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EvilDuck

Beginner wingsuiter needs some advice.

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Hello. I am new to this forum so I will start with a brief intro. I am Alexander. I have 498 skydives at the moment of writing this post out of which ~70 are wingsuit jumps. I jump at Skydive Stockholm in Sweden.

The best way to illustrate my problem is this video. This happened to me this weekend. The problem is it's the second time it has happened to me in 2 months in just 70 WS jumps. 428 other jumps, of which ~200 are in a high performance one-piece tracksuit (Airglide Mono) and never was even close to cutting away or having line twists like that. Needless to say, it makes me very anxious about jumping wingsuit, which is a shame, since that's what I was aiming for with skydiving. I want to try ws base one day, but with problems like that I know I shouldn't even think about it now.

Does anyone have any good suggestions, packing tips words of wisdom, how I should approach fixing this?

Current canopy is PD Storm 150, with a wing load of about 1.3.

 

Thank you.

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I'm no expert on the topic, but like you, wingsuiting is my passion. I started right at 202 and now 540 jumps later I think I can shed some light and experience... I bought a brand new 170 storm for a worthy wingsuiting canopy.  GET RID of it!  I've put only 9 jumps on my new WINX 166 and  well, JUST BUY ONE! Can't rave enough about it...

Secondly, you need ALL the modifications, 9 ft bridle, dynamic corners... The biggest piece of advice I can personally give: PROPER FORM ON DEPLOYMENT AND FLY THRU IT.  Also, when you start flying a suit that can flare, the spicy openings tend to go away!   

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(edited)

Couple quick things from watching the video. First, you are leaning to the right when you pull. You can see the horizon going wonky. That will turn your burble into a big ass vortex which will rotate your bag/packjob before it gets to line stretch like it happened in this jump. It also means that when you get snatched you get ragdolled to create even more twists. If the packjob gets thrown around it will also open harder as the slider will come off the stops before bottom skin inflation, compundng the ragdolling issue.

 

So dedicate a number of jumps to do practice pulls smoothly and slow concentrating in keeping level and being symetrical, as well as getting comfortable with flying the suit during the pull sequence. There's no rush to pitch in a wingsuit, we are falling relatively slow.  Also try and make sure you slow down first efficiently without dirtying the air behind you. The link above has some stuff about it

 

The other thing, once the twists are in full flow there's not much you can do to stop them, and all you might achieve by reaching wildly into the risers is getting your fingers trapped between the twists. What you can do though, is prevent the canopy from diving by ensuring the risers are level. So as soon as you see you are getting twisted grab the risers low down or at the three rings and yank the right/left risers as needed to make them even before the twists lock them in an uneven position. Keep the fight to maintain the risers level until the whole thing settles. With a canopy flying level you got more time to get rid of the twists and is way less stressful.

 

Besides that, storms are notoriously bad ws canopies. Just because they are 7 cells does not mean they are ws friendly. Other things you may want to consider are semi-stowless bags, 9ft bridal and big PC if you don't have them already.

Edited by GoneCodFishing
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On 10/18/2019 at 10:18 PM, timski said:

I'm no expert on the topic, but like you, wingsuiting is my passion. I started right at 202 and now 540 jumps later I think I can shed some light and experience... I bought a brand new 170 storm for a worthy wingsuiting canopy.  GET RID of it!  I've put only 9 jumps on my new WINX 166 and  well, JUST BUY ONE! Can't rave enough about it...

Secondly, you need ALL the modifications, 9 ft bridle, dynamic corners... The biggest piece of advice I can personally give: PROPER FORM ON DEPLOYMENT AND FLY THRU IT.  Also, when you start flying a suit that can flare, the spicy openings tend to go away!   

If i had read through this^ first it would have saved me some writing :-)

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(edited)

Alright so a few things. It's a bit hard to tell everything from the video, so I'm making some generalizations.

- When you get linetwists the FIRST thing you do is get the risers even. Look at the slinks and make sure the left and right riser sets are even. If they are not, even them the fuck up pronto. Uneven risers are effectively equivalent to inducing a harness turn into the canopy by which the lines on top of the canopy are uneven. That effects a turn in the canopy and it will start to spiral down on you very quickly (which is what happened in your video). The more you spin under the canopy the more friction you're going to build in the lines making it harder and harder to even the risers up as you spin under the canopy. That's why it's important to get them even quickly, immediately open opening.

- The type of linetwists you experienced are called body twists. They are mostly specific to wingsuiting. They occur when the canopy opens without linetwists, but you spin under the canopy. It often occurs when the risers are loaded unevenly, which in effect throws your body in a spin as soon as the canopy starts to slow you down. The cause of this is failing to fly the opening correctly, and in almost all cases it's because you dipped one shoulder low which made one riser effectively shorter than the other.

