Manufacturer
Purpose
Main
Material
ZP
Cells
9
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The Samurai is our high performance 9-Cell elliptical parachute equipped with “Airlocks". Based on the Jedei Sweptwing, the Samurai is a versatile airfoil that will please both conservative experienced skydivers, and super-swoopers alike. The rigid feel of the wing is reminiscent of the Jedei, but without the severe “ground-hungriness” that many customers didn’t like. Make no mistake, however, the Samurai will out-swoop the Jedei both in overall distance as well as in softness of the touchdown.

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aarco

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  • 5
Brian made it
its not a jedei

I have test jumped a number of flying systems and am looking at getting back into it -with the ASA - the cool thing about- Big Air sports tech is its all new and in the right place - Brians mind makes the system - he has never been wrong - and when he has his hands on the right tools look out- I mean the guy sees liquid when desighning - the Samurai is a powerful shape along side the Jedei -

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EFS4LIFE

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  • 5
airlocks are awesome
get a pocketed slider

I have a Samurai 136. I had Brian Germain install a pocketed slider because I have a bad neck from a motorcycle accident and quick openings suck for me. If you like a snivel I suggest having a rigger do this! Warning though it can take 1000 feet to open so don't be pulling low with one installed. Airlocks are awesome. As Brian has stated NO canopy is collapse proof, but all you have to do is fly one with airlocks and see that wing still inflated laying on the ground and my money is betting they are in fact safer. You can definitely feel how more rigid the wing is than an open cell type. The accordian effect that gave me that little uneasy feeling is gone. I still would not jump in questionable winds, but I feel more confident under my Sam. Brian has stopped major production unfortunately. Pick one up used while you can! I will update with flight characteristics later when I have more jumps under it.

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spud

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  • 5
Nice Openings, Stable in Turbulence, Great landings
None for me

Had a Jedei 105, got a Samurai 105. Great canopy from opening to landing. Has got me back from some really long spots while others have landed off. Cant wait to see what Brian has up next.

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boyd38off

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  • 5
Super Fun to Fly... Airlocks!
Absolutely none.

Everything I wanted in a canopy and more. Responsive, stable, and with a conservative wing loading, it has a conservative recovery arc. Brian provides awesome customer service. Where else can you call and actually talk to the guy who designed it? The guy literally wrote the book on canopy flight. Awesome experience all around... I just ordered my second Samurai, and I am sure it won't be my last. Very highly recommended!

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subse7en

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  • 3
Dont know
Customer support is lacking

I own a Jedei and I absolutely love it. The problem is that there is no technical support info available on their website.
I absolutely loath companies that stop production on a canopy and then suddenly stop supporting it, thinking that this will force customers to look at a new canopy instead.

If fact all it does is make potential customers question the company's commitment to supporting their products.

Take Performace Designs for example. They offer complete technical information on all canopies they have ever made, regardless of their production status. I feel this is a major reason PD canopies retain their value to the extent that they do.

Before purchasing any canopies from Big Air Sportz please take into consideration the level of customer service they offer, especially through their website.

Cheers

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kwmontreal

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  • 5
Openings, responsiveness, zippiness, bottom-end flare, light front riser pressure
errr................. delivery time.

Wow,.... after putting 25 jumps on my new slippery (curse &*%^@^*) canopy, I am more that impressed. No more cringing during deployment (Saber style), and a whole lot more smiling while in the air!! Lets start with the openings. I have yet to have anything but a nice moderate opening (600ft. snivel). I have even rushed a few times packing and semi trashed it while bagging, and it still treated me well. I have had a few turns on opening, but I think it has more to do with body position and flying through the opening, than anything I can attribute to the canopy itself. Even at 150sq/ft it is responsive to harness input (especially sensitive with the breaks still stowed).

Riser pressure is light and builds to moderate during the dive. I like this because it lets you concentrate on the dive, rather that having to deal with the psychological distraction of heavier riser pressure build up. The tweaks of the Signature Series are most evident in the swoop. It just goes and goes, and, you can almost totally shut it down on landing with a really powerful bottom end flare. I am no swoop king by any means, and am some what conservative by most respects, but I am sure have more fun in the landing area!

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frost

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  • 4
Openings, glide, flare. Advice and knowledge base of maker are a good bonus
Too much hype over airlocks.

