0
gjkubacki

Discussion about swooping with Canopies with long vs short recovery arcs.

Recommended Posts

I have a few questions about swooping safety that I have not been able to get answered sufficiently by just talking around the dropzone. I've, for better or worse, been trying to do high performance landings using a 170 safire 2 and now with my own 150 safire 1 since I had about 80 jumps. I'm not up to about 300 jumps and have the last 175 on the safire 1 150 and I'm very comfortable using the canopy. My post is not to discuss whether me swooping is a good idea, but I had a question about recovery arcs. I've gathered from discussions with more experienced jumpers that swooping canopies typically have long/longer recovery arcs in order to more easily put the canopy into a dive that in conducive to swooping. The canopy I've been using, Safire 1 150, has a very short recovery arc and seems to me to be a 'safer' canopy to swoop because it allows for corrections closer to the ground without worrying as much about putting the canopy into an unrecoverable dive. I realize this can create bad habits for when I would move to a more typical swooping canopy with a longer recovery arc, but as long as one realizes the difference do you think there are merits to swooping with a small recovery arc canopy? I'm not asking which is technically more efficient at getting a long swoop, but rather trying to gather if it would make sense to swoop a shorter recovery arc canopy for someone who wants to swoop recreationally and is willing to give up some of the performance longer recovery arc canopies offer for more safety. I hope this makes sense and is not too convoluted. Any thoughts greatly appreciated! Oh and I weigh about 210 out the door with gear if that matters to anyone commenting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Key to your question/ flaw in the logic is this- shorter recovery arcs don't allow for correction closer to the ground, as much as they make you start your turn/dive closer to the ground giving you less time and altitude to save your life if things dont go to plan.

When I started in the late 90's, the Swoopers (surfers back then) were usually jumping short recovery arc canopies like Stilettos and Batwings. At that time, the evolution of swooping was going from the "toggle monkey" toggle hook turn folks who were doing very aggressive turns very low to the ground, to the carving front riser folks who were using front riser turns starting much higher and building more speed.

The toggle monkeys got the "ohhhh---ahhhs" from the crowds of whuffos who usually though someone was about to die. Their swoops were shorter, and their chances of leaving in a chopper or bag were much higher.

The riser guys were out swooping them and doing it much more safely by building speed over a higher altitude and not having to comit to a very radical dive low to the ground. They have more time to get out of the corner, and getting out was usually less of an issue because they were not paralell to the ground at 100 feet like the toggle guys.

The next evolution of swooping took this a few steps further by using wings that dive harder/longer and moving the starting altitudes up even further. There are other benefits to speeed/distance to the wings, but one of them is allowing to start thing higher.

So to answer your question- Yes you can swoop a short arc canopy, it has been done for a long time. IMO it is not safer because the shorter the arc, the lower you have to initiate the turn and the less room for error/correction you have.

Get coaching if you can. Be safe. Keep your femur inside your leg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To add to your comments (with which I broadly agree); the issue is somewhat complicated when it comes to learning to swoop.

Shorter recovery arc canopies are generally recommended for learning because, by their very nature, they are lower performance canopies than the longer arc wings. Whilst it is still possible to kill/maim your self swooping a Sabre2 150, it is much more forgiving than a Velocity 90.

As has been said before, if you swoop you will hit the ground hard. It's pretty much a certainty. The plan is that you make your mistakes on lower performance, shorter arc canopies making smaller rotations before slowly graduating to the less forgiving wings when the foundation of flight is solid.

I hit hard doing a 90 with a Sabre2 150 and walked away. This was partly because I didn't get the instruction I needed and was trying to work it out for myself and partly because learning a sight picture is a dangerous business.

I am now doing 270s on a longer arc canopy and feel safer because I have more time in the turn to assess how the turn is going and to adjust/bail if necessary. However, the consequences of getting my assessment wrong are much more dire than they were on the SA150.

There is no SAFE way to learn to swoop, but there is a more forgiving path which will allow you to learn from your mistakes rather than die from them. This path includes equipment choice, seeking out good advice, using modern turn techniques, making canopy dedicated jumps, starting from scratch with each new wing etc, etc
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
davelepka

Quote

Any thoughts greatly appreciated!



I'm willing to bet that's not going to be the case.



