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jakebaustin

Softest opening canopy

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Check out the “Firebolt” from Parachute Laboratories Inc. in DeLand Florida.

I have a Firebolt 164. The Firebolt is the best all around canopy I’ve ever jumped since the Cruiselite by Para Flite. It’s designed for soft on heading openings and easy landings.

You won’t have any problems with a Firebolt of any size.

http://plabsinc.com/

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11 hours ago, jakebaustin said:

I have a spectre w/dacron that slams me

Are you sure there isn't something else going wrong? I've had my Spectre for close to 200 jumps and my last jump was the first hard opening I ever had on it (and I'm pretty sure I know what went wrong, as I had to pack real quickly between 2 night jumps, wearing my jump suit with tons of lights taped to it, and even while packing I thought: "this doesn't feel right") On all other jumps the openings were super soft and always completely straight and controlled.

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(edited)

Everybody I know (myself included) who jumps Safires (I'm assuming you've got a Safire 2 or 3 - can't say much about the old Safire 1s) is consistently impressed with how slow and soft the openings are. I've had openings so soft (if the packer pulled the slider too far in front of the nose, or pushed the nose in a bit) that I've been briefly worried I was dealing with a streamer. If you're 100% confident in your packing and body position on deployment (and I don't mean "yeah of course it's fine," I mean, have you gone over your packing with a rigger since you started having hard openings? Have you had an instructor film a deployment or three?), have your rigger check the canopy and the line trim.

Edited by drdm

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On 9/6/2019 at 2:35 AM, drdm said:

Everybody I know (myself included) who jumps Safires (I'm assuming you've got a Safire 2 or 3 - can't say much about the old Safire 1s) is consistently impressed with how slow and soft the openings are. I've had openings so soft (if the packer pulled the slider too far in front of the nose, or pushed the nose in a bit) that I've been briefly worried I was dealing with a streamer. If you're 100% confident in your packing and body position on deployment (and I don't mean "yeah of course it's fine," I mean, have you gone over your packing with a rigger since you started having hard openings? Have you had an instructor film a deployment or three?), have your rigger check the canopy and the line trim.

I rented a Safire 2 at Skydive Hibaldstow last summer as I didn't have my own gear, and the first jump on it I had my hands on the handles because I was sure it was a streamer - it was so slow opening - but really nice when it did open and my heart rate went back down - great canopy.

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On 9/5/2019 at 11:35 PM, drdm said:

Everybody I know (myself included) who jumps Safires (I'm assuming you've got a Safire 2 or 3 - can't say much about the old Safire 1s) is consistently impressed with how slow and soft the openings are.

I jump a Safire 1 and all but one of my openings have been super soft and generally on-heading. I love it. I am loaded fairly light (about 1.12-1.15), but that shouldn’t really affect it.

So, not sure what is going on with the OP’s canopy, but in my experience the Safire doesn’t slam people.

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On 9/5/2019 at 6:57 PM, jakebaustin said:

what are the softest opening canopies out there? I have a spectre w/dacron that slams me and a safire that opens even harder than the spectre. looking for something that I can trust wont break my neck. 

i have a safire 2, the slowest openings come from stuffing it into the bag in a horrible mess, then it billows out, so slow.

if i pack it neat it comes out quicker but i would never say hard.

you've got sliders on these canopies right?

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21 hours ago, countzero said:

How many jumps are on the current line sets of the canopies you're jumping? Might want to have a rigger check the line trim.

Boom. May also be an issue with packing if it is happening on two different canopies. 

Husband and I both jump Spectres with Dacron.  He's put over 1000 on one, I've got a couple hundred.  No hard openings, ever.  

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49 minutes ago, skybytch said:

Boom. May also be an issue with packing if it is happening on two different canopies. 

Husband and I both jump Spectres with Dacron.  He's put over 1000 on one, I've got a couple hundred.  No hard openings, ever.  

Quite right!

Dacron just works well, and not just because it is able to absorb some of the shock:

https://www.dropzone.com/forums/topic/266092-dacron-lines-are-good-not-just-because-they-absorb-more-shock/?do=findComment&comment=4861211

 

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On 9/13/2019 at 12:13 AM, skybytch said:

<snip>May also be an issue with packing if it is happening on two different canopies. <snip>

 

This seems the most likely cause to me. I would ask a suitable experienced person watch you pack.