I have owned three Big Air canpies. PD210->Safire 189->Jedei 170->Jedei SW 150->Samurai 136.

After FINALLY getting the flare right on my Safire I tried Jedei 170. The landings pretty much sucked on the Safire. The flare was horrible and I dreaded every landing, having twisted ankles numerous times. Enter The Jedei. What a difference. The flare was AMAZING compared to the Safire. The Swept Wing Jedei 150 was even better - it had Eagle Trim. The bottom flare was so deep I didnt even have to flare all the way sometimes. Next one was Samurai 136. All teh good things from the old designs by The Experimentator came together in this great wing. The flare - deep, powerfull. On landings I hardly ever run - just slide to a stop. Shut down on a dime. The glide. I dont recall ever landing out on this bad boy. In brakes I can glide to the DZ from the longest spots with ease (but still check your spot ;). Openings have always been on heading, soft and easily steerable with harness input.

Airlocks... well i'd rather have them then not, but i think there was way too much hype about them. If the conditions are less then perfect, good - I'll take them. But if it's all jacked up, and old timers are sitting on the ground and the only ppl you see up are the 100-200 jump wonders... DONT JUMP! If you think that airlocks will protect you... they might... but! you hit that bad spot... and you just might hit the ground with an inflated wing :) Excersise caution and make the right choice - sit it out.

Overall this is a great canopy and I would recommend it to anyone.

Other canopies I have jumped: Spectre 190, 170, 150. Sabre 1/2 170, 150. Crossfire 129. Velocity 120.

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JumpRu

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  • 5
very stable
none

I put about 200 jumps on my Sam120 loaded about 1.5 and I like this canopy. Samurai fly very stable in turbulence compared to my old crossfire and katana (I jumped it recently too). Front riser pressure is light (much better then crossfire and a little heavier then katana), toggle turns are fast (katana is a little faster on toggles). Openings were soft but a little fast for me, about 400-500ft, so I asked my rigger to put pocket on my slider ($30) and now I have 800 ft 8 sec openings just like I want it. Sam has good flare power. I jump with factory toggle settings and there is a lot of slack in break lines. With some practice I manage to land it strait (no additional speed), in no wind day, slightly up the hill and don’t run like crazy. Downwind landings are fun too but I would not try to run them out.

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skyvipe

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  • 5
Openings, In-Flight Characteristics, Landings
Cant find one

Never have I felt so comfortable flying a wing. The Samurai has all of the characteristics one looks for when purchasing a canopy. I surveyed many on the market and finished my search this spring when a trip to Florida brought me in touch with Brian and his awe-inspiring wing. Until this point I was quite unsure of what to purchase, but when the Samurai opened all doubt was gone. Unlike the Stiletto, Sabre, Crossfire that I had jumped... this canopy opened so soft and on heading, on every demo jump. I have a back problem and the opening shock of the Samurai, or lack there of, brought a smile to my face. The flight itself was fast and stable. Whether the control input is weight shift, toggle, or riser the feeling of total control never leaves. I currently approach with a 180 degree front riser, the canopy dives with low pressure on the risers, the flare on the canopy is unreal. A few times i put myself in the corner the canopy gladly pulled out with just a touch of the toggles. The distance on the swoop is more than any other canopy the i have flown at a similar wing loading (1.4). The Samurai has great slow flight characteristics as well. I do not need to run my landings, the canopy continues to fly and i walk it out. The airlocks are nice, and they keep the canopy rigid, but I purchased this canopy because I believe that it is the best wing in its class on the market. The airlocks were a bonus. Ill never by another wing....Way to go Brian!!! ....Ill always be a Big Air pilot!

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PhreeZone

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  • 5
Fast, Snappy, stable, powerful flare
Airlocks in highwinds are interesting,

I LOVE the Samurai. Its got as much flare as I could ever use and its stable in all but the choppiest of turblence. Great recovery arc, light front riser pressure and a negative recovery means the canopy will swoop long if you know what you are doing.

Flare point is halfway between PD and Icarus style so a lot of people have issues at first but once you learn it... it only gets better and better.

The design is a few years old and I'm waiting for the replacement with high hopes!

