Firebolt

Manufacturer
Purpose
Main
Cells
9
The FireBolt is a fully Ellipitical 9 cell hy-bred canopy with a 2.65 to 1 aspect ratio. It features 500 pound Spectra suspension line and a"Sharks Teeth" leading edge treatment.

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tmartin8

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  • 5
Extremely easy to pack. The most powerful flare on the market. No other parachute will open softer.
The double snap Brake stowe can sometimes be tricky if you don't pull straight down when releasing.

I have jumped many different canopies on the market and this is hands down THE absolute BEST canopy in the field. I am buying a Firebolt 164 and cannot wait to get it. I will not endorse or recommend any other canopy after jumping this amazing parachute.

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parkair

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  • 5
Nice openings, high performance flight, great flare for landing, packs small and easy
Slider hangs slightly at opening and requires attention

I decided to try the Firebolt canopy out after flying many others over a 3-4 year period. Without going into detail, and in no order of downsizing, others were Pilot 188/168ZP/ZPX, Sabre 2 210/190/170, Storm 190/170, Apache 190, Safire 2 209/189/149. None of these fore mentioned canopies really had outstanding characteristics for the 3 areas I was looking for. Openings, flight, and landings. I found the Firebolt to have nice openings without the harsh whiplash of some canopies. Mostly on heading openings except for my occasional messy packing. The slider does take longer to come down than most canopies, which just makes for softer openings. Overall very nice openings and on heading. Flight is great! Snappy and fast responses from toggles and risers. Very 'zippy' canopy, but is quite ground hungry. However, it easy to learn to fly if you are not accustomed to this type of flight. And finally, landings are fun! I wanted a canopy that had the first two characteristics AND loads of flare. Many manufacturers say this and that but don't deliver. The Firebolt has loads of flare for those no wind days. I love the way this canopy blasts in and still lands you softly when others are running or sliding in. An added note, since the Firebolt is a hybrid, it packs up easily and small. It was easy to pack it even when new. Overall this is a great canopy for intermediate and on skydivers. I love this canopy, and only wish it didn't take me so long to get one!

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Anachronist

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  • 5
Powerful flare and sporty handeling
Not ideal for wingsuiting because of long snivel

I got the chance to demo a Firebolt DOM 2013 at a WL of 1.3:1. About 10 jumps total, sub terminal, terminal, and wingsuit. Snivel was long and soft every time. On non-wingsuit jumps it maintained heading very well but the long snivel gave it too much time to spin a few line twists on wingsuit deployments. Certainly not a bad wingsuit canopy but not ideal, I've been told it can be packed to make it open a little faster. It likes toggle input most but front and rear risers are effective, shallow fronts are a little bumpy but once you get deep enough it smooths out. Toggle turns were very quick and comfortable with very little input required. The best part is the flare which is very very powerful. If a big flare is important to you this canopy certainly has it. The packing and stowing brakes takes a little getting use to if you're coming from PD canopies but after about 3 packs it all makes sense. This may be one of the most under-rated canopies I've flown, I would strongly recommend giving it a try if you're in the market for a great all around canopy.

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tan

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  • 5
Flare power!
Gotta spend a few minutes to work the double brake lines the first time

Demoed a Firebolt 218 over one weekend from Jumpshack; Jarrett and Michael delivered fantastic support. Put 8 jumps on the canopy @1.12 wingloading. Flare power was superior to any of the previous canopies that I'd ever flown.

I had to spend a bit of time figuring out the double brake lines, as well as how to untwist them, but I don't think it makes a difference once they've been set.

The Firebolt 218 did seem to have a steeper glide ratio compared to the Saber 2 210, but I felt that the Firebolt still outdid the Saber 2 on flare power. Plus the price is excellent too. Am definitely keeping my eyes out for a Firebolt 200 next!

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SecondRound

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Smooth openings responsive even at a lower wing loading
Not a common canopy and the brake system gets getting used to.

Bought a used 218 Firebolt and I load it at .9 lb/sq. ft. started jumping it at 40 jumps. Learned that an elliptical canopy requires more attention to body position on opening if you don't want line twists and that at this wing loading and size, twists are very manageable no spinning and fairly normal flight. Also found that the responsiveness and range of speeds immediately improved my accuracy. Flares took some adjustment since the sweet spot requires about half as much control input. The snap toggles and line stows are much easier for me to set correctly and the hybrid canopy is a joy to pack after an all ZP student canopy.

