Your canopy choices and downsize history

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Just your canopy choices, sizes and wing loading mapped to your jumps.

I'll start

Student gear 280-220, ~20 jumps.
My first canopy - PD210, ~20-150
Safire1-189 151-300
Jedei170, 301-500
Jedei150(SW/ET), 500-660
Samurai136, 661-800
Xaos21-120 @1.8:1, 801-938
VX114 @ 2:1, 938-960
VX111 @2.1:1, 2.2(winter weight) 961-1350
VX96 @2.5+, 1351-1935
JVX87 @2.8, 1936-2100
VX97 @2.4, 2100-2560
JVX92 till now @2.5

the jump numbers, although logged are probably approximate, since I did not count a bunch of jumps on demo wings.

Also, I have had two rigs for work and fun for a few years too, and the second rig always had a comparable main canopy, i.e. main VX97 - back up vx104, Currently my main is JVX92 with back up JVX96.

In your post, you can comment if you want - looking back now, do you feel you were too aggressive? Slow? Anything you would do differently? Suggestions to new pilots.

But please let keep it on topic? Both posters and moderators :) Thank you!

And all you Pro pilots and CPC future pros... come on spill it :)

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Canopies that were jumped for any amount of time there's some holes due to a lot of demoing and I'm estimating the sport jumps on the canopies since half my jump numbers are tandems:
Laser 9 288 Jumps 1-20
Sabre(1) 233 Jumps 21-40
Hornet 190 (1.3:1) (jumps 40-80)
PD 9-cell 210 (1.2:1) (jumps 80-110)
Stiletto 170 (1.7:1) (jumps 170-200)
Heatwave 170 (1.7:1) (jumps 200-400)
XF2 149 (1.9:1) (jumps 400-800)
VX 114 (2.5-ish:1) (jumps 800-850)
Velo 120 (2.35:1)(jumps 850-1100)
Velo 111 (2.5:1) (about 100 jumps now)

What does it all mean? I downsized WAY too fast. Way too fast. If I would have taken a more conservative approach to canopy flight and worked harder with a more appropiate canopy then I would have been a much better canopy pilot sooner. Instead I was behind the curve and on more then one occasion escaped serious injury or death on nothing but pure dumb luck. That's why, if you've known me for more then a few years, you've seen a change in attitude from wanting to push too far too fast to one of conservative canopy flight for learning and gradual progression.

Unfortunately there's a lot of people out there under 500 jumps that are just like I was at that level. They won't listen, but they want to try really hard. They haven't seen the thousands of jumps that it takes to become a safe and proficient swooper.

This is a more complete list of stuff jumped, although there are some canopies are missing. Its so much fun to demo other and different canopies, it give you a feel for whats available and what you've bought. Its really sold me on some canopy designs and left me with a dislike of others. I highly recommend that everyone demos just about everything that is appropriate for their experience and skill level.

Laser 9 288
Sabre(1) 233
Hornet 190
Spectre 170
Sabre2 210
Sabre2 190
Sabre2 170
Cobalt 170
Stiletto 170
Pilot 190
Pilot 170
Heatwave 170
Vengence 150
Triathalon 170
Safire2 169
Omega 150
Stiletto 150
Spectre 150
Sabre2 150
XF2 149
Mamba 150
Mamba 135
XF2 139
Katana 170
Katana 150
Katana 135
Nitro 150
Nitro 135
Velo 120
Velo 111
VX 114
Navigator 300
Navigator 280
Navigator 240
Navigator 200
Silhotte 210
Silhotte 190
Raider 220

Sigma 370
Sigma 395
EZ 384
A2 370
Icarus 400
Icarus 365
A2 350
RWS tandem reserve (a few times)
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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0-20 whatever my instructors gave me ending in a 200 sq ft something or other
21-39 rentals in 190 range
39-230 Safire 1 179 (measured smaller I found out later)
230-260 pilot 150 broke leg on this canopy was too aggressive
261-461 Sabre2 170 Learned a lot on this canopy and got a mentor and lots of pointers
461-500 Sabre2 150
500-750 Crossfire 2 129
750-850 Crossfire2 119
850-900 Crossfire2 109 and FX 99
900-current Velocity 103

so the pilot 150 was definitely a rush job.

I think I could have stayed on the 109 Crossfire2 a bit longer


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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0-20: PISA Skymaster 230/270s
20-25: Sabre2 170
26-~300: Spectre 170
300-500: Triathlon 160 (with a lot of demoing/borrowing in the last 75 jumps or so)
500-1200: Vengeance 135 (with a bunch of borrowing, CRW, and a couple hundred tandems mixed in)

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All jump number are approximated so it won't add up to my current total jumps.

