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20kN

Strix vs Freak 2 vs ATC

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How does the Strix compare to the Freak 2? I've been flying the ATC (100 jumps, 250 WS total) and I was considering getting a Freak 2 at some undetermined point in the future, but I have an opportunity to get a good deal on a used Strix. I am just curious how the three compare to each other.

 

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I have about 350 jumps on my Strix and I’ve put 1 jump on a Freak 2. Flown my Strix with a lot of people that have ATCs.

The Freak2 is the most powerful of the 3. The Strix and ATC seem to be pretty equal in the hands of similarly skilled pilots. I’d say the Rafale and Freak2/3 are the ones to compare more fairly. The Strix does feel much more agile and acrobatic than the Freak 2, but then again the Strix is an acro suit with power while the Freak is a powerful suit with acro ability secondary. It’s up to what you wanna focus on. 

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2 hours ago, skydave89 said:

I have about 350 jumps on my Strix and I’ve put 1 jump on a Freak 2. Flown my Strix with a lot of people that have ATCs.

The Freak2 is the most powerful of the 3. The Strix and ATC seem to be pretty equal in the hands of similarly skilled pilots. I’d say the Rafale and Freak2/3 are the ones to compare more fairly. The Strix does feel much more agile and acrobatic than the Freak 2, but then again the Strix is an acro suit with power while the Freak is a powerful suit with acro ability secondary. It’s up to what you wanna focus on. 

I want something I can do some backflying and transitioning in, but I am not an acro flyer. I mostly do simple stuff. Formations, docking, stacks, some basic backflying and transisioning, but that's about it. If the Strix and ATC are more or less the same in terms of performance, I dont think it would make sense for me to buy one. But the Strix does seem to have more surface area than the ATC and so I assumed it would be faster and have more L/D.

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I have owned/own a Freak 1/Rafale, and flown with Freak2s, ATCs, and Strixes. My observations:

The Strix 1 is really more on level with an ATC in terms of performance. I would imagine that those two are pretty comparable in terms of performance and acro ability.

The Rafale is far ahead of where my Freak 1 was, but appears to be very similar to Freak 2 in performance based on my experience flying with these suits.

I think that PF and Sq get to the same level of performance and acro ability with their suits in different ways:

 PF will ask you to deal with a little more fabric, but in return provides a wing with less pressure and a little smoother handling. My Rafale is more forgiving of a sloppy transition than my F1 was.

Sq gives you a wing with less fabric, but asks you to deal with a little more pressure and a little more tendency to smack you when you aren't transitioning smoothly.

I think it's personal preference.  All are good suits and all (ATC/Strix 1 and 2/F series/Rafale) fly together comfortably. If you can get a sweet deal on a Strix, it's probably worth it. And there are likely to be more available since the Strix 2 is now being delivered. 

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I have the same experience - Freak is less forgiving e.g. on your back (you have to fly well to fly well :) ) than Strix but definitely you get more power and range. I'm guessing that's why Rafale was born - to have similar performance to Freak (however with bigger area).

There are some differences between Strix/ATC and Freak/Rafale in the way they fly. Best bet is to test. However you should be satisfied with whatever suit you decide to get.

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Quote

 I'm guessing that's why Rafale was born - to have similar performance to Freak (however with bigger area).

The rafale is quite a step up in comparison.
Several people Ive seen fly the suit reporting the same: having power/glide left in comparison
with noticeable ease also flying flatter glide and/or slower speeds on the back, while still able to throw the suit around a lot, and not instantly getting punished for less than perfect transitions.

It may take a few jumps adjusting, coming of something else, but the power is there..

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If the Strix is similar to the ATC then I am wondering why Squirrel calls for 70 WS jumps for the ATC but Phoenix Fly wants you to have 200 WS  jumps to fly the Strix. I have my own theory as to why this is, but I am curious what others say.

Edited by 20kN

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14 hours ago, 20kN said:

If the Strix is similar to the ATC then I am wondering why Squirrel calls for 70 WS jumps for the ATC but Phoenix Fly wants you to have 200 WS  jumps to fly the Strix. I have my own theory as to why this is, but I am curious what others say.

Because Squirrel has always done that. It really seems to be part of their business/marketing strategy. Also I think there’s a bit of forgetfulness of what it’s like to be a new flyer. A Squirrel team pilot with 3,000 wingsuit jumps is going to, obviously, say a suit like an ATC is easy for them to control. For somebody coming from 70 jumps on small suits I don’t think they would say the same. I’ve seen several cutaways, flat spins, and even no pulls on ATCs by people that upsized into them with hardly any experience. Jump number recommendations are another debate, but we have to at least try and set a recommendation, and I think more than 70 jumps is logical for suits of this power. 