I imagine you're frustrated at people around here, but honestly - with the quality level of most of your posts - this isn't something I would have expected from you. I have for a long time enjoyed reading your posts and I am not going to change my opinion based on just this one, but I dunno - just seems out of character.

As for the original poster, please see the second half of my signature line - the word swoop and "safe" don't go together generally.

I agree with pretty much all the stuff that has been said here. The idea is to get good coaching - shoot for a middle of the ground recovery arc lower performance wing and start learning the basics.

Saber2 class.

This question is so subjective. I mean, we might as well debate the different levels of danger with being caged in with different species of bears that havent been fed in a month. No matter how you cut it - it's dangerous.

My personal opinion is that if you have accepted the substantially greater risk of swooping, as you go from not knowing much about swooping and having limit skills up to being well educated/practiced and using more aggressive turns, longer recovery arc canopies offer a slightly greater margin for error, though they do offer other downsides which can negate that gain in "safety".
~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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I imagine you're frustrated at people around here, but honestly - with the quality level of most of your posts - this isn't something I would have expected from you.



Sorry I'm the disappointment here, and not the guy who started swooping with 80 jumps total, and now some 200 jumps later is just asking some very basic questions.

It's the dumbest of dumb, and anytime someone has to preface their question with, 'I don't want to hear your opinion on my experience or WL, I just want my specific question answered', you know it's because they are acutely aware that their experience or WL could very well be called into question.

I can barely tolerate those who ask question they should already know the answer to, or who are simply farming for the answers they want. When they have to go the extra step, and include that they don't want to hear about any of the very poor choices they have made on top of that, I follow suit and throw all my good sense out the window as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DocPop

There is no SAFE way to learn to swoop, but there is a more forgiving path which will allow you to learn from your mistakes rather than die from them. This path includes equipment choice, seeking out good advice, using modern turn techniques, making canopy dedicated jumps, starting from scratch with each new wing etc, etc



As davelepka clearly demonstrates, that's not as easy as it sounds. I would say that the mentality that "oh you shouldn't be swooping so I won't teach you" leads to more bad than good. If someone wants to learn to swoop bad enough they're going to do it regardless. Withholding from properly instructing these types people isn't the way to go about it...

I await your rebuttle davelepka...
"Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way." -Alan Watts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I would say that the mentality that "oh you shouldn't be swooping so I won't teach you" leads to more bad than good. If someone wants to learn to swoop bad enough they're going to do it regardless. Withholding from properly instructing these types people isn't the way to go about it...



No, you're wrong. If someone lacks the experience or skill to be swooping, the right thing to do is to refuse instruction until they are ready to move to that next step.

If, in light of that, a jumper is so determined that they disregard your judgment (remember, 2 min ago you were the guy they wanted to teach them) and proceed to swoop anyway with no instruction, they are demonstrating a complete disregard for common sense, and as such, no good would come from enabling them with any sort of information at all. If you tell them how to do 'x', but not to do 'y' because they are not ready for that, they'll simply just do 'y' anyway based on their general disregard for common sense or anything that doesn't give them what they want and when they want it.

I have no obligation to anyone on the DZ. I don't have to teach or help anyone with anything. If you tell a jumper they are doing the wrong thing and in over their head, it's not my responsibility to instruct them properly, it's their responsibility to consider the advice, consider the source, and make an intelligent decision. If they can't do that, that's not my problem and I'm not going to make it my problem by putting in my time and effort to enable them onto a path that stands a good chance of ending in injury or death.

I'm not the one making a mistake by withholding instruction from someone who lacks the experience or skill to start swooping, they're the one making the mistake by not realizing their limitations and the consequences of that failure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
davelepka

Quote

I imagine you're frustrated at people around here, but honestly - with the quality level of most of your posts - this isn't something I would have expected from you.



Sorry I'm the disappointment here, and not the guy who started swooping with 80 jumps total, and now some 200 jumps later is just asking some very basic questions.

It's the dumbest of dumb, and anytime someone has to preface their question with, 'I don't want to hear your opinion on my experience or WL, I just want my specific question answered', you know it's because they are acutely aware that their experience or WL could very well be called into question.

