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meteora

Barracuda Freestyle and Havok Carve for Wingsuit Acrobatics

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(edited)

I haven't flown the Barracuda line, but the Carve is one of the worst suits I've ever flown. Have you looked into the Squirrel Funk and Gus? Those might be an option as well. Honestly, if I had to pick I'd probably pick the Barracuda. I havent flown that exact suit, but I've seen some of the other suits from their lineup and in general they make solid suits.

Edited by 20kN

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That is the first time I've ever heard someone say they didn't like a Havok. What didn't you like about it?

I love mine. Good range, easy to fly, versatile... it's a great suit, but each to their own I suppose.

I can't speak for the Barracuda as I haven't flown one but I haven't heard of them being terrible.

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That would also be interesting for me. I have tried a Funk, but didn't really like it. I feel like I can move more controlled and faster in a Havok. I have about 10 jumps and 2 hours of tunnel in a Havok and I really liked it. But we could get the Barracuda for a really good price and that's why I asked...

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(edited)
9 hours ago, 20kN said:

I haven't flown the Barracuda line, but the Carve is one of the worst suits I've ever flown. Have you looked into the Squirrel Funk and Gus? Those might be an option as well. Honestly, if I had to pick I'd probably pick the Barracuda. I havent flown that exact suit, but I've seen some of the other suits from their lineup and in general they make solid suits.

Elaborate. 

I have a Carve 2 and its the best suit ive ever flown. Easy to try new stuff, and decently lofty for a suit its size. 

Edited by RolandForbes
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On 11/24/2019 at 8:28 AM, 20kN said:

I haven't flown the Barracuda line, but the Carve is one of the worst suits I've ever flown. Have you looked into the Squirrel Funk and Gus? Those might be an option as well. Honestly, if I had to pick I'd probably pick the Barracuda. I havent flown that exact suit, but I've seen some of the other suits from their lineup and in general they make solid suits.

I have 2 friends who had funk1 and tried the havok carve. They both sold their funk just after.
I heard the Funk2 was already better than the 1 but never heard someone complaining about the havok

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On 11/24/2019 at 2:28 AM, 20kN said:

I haven't flown the Barracuda line, but the Carve is one of the worst suits I've ever flown. Have you looked into the Squirrel Funk and Gus? Those might be an option as well. Honestly, if I had to pick I'd probably pick the Barracuda. I havent flown that exact suit, but I've seen some of the other suits from their lineup and in general they make solid suits.

o.O I'm gonna call this a "unique" opinion and just move on from it... 

OP, you don't have a way to demo the Barracuda do you? It's always risky to buy before you try. But then again, if the price is low enough...

I can't remember seeing a Barracuda in an acro competition in the US or FAI events in the last 5 years. Maybe they've been used elsewhere, but I haven't seen it. That doesn't mean it's not a good suit - it could even be the best acro suit out there - but you'd be something of a guinea pig for it as far as I know. Personally, I'd love for you to try it out and let us know!

Not that you need to muddy the waters any more, but the Magister (PF) and Gnar Bird (Tony) are two other proven acro suits. I've been flying a Magister for the last 3 years, and the Wicked Wingsuits guys have been flying some version of a Gnar Bird for about the same time I think.

Is your team planning to compete at Nationals next year?

 

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I still have my original Havok "Classic" that I bought about 6 years ago and it's still a very viable platform when flying that style of acro. 

Between their WS tunnel relationship/research and focus on competition acro I think PF leads that style of suit.

*Disclaimer: I love PF, and they have provided me with gear at discounts before, even though I suck at flying.

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I don't have a way to demo the Barracuda. And we prefer a suit without grippers, so the Gnar Bird isn't an option for us. Just to be clear, we have tried Havoks and they work great for us, but we could get Barracudas for almost half the price and that's the reason I asked for opinions. 

You are talking about US Nationals, right? We are from Spain, so we probably won't be competing in US Nationals.

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lol @ the guy trashing the Havok. It may very well be the best all around wingsuit ever made. 

But anyway, you’ll just have to decide if price is enough of a consideration to possibly have a suit you don’t like as much/ can’t fly as well with. That said - a very prominent Phoenix Fly person has told me they think Intrudair is actually a pretty decent substitute for PF if money is a big concern and you don’t wanna spend more. 

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I'll just toss another vote for the Carve. I've got hundreds of jumps on them and are still one of my favorite suits for all types of flying you could imagine. Price wont make a difference if you don't enjoy flying it.