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webracer

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  • 5
The best eliptical (non x-braced) available
Learning to shut it down after landing in wind

<<<The Samurai was an awesome canopy, with super soft openings, and very good heading control (unlike the Vengeance I demo'd, which was off heading 13 of 15 jumps). It responded politely to harness input, and steered very quickly. Front riser pressure was a little more than the Vengeance, but still light and easy. Rear riser steering and glide control were similar. The canopy does not seem to have the flare power of the Vengeance, but the control range seems a bit lower than the PD canopies, maybe because of the shorter lines. After a few jumps, I was able to maintain lift until all fwd speed was bled off. This was in no wind with a 90deg riser approach, using toggles only for plane-out (versus risers). I am sure using the risers to plane out will have a positive impact on end-of-flare power. I am glad I ordered the Samurai over the Vengeance, and am looking forward to jumping the Samurai next season.>>>>

<<<I have sold the Samurai 150 I bought first, and now have a Samurai 136 (and one more ordered), a Jedei 120, a Samurai 120 (ordered), and a Samurai 105 (ordered). I can't say enough good about this product. I have converted one friend over to Samurai, and will likely convert more this season.
If you choose the Samurai (which is cut and sewn by PD, the best quality assurance in the industry), you will not be disappointed!!!>>>>

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skyjuggler

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  • 5
Super Nice Flight Charachteristics
Non I've found so far!!!

Just started jumping a Samurai 136 and absolutely love it!!!! The article written about the characterics here on dropzone.com were absolutely spot on.

In breaks it over steered notably when using rear riser to steer. It seems to have real large control range, can fly slow, didn't really try but haven't stalled it in full brakes. Toggle turns are sharp and responsive, riser pressures are low, and the canopy will dive when you use them!!! Flare was great and really powerful especially at the end.

The only cons I have found are that the canopy is full of air when collecting it up after landing (NO big deal) and that I had 1 or 2 har openings, although I think this was me more than the design, as the new material may have slipped when packing.
Customer service is great, Brian was helpful. Comes with all the quality of a Performance Designs canopy as they actually make it!!! What a canopy.

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monkeyKam

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  • 5
Beautiful openings, rock-steady wing, great swoops, fast!
Funny stall, wrestling on ground (read the review)

I've been jumping a Jedei 136 since 1996, so I'm very familiar with Brian's airlock system. I won't buy canopies without them, now.

I've jumped plenty of other high performance canopies (PD, Icarus, Precision) in my 8 years and 2000 jumps. I chose the Samurai based on my experience with my Jedei and my complete trust in Brian Germain's ability to design a great flying canopy.

I'm not a radical hook turn kinda guy, nor do I plan on competing in swooping competitions (other than the local pond swoops for fun and money), but I do know how to swoop a canopy well. I understand control input (toggles, risers, and harness) and high performance flight under my canopy. I've also spent many an hour with Brian over the years on the phone and in person in order to improve my skills. So, take all this for what it's worth. :)

I load my Samurai 105 at almost 1.9. My Sam 120 is loaded at around 1.6. Both are VERY responsive with rear risers, the front risers are soft and easily held for long turns (unlike my Jedei 136, which tended to pull me up in the harness after it gained enough speed), and the toggles are soft and just slightly mushier than my Jedei. The Sams are very receptive to harness shift. After opening, I typically fly myself around using only harness input while I look around and stow things (slider, camera settings, etc.). I fly camera on all of these canopies and the openings agree with camera very well. The Sams open quickly, but softly and on heading every time. They open very much the same subterminal, too. I've filmed quite a few flag jumps under my Sam 120 and it opened great right out the door. Following canopy formations and flags is a breeze (no pun intended). The easy control inputs make it easy to fly for long periods of time while holding breaks or risers. Under a Sam 105, it's a piece of cake to buzz around someone flying a fat F111 canopy with a gigantic flag flowing behind.

I had a great opportunity to fly the Sam 120 side-by-side with a Crossfire 119. The two of us were actually doing CRW this particular day (which is not recommended with microline, by the way, so don't do it if you don't know what you're doing) (hell, you shouldn't do it when you DO know what you're doing!). Dale and I are the same size and weight. We were loading the two canopies almost exactly the same. The forward speed on the Sam 120 in a clean configuration (no brakes, straight ahead) was flatter and considerably faster than a Crossfire 119. On the second jump of the day, we were quite a ways out from the DZ and turned back a bit later than we wanted. With both of us flying rear risers (spread), I was able to cover more ground in a similar configuration. It was very easy to see the difference in forward speed and glide.