The first thing I thought was that the slider may not be all the way up against the slider stops, or that it may be incorrectly 'flaked' (translation issue here). The slider must be all the way up and packed to catch as much air as possible in order to work most efficiently. I'm sure native English speakers on here can explain more properly waht I mean, but it is best if someone shows you in person how to pack the slider.

If you're sure that you do these things correctly, it may be that the slider shifts when you put the canopy in the bag.

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On 9/11/2019 at 8:22 AM, davenuk said:

i have a safire 2, the slowest openings come from stuffing it into the bag in a horrible mess, then it billows out, so slow.

if i pack it neat it comes out quicker but i would never say hard.

you've got sliders on these canopies right?

something a little more helpful - 

i tried this sleeping bag roll method a few times and it makes my safire 2 come out sooooo slow.

 

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On 9/16/2019 at 11:32 AM, Baksteen said:

This seems the most likely cause to me. I would ask a suitable experienced person watch you pack.

The first thing I thought was that the slider may not be all the way up against the slider stops, or that it may be incorrectly 'flaked' (translation issue here). The slider must be all the way up and packed to catch as much air as possible in order to work most efficiently. I'm sure native English speakers on here can explain more properly waht I mean, but it is best if someone shows you in person how to pack the slider.

If you're sure that you do these things correctly, it may be that the slider shifts when you put the canopy in the bag.

In the UK we refer to flaking the tail, but describe what we do to the slider as ‘quartering’ :-)

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Years ago I purchased a new rig that included a Spectre 190 canopy.  I ordered that canopy because I was getting  a bit "long in the tooth" and the Spectre had a reputation for nice soft openings with long snivels.  Well, that canopy never lived up to that reputation.  It would usually open without hurting me but  never gave me a really soft opening. On some occasions it would really slam me!  That wasn't what this old man needed.

I sent it back to PD for a checkout and after a number of test jumps and trying a larger slider they decided it wasn't worth the effort of trying to save. They told me to choose the new canopy of my choice with the colors of my choice and they would put it at the  top of the production list! No charge! :)

I chose a new Storm with Dacron lines and that canopy really does open nice!  Just what this old body needs to keep me in the air for a few more years.

The Spectre was produced in Honduras and I have a suspicion that their quality control was not as good as that of the US manufactured products.  I don't know this for a fact. I am just guessing. Whenever I compare an old US made product to it's now foreign made counterpart that is "made to our exacting specifications" it is never as good.:(

 

 

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On 9/5/2019 at 10:57 AM, jakebaustin said:

what are the softest opening canopies out there? I have a spectre w/dacron that slams me and a safire that opens even harder than the spectre. looking for something that I can trust wont break my neck. 

I have two rigs; one with a Stiletto 150 and the other with a brand new Saber 1 - 170, and I'm 235# out the door. Both can be capricious. I put pocket sliders (ask your rigger) on both and they open like dreams.  

 

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On 11/24/2019 at 8:32 AM, Jumpingeezer said:

The Spectre was produced in Honduras and I have a suspicion that their quality control was not as good as that of the US manufactured products.  I don't know this for a fact. I am just guessing.

Many canopies from many manufacturers are not built in the US.

If PD took good care of you, why are you publicly dissing their quality comtrol? Every manufacturer has had canopies that were just off enough to cause an issue that wouldn't have been noticed without being jumped. 

 

 

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(edited)

I agree with several other jumps who have replied--there must be something else going on. Perhaps you are having "normal" openings and are not experienced enough to know what a hard opening is. I have 1200+ jumps and have had two hard openings, one that knocked me unconscious (my fault, poor packing) and another that snapped my neck so hard that my hands were numb for days. The snatch force of the pilot chute should stand you up; that would not be regarded as a hard opening. Any canopy can give you a hard opening, but if you are having hard openings with Spectres and Safires routinely then look else where than the canopy type.

 

Edited by Dave Crocco

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