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If you follow the Sq "Paths of Progression" by the minimums they can be quick. For example:

Freestyle: Gus/S3 (0-5 WS jumps), Funk 3 (50 jumps), ATC 2 (75 jumps), Freak 3 (175 jumps)

Obviously they are minimums, and most jumpers are likely being encouraged to spend as much time as possible on a suit before upsizing, but if you follow this recommendation you've bought 4 new suits inside 175 jumps.

From what I've seen though, most jumpers move a bit slower than this for a variety of reasons.
 

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On 2/15/2019 at 6:06 AM, 20kN said:

If the Strix is similar to the ATC then I am wondering why Squirrel calls for 70 WS jumps for the ATC but Phoenix Fly wants you to have 200 WS  jumps to fly the Strix. I have my own theory as to why this is, but I am curious what others say.

My guess is that because area-wise ATC is much smaller than Strix.

Also similar doesn't mean the same. Still Strix has more power than ATC. 

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12 hours ago, lyosha said:

Really? Because mostly I see the opposite. People saying "I know 75 is recommended but I'm at 30 and am already stable and bored and can't make it into flocks because my rented ibird sucks!"

That has been what I tend to see as well.

Another one starting to cause a problem is large suits being marketed as 'easy to fly' (and sometimes they are). People read the 'easy to fly' part and ignore the rest.

Anyway back on the Strix, I have just watched the PF promo for it and they are calling it a suit for intermediate flyers. So I feel like 200 jumps is on the conservative side for PF there (which is good). Whereas 70 for the ATC seems a bit low and might be just lower because if Squirrel upped it to 100 people would buy the Freak instead. Anyway I haven't jumped either of them, someone who has jumped both would have a more educated opinion.

 

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2 hours ago, johnmatrix said:

That has been what I tend to see as well.

Another one starting to cause a problem is large suits being marketed as 'easy to fly' (and sometimes they are). People read the 'easy to fly' part and ignore the rest.

Anyway back on the Strix, I have just watched the PF promo for it and they are calling it a suit for intermediate flyers. So I feel like 200 jumps is on the conservative side for PF there (which is good). Whereas 70 for the ATC seems a bit low and might be just lower because if Squirrel upped it to 100 people would buy the Freak instead. Anyway I haven't jumped either of them, someone who has jumped both would have a more educated opinion.

 

This has been cause for debate for a while and continues to be... I only have good experiences progressing people from Swift2/3s, Phantoms etc to ATC's, skipping the old "intermediate suit class". Squirrel recommends 75+ for the ATC2. I have progressed quite a few now and they where at ~80 jumps. Those students where deemed excellent at flying their small suit in all configurations. This progression is smooth and what you as the instructor concentrate on is teaching people the new deployment flaring technique. When progressing people, pls always asses their canopy WL. If it is on the edge, then it could turn into a problem during the progression and then I ask people to address that at least for a while.  As for the Strix, it is larger than the ATC, the tail extends beyound the feet like the Freak, so people should compare that to the Freak series. The ATC is more in the class of the new Tony R3 and they say 40'ish jumps is okay for the R3. To sum it up, I do not see anything "extremely bad" when looking at what the different manufacturers recommends. And I dont think it is "marketing based". Its just specifying minimum requirements for a suit design and its specific usecases. It's not only the size that differentiates the designs and their requirements, its their intended usage. ATC = huge usage range, Freak = smallish bigsuit with acro capabilities, Strix = same as Freak but more gentle/forgiving and easier to learn bigsuit acro in. R3, can't say havent tried it yet, and there is also the new Høg from Tony...

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5 hours ago, birdynamnam said:

Its just specifying minimum requirements for a suit design and its specific usecases.

I think instead of advertising jump number qualifications, manufacturers should start listing flight ability requirements for suits. For example, in order to upgrade to an ATC 2, Squirrel recommends being able to fly a Swift in all configurations, as well as have consistent on heading openings. And to upgrade to a Freak, Squirrel recommends being able to fly an ATC in all configurations as well as have consistent on heading openings (continue process for different suits, and different brands). I feel like this would have a better impact than saying "*insert number* jumps to fly this suit". This may help clear up the grey area of "qualifications", and stop someone with 75 jumps from buying an ATC when they fly like shit and get line twists every time they deploy.

But at the end of the day, people are going to buy what they want, regardless if they are ready for it.

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In related news, Tony Suits is doing a lot of work it looks like. New website, new suits coming out in this category (R-Bird Pro 2, Hog). It's really cool to see them making a comeback (at least here on the west coast, I'm sure they've always been present in FL).

The USA has re-entered the wingsuit World Brand Wars!

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11 hours ago, BASE_7DA said:

And don't forget, according to their website, squirrel doesn't even make advanced suits...

Squirrel_Suits_Skill_Chart_v32@2x.png

Yep, this table is not very precise. Bars with 200 numbers start in different place than the Advanced category

Edited by skow

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