Swoops are a hoot, too! With a nice carving turn (harness shifting and front riser), the canopy will stay in a slight dive on final until you tap the breaks (ever so slightly) to plane it out for a long, very controllable swoop. The lift is there until the very end and it's normal for me to pop up at the end and tip-toe out of the landing. The harness is a great tool for carving the turn to landing.

It's true that the airlocks keep the canopy inflated quite solidly, once you're on the ground (proof that they contain air in the canopy very well). It is very easy to deflate the canopy or keep it lying on the ground, even in high winds. On a windy day, the canopy will lay on its top with the nose facing you and the lines slack over the canopy. My Jedei would drop down in front of me and look like an air mattress with strings attached. They do tend to stay inflated, especially when they're new. But, all you have to do to wrestle up the canopy is slide the slider toward the canopy until you have the slider jammed up against the stops on the canopy. Some call that, "flowering up" the canopy. If the canopy is still inflated, just reach over and grab the tail and stick it between your legs and "bear hug" the canopy from tail to nose to squeeze the remaining air out. It takes only a second or two to deflate the canopy completely.

Here's a great story about airlocks and how they saved me from grass stains and possible big ouwies. This story can be substantiated by many on-lookers at Skydive Tecumseh this past summer:

I was on my downwind approach, starting my harness shift and front riser input for my final into the landing area. At the same time, I noticed people bouncing off their asses and crash landing under canopy. Canopies were twisting into funny shapes as people landed. As I finished my carve and swooped across the landing area, right near the end of my swoop (I was preparing to touch down), I was suddenly picked up about 10 feet (conservative estimate) and started flying completely sideways toward the parking lot (and very stationary parked cars)! TC, phenomenal rigger from way back and co-owner of the DZ gear store, watched and said he thought for sure I was going to slam into the ground or a van in the parking lot.

As it turns out, a completely invisible dust devil was making its way across the landing area toward the parking lot, but nobody could see it because there was no dust to speak of. Some people did mention afterwards that they saw the grass swirling violently. In the mini tornado, I kept flying the canopy to keep it upright and flying straight (even though I was going 90 degrees left of forward!). I was able to set the canopy down after several seconds, still facing the original direction of my landing and touched down on one knee. I had no forward speed during this whole adventure, yet the canopy was able to stay afloat in the swirling turbulent wind.

Several people, including TC, couldn't stop talking about the canopy and how it maintained its shape, when all the others were doing the "accordion" thing and end cells were folding. The Jedei hovered in that dust devil without much complaint and I was able to "sink it in" by the end of the ride. A friend in the spectator area said she though I was going to be broken and had started to run toward the scene.

I will swear by those airlocks, but I will also say that they will not save your ass if you don't know how to fly a canopy in the first place. The airlocks aren't lifesaving devices. They're there as an added source of prevention. They have no disadvantages whatsoever, so why NOT have them in case you need them? I've watched them work on several occasions and wouldn't be without them. Some argue that there is no real data to support their use. There's no data to prove they don't work, yet thousands of Jedei, Samurai, and Lotus pilots will tell you they're great canopies and would highly recommend them.

The stall is something to watch. Normally, without airlocks, when you pull the brakes to the stall point of the canopy (when its forward speed has diminished to the point that the canopy doesn't stay inflated), it pretty much just starts to deflate and flutter (fun, but risky). With the Samurai, since the canopy won't deflate very well, and if you aren't careful, the canopy will attempt to fly one direction or the other, with or without you! Case in point: I was flying camera side-by-side with a tandem in half brakes. I thought it would be cool for the tandem student to see me do a hard turn right there in front of him, so I pulled one of the toggles much farther down. OK, so I forgot the canopy was already in half brakes, so instead of deflating and getting wacky, the canopy made the turn without me and flew 180 degrees ahead of me in the turn. It took a second for my body to catch up! The canopy never lost any pressurization, so it was at the mercy of the wind and that time the wind wanted to take one end of the canopy behind me. :)

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grick

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  • 5

I recently had the pleasure to demo the Samurai. I currently jump a Stiletto 120 and I made one jump on the 120 and six on the 105. I believe those were the 7 best openings I have ever had. I am not one for extremely long snivels, so some may say it opens a little quick. I was leaving the nose completely exposed, so making it snivel longer should be fairly easy. The snatch force is softer than my Stiletto or any other canopy I have jumped. The snivel little shorter than the usual opening of my Stiletto. The inflation was a little faster than my Stiletto as well, the slider comes down very quickly on the Samurai I jumped.