Student gear
210 - 220 (20 jumps)

PD 9 cell 150 (75 jumps) from around jump 20 to 90
Sabre 150 (5 jumps)
Sabre 2 150 (800 jumps)from around jump 90 to 850
Lightning 143 (5 jumps)
Lightning 160 (5 jumps)
Lightning 126 (2 jumps)
PD Reserve 143 (1 jump)
Sabre 2 135 (200 jumps) 850 to 1194 the others were mixed in with the Sabre 2 150 jumps

I currently jump the Sabre 2 135 and will probably have that for the next 2 years.

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1. Skymaster 230
2. Falcon 195 (1.01) --> 198 jumps
3. PD Sabre 150 (1.32) --> +/-150 jumps
4. PD Sabre 135 (1.47) --> +/-120 jumps
....(In the meanwhile tried several canopies like stiletto 135, Vengeance 120, Sabre II 135...)
5. PV Demon 100 competition (2.1) --> 250 jumps
... and a few jumps on a katana 107 (1.85)
6. PV Demon 90 competition (2.33) --> still counting
... and a few jumps on a Velocity 90


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As a Student:
PD Navigator 260, 240
Safire 229
PD 230
Sabre 210
Sabre2 210
Spectre 230
1st Canopy I owned (40-50 jumps): Sabre 210 loaded at 1.0 or less
Around 300 jumps I put some jumps on a Z-Po 190 and Sabre 170, and a Lotus 183. Did some CRW on a Lightning 176.
Around Jump 450 I bought a Lotus 183 which turned out to be a 170 and also gained 10 lbs loading about 1.3.
Around 750 jumps I put some jumps on a Triathalon 150, Sabre2 150, PD 143, and later a Stiletto 150.
Bought a Stiletto 150 and gained another 10 lbs so loading about 1.5 now.

Scared to downsize anymore cuz I don't want to get fatter. :D:D:D

PD 143 (1 jump hooked as my main and 1 reserve ride) and Optimum 143 (3-4 jumps a main) are the smallest I've gone.

Stupidity if left untreated is self-correcting
If ya can't be good, look good, if that fails, make 'em laugh.

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Hey Mike! Privet!
It looks like you have nothing to do today... and so do I B|
My progression wasn't any different from lots of anxious fellas and I've learned my lesson hard way...

Static line (round canopy) #1-17
Random square canopies (lots of different names) in 220-135sq/f range from jump #18-100, w/l .75-1.4
Almost a year break after jump #101 on Navigator 230! Yeap, big as. canopy that I thought I'm gonna squeeze and it did me!
Sabre1 135 w/l 1.1:1 #102-112
Cobalt 135 w/l 1.4:1 #113-287
Xfire2 109 w/l 1.75:1 #288-514
Katana 97 w/l 2.1:1 #515-779
Velocity 90 w/l w/no weights 2.2:1 #780 and counting...

It is one of many bad examples but one thing I would do differently for sure if I'd start everything all over again - I would not waste my time exploring the flight under canopy just by my self and following random advises, I would get the professional coaching way much earlier.
I went to my first CC camp with Scott Miller when I had ~570 jumps on my belt. I wish I would do that when I had those 100 jums... Maybe I would fly speed course cleaner on the CPC finals practice day - with both toggles in my hands :D.

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Student Canopy 1-9
PD190 10-100
Stiletto 150 (WL=1.1) 101-200
Stiletto 135 (WL=1.3) 201-500
Crossfire (1) 105 (actually~98) (WL~1.8) 501-1100
Velocity 84 (WL = 2.1-2.6) 1100-2000
JVX.2 83 (WL = 2.2 -2.6) 2000-2200
JVX.2 77 (WL = 2.6 - 3.0) 2200-2400+

These are just rough numbers. I too down-sized 2fast!

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1-50 Navigator 220 @ 1.1
50-300 Spectre 170 @ 1.35
300-500 Magellan 140 @ 1.6
500-> Odyssey 130 @ 1.8

P.S. Mike, do you want to compare % of uebans in skydiver's population at Skycentre and Dz.com?B|

Why drink and drive, if you can smoke and fly?

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I'd have to check my logbook as these are approximations but the numbers are almost right. I could have spent waaaaaaaaaay more time in the 150/135 range.

