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AiRpollUtiOn

Road to Velo

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Just wanted to know your thoughts...

I have:
-600 jumps on stiletto 150
-400 jumps on stiletto 135
-300 jumps on stiletto 120
-some occasional jumps on Katana 120

I started making swoop-like landings with the fantastic number of 150 jumps :S\

Luckily I managed to stay in one piece during my first 500 jumps or so.
Since 2 years (last 700 jumps) my swooping has gotten much safer, where I used to call it "the cosy corner" I now manage to make safe swoops with planned set-ups and all...

One day my 4-way team stopped early at Zwartberg, which gave me the time to go play at the pond (I never got to it since I try to avoid water with cameras on my head). I loved it. Flew my Stiletto 120 on that occasion.

Now I'm planning on getting into swooping even more seriously than before.

I jumped a friends Katana 107 (1.95 lbs/sqf) last weekend and loved it. I made clear & pulls from 5.5 and experimented with the dive. I made left hand 270's from 700 ft (bit high, next time will go down to 650 in similar conditions) and loved the recovery arc and flare.

Coming from Stiletto's you can imagine the pleasure of a dive that last a bit longer.

I now am thinking of buying a Katana 107. The changing to a canopy with a higher performance combined with a downsize is slightly compensated by the fact that I recently lost 20 - 25 lbs (*pats self on shoulder*)

What do you guys think of the Katana as a transition to an X-braced (propably Velo)?

Is it a logical step?
Is it a necessary step?

Does the Katana prepare me for the flight characteristics of a Velo?

Any other constructive thoughts?

All opinions are welcome.
I'll be talking about this with Belgium & Hollands finest swoopers that have seen me fly as well. Yes this will involve beer.

Thanx a lot!
"Don't make me come down there" - God.

My site:http://www.skystudio.nl/video.html
Some of my vids: http://www.youtube.com/user/TomSkyStudio

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Hey dude, I transitioned from a jedei 136 to a velo 103 this summer around 800 jumps. I love the 103, it takes the work out of swooping if you know what I mean. On my jedei I felt like a steeper dive and longer recovery arc would be preferable to pulling out of a steep dive really low for a good swoop. The only thing you will hate is the openings, I'm still working on that, don't look up!
Life is ez
On the dz
Every jumper's dream
3 rigs and an airstream

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The only thing you will hate is the openings, I'm still working on that, don't look up!



LOL i Second that.. Pack neat.. dont look up.. try and be relaxed in the harness..oh yeah and prey every night to the opening gods and sacrifice yr best friends dog ......

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The only thing you will hate is the openings, I'm still working on that, don't look up!
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I tried a Velo 96 for a weekend and though i loved how it built up speed in a dive and it's power on the rears i could not get comfortable with the openings so I think i am going to keep my Xaos 21 for a while , Cause i love the openings on it .

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The only thing you will hate is the openings, I'm still working on that, don't look up!



LOL i Second that.. Pack neat.. dont look up.. try and be relaxed in the harness..oh yeah and prey every night to the opening gods and sacrifice yr best friends dog ......



Pack neat :D:D:D
The three people who jump Velo's at my DZ including me have a saying. "Stuff it in the d-bag, it'll sort itself out on opening" :o;)

Really, I only flake the canopy between the A and B lines, the rest I leave. OK, my last opening was shit :S :$ but that was the first time in hundreds of jumps.
Dave

Fallschirmsport Marl

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I used to have a stiletto 150, a stiletto 135, a katana 120 and now I have a velocity 103. My velo has great openings, it searchs a little but it's normal. Opens better than the katana I used to have. Airpollution, rent a katana for a couple of jumps and buy a velo 103, the transition is very easy from a katana, the velo is an amazing canopy.

Safe landings

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Considering most of your swooping has been on stilettos I think there might be some benifit to putting a decent number of jumps on a canopy that is closer to a neutral recovery arc before jumping right into a velocity. I don't know that its a necessary requirement, but it might help you get more used to a canopy that just wont plane out on its own.