To reduce the occurrence of dipping a shoulder low and causing this chain-reaction events, look at the horizon through the opening and keep your eyes on it so you have a reference. When you collapse your arm wings to reach back for the PC, fly with your shoulders to ensure you're still flying straight. Keep your hands on the BOC for a quick sec to make sure you dont start turning or dipping a shoulder low. You can practice this on a jump by flying your WS with both hands on your BOC. Try flying straight with only your shoulders.

-If you do have linetwits with uneven risers and the canopy starts to spiral down you, try to twist the linetwists down onto the risers which in some cases will allow you to straighten the risers up. If that doesent work in a very short amount of time, cut main away.

- You took too long to initiate EPs. Dont mess around with a canopy spiraling down. If you cant make progress on it within the first three seconds if it spinning like that, chop it immediately. In the USA, the first three fatalities of 2019 were all from what you experienced. Canopies that spiraled down on linetwits and the pilot ended up spiraling down too low. That has killed a lot of skydivers over the years. You burn through altitude very quickly when the canopy is spinning like that and you have less time than you think.

- The Storm is not an ideal wingsuiting canopy as it will spiral down easily like you experienced. However, far more important is flying the openings correctly and getting the risers even if you have linetwists.

 

Edited by 20kN
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On 11/3/2019 at 6:25 PM, 20kN said:

Alright so a few things. It's a bit hard to tell everything from the video, so I'm making some generalizations.

- When you get linetwists the FIRST thing you do is get the risers even. <snip>


- The type of linetwists you experienced are called body twists. They are mostly specific to wingsuiting. They occur when the canopy opens without linetwists, but you spin under the canopy. It often occurs when the risers are loaded unevenly, which in effect throws your body in a spin as soon as the canopy starts to slow you down. The cause of this is failing to fly the opening correctly, and in almost all cases it's because you dipped one shoulder low which made one riser effectively shorter than the other.
<snip>

Excellent post.

Much better than the, "you must buy this specific canopy / gear" type of post.
 

 

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(edited)

Thank you so much everyone for your comments and help. I had a little break from skydiving since the post, but I have started jumping again recently and hoping to improve my situation. Unfortunately I had another very similar cutaway again a week ago :( To be honest, this introduced a lot of anxiety about WS jumping, which is a shame.

I think I have improved my body position and pull technique in my last jumps compared to previous, but still what I experience with the Storm that during openings it just loooves to randomly turn one way or another or sometimes makes a 180 after fully inflated. This happens even on slick jumps. I know people wingsuit on Storms successfully, so I was wondering if anyone maybe has any storm-specific packing advice to help avoiding that behavior? I also got a semi-stowless bag and a large skysnatch since the last cutaway. I think it helps, but still I can see sometimes it just wants to twist me.

Here is the video of my latest jump where I believe I did alright, yet, the mofo still wanted to twist me and did a 360 after fully inflated: 

Also might get my hands on WinX 150 demo this month. Should be interesting. Heard only good things about it.

Edited by EvilDuck

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(edited)
On 11/4/2019 at 3:25 AM, 20kN said:

Alright so a few things. It's a bit hard to tell everything from the video, so I'm making some generalizations.

- When you get linetwists the FIRST thing you do is get the risers even. Look at the slinks and make sure the left and right riser sets are even. If they are not, even them the fuck up pronto. Uneven risers are effectively equivalent to inducing a harness turn into the canopy by which the lines on top of the canopy are uneven. That effects a turn in the canopy and it will start to spiral down on you very quickly (which is what happened in your video). The more you spin under the canopy the more friction you're going to build in the lines making it harder and harder to even the risers up as you spin under the canopy. That's why it's important to get them even quickly, immediately open opening.

- The type of linetwists you experienced are called body twists. They are mostly specific to wingsuiting. They occur when the canopy opens without linetwists, but you spin under the canopy. It often occurs when the risers are loaded unevenly, which in effect throws your body in a spin as soon as the canopy starts to slow you down. The cause of this is failing to fly the opening correctly, and in almost all cases it's because you dipped one shoulder low which made one riser effectively shorter than the other.

To reduce the occurrence of dipping a shoulder low and causing this chain-reaction events, look at the horizon through the opening and keep your eyes on it so you have a reference. When you collapse your arm wings to reach back for the PC, fly with your shoulders to ensure you're still flying straight. Keep your hands on the BOC for a quick sec to make sure you dont start turning or dipping a shoulder low. You can practice this on a jump by flying your WS with both hands on your BOC. Try flying straight with only your shoulders.

