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mbondvegas

Prodigy Before 200 Jumps?

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I just wanted to get some public opinion on flying a Prodigy before 200 jumps. I know the USPA suggest 200 jumps before flying a wingsuit. I know also that some consider the Prodigy a "hybrid" suit ...not a wingsuit.

It seems that the biggest risk of W-Suiting is the complications possible during deployment and the Prodigy simplifies the situation a bit when compared to say a GTI.

I have several jumps on a PF-Tracking suit and have had to consider the fallrate and flight path issues on these dives as this suit can yield slow (<70MPH) fall rates and at lease 1:1 Glide Ratio.

Thoughts anyone?
- - -
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.

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I will give you my thoughts:

-Personally, I would rather see an underqualified student jump an Acro, Phantom, Classic II or a GTi than a Prodigy. While its true you can drop the grippers and reach your toggles on the Prodigy, it's a terribly unbalanced suit. WAY too much legwing in my opinion. I have seen more than one person front-flip at pull time because they simply reached back without collapsing their legwing in that suit. One was Scary Perry! Out of a Helicopter at Palatka! At 1000 feet! Also, I have personally seen at least three instances where one wing came undone on a Prodigy mid-flight. Yes, even rigged correctly and after being JMPI'd by a PFI. It's for those reasons that I would MUCH prefer a person train on the "more advanced" suit. BM Classic II's and GTI's, PF Acros and Phantoms are FAR superior training suits in my opinion. I have never had a student front flip at pull time in any of those suits. They are simply easier suits to fly. The fact that you can reach your toggles in the Prodigy right at pull time, and the fact that it can be adjusted to fit a wider range of people does not make it superior in any way in my opinion. Particularly when compared to the other two rock-solid PF suits I mentioned.

Ultimately, if you are going to break the rules, I would rather you do it in a suit that is far more forgiving of fuck-ups at pull-time. It's THEN that jump-number experience matters most.

I base my opinion on the fact that I am an instructor first, and a flocker second. If you don't deal with students on a regular basis you really have no idea what goes on in the real world. That's no joke.

Chuck Blue
BMCI-4

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Skymonkey-Thanks for the constructive and informative feedback. I had not heard that the Prodigy was more difficult to fly or potentially unbalanced (leg vs wing). Things to think about for sure.
- - -
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.

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Skymonkey-Thanks for the constructive and informative feedback. I had not heard that the Prodigy was more difficult to fly or potentially unbalanced (leg vs wing). Things to think about for sure.



I'll second everything Chuck said.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Opinions are like assholes... everyone has one. But not all of them are right.

Personally I found the Prodigy to be very easy to fly. In fact my first 15-20 jumps in a Prodigy were from cliffs.

Skymonkey also says it's harder to fly a V2 than a V1.
I'm not saying he is a Bird-Man fanboy, but his posts generaly favour BM and he is a rep/dealer/sponsered or something.

In his defence at least he didn't recommend the IMPACT! ;)

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funny...recently I would have thought Chuck was posting more positive comments for competitors' suits than any BM suit...just in reading his posts anyway!:P

Chuck is very open minded about all brands of suits...from what I've seen anyway.

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I'm not saying he is a Bird-Man fanboy, but his posts generaly favour BM and he is a rep/dealer/sponsered or something.

In his defence at least he didn't recommend the IMPACT! ;)



Dude, do you read Chuck's posts? He cannot STOP talking about Tony Suits, and he has many times said he thinks the Phacro is the best all-around suit. He also flies a Vampire all the time at Zhills. BUT he also loves his S6.

I found the Prodigy very easy to fly, BUT I had hundreds of WS jumps when I put it on. I have seen many students in Prodigies fly like CRAP (nearly impossible to chase) and go head-down (literally) on deployment. I have not seen NEARLY as much of this on GTi's and Classics. I don't have alot of experience with students in Acros or Phantoms, but I would assume they are better choices for FIRST-TIMERS than the Prodigy.

I have about 50 student jumps... I'm sure Chuck has many more. This is not a brag, but this is where I get my opinion from... from watching students. Most of those were in GTI's and Classics. Maybe 10 of them were in Prodigys, and they were by far the worst.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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Opinions are like assholes... everyone has one. But not all of them are right.

Personally I found the Prodigy to be very easy to fly. In fact my first 15-20 jumps in a Prodigy were from cliffs.

Skymonkey also says it's harder to fly a V2 than a V1.
I'm not saying he is a Bird-Man fanboy, but his posts generaly favour BM and he is a rep/dealer/sponsered or something.

