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Thoughts on Downsizing to an Epicene - Want to Downsize, and Want to Start Wingsuiting Soon, Heard it May be a Bad Combo

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Hi Everyone, 

Have a few questions. 

I'm at 300 jumps - The last 200 of which were on a Volt 170 by Parachute Systems, which is a 9-Cell, F-111, non-ZP.

I'm looking to downsize to a 150, but I'm also looking to start wingsuiting somewhat soon. Would like to get an Epicene - Heard they're great as far as openings. Don't really mind a slow canopy ride - Want to get good at angle/tracking/wingsuiting, and then later freeflying and more advanced canopy stuff. 

Question 1: Anyone know how small the Epicene 150 or 170 packs, and if they'd fit my rig?

I've read it's 1-2 sizes smaller than a non-ZP. The Volt 170 is ridiculously tight in my Vortex V-4 container. Pack volume on the Volt 170 is 440 cubic inches. My V-4 is better-suited to fit something 320-400 cubic inches. Do you guys think an Epicene 150 or 170 would work? I'm assuming either one would. Squirrel doesn't list exact cubic inches on their site. Nonetheless they have been very helpful. Extra opinions never hurt though

Question 2: Is it unwise to downsize to a Wingsuit-specific canopy? 

Squirrel confirmed what I've read - Flare power is not too hot on an Epicene. I'm decent at landings with the Volt 170; always on my feet, occasionally have to run them out. However I'm assuming the 150 would come in faster, even on the "slow/boring" Epicene. This combined with reduced flare power could lead to some painful landings. I weigh about 155 so wingloading on the 150 would be roughly 1.2.

I know I'm good enough at landing to downsize to a 150 9-cell F-111. Assuming despite poor flare power I'd be fine on a 170 Epicene. 

Question 3: Lifespan of Epicene

I've heard they wear out quickly. Thus I'd probably want to buy a new one, use it for 500 or so jumps, and get something faster later. 

Basically wondering what you guys would do in my scenario? Seems like the smartest option might be a 170 Epicene. I was all set for 150 until I read about the flare power. 

Any feedback would be great thanks you guys



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All great questions!

Epicenes pack down super small, my 210 packs like a 170 so I think it'll fit in your container just fine. 

Not unwise to downsize to a wingsuit specific canopy, but the question you really should be asking yourself is will you be comfortable with 5 line twists on a 150 vs a 170. Its gonna happen, and I like more fabric just for this reason..

Lastly, Epicene lifespan.... I have 350ish jumps on mine (original Epicene, not the Pro) and its still going strong. Lines are definitely a little outta trim now but other than that it seems gravy.

I flew an Epicene from jump 50-400ish, then I tried out the Atair Winx and havent gone back since. It flies more performant than an Epicene, has way better flare, and more consistent openings. Ever since I got it I havent even touched the Epicene, which I use for flying my Freak3, Mutation, and for any type of slick jumping.

Lastly, to be fair, if you put some sauce on the fronts everytime you land, the Epicene flare isnt THAT bad. Without that though better have them PLFs on lock

Edited by RolandForbes

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Questions 1 and 3 can be answered by Squirrel and or your container manufacturer. They know more than most of us here typing on the internet. Squirrel in particular is willing to provide info.

#1 - Squirrel will tell you the cubic inch volume and your rig manufacturer can provide info.

#2 - Probably yes with your experience level.

#3 - Squirrel


Danger zone here - your comment "get something faster later.".

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Assuming despite poor flare power

There are many wingsuit specific canopy options available, with good flare and same low bulk or standard material options. Aerodyne, NZ Aerosports, Atair...it's worth looking (and asking) around, and most of all, actually demoing various options, as each manufacturer and sponsored athlete will be mainly advocating their own preference. Nothing but your own ankles will tell you more honest how good or bad a flare is, after a demo jump or two.

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