I can barely tolerate those who ask question they should already know the answer to, or who are simply farming for the answers they want. When they have to go the extra step, and include that they don't want to hear about any of the very poor choices they have made on top of that, I follow suit and throw all my good sense out the window as well.



Meh - I agree with you (and your other post) and it wasn't mutually exclusive disappointment. I just guess I have moved past being shocked by the behavior of the 'I want to swoop but screw doing it the right way' crowd.
~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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I just guess I have moved past being shocked by the behavior of the 'I want to swoop but screw doing it the right way' crowd.



I'm not shocked by it, just not going to participate in it.

A guy who knowingly makes the very poor choice of starting to swoop with 80 jumps in the 'information age', to me, is not a good candidate for a student for something along the lines of swooping.

Consider BASE jumping, for a moment. A guy asks a BASE jumper to mentor him, and the mentor says, 'I don't think you're really ready for BASE, and I'm not comfortable teaching you at this point', and the 'student' decides to go out and BASE jump on their own. Do you really think the mentor will reconsider and start teaching that guy?

What happens when the mentor says the weather is bad, or the object is too 'hot' to jump that day? Is the 'student' suddenly going to start listening then?

Ditto for swooping. I tell a guy he shouldn't be swooping, but he does anyway. So I start to teach him, what should I expect when I tell him that he's not ready for the downsize he wants, or that he shouldn't be moving up to 270s or 450s just yet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For sure - I have in fact seen the exact stuff you describe happen.

I wish people would be more cooperative in this sport - it seems as we push more and more into the younger groups of new jumpers that "respect the sport and everyone in it" mentality is going away. Though I guess I haven't really been around long enough to make a statement like that.
~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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Part of the reason experienced jumpers act like such arrogant assholes is that they are arrogant assholes.
The other part is that it is very frustrating when someone comes along and tries out skydiving for a few years and in the process burns in and brings about a more restrictive environment for those of us who have been at it our entire adult lives. We worked hard to figure out the dangerous shit and don't want to give up the secrets to someone who will use these powers unwisely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and teaching abstinence prevents teen pregnancy... I do hear what you are saying and giving someone all the information at once is dangerous (i.e. you don't introduce a 16yro to hardcore porn but you explain safe sex and then impact being sexually active can have on your life) but giving enough information to prevent injuries/ fatalities can only be a good thing. That said who wants to be the gate keeper of that information?

I suck at/am very new to CP but no one has ever told me I will die either, probably because some very nice very experienced people have been kind enough to give me the information I can handle as it was needed.

0.02c ... Flame on [:/]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dude!
1) Swooping safely???
How,why,when,where, and What do you mean? You are a new skydiver and you're performing front riser turns on landing! And by the information in your post, That is not Safe!

2) Insufficient coaching at your home DZ?
Where do you jump? any good Swoopers there? If not, go somewhere else ASAP and get appropriate coaching. You will learn much more in a shorter time frame and will have appropriate feedback to help with those bad habits.

3)Jump #'s
What's your License? Whats the hurry? Take your time with it dude! You're goal should be the Journey, not the destination. If you're not patient, this sport will bite you. I promise. How accurate are you under your canopy?

4)Recovery arc
At your level you do not need to worry too much about different recovery arcs. You do need to know the altitude your canopy uses to do any kind of turn! Front riser, Rear riser and toggles.What is the exact recovery arc for each type of turn you perform? Are you doing straight in double fronts, 90's,180's 270's?
If swooping is what you love and are willing to spend the time then moving AWAY from short recovery arc canopies is what you are going to want to do with the assistance of a good coach. Swooping closer to the ground is not safer!! Less time for reaction, less time for correction, please get that out of your head.


5)Swooping safely??
If you want to be safe, Stop Swooping.

6)Please realize your way of thinking is flawed! We do not swoop short recovery arc canopies for safety! One may start swooping under a canopy with a natural quick recovery arc but as skill is acquired and one becomes proficient under that wing he or she will most likely move to a canopy with a longer recovery arc. More time for Reaction and more time for correction. If this doesn't make sense Please see a Coach.

Please understand, if you hurry, you will bounce!
Be safe
Skydivers are nothing but a bunch of Narcissistic A$$holes!!
Front risers were made for pulling! Pal
MuFF#5640
D.S. # 2012

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0