In his defence at least he didn't recommend the IMPACT! ;)



I think you're the only one desperately coming off as a fanboy here luke;)
Turning a discussion on how something flies into a brand-related thing again..

As for <200 jumps..we've been there before.....personaly, seeing the awareness people have in the sky up to that point (though sure..the student talked about is always 'ahead of the curve') I think there's no reason to take any chances.

If someone cant do an extra few jumps and get more experience to jump a wingsuit..what tells you the student WILL spend the needed skydives to learn and fly it before he/she steps up to something bigger or takes it off a cliff? I just dont think theres any need to rush things...whats another 20 to 50 jumps if someone is REALLY doing something he/she is claiming to like and love?

Safety...why rush it?
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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As an ex-prodigy owner ( 70 flights inboard before V1) , I only had some light instabilitys trouble at the beginning , but fronflip at pull time is a little bit excessive and no wings undone for me and for the newbees who flew later my baby. Prod rock and is safe .
Blue skies
Chris

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Thanks for the comments. I do not claim to be "ahead of the curve", but I have spent the last 25 jumps "training/planning" for flying a wingsuit (as much as one can train with a PF-Tracking Suit that is). Mainly I have focused on, exit order, flight pattern, simulated flat spin recovery and simulated W-Suit wave off and deployment sequence.
One day I will fly a wingsuit...mabye at 150 jumps mabye at 201; just considering my options and the related risk. The lure of W-Suiting is what drew me to commit to the sport and keeps me psyched.
- - -
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.

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The first time I flew a Prodigy at ZFlock 05....it was the prodigy legwing and tracking jacket. I had no issues with going head down or anything*.

However, as Matt said...what is true for me and you may not be true for a newbie.

Kris.
*It took me a long time to accept the headlow angle. Contrary to what Ed says. Sometimes you have to let the suit fly you :P. Ofcourse Ed may have been speaking of a different suit when he said that B|.

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I'll second everything Chuck said.





Have either you or Chuck jumped a Prodigy?


Be safe
Ed



Sure I have, and I flew it fine, but that's not the point. My point was that I find it a much-less-balanced suit than the other suits I specifically mentioned. My other point was that I have seen several students (and one tremendously experienced wingsuit instructor) do front flips at pull time in the suit. My final point is that I still would not condone anyone flying ANY wingsuit before they had 200 skydives.

For the record, we have a tremendous variety of wingsuits at our school in Z-hills and I, myself, show no preference whatsoever to any brand. We put our students in whatever suitable unit we have which affords the best fit. If a guy wants to jump a PF suit that we do not have in his size, we simply call Rob Jones and he drives the four miles from his shop to the DZ to drop off a suit.

Yes, my favorite suit is still my S6, though I also routinely fly my Vampire.

Chuck

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Have jumped the suit after 250 jumps. Did a lot of tracking and pressurized tracking before that. Have had line twist 2 times in 75 jumps, but now other problems (yet? ;)). A bit wobly for the first few flights but not any more than with the PF tracking clothes.

Here in Norway it's one out of 3 suit allowed from 250 jumps. (Prodegy, Acsess by s-fly and Tracer from Matter)all other suits have a 500 jumps expirience limit, before your allowed to jump them.
I think the prodegy is fun to fly, offers flocking capability with other suits and performes better than my two other options.

I will get a Phantom, S-fly Expert(or his big suit?), Vampire or somethink like that when I have 500 jumps, mainly because the have better performance range NOT because i don't like my Prodegy. It's fast and fun:ph34r:


Do, or do not. There is no try.

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I found the Prodigy very easy to fly, BUT I had hundreds of WS jumps when I put it on. I have seen many students in Prodigies fly like CRAP (nearly impossible to chase) and go head-down (literally) on deployment. I have not seen NEARLY as much of this on GTi's and Classics. I don't have alot of experience with students in Acros or Phantoms, but I would assume they are better choices for FIRST-TIMERS than the Prodigy.



I started Wingsuit around 130 jumps with an Access, than started with a Prodigy around 180 jumps. Between the two I put 40 jumps before jumping a Phi around 250 and finally a Phantom around 300.
So I know perfectly well what I means to start with a Prodigy.
Sorry, but from my point of view, starting with a WS that binds your arms is a bad idea. I don't understand how a Prodigy could be harder to start with than a Phantom.
I agree the Phantom is a really easy suit to fly (and very fun to boot), but is a has a much larger leg wing than the Prodigy, so if you don't collapse it before pulling, I dont see how you're better off than with the Prodigy.... And if a student has a bad opening procedure, he is going to be in trouble whatever the suit.
The only critic i'd do to Prodigy has a beginner suit, is that it's a bit twitchy, so you have to be careful with your input, otherwise you'll be flying all over the place.
Prodigy a easy to find in rental here (France) and I never heard any problems with the opening....

