canopy that large. A well used canopy will be considerably easier to pack.

If you get a good deal on a used rig, after 200 jumps you could probably sell it for close to what you paid for it. The more used something is, the less it depreciates. A rig that was new but now has 200 jumps is going to lose a lot more value than a rig that had 1500 jumps and now has 1700.

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On 1/19/2019 at 12:35 AM, 20kN said:

Yes they are. A 170 with a WL of 1.2 is going to be more docile than a 135 at the same WL.

I would not buy all brand new gear in your situation. Buying brand new gear for your first kit is not a good idea in general, but especially in your case because I cant imagine many people wanting to buy a 280 rig. That's a pretty limited market and you're going to have a hard time reselling something like that.

Also, packing brand new canopies, especially as a new jumper, is a total bitch. Packing a brand new 280 is going to have you putting your fist through a wall. Seriously. You're going to struggle hard core packing a brand new canopy that large. A well used canopy will be considerably easier to pack.

If you get a good deal on a used rig, after 200 jumps you could probably sell it for close to what you paid for it. The more used something is, the less it depreciates. A rig that was new but now has 200 jumps is going to lose a lot more value than a rig that had 1500 jumps and now has 1700.

Design of the canopy is as important as WL.

How old the used equipment is also a consideration, besides the number of jumps. If you get a reasonable deal on used equipment and make 200 jumps a year. You shouldn't loose more than $500. For that year and period of time. If you are on the lookout for deals, know equipment and values. Its possible for sell it for more than what you pay for it.

Don't buy something too advanced just because its a deal.

Just buy used!! But talk to riggers, instructors and other gear heads about what to look for and values.

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(edited)

I weighed 220 when I started, and jumped a Nav 280, then a 260, 240, then a sabre 2 230 and/or nav 220 all within my first ~30 jumps. By jump 40 I was down to 205 lbs jumping a sabre 2 210 (exit weight probably 235-240). I wanted an LPV 190 sized reserve, figuring I would eventually downsize the main further but not wanting to downsize on my first reserve ride. I wound up with a pilot 188 and an optimum 193, loading around 1.2-1.3 around jump 50... I wouldn't recommend going that route unless you're actively losing weight and unless you're aware of the risk you're taking on by going to that high a wingloading. 

That said, I would talk to your instructors about trying to start downsizing towards a 1:1 wingloading (i.e. a nav 260 then 240), and then move on to a non-navigator 230 (sabre 2, pilot, silhouette, something relatively docile) for a while. Then buy your first used rig with a 210 or a 230 in it and use it for a few hundred jumps. I would try to get off rental gear once you get to a 230 and definitely once you're on a 210. Keep in mind at a higher weight/size, the difference will be less than a 130 lb student working their way to a 1:1. I noticed almost nothing different about a nav 260 compared to a 280. Even the 240 was about the same. Buying a used rig in the ~$4K neighborhood will also allow you to stop throwing money at rentals, and you could probably sell it for at least 3500 within ~2 years after.

The important thing is to talk to some instructors and/or riggers that know you and have seen your landings. Nobody on the internet knows how sketchy your landings may or may not be, but riggers and instructors should be more helpful than us, or random fun jumpers that don't know what altitude their AAD fires at or what the differences are between a 7 and 9-cell canopy.

Also, once you've done your hop and pops you can take a b-license canopy course. The course instructor should be helpful with figuring out what your first rig size should be and a safe way to get there. You're probably still (and should be) paying for coaches through jump 25, might as well knock out a canopy course as part of that.

Edited by veazer

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The simple answer is to only load your first rig at one pound per square foot. When calculating wing-loading, weigh everything you will be suspending under that canopy: yourself, shoes, helmet, clothing, harness, reserve canopy, etc.

Err on the side of caution.

When in doubt, buy a canopy slightly too large. Large canopies deliver you to the scene of the accident slower. Slower means limping away from a poor landing. Limping is cheaper than all the other alternatives.

By the time you are bored with that canopy, you will have almost 200 jumps and will be contemplating wing-suiting. You will be to wear a docile canopy during your first wing-suit dive!

 

Handling - at the same wing loading - really only changes below 150 square feet because their lines are so short.

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(edited)

I am a heavier jumper than you and I can give you some feedback.

Honestly, the first mistake people tend to do when giving advice to larger skydivers is only considering the WL. Wingloading is one factor that is nowhere near equal for a 170lbs or a 220lbs jumper. I started jumping with a 270 and by the 10th jump I was on 250. Larger canopies with higher wingload will still be less responsive than smaller canopies at the lower wingload. You have to take many factors in consideration, the amount of material, aerodynamic properties of the larger wing, the line length etc.

Long story short, you are not in greater danger just because you jump a 1.1wl 210 and the other guy jumps a 150 0.8wl canopy. Your canopy will still react slower, the roll is longer. The only difference you will probably notice is a slightly faster descend rate and a slightly more responsive toggle.

From what I jumped the canopies in 270, 250, 230 range all reacted very similar. The first noticeable bump came with a 210, but that was also because of the design of the canopy, it was my first non student modern canopy. Still nothing scary. I was loaded just above 1.1 at this point. Then came the 185 which put me under a 1.25 wl. This is the first time I noticed the canopy started to fly in a totally different dimension. But given my flying capabilities, landings etc. I was cleared for it at around 80 jumps. When I made another 60 I was give na chance to test fly a 170 and honestly again the difference was minor, but you start to notice the speed picking up. The lowest I tested was 150 at the end of this season and the leap from a 170 to a 150 is noticeable at worst. The air is louder, you go MUCH faster and you loose altitude very quickly during the turns. Canopy gets ground hungry. And this is definetely my stoping point for atleast 200 jumps. An interesting thing I have to point out is the flare. Flare keeps getting better and better. You can stop a 150 like you would fly a 210, a lot of power available.

 

Considering the wl:

0.8 to 1.1 pretty much the same, basic flying, if you aren't a total anti talent for canopy piloting you are probably fine

1.1-1.3 Things get faster, sportier but the canopy still manages to forgive some flawed imput

1.3-1.5 The difference gets noticable, every downsize feels like a real step up to the previous size. Things happen fast.

 

Mind you, this is totally my experience with piloting canopies. I am not saying it is correct, but it might help you, since I already went trough the first few phases. I also must stress that I progressed to a smaller canopy only after I successfully landed the previous model in various wind conditions and situations. If you have trouble standing up landings 280-250 then I suppose downsizing still ain't the right call.

 

Here is a video comparison I did of a 185 vs a 150 canopy. I'm piloting in both cases. Notice the time needed for both canopies to land. 185 pulls out and levels while 150 keeps flying towards the ground.

 

Edited by Maddingo
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