1 - 20 (Skymasters in the 285 and 235 range)
21 - 50 (Skymaster 200)
51 - 300 (Hornet 170)
301 - 350 (Sabre 150)
350 - 650 (Safire 135 - which was measured smaller)
651 - 850 (Hurricane 120)
851 - present (Velocity 103)

Advertisio Rodriguez / Sky

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I've been a slow goer to downsize compared to the norm I think...

0-25: Nav260 and Sabre2 230...I think
25-50: Sabre2 190 [email protected]
50-450: Sabre2 170 & Nitron170 [email protected]
450-525: Katanna150/Sabre2 150 [email protected]
550-600: Sabre2 135 @1.33

Jumps 450-600 were all on demo gear. I'm going to order a Sabre2 135 but until then I'm back on my 170. I'll get a demo 150 to jump for a few weeks before I make the plunge back down to the 135. This is in the course of 2 years. I'm in no hurry.

"You start off your skydiving career with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience up before your bag of luck runs out."

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Here's my list, I approximated jump numbers.

Nav 240, 220 - Jumps 1-25 (0.75 WL)
Sabre1 170 - Jumps 26-175 (.97 WL)
Spectre 150 - Jumps 176-600 (1.1 WL)
Sabre2 135 - Jumps 600-present (about 640) (1.25 WL)

I did a handful of demos on Sabre2 150, Pilot 132, and Jedei 170... maybe 10 jumps total for all 3.

I'm still learning my Sabre2, since I don't have many jumps on her yet, no plans to change or downsize at any point. I don't think I'll ever go smaller than the 135, it's a good size for me and I have no interest in swooping.

Do or do not, there is no try -Yoda

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I have had a slower progression than a lot of people.

1-22 - Student Canopies
23-49 - Sabre 170 (Rental) - WL 1.08
50-221 - Sabre 150 - WL 1.23
222-651 - Stilleto 150 - WL 1.23
652-1196 - Stilleto 120 - WL 1.54
1197-1542 - Stilleto 107 - WL 1.73
1543-2117 - Velocity 90 - WL 2.05
2118-3212 - Velocity 84 - WL 2.2
3213-3819 - Velocity 79 - WL 2.34
3820-4006 - Velocity 84 - WL 2.3

I have done around 200 jumps total on demo canopies over the years.

The worst injury I have had was a slightly sprained ankle on jump 38 from a low turn to face into the wind (I was jumping again after 3 days). Of course, I have had my share of close calls and bruises while learning to swoop.


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Jumps 1-30: Student canopies: 240-300sq ft.
Jumps 30-45: Airforce 220 (think PD F-111)
Jumps 45-450: Spectre 190 @ 1.05
Jumps 450-850: Samurai 170 @ 1.2
Jumps 850-1100: Samurai 135 @ 1.5

I had no interest in swooping until I had about 400 jumps. Up until then I wasn't willing to accept the additional risk. By the time I got to 400 jumps, I think I'd a fairly decent grasp of how to fly my Spectre, and I was looking for something new. Attending Brian Germain's canopy course explained the hows and whys of canopy flight to me and demystified the process of becoming a swooper.

Upon reflection I figured I could learn to swoop without taking inordinate risks to do so. Right now I really enjoy swooping, though I'm far from good at it. Maybe in a few years, if I jump regularly enough, I'll actually get decent. But for now, I'm having fun :)

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Student gear (Nav 260s - Nav 200s): jump#1-20
PD190 jump# 21-25
Spectre 170 jump# 26-30 (low WL not quite sure .8 or so)
Triathlon 160 jump# 31-95 (.9 WL)
Sabre2 150 jump# 96-120 (1.0)
Hornet 135 jump# 121-124 (1.1)
Triathlon 160 (other canopies were borrowed, back to the boat) jump# 125-140ish)
Pilot 150 jump# 141-400 Wearing my weights, about a 1.1 WL.

I've also jumped a few canopies in-between. Sabre2 135 for about 20 jumps. Got awesome swoops on the 135. Sabre 120 for a handful of jumps. Really windy day, no swooping. Lightning 143 for a couple jumps.

Next canopy that I'll be buying will probably be a Sabre2 120. Should keep me happy for a while until I go to a 107. Probably another 150-200 jumps away, we'll see how it goes.

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i was fairly conservative

student status was on a sabre 190 and pd 190
10-40 sabre 190 and sabre2 170
40-100 conquest 150
100-600 stiletto 135
600-present(1500) crossfire2 119 wl 1.7

i am now thinking about downsizing. ive demoed a bunch of canopies also. i also jump a stiletto 107 regularly.

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