After a trip to DeLand for Flight-1"s 101 and 102 Canaopy control course I can add another big plus to this canopy, the people who manufactuer it and stand behind it. I walked into Parachute Laboratories to discuss my slider and walked out feeling like part of a family. It was clear to me that the people at Jump Shack are passionate about skydiving and care deeply about the equipment they produce and the people who use that equipment. My Firebolt performed well in class and during coached jumps giving comfortable openings , powerful flares and stand up landings (at least most of the times). Thanks again to all.

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Rickford56

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  • 5
Opening, flying, landing
None

Very responsive, flares great for landing. Smooth openings, certainly not hard, on heading. Very pleased.

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woppyvac

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  • 5
Extremely SOFT Openings, east to pack, great flight + flare.
The collapsible slider cords are ascetically long IMO. lol

I've got just over 20 jumps on a 146 Firebolt. Wing loaded at 1.55. I highly recommend folks to demo this canopy!

Openings: This is the biggest selling point. SOFT. It's just amazing how wonderfully this canopy opens and is the reason I had to have one. You've gotta experience one to understand it.

Packing: It's F111 bottomskin and ribs make packing the Firebolt easy to control. I found it easier to pack than the Sabre 2 150 I had before ordering the Firebolt and the Sabre had 200 jumps on it. Additionally, I had a jumper with less than a hundred jumps pack it for me in between loads today and he had no problem getting it in the bag. There are two brake lines. Only the out board lines get stowed and the excess inboard lines get pulled back toward the canopy meaning you aren't spending time stowing excess line - thats a plus onto itself by saving time.

Flight: It does exactly as advertised. At 1.55 wing loading it's a spirited wing and wants to get back to the ground quick. Long spots may be the only semi con I could think of...

Flare: Good and strong. I like to pick up speed for my landings and it's sweet spot is easy to find and creates great glide across the ground.

Price: All the above and it beats out the competitors on price.

Demo: Do It.


Edited 9.23.2013 ---- update.

I've put over 150 jumps on my Firebolt. The craftsmanship of this canopy is excellent - minimal wear. It's still opens amazingly (i've yet to have a hard opening). Flare is still strong. It's the only canopy I'll buy from now on.

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wigginspizza

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
input response, stability
learning what to do with dual brake lines

After demoing several canopies, Sabre 2, Pilot, and Firebolt, I chose the Firebolt due to it's quick response to input, stability, and on heading openings. The toggles have 2 lines each, I believe creating a better flare. Had to learn how to stow them, but PLI was great with instruction and support. I found the team to be extremely helpful and patient while I demoed their canopy. I even had an off site landing into a deer feed plot. Felt perfectly in control.... I liked the canopy so much, that now I am the proud owner of TWO!!!

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firemedic

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Soft, Smooth, On Heading Openings, Very Easy to Pack
Non Yet

Decided it was time for a new main so I demoed a Katana 150, a Stiletto 150, and, since I'm getting a bit older and more conservative, decided to try a Firebolt 164. The Stiletto opens too erratically, the Katana was too ground hungry for me, though both were fun to fly. What I noticed about the Firebolt was the awesome openings and powerful flair especially at the bottom end. Another thing I noticed was how easy it was to pack. The largest canopy I've been able to put in my container is a 150 Cobalt with an H Mod. The Firebolt 164 packed up smaller than the Sabre 150 I used to jump. This is the best canopy I've ever jumped. I've ordered one and I can't wait for it to get here.

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skyfox69

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Smooth and easy openings
None

After 100 jumps on the Firebolt 200, I have to say it is one of the best! Great opening (the best I've experienced)and flies like a mini- sport car. I load it 1.12 to 1. Good speed, but you do have to pay attention and fly this one. Great landings and good flare power. Easy to pack. The only negative is the four brake lines, but not bad after you get used to packing and stowing the lines. This is a great canopy, try one, you will highly satisfied!

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cirrus1ag

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Great openings (soft and on heading); easy to pack; great handling and flare
Most people don't know about this great parachute

I am 230 lbs geared up and have jumped several sizes of the Firebolt. The 164 for me was a fast but controlled hotrod yet it opened on heading, reliably and softly. I purchased a 182 because I am old and on hot, no wind days I still want a soft landing. I have that with the 182. It is an amazing canopy and Nancy,John, Suzie, Tim and everyone else at the Jump Shack are the best. Nancy is a person of high integrity and always a joy to work with. She also happens to be an outstanding skydiver (in all disciplines), rigger and pilot. She'll give you the straight answer and really try to help you. I have no financial or other interest in the Jump Shack but I have known them and others in the industry for many years. There are plenty of great people in the industry, Nancy and the rest are top notch. Give them a try I'll bet you be glad you did.