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Ah, sorry to assume, I just saw USPA in your profile and got excited that we might have another team in the mix.

Anyway, I haven't seen or heard of Barracudas being used in competition, so I'd be surprised to see any informed opinions out there. I suspect in the end you'll just have to decide whether the cost savings is worth the risk of the unknown.

I'm a PF guy so I may be biased, but it seems like a pretty big risk to deviate from what we more or less know to be the standard in acro, especially since you already know the Havoks and like how they fly. But if you go for the Barracudas, I'd be curious to hear how they compare!

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(edited)

its difficult to demo.... so some years ago I actually said F it and actually bought 3 wingsuits of same class with the intent of keeping the one I liked the most and sell off the other two. I purchased the Carve, the Hawk and the Funk. Offcourse its only something you can do if you are willing to accept some loss, but then again, my body size is sort of "standard" and the suits are in that class that normally would sell easely... In the end, I got the suit I wanted and it served me well for years. If I had not done this, I would have chosen a suit based on biased opinions which are very often not useable, which I probably would have sold of sooner.... 

I am not sure I would do this again, but looking back, I do not think it actually cost me that much when I consider I got a suit that was as perfect for me as could be. If I had not done it I would have probably switched suit much sooner. 

One comment on grippers and the Tony models, lately the R3 suit as an example has gotten the PIGS system, so grippers are "inside". Could that be used for Acro comp's? I flew the R3 model with grippers and I did not need to hold the small grippers if I did not want to. so I think that their dedicated acro models would behave like this. Grippers are there if you want to grab them, otherwise just forget about them and they are not in the way you wont notice them.

I am not into acro so much, but if I where I would probably consider one of the Tony models, they do look acro crisp in the different vid's out there and I know they have some pretty good acro testpilots in their team.

Edited by birdynamnam

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2 hours ago, johnmatrix said:

But how do you know for sure if you didn't get a Barracuda as well? 

That would keep me up at night.

There was no Barracuda available back then :-) So yeah, back then, I did take all of the available suits in that class. Today yes you have that Barracuda and I guess the russian one also. Would I have bought 5 suits? No I would not! I am not suggesting this approach, I just mentioned it because it was interesting to actually test the competitors up against each other and it also turned out to be okay cost effective maybe that part was pure luck however ;-)

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6 hours ago, birdynamnam said:

R3 suit as an example has gotten the PIGS system, so grippers are "inside". Could that be used for Acro comp's?

I'm pretty sure grippers are optional on both the Tri-Bird and the Gnar Bird, but PIGS have so far only gone on the bigger suits (R3 and up). Not sure if there are plans to put them into the smaller suits. The R3 is probably too big for most teams to use in comp, if for no other reason than that there are still front loops in the dive pool. You can do a front loop in an R3, but it's going to take some training to get it consistent.

Although, under FAI and USPA rules you are allowed to change suits between rounds. So a team could theoretically fly the R3 for 6 out of the 7 jumps, and then switch to something smaller when front loops come up.

The PIGS are a pretty cool development. One of the concerns in acro is that a long gripper flapping around could obscure a grip on the video, and I think PIGS would help with that part of it. Other concerns with grippers are just the mental distraction, and then the possibility of having to take a grip from a funny angle where the gripper could get in the way, even if it's not flapping. Say you're approaching a grip from the back - anything that extends past the wrist could get in the way from that angle, which could cost you a second or two on a grip.

For that reason, I'd still rather have no grippers than PIGS. But I'd go for a static gripper like the PIGS over something flappy. There are good teams that choose suits with flappy grippers, though, so it comes down to personal preference.

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so grippers are "inside". Could that be used for Acro comp's?

For judges, grips are much less visible when using suits with grippers.
Especially with figures where on flyer is on the back, and the other on the belly, the actual dock tends to be occluded by the gripper.

In our experience, the added 5 to 10 seconds freefall a bigger suit gets in comparison to Havok-sized suits, is not worth the almost 50% working speed in docks/maneuvers you when compared to small/mid sized suits.

Tight fit, and clean lines are important on acro suits. Loose fit around hips/arms tends to result in more sloppy flying, especially when it comes to lateral motion.

Regardless of brand, make sure you get a suit with a good tailor-made fit.
Havok/Magister is the combo our team flies (weight related difference, dress for succes)

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