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jacobdouglastx

Great beginner canopy for new A license jumper?

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Looking for some advice on what type of canopy to purchase for my first rig.  I just completed my A license.  I have 22 jumps on a Sabre 2 210 and 3 jumps on a Volt 185.  My exit weight is 190lbs.  I'm looking for a canopy around the 210-190 range and have been leaning towards a Sabre 2, but those are higher on the price range. I was looking for more input on if there is a specific canopy that experience jumpers would recommend to a newly licensed jumper to progress on. Any input is appreciated!   

 

-Jacob

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I started with a Silhouette 170, it shares the Airfoil of the Sabre 2, however it is a hybrid, which has benefits on packing.It was a great canopy for starting and I never had any reason to complain. Unlike the Sabre 2, no one talks that much about theSilhouette, those who own one love them, they just don't spread the word on it.Pricewise the Sabre only costs $135USD more than the Silhouette.Ask yourself, what you want, the Sabre 2 is the ultimate gateway canopy and as you progress you can stick to the canopy. I reached the point where I could safely switch to a different model and give my Silhouette to my Girlfriend, knowing that she loves the canopy and now she has a canopy that may forgive a few handling errors without turning the situation critical.

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To be perfectly honest, get whatever you can in the 1:1 ish range that's used and cheap since you're going to want to swap it out after one season.   Exit weight of 190 so you'll probably settle into a 150 in a few years.

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Questions about canopies really should be asked to your local rigger or canopy coach.

 

However, the generic guidance is a 9 cell semi elliptical loaded at about 1:1 works well. That's your sabre2, safire2/3, pilot type canopies.

 

Get a used one with 500+ jumps for the discount and much easier packing.

 

Get your local rigger to inspect it and possibly to escrow.

 

Basically go talk to your local rigger for advice.

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My exit weight was around 240lbs.   My first rig has a 190 silhouette in it.  i lost weight, but i still WL it 1.2.  I stood up my first landing on it.  Its forgiving (recovers quick from dives) and easy to time flair.  Its hard to explain how it flies but its fun.  easy to pack.

Before it, the smallest thing i jumped was a student PD210

 

I have jumped various sabre2 170 and larger.   They fly steeper.   They dive more in turns.   Some days i appreciate the flatter glide.

The silhouette has quick (but soft) openings and generally on heading.  The sabres take longer to open.  

hope this helps, i don't have experience with any other canopy yet.  

 

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I have an exit weight of 200 and my first canopy was a sabre1 170 with a pocket slider. I probably put 120 jumps on it and I’m now on a sabre2 170 which I jumped about 80 or so times with it. The sabre1 flew very similar to my pdr176 reserve except it didn’t sink as much. ( found that out last year) the sabre2 is definitely much sportier and aggressive in all aspects but it has a much softer opening. 

 

Thats my experience so far. YMMV

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Pilots and Safire II's would both also be good options to consider. The Sabre II will be slightly more aggressive, but you won't really notice a huge difference at that size and wing-loading, and all three would be good choices.

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From any of the manufacturers, the canopy models that are made in the bigger sizes are appropriate for the up and coming jumper. That would exclude outliers like CRW and accuracy canopies.

Therefore you have lots of choices that would very likely be great for you.

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I personally like PILOT canopies - but its all about personal preference.

I get consistent on heading  and gentle openings and a decent flare.

I flew a PILOT 210 (40 jumps)  then 188 (200 jumps)  and now have a 168 (180 jumps) and weigh 180lbs

In contradiction to an earlier poster - don't buy something for one season - learn to fly that canopy like your ass depends on because it does. 

The more stuff above your head means - when the shit hits the fan - you have more chance and the better you know and have flown that canopy the better and less stressful the outcome will be.

Another great thing to do it get on a canopy course. Money well spent.

 

Blue Skies. 

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(edited)

I would talk to one of your instructors and your local rigger. Everyone here has an opinion on canopies. A Pilot or a Sabre 2 loaded 1-1 is a good choice. Another overlooked canopy is the Pulse from PD which os another Hybryd Canopy. In a 7 Cell a Spectre is also a good canopy. I personally jump a Pilot 140 made out of ZPX for easier packing loaded at 1.5 which is a little aggressive for your experience level. A larger one would be most appropriate. The Pilot opens nice and flies great. To get a nice flare you have to push the toggles all the way nice and smoothly. Some people who have flown the Pilot do not realize that you have to complete the flare as you do with any canopy. All of the manufacturers have demo programs and will send you a canopy for your experience level to try out. I also know that PD has Reserve canopy's to demo and that is a good idea. Whatever you decide have a great time and be safe.