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mbondvegas

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
SUPER Soft Openings; SUPER Easy Packing; Sick Turns; Good Flare
No Input Glide is less than many other 9 cells.

I love the Firebolt. This canopy stands out for its outstanding opening characteristics, ease of packing, fun turns and very smooth, progressive, and powerfull flare.

I have flown via rental/demo the: Manta, Navigator, Spectre, Safire2, Sabre2, and Pilot and owned and flown a Safire1, Triathlon, and Spectre. I still own a Triathlon and love it for wingsuit flights. The Tri's docile nature is great for that purpose. But on other jumps...when I want a little more fun under canopy..I fly my Firebolt...I absolutely LOVE it. Prior to flying the Firebolt, I really liked the Pilot...it's openings were the best I had ever experienced...for both softness and on heading characteristics, it also was equal or better than the Safire2 and Sabre2 in all other characteristics. I had hoped to demo the Fusion and Firebolt as well, but Precision said they did not have demo program...which is just lame and enough reason for me to never buy a canopy from them! Nancy from Jumpshack replied quickly to my demo request but said that they currently did not have a demo Firebolt in my preferred size but that they were making a new one for their demo program. Following this quick reply, I was dissapointed in their lack of follow-up after this initial request and one subsequent request for a demo. So, I had pretty much decided to buy a Pilot.

Well...after that, I ran into a good deal on a virtually new Firebolt and bought it. Well...lucky me!

OPENINGS:

You really have to experience the openings to believe them. I think they might be softer than the Pilot (which is saying alot)...well...they are at least as soft and smooth. The Firebolt is consistently on-heading and does not suffer from the Sabre2's end cell closure issues. Soft, smooth, and symetrical...everytime! If you open low...beware...these soft openings do take a bit of altitude.

HANDLING:

The elliptical planform yields some pretty good fun! Crisp turns and steep dives are to be expected! I load my Firebolt at 1.25ish and it dives hard with strong toggle or front riser input. I know JS states that this canopy is OK for entry level jumpers at low W/L's but I wonder. I would not recommend this canopy to total beginners...at least not based on how reactive it is at 1.25 to 1. That said...when you're ready it is FUN!!!

It is worth noting that the glide ratio in full flight is kind of weak compared to say the Pilot, Sabre2 or Safire2.

Flare:

Excellent! The flare stroke is smooth and progressive and very powerful....I simply love how this canopy flares PERIOD.
Swooping...well I don't really swoop and this is clearly not a swoop monster...but it planes out really well and is really fun to land.

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rmahoney

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Consistent, on-heading openings. Maneuverable, but quite forgiving.
None noted.

The only problem that JumpShack is that it does not do enough SELF-promotion. The Firebolt is a good example. I jump this 182 loaded at 1:1, and I cannot find anything this canopy does not excel in. Openings are smooth, predictable, and on-heading. Especially for an elliptical, it seems to be farily forgiving of body position. Stalls are easy and recovery is quick. The Firebolt has a lot of flare power, and landings are excellent. Being a hybrid ZP/F111, pack volume is nice and small, and it is very easy to pack.

Particularly for a relatively low-experience jumper, (100-500) this is an excellent upgrade that will provide fun, safe performance for thousands of jumps.

I liked this one so much that I bought another for my other rig!

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CISSCO101

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Soft openings Great flare easy to pack one of the best dollar for dollar
None

I brought this canopy after selling my brand new Sabre2 and I am not sorry it opens softer and turns faster. Its a joy to pack especially when the next load is loading and there calling your name.

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2KRigs

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Packs, opens, turns and flairs very good
None at this time, yet time tells all

I have jumped many canopies. The Strato Star & Cloud, Security Unit, Pursuit, Ravens, Monarch, Pegasus, Sabre, Stiletto, Spectre and then some. The various sizes put me in a wing loading anywhere from 1 to 1 on older canopies
and greater loading on recent built canopies. Some people like myself desire the openings of the Firebolt, on heading, consistant and smooth. The Firebolt gave me the ability to watch and interact with the openings. Therefore controling my canopy as it begins to inflate. That is, flying the canopy right out of the bag, like some other canopies I've flown.
It handled flat turns, stalls and heavy toggle inputs very well. It recovered from riser turns very well too. A mild "sinking one in", tight spot was an easy task. A carving hook turn, ( done only after a few landings), was easy to handle with slight smooth toggle imput. As for the flair, I'll just say, with the proper wing loading, it seems the Firebolt has plenty and then some. During my jumps on the Firebolt I used a Vector, Javelin and a Racer container with not troubles. Try One! Be Safe, Blue Skies!