Just my 2 cents....

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I preface this by saying that there is a possibility my suit's not measured quite right:

On my Prodigy I have to release the wings before I can get to the toggles. Personally, I'd rather have zippers and a cutaway option than having to pop my snaps and then thread the strap back under the retainer loop before I can get my wing loose.

Also, if you do something noob'ishly stupid like drop your gripper, it's damn near impossible to get it back. I burnt like 6 grand trying to do it,and when I finally got ahold of it again, I think I ended up grabbing it 180 degrees out cause the suit suddenly started trying to turn hard on me.

-Blind
"If you end up in an alligator's jaws, naked, you probably did something to deserve it."

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I preface this by saying that there is a possibility my suit's not measured quite right:

On my Prodigy I have to release the wings before I can get to the toggles. Personally, I'd rather have zippers and a cutaway option than having to pop my snaps and then thread the strap back under the retainer loop before I can get my wing loose.

Also, if you do something noob'ishly stupid like drop your gripper, it's damn near impossible to get it back. I burnt like 6 grand trying to do it,and when I finally got ahold of it again, I think I ended up grabbing it 180 degrees out cause the suit suddenly started trying to turn hard on me.



Its perhaps easier when the suit fits properly?

My last jump last year, I jumped out without holding the grippers and then tumbled some, but I just reached back with both hands and took them, while flying the rest of my body to get stable. Lost perhaps 50 meters and some of the forward speed.

I most often also grab the gripper again aftar I've pulled.

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I think you're the only one desperately coming off as a fanboy here luke
Turning a discussion on how something flies into a brand-related thing again..




Dear Chief Fanboy,
<\tongue firmly in cheek>

I take your point in relation to the low blow against the IMPACT. It wasn't necessary, just a cheap dig. However as for the rest of it, I just called is as I see it (as I usually do). Statements like
Quote

it's a terribly unbalanced suit

are nonsense as are the same persons postings about the V2 being a step backwards from the V1!

I agree firmly with your point about rushing into wingsuiting. Sadly many people rush into various aspects of jumping without the necessary skills or experience. Some are lucky enough to get away with it, a few are not so lucky...

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I agree firmly with your point about rushing into wingsuiting. Sadly many people rush into various aspects of jumping without the necessary skills or experience. Some are lucky enough to get away with it



And its usualy those same 'I had too little experience and was ok..' people that come back here and tell everyone the'll be ok...

sure it might be fine, but I just dont see why people want to be such lazy biatches...just make those few extra jumps..and I say FEW...as 200 jumps to anyone serious about either skydiving or base, those should be numbers they ramp up pretty quick if they are at all serious about their sport...

skydiving 'can' actually be fun....

and dont forget to smile..;)
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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I just wanted to get some public opinion on flying a Prodigy before 200 jumps.



I’ll interpret your original post as posing two questions.

First, should you try wingsuits before the 200 jump guideline? – that’s been discussed and debated at great length. I think not much more can be added to what has already been said.

Second question is, should you start with the Prodigy? The posts so far have been from individuals and instructor, the individuals providing their personal experiences with the Prodigy and the instructors providing their experiences observing (collectively) hundreds of first jumps with both the Prodigy and other suits.

If your only wingsuit choice is a Prodigy and have nothing else to jump, then any and all input from personal and instructor experiences will be valuable.

If you have choices, then I’d listen to the instructors recommendations as to what wingsuit would best be used on a first flight, especially since they do have an interest in the successful outcome of their student’s performance.

I do not find suggestions, to the effect that brand name allegiance biases an instructor’s recommendation, credible. :|

Given all the new wingsuits and new birds, maybe a new poll is in order. Perhaps for instructors only responding (those with at least 20 students trained), asking what are the three best wingsuits for a first flight.

Mike
Play like your life depends on it.

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If you have choices, then I’d listen to the instructors recommendations as to what wingsuit would best be used on a first flight, especially since they do have an interest in the successful outcome of their student’s performance.


must say that here in south Europe region I have not heard about any student performing front loop on the pull, regardless of the suit they wear.
this lead me to the Q which is: how they perform the pull sequence in FL ;)
In can agree w part I quote and ad that same goes for the students in WS BASE, therefore they usually start w the simplest WS possible..:S
Robert Pecnik
robert@phoenix-fly.com
www.phoenix-fly.com

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