The glide was much flatter than I expected, but not as flat as a Stiletto. I recently made six jumps on a crossfire 109 and the Samurai seemed to fly just a little flatter. It dove very similar to a Stiletto, but it didn't flare itself at the end, if you turned too high. I was still able to get a decent surf when I conservatively turned to high -- The same turn on my stiletto would have left me 15 ft off the ground with my toggles touching the keepers. The Samurai didn't dive as long as the Crossfire, but the Sam needed much less input to place me under the canopy, which is what I would prefer.

Compared to my Stiletto, I didn’t notice much difference flying in turbulence -- Although the stall point seemed much slower and the stall recovery was much more predictable. Seeing the canopy still inflated on the ground after landing, I have to think it would be safer to fly in turbulence. The Crossfire I recently jumped concerned me some (although it may have been more noticeable with its recent issues floating in my mind). The Crossfire I jumped had a new (unaffected) line set and the riser pressure quickly fluctuated one time when I hit some small rotors -- Although all the other jumps on it were smooth and I couldn’t get it to buck on front risers.

One of my concerns with jumping an airlocked canopy was controlling the canopy on the ground after landing in windy conditions. Brian gave me some advice on what to do after landing before my first jump on the Sam in 28 mph winds and I had no problems. Packing wasn’t any harder than my Stiletto either, another worry of mine with airlocks.
The last thing I would like to mention about Brian and this great product is his service. He mentioned he could custom make the Sam to my specific specifications. Aside from building any size I wanted, he could also customize trim and slider to make it fly and open exactly how I wanted it to. He also mentioned he personally test flies the ones he customizes and builds himself. From what I also understand, he doesn’t charge any extra for building it himself or the customization, although the canopy would not be discounted from the retail price.

Good job Brian!

Greg Rick
D-22597

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jumpr71

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  • 5

I am currently piloting a Samurai 136. I can not say enough good things about my parachute or Big Air Sportz. The openings at terminal, and subterminal, are always on heading(occasionally opening 10degrees to the left or right). While I know that every parachute will open hard at least once in their lives I have yet to experience a hard opening with my Sam. It is very responsive to toggle input, without the oversteer that I have experienced with other high performance canopies. Toggle pressure is considerably lighter than some of the other canopies I have owned, likewise front riser pressure. It is very responsive to "leaning turns", and I have found myself on more than one occassion fying with my brakes stowed using my body to turn my parachute. Landing on a straight in approach on light wind days gets me a pleasant swoop with a lot of lift at the end. I have yet to really have to "run one out". High performace landings are amazing, although I would like to warn people to start your final turn a little higher than what you may be used to if you have never flown a Samurai. It can really dive! The swoops are very long, with a lot left to pop up at the end! On moderately windy days I can really feel my airlocks working...hard to explain but anyone that has flown an airlocked canopy knows what I mean. I feel comfortable jumping the Sam in conditions that I would not jump an opened cell canopy in, however I do not, and would not recomend flying any parachute in unsafe wind conditions. The pack volume is slightly bigger than an opened cell canopy of the same size but the more jumps I put on it...the easier it is to pack. If anyone is considering buying a high performace canopy this summer I highly recomend any of the canopies that Big Air manufactures especially the Samurai!! Their customer service is top-notch!!! I am a firm believer that Big Air is producing the best canopy on the market right now!

