Large surface area wingsuits and BASE..

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Large suits like the Stealth, SM1 and Tengu are becoming popular for skydiving, so it is only a matter of time before people try them for BASE.

I have done about 50 jumps on the Stealth and my conclusion - I would advise caution when using large wingsuits BASE jumping.

- reaching the PC is more difficult (4 secs to find the PC on first jump)
- the burble behind the suit is much larger and increases the risk of PC in tow (PC collapsed on my back on one jump)
- the suit is slower to turn and requires larger control inputs, not the most suitable thing for proximity.
- the larger suits allow longer freefall times but around the same total distance, the end result for me was a less intense "feeling of flight".
- Not all the large suits have good arm release / cut away system

Experienced wingsuit BASE jumpers may be able to jump these larger suits safely but I would advise "exit high and pull high".

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I mean this with no dis-respect to you big man, but do you think a lazier throw contributed to this? The PC looks like it barely made it out of the pouch.
Phoenix Fly - High performance wingsuits for skydiving and BASE
Performance Designs - Simply brilliant canopies

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This is not at all related to BASE wingsuiting, but it does have everything to do with wingsuiting-related PC-in-tow situations on regular skydives, so bear with me.

I had been experiencing a rash of very-delayed deployments on my wingsuit flights. I could not for the life of me figure out what was going on, but it was seriously sketching me out. Bear in mind that I have a fully-wingsuit-optioned Wings container with a long bridle and the anti-line-twist D-bag. I would throw, then wait, wait more, bring my hands up to my handles and then start "wiggling" until the thing opened. Turns out that the way I (and my packers) were stowing the first bit of excess bridle (above the pin) under the pin-closing-flap was causing the PC to tow when I threw from full glide (which has become my habit). It really pissed me off. After much toying around with the rig in it's packed configuration, Khan Hildebrand figured out that the first bit of excess (above the pin) being stowed under the pin flap was preventing the pin to be extracted when pulled mostly to the rear. The fix was simply to route the bridle out the bottom, set the pin from the bottom, then stow the rest of the excess back out the same place (the bottom). The situation is resolved and I have had zero problems in any of my four suits since the new packing method. Without it, the pin simply would not pull until I was more "falling" than "flying."

If any of you have been experiencing this, just start packing like I said. If you have more questions, just give me a call and I will send you photos of what I am talking about.


PS: my new Phantom2 kicks ass!

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