-If you do have linetwits with uneven risers and the canopy starts to spiral down you, try to twist the linetwists down onto the risers which in some cases will allow you to straighten the risers up. If that doesent work in a very short amount of time, cut main away.

- You took too long to initiate EPs. Dont mess around with a canopy spiraling down. If you cant make progress on it within the first three seconds if it spinning like that, chop it immediately. In the USA, the first three fatalities of 2019 were all from what you experienced. Canopies that spiraled down on linetwits and the pilot ended up spiraling down too low. That has killed a lot of skydivers over the years. You burn through altitude very quickly when the canopy is spinning like that and you have less time than you think.

- The Storm is not an ideal wingsuiting canopy as it will spiral down easily like you experienced. However, far more important is flying the openings correctly and getting the risers even if you have linetwists.

 

thank you for so much for the information and advice.

I believe reason I took long for EPs was because I am pulling a little higher now (1200m, which is about 4000 feet) and I thought I had some time to try and fix it. I don't remember exactly now, but I was still above decision altitude (700m in Sweden, ~2250 feet) when chopped. But I agree in retrospect that was dumb.

Edited by EvilDuck
grammar fix

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(edited)
4 hours ago, EvilDuck said:

anyone maybe has any storm-specific packing advice to help avoiding that behavior?

Easy. Start doing a normal pro-pack, but don't spend too much making it neat and perfect. Leave it kind of loose and sort of where it wants to be, but not much more. Lay it down on the floor and squeeze all the air out. Then you will coocon it nice and tight, making sure all the air is out. At this point you will do like a psycho pack. So move the bridle/d-bag to the side, and roll the canopy from the top down like a spring roll, all the way to the lines. Sit on the canopy with the bundle craddled between yourr knees, and remove the d-bag from the attachement point. Then grab the canopy bundle and keep rolling it in the lines until you reach the risers, so that the lines wrap the canopy making it as compact as you can. Grab your hook knife and cut through the lines. Grab what by now should be a nice and tight bundle, and walk out the back of the packing shed. Locate the dumpster bins, deposit your canopy inside with a nice running kick. Grab your phone, call the Atair dealer, and tell him he won't be having that WinX back. Job done 

Edited by GoneCodFishing
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Haha, that made my day. One thing I must say though, apart from openings I love my Storm. On slick jumps it is awesome (again, a bit weird on openings, but not that big of an issue on slick jumps) and fun to fly. I'm not into high performance stuff, so for me it is quite swoopy :D But alas, my preferred path is wingsuiting and I'm not rich enough to have 2 rigs, so will have to deal with it :D

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16 hours ago, EvilDuck said:

I heard the term "pack to favor center cell inflation", but I was never able to find what that actually means for packing procedure. Any suggestions?

You can specifically expose the center cell of the packjob and then roll the nose on all of the other remaining cells and stuff those into the center of the packjob. A less extreme version would be to just prominently expose the center cell while doing the cacooning of the canopy.

 

here is some good general info on how to pack any canopy for a wingsuit flight:

https://squirrel.ws/manuals/epicene-pro

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(edited)

So a little update here. I demoed the Winx this weekend and I super loved it. I had a full ZP version. It packs slightly smaller than Storm 150. Openings were super on heading all the time. I tried deployments at the apex of the flare, or after gaining some speed after the flare both were great, although the latter gave me snappier openings (as expected). I liked the slower deployments more, although it always took longer to start deploying because of the burble. The reason I tried faster openings is that's the only way I found to get more consistent openings from my Storm, as fast opening literally give it no time to act out and the swing gives me a great opportunity to grab my risers and pull them the fuck apart. Back to WinX, i had a line twist once, because it came out with one twist (I don't have a back facing camera, but I'm sure the bag spun once in the burble). No problems fixing at all. Flying is a little less fun than Storm, it flies less steep, but it doesn't take forever like for example Pulse I had before and flares much better. Flare was great and very very easy to land, but there was a consistent ~8m/s wind this weekend, so difficult to say. Strongly considering getting one. I might also get my hands on Pilot 7 147 next week so will compare too.

Overall, it was great wingsuiting without a constant fear. Made me much more focused on the actual flying and enjoying my time in the suit flying with others as opposed as getting more and more anxiety with every altitude warning from my audible.

Edited by EvilDuck
grammar fix

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If you are deploying your suit in full flight asymmetrically, you're going to have spicy openings like this. I have alot more luck by bending my knees ( almost to 90 degrees) at the top of the flare. This will put you head high, and your burble wont be nearly as large. 

 

Oh and get a Winx. I will never buy anything else. 

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