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webracer

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  • 5

I got my new Samurai 150, right on schedule. I got 11 jumps on it last weekend in Chicago. I am very happy with this canopy, and have now ordered a Samurai 136 for my other rig. I am getting a bit of off-heading opening, but the canopy is brand new and very slippery to pack. Flight characteristics are fantastic. I demo'd Vengeance, Crossfire, and Stiletto. The Samurai is the best. I am loading the 150 about 1.4:1

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Gecko

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  • 5

Amidst a field of canopies to choose from including a Spectre, Safire, Crossfire, Lotus and Diablo, which I demo'd more than any others, the Samurai came out in the lead. It turns faster than anything else [including the "badass" Crossfire] but has NO oversteer [of which the Diablo has so much it is scary]. With a little time under the canopy the pilot gets used to the speed of toggle turns and as long as they do not panick near the ground they should have no problem. It opens normal and on heading [not as soft as the Spectre or the Diablo] and planes well with rear risers for long spots. It's angle of descent is a little steeper than I would like but the performance pushes that aspect way down the priority list [its not as ground hungry as others and is fine in rear risers]. Just don't pull below 2k when at questionable distances... A nice carving front riser 180 onto final and flare, in light to no wind, allows for a good length of swoop and the canopy still is capable of doing emergency avoidance maneuvers low and safe if necessary. My 150 loaded at 1.5:1 could swoop very well and yet still be safe. The air locks are a little difficult to deflate in high wind [around 15+ mph] but they truly "eat turbulance for breakfast"! I will own a Samurai until Brian designs a cross braced air lock!!!

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admin

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I have flown Stilletto's, Sabre's, Spectre's, F-111's but nothing compares to Brian Germain's Samurai. Beautiful opening's and flying characteristics makes this one a winner. Light risers and powerfull flair. First class service and attention to detail are second to none. My canopy of choice for the new millennium.

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admin

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I have jumped Triathlon's, Viper's, Stilletto's, Safire's, and a Diablo. I found the Samurai to be superior to them all. Openings are very nice, crisp, but not too fast, and always on heading. The glide ratio is excellent so getting back from a long spot isn't a problem. The turns are quite snappy, and the canopy does dive longer than a Stilletto or Viper. The landings are very nice, the diving capabilities allow you to build a nice amount of speed which makes for great swoops, or if you prefer the straight in approach, it is more than accomodating. The canopy I jumped was a Samurai 150 at a wing loading of 1.4:1. I am purchasing a Samurai 140 at a loading of 1.5:1. I have also received outstanding customer support from Brian Germain and his staff at BigAir Sportz, keep up the great work.

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admin

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This is an rookie eliptical review. Finally jumped one, thought at a light wingloading (1.19 it was a custom 180) I compare to a stilleto I jumped at 1.26 (170).

The canopy was lemon yellow and had markings still on it (T7, T8, B6) I guess as panel markings for manufacture. The lines had two different colors, telling of the two different types of line Brian uses in their manufacture. The lemon yellow was marred by several very small splotches of orange (rust?) and I don't know if it came like that or if the owner did that.

The opening was nice and not off heading (my first eliptical pack job) and the guy that let me jump it had nice openings all day. I was not loading it up, but it felt like a sabre (just like a saber 170. 10 sqft smaller) except it turned fast. Though it turned fast it did not loose as much altitude as the stilleto I jumped but I think wingloading difference of 10 sq ft was significant in this comparison. The turns were faster than my triathlon 175 and the oversteer was not really noticeable. The canopy seemed to have a built in left turn, but I was jumping strange gear (old at that) and it may have been a leg strap lentgh issue. If I wiggled in the harness it would correct itself, but eliptical canopies will turn from harness pressure. I felt very safe jumping it at this loading having only 160 jumps, however judging the stillto I tried, I would be leary of loading this up at 1.43 which would be me under a 150. I really want to get a 170 made and compare it to a stilleto. The 180 pulled out of a 90 degree front riser turn fairly quickly, but a 170 stilleto held on to the dive a little longer. I think this canopy needs to be loaded up a little more to perform and dive really long, but the other jumper jumping it loved it and was loaded much less than me????

Upon landing in a decent wind 10+ mph it was effortless and tiptoe (considering my past 130 jumps have been 7 cell, but plenty of front risering for speed). After landing it can be difficult to deal with the inflated winglike canopy in a breeze (ha ha).

I would like to demo one loaded for my skill level 170-160, but they require a big deposit if not in stock (170). I know Brian is brilliant and creative, but I wonder if the quality control is the same as some of the major manufacturers, albeit the jedei owners are fiercly loyal.

For my money, I hope I can demo one when I am ready to purchase an eliptical before I get a stilleto which is proven (naysayers be damned, they have some great properties amidst their flaws)

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