I would also suggest tuning back from 270s to 90s for at least a couple jumps. The sight picture is way different for a katana compared to a stiletto. I went from a crossfire 139 right to a velo103 so I am not picture perfect role model. The crossfire does dive quite a bit more than a stiletto though and I am doing close to a 100 jumps a year just hop and pops. I also started doing performance approaches around 150 jumps.
~D
Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me.
Swooping is taking one last poke at the bear before escaping it's cave - davelepka

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I have:
-600 jumps on stiletto 150
-400 jumps on stiletto 135
-300 jumps on stiletto 120
-some occasional jumps on Katana 120

The Velo is a huge jump from the Stiletto on the front end. The Katana is a great inbetween. The back flies like a Stiletto, and the front gives you taste of the Velo without the same level of commitment. Stiletto to Velo can be dangerous -- the front riser diving characteristics are drastically different. The Katana is going to be a much better choice in breaking some habits you'll need to lose from 1300+ landings, mostly swoops, on a Stiletto.

The Velo dive loses a good two to three times more altitude than the Stiletto and really locks in once it gets going. The Katana is maybe twice the altitude loss of the Stiletto in a dive -- maybe more depending on technique -- but an altitude misjudgement is easier to correct than the Velo.

I don't what your wingloading is, but with your progression and desire to swoop, you're probably best off with a Katana that is about between where you are now and 2:1. So if you're at 1.6:1 on a 120 and you're swooping the hell out of it, put a few hundrerd jumps on a 107 loaded at 1.8. When that's dialed, you should be set to load a Velo at 2.0.

In addition, if you like the way a Stiletto flies, you'll love the Katana. The Velo is supercharged speed demon that isn't quite as "playful" as the ST or KA. I think if you made the jump to Velo, you'd miss those characteristics. The KA is a good transition is this respect, as well.

My two realistic cents.

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I would also suggest tuning back from 270s to 90s for at least a couple jumps. The sight picture is way different for a katana compared to a stiletto.

Yes. And the same goes for KA to VE. Or anything to anything really. The altitude loss from a 90 on a KA is about the same as a 270 on a ST. It's that different. Definitely take it easy and do a lot of high pulls as you venture into this class of canopy.

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The Velo is supercharged speed demon that isn't quite as "playful" as the ST or KA. I think if you made the jump to Velo, you'd miss those characteristics.



I know I did. With a Velo there is no spiralling down to lose altitude. To lose altitude you just fly straight.
I found the only way you could play with turns "this way and that" was to do a hop n pop form 14000 ft or do all the turns with rear risers. Toggle turns lose much more height bthan rear riser turns. Most of the swoop jumps I have done with a velo from 5000 ft (Competition and practice) involved flying for the most part in deep brakes. Jumping a light wingload of 2.0 I was always last in the group and had to wait until the others had landed.

A few weeks ago I did a hop n pop from 14000ft and did not do anything dramtic, just flew around watching a beautiful sunset. I still ended up having to fly in brakes to let the Tandems land before me so I would have a clear landing area for my 270.

I only jump the Velo for the sweet landings and .......
believe it or not, the nice soft openings.
Dave

Fallschirmsport Marl

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I don't what your wingloading is, but with your progression and desire to swoop, you're probably best off with a Katana that is about between where you are now and 2:1. So if you're at 1.6:1 on a 120 and you're swooping the hell out of it, put a few hundrerd jumps on a 107 loaded at 1.8. When that's dialed, you should be set to load a Velo at 2.0

................. The KA is a good transition is this respect, as well......

My two realistic cents.



I totally agree with the above here.
Don't switch to a Velo until you're flying it at 2.0 or above. It's still a VERY fun canopy to fly at lower wingloading, but you will get more out of a Katana if you're flying under 2.0

My progression was:
Triathlon 190 400jumps
Sabre2 150 600 jumps
Sabre2 135 500 jumps
Stiletto 135 100 jumps
Katana 120 20 jumps
Velocity 120 2 jumps
Velocity 111 1 jump
Velocity 103 (currently at 2.0, started off at 2.3) 800 jumps

The velo is a whole different animal and flies completely different from anything you've flown before.