 

Cheers

Edited by freakyrat

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(edited)

 

3 hours ago, shorehambeach said:

 

Another great thing to do it get on a canopy course. Money well spent.

 

Blue Skies. 

They can be money well spent, but I sound a note of caution.

I have attended on two occasions such courses in the UK by a known outfit. On one occasion, the advice for getting back from a long spot with a tail wind was to make oneself as large as possible so that the tail wind would push one more efficiently through the air. I challenged this and eventually prevailed, but only temporarily - by the next day, he had thought about it further and reverted to his former understanding. That advice has also been given by a well known diminutive  coach, I am reliably informed by a former team mate.

Secondly, attendees at the second course were encouraged to use ‘clean equipment’, by which he meant rigs with no RSL or MARD for reasons of getting stable etc, without at least acknowledging the potential pros and cons of both philosophies.  For newer skydivers, this is poor practice. 

Caveat emptor, and those that fly with them. 

Edited by dgw
Getting used to the quote button!

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Thanks to everyone who has responded.  I had previously spoken to our rigger and they seemed pretty vague on their advice.  Pretty much just something at 1:1 that is cheap, but has no holes.  I made 3 jumps this weekend with a Pilot 210 and it seemed like a good choice as well.  I guess I have a lot of choices as long as I keep my WL at 1:1 or less. 

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6 hours ago, dgw said:

 

  For newer skydivers, this is poor practice. 

Caveat emptor, and those that fly with them. 

I'd say more like for all skydivers, except possibly CReW Dogs. There seems to be a mentality that newer jumpers should have an RSL, but once you know what you're doing then you dont need one anymore. Of course you are free to do as you feel is best, but most of the actual fatalities I know about where an RSL would likely have saved the jumper's life involved a very experienced skydiver and not a newbie.

This is what Dan BC has to say on the topic: http://danbrodsky-chenfeld.com/blog/2013/06/27/safety-tips-for-skydiving-and-life-as-well/

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13 hours ago, 20kN said:

I'd say more like for all skydivers, except possibly CReW Dogs. There seems to be a mentality that newer jumpers should have an RSL, but once you know what you're doing then you dont need one anymore. Of course you are free to do as you feel is best, but most of the actual fatalities I know about where an RSL would likely have saved the jumper's life involved a very experienced skydiver and not a newbie.

This is what Dan BC has to say on the topic: http://danbrodsky-chenfeld.com/blog/2013/06/27/safety-tips-for-skydiving-and-life-as-well/

Agreed. I am very much pro RSL / MARD. However, people should arrive at their own informed view. My issue in that regard was that the coach was promoting the no-RSL rig as superior equipment, without at least covering the pros of RSL / MARD rigs. 

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On 1/30/2019 at 1:02 PM, jacobdouglastx said:

Thanks to everyone who has responded.  I had previously spoken to our rigger and they seemed pretty vague on their advice.  Pretty much just something at 1:1 that is cheap, but has no holes. 

I guess no (significant) holes is a good criteria, although I figured that would be somewhat of a given . . .

I'd also suggest checking canopy trim on any Spectra line canopy.  An out of trim canopy can fly very poorly and be hard to land, and a reline is relatively cheap.  A quick and dirty way to check is to start packing and compare length of the D lines.  They should all be the same on most canopies (you can check the line length docs if you're not sure; many of them are on line lately.)  If there's more than a few inches of difference it might be a good idea to replace the lines first.

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(edited)
On 1/31/2019 at 10:02 AM, billvon said:

 and a reline is relatively cheap.

Not really. Most linesets are around $250 plus shipping. A rigger will typically charge $100 to reline the canopy. That brings you to $400 all said and done. It's expensive enough that any canopy being sold with 300 jumps or more and has not been relined yet is in the territory of being a bad deal (except Spectra). Typically, a canopy like that would go for maybe $1700 on an MSRP tag of $2250 or so. However, you basically need a reline as soon as you get it (brakes at the minimal), which means when you factor the cost of the reline you're nearly at the price of a brand new canopy.

Edited by 20kN

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