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cbain

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
Fun, nice openings, great flare
None

I demoed (and then decided to purchase) a Firebolt 164. My wingloading is between 1.2 and 1.3. The openings are great once you understand it is elliptical and how important body position is. Very soft and consistant openings. It's fun to fly but not super scary either. Lots of flare, making landings easy and consistant. I don't swoop so can't say anything about that aspect of its performance. But from playing up high it can be fast and reponsive or also flies very stable in brakes or doing flat or flare turns. Bottom line is I enjoy jumping this canopy and it fits my needs/wants.

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SkymonkeyONE

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
great openings, low toggle pressure, great bottom end
none yet

My wife and I just bought a new 2k3 Racer Tandem with the Firebolt 350 main. I can't think of a single bad thing to say about this canopy. I generally fly Sigma 370's at work, but have put jumps on a lot of different tandem mains. Openings are fantastic. Toggle pressure is lower than a Sigma 370, but a tad higher than an Icarus/Precision 365. About the same as a Cobalt 350 Tandem. MUCH pressure less than any EZ or other obsolete crap. The canopy has a fantastic bottom end flare.

Me likey.

Chuck

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neandertal

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 5
openings, very responsive, small pack volume
-

I flew a demo Firebolt 146 several times whit my 250lbs fully equiped weight and I loved the way that it opened and its ground aprouch.
I don't think its 2nd brake line is a big deal.
Try one and have fun.

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cbgnome2

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  • 5
great
great

I felt this was a great canopy for camera men they would love the way the firebolt opens, its always nice and soft weather you're doing a 5 sec delay or freeflying doing 170-200 or just RW doing 120 to 170 it opens the same every time!!!

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LouDiamond

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  • 5
Soft openings, Stable, Quick turns, Lots of flare
2nd brake line takes getting used to

I jumped the 128 and the 110 Firebolt and found both to be consistant in their flight characteristics. Openings are extremely soft, not the usual "pop" when a canopy inflates. Because of this the first couple of times I jumped the canopy I had to look up to see for myself that it was indeed open. It flys level even with severe line twists(which I induced on purpose). Turns, be it toggle or front riser are really responsive, similar to the Stiletto in many aspects except in the angle of attack when in the corner. The Firebolt has a much steeper angle of attack that recovers nicely if not a bit quicker than the Stiletto. Landings are similar to the Stiletto in regards to toggle stroke but the bottom end lift is amazing. It is easy to make this canopy pop back up even with very little forward speed. The Firebolt flys a bit larger than it's size. The 128 I flew felt more like a 150 and the 110 felt slightly bigger if not on par with a 97/107. I noticed that the more you wingload this canopy the more lift it generates not only on the bottom end but overall. The 2 brake lines may take a bit for some to get used to if they haven't seen them before but they work great even when twisted up( I intentionally twisted them. Other features I like aboout the canopy is the risers which have a snap toggles like a tandem riser has. The chances for a brake fire are very slim if the snap is used. Setting the brakes and stowing the brake lines is easy and fast with the configuration they have. Packing was easy ,even with a brand new canopy. While still slippery, it was easy to control and easy to get into the bag. Overall, I think this is a great mid range canopy for those who want a soft opening(camera men, people with previous injuries, etc) and a canopy that they can have a bit of fun with. While it might not win any contests, swooping is entirely doable and distances were pretty good.

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kansasskydiver

0 of 0 members found this review helpful 0 / 0 members
  • 3
Soft openings, snappy turns
lacks flare, 2nd brake line is a pain

Firebolt 146 loaded at about 1.7

Soft opening canopy, but not the softest i've had. seems a bit squirley on opening and i feel there would be a high potential for spinning line twist. once in full flight, very fast canopy, snappy turns. don't recommend front riser turns as the canopy buckled on me up high.

used a carving approach and lacked in flare, seemed very "heavy" and as if i were trying to dig done for everything it had to keep me from hitting.

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PhreeZone

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  • 3
Easy to pack, easy to fly
F111 bottom skin

The Firebolt is a nice all around canopy that has a lot of similarities to the Sabre2 and the Stiletto... but I'm unsure how the F111 bottom will last in the long run.

I'd rather have this canopy above my head on a Tandem then on a sport jump.

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