I'd say switch to a canopy with a longer recovery arc for a couple hundred jumps (like the Sabre2 or Katana.. in your case coming from a Stiletto you probably like the Katana better) and then start thinking about going to a Velo..

Just my 2 cents..

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The only thing I'd add is that, having put a decent amount of jumps on a canopy like a Katana, Crossfire2 etc at about 1,8, try the Velocity... but it's okay to feel that it's too much for you and come back to it later. The openings are certainly interesting: if you're not completely comfortable with opening without being chucked about on a highly loaded elliptical, you're not ready for a crossbraced canopy. Do stick with it though; the transirtion isn't easy but it is worth it.
--
BASE #1182
Muff #3573
PFI #52; UK WSI #13

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There's reasons why PD designed, developed, and is marketing the katana. One of the reasons is that the KA will give a pilot the skills necessary to step up to it's bigger brother the Velo, IF, they want to later in their skydiving "career". When you go to a Velo it's not just about swooping, it's about being on your game EVERY time you go up in the air and fly it. The KA helps develop the flying skills, the perception, and the mind set of the pilot for the Velo, because the Velo is a monster. Like someone else posted you could do a high pull from altitude and still have to decide whether to beat the tandems/ students down or sit in brakes and wait them out when they're at 3k and you're at 6k. The KA helps develop those decision making skills.

so personally since the majority of us haven't seen you fly you might want to stick with a KA 120 or 107 IF that's the road you want to take. but i would highly discourage someone to go from a ST 135 to a VE 103.

also highly recommend some coaching from an established coach if it's economically available (ie PDFT, Fastrax, or pretty much all of florida:P)

good luck...
Slip Stream Air Sports
Do not go softly, do not go quietly, never back down


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I love when the neptune goes back into freefall mode when you just let the canopy fly, no joke on everything that is being said here

the katana is hella fun to fly man give it a shot

I like to say this about the katana

it dives like a crackwhore in a sheetrock factory

:-P

Dave
http://www.skyjunky.com

CSpenceFLY - I can't believe the number of people willing to bet their life on someone else doing the right thing.

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Thank you all for your positive input.

Pretty good when none of you have seen me land.
(you could open http://www.skystudio.nl/video/VTS_01_1a.wmv and go to 2:10, that's on a Stiletto 135)

I make about 350-400 jumps a year.
After my pretty fast transition to a Stiletto 150 with 150 jumps and starting to "swoop" 10 jumps later I started to get some respect for the things I put above my head.

In the meantime I have been talking to some friends of mine that are flying velo's.

Some told me to go with the Katana 107, some told me to go to the Velo 103...

One thing that has gotten clear to me (if it wasn't already) is that the Katana would be a nice preparation, or step in between the Stiletto and the Velo.

Nowadays Í notice that I have mentally matured in this sport, so taking baby-steps isn't a big deal for me. I just want to fly a canopy that allows me to make significant progression.
I absolutely want to go down in size, but I don't have to fly a Velo just for the sake of having one.

What you all said made a lot of sense.

I absolutely had loads of fun with the Katana 107, so I think I'll get myself one of those. By this time next year I'll have put 3-400 jumps on it. At that time I can decide wether to go to a Velo or stick to what I'm flying then. I'll be having a blast for sure!

I'm planning on skydiving for a long time to come so there's no need to hurry anyway.

Again thanks for your input!

Anyone have a Katana 107 for sale? ;)
"Don't make me come down there" - God.

My site:http://www.skystudio.nl/video.html
Some of my vids: http://www.youtube.com/user/TomSkyStudio

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You guys can slam me if you like but I regret buying my Katana 107. I am 200lbs out the door and it opened like crap. Yes I had my rigger check the line trim. On the swoop I felt like it had very little or no low end at the end of my swoop. I let a friend of mine who jumps a velo 103 use my rig for the weekend to do back to backs same weight. The first thing he said is jump my velo and you will never want to jump the Katana ever again. He was right and is a pretty conservative jumper. It opened better flew better and I start my turns at the same height and it comes out of its dive at roughly the same height. The only thing I would say is there is more oversteer on the velo. To me the Katana is just a marketing tool to sell more canopies before someone goes to a velocity. Obviously in a line twist situation the velo will probably go to crap quicker but if your loading any eliptical up much they are all going to go to hell. I think a Velo 103 will fly as big if not bigger than a Katana 107 because of the distortion of the 9 cell when inflated. Less distortion with the cross bracing. Then again I could be totally wrong. Just a thought.

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I will agree with you on a few things

firstly the Velo opens so much nicer than katana except when it doesnt

secondly I have noticed zero oversteer on my Velo, but that may be turn style induced oversteer, aka my turn style does not induce oversteer.

Thirdly just jumping the katana made me never want to jump one :-P the openings were brisk to say the least.

The only thing I regret is selling my Crossfire 2 109 cause sometimes I get a little uncurrent and the Crossfire is a little more forgiving than the Velo :-P, but once current I prefer the velo for swoopign

Cheers

Dave
http://www.skyjunky.com

CSpenceFLY - I can't believe the number of people willing to bet their life on someone else doing the right thing.

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Just being honest over 100 jumps my velo has opened more consistantly on heading and softer than the first 100 jumps on my katana. I load both of them at about 2 and heard that loading smaller Katana's over 2 would can cause problems with openings. However, I never got really slammed by the Kat but have about 3 times on my velo but all three times it was on heading. The oversteer I noticed early on during my first few jumps on the velo so yes your right its about technique. Come on a little pucker factor after not being current is great. Either way be safe and keep that femur intact!!!!

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I absolutely had loads of fun with the Katana 107, so I think I'll get myself one of those. By this time next year I'll have put 3-400 jumps on it. At that time I can decide wether to go to a Velo or stick to what I'm flying then. I'll be having a blast for sure!

That sounds like a great plan. For an active weekend jumper (which I assume from the 300 - 400 jumps per year), it's a good idea to have both if and when you go with a Velo. If you get uncurrent after a vacation or a stretch of bad weather, or if you just want to take it "easy" under canopy for a day, it's nice to have something a tad less demanding in your canopy quiver.

Great post, Stu. That's a really great way to put it. If you fly a Stiletto, you'll undoubtedly love the Katana. Once you dial in a Katana, you'll know whether or not you are ready, able or want to move to the Velocity.

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I sold my Katana right when they went to the HMA line set. In fact my rigger tried to get PD to switch the lines for me and they said no. The lines are in trim enough. It worked out for them they got a brand new velo sell. I am saying beyond a shadow of a doubt MY velo 103 is a more stable, better opening, better flying canopy than MY katana 107. Thats not saying people are not jumping the hell out of Katana's and loving them and getting great openings. Just my experience. I love PD canopies and have owned 3 of them all bought brand new. However, I would give a harder look at a crossfire2 if I was not looking to go cross brace.

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Yes I had my rigger check the line trim.



What kind of lines were on it?

Good point/question. HMA makes a huge difference in the opening heading consistency of the Katana.


Slammed by a Katana? I've never had anywhere near a hard opening. 400+ nice, soft openings (mostly wingsuit -- usually opening in full flight). My heading has been great, as well, but I think BASE has trained me to maintain heading throughout the opening with body position. Whereas I think many skydivers sort of stop paying attention to their body and more to their hands after the "wad" stage, but before a fully flying canopy is over their head.

That said, the Katana is more prone to rotation (not line twists) with a slightly off body position than the Velo, but it's nothing to worry about. You're on a skydive in (very likely) clean airspace. I've had line twists twice ever on my Katana, in a wingsuit, and it flew straight and level -- after a 180+ and six twists in one case.

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