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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/20/2016 in Gear Reviews

  1. 3 points
    Update on my new Sabre 3 150 canopy form Performance Designs I received it July 9, 2020 and have made 72 jumps with it from 25th July - 15th Aug ....... I'm very happy with it. I previously was jumping a Sabre 2 150 and before that a Sabre 150... I weigh 170 lbs. The first 6 jumps were at Meadow Peak Skydiving the weekend before the 53rd Lost Prairie boogie to install the canopy and work out the flight and landings before the boogie as I like to jump a lot at the boogie Chris Walker the rigger took care of attaching it to my new rig (Vector V3 V310) and adjusting (Shorten) the brake lines after my test jumps.... The elevation at the airport is 3,400 ft and landings have been my biggest problem here. More than a few Homer Simpson landings for me here. One of the biggest selling points to me was the powerful flare for landing after that all the other improvements were gravy. The openings were smooth, on heading and no end cell closure after opening. Wow wow wow a big improvement from my previous Sabre canopies. With the brake lines set and a few jumps under my belt I was ready for Skydive Lost Prairie Boogie the next weekend. I made 63 jumps during the boogie and improved my stand up landings at the Prairie from an abysmal less than 50% to 90% .... I was stoked as the year before I ended my jumping before Boogie end due to a Homer Simpson landing and bruising my bad knee .... grr. So landings were my biggest criteria to fix. Thank you Sabre 3 Canopy performance during flight seemed to be in par with what I had experienced with my Sabre 2, but I only have 63 jumps on my Sabre 2 to compare it with. The flair at landing is powerful so I had to use it wisely and ease into but once you figure it out ... OMG its awesome. I had so much fun at the Prairie again this year. So many friends and so many jumps!!! Missed a lot of folks who could not make it this year and hope to see them next year. I then followed up by making 3 jumps the next Saturday at Mid America Sport Parachute Club in Taylorville, Ill with some Rapid Decent Skydiving Alumni. Thank You Performance Designs for an awesome canopy. Curtis J. Langwell D-25292 USPA: 148615
  2. 2 points
    This is the ultimate bicellular elliptic canopy. I tried Semi/fully elliptic canopies before (Crossfire 2, Stiletto, Sabre 2) and this X-Fire is quite the bomb compared to the previous ones. It has na absolutely incredible harness response. I really feel connected to the canopy and the fact it has no stabilizers provides a nice over steer. It's the very first canopy I feel I have full control on. It's a Schuemann Planform designed canopy meaning the leading edge is super elliptic while trailing edge is quite flat. I see it as a bicellular Leia. Rears are super powerful. Fronts are quite hard but nothing unmanageable. Toggle turns (yes I tried those) are super slow but those breaks have like an infinite resource while landing. Openings are very nice but not too slow. Almost always on heading and predictable. You can feel Icarus put some effort on this part! I jumped a stiletto for 400 jumps before the X-Fire so I might be biased . I think I might stick with an X-fire (I own a 102 for now) if I want more in a few hundred jumps instead of going to the cross braced realm.
  3. 2 points
    Usually jump a Competition Cobalt 85. Demoed a Katana 97 and 83. 83 opened and flew much better. Basically it flies better at 1.9-2.0+ Put 25 jumps on each canopy. Review is based on the Katana 83. Packing- Trash pack. Shake it out-No flaking. Shuffle nose in a little bit. Pull slider Out Opening- Sweet smooth on heading. Not too fast but not slow. Never wanted to spin up or jerk me around. Easy to steer during snivel using harness unput. Smooth opening for such an agressive canopy. Flight- Very steep trim. Canopy wants to be on the ground. Long spots are a little trouble because it still sinks in brakes or on rears. Cant hang out and wait for others to land- Falls out of the sky too fast. Very stable and fun to fly. Fairly hard to stall using toggles. Hard to stall on rear risers. Not super fast responsive but thats good. Makes for smooth flying. Any more responsive would be too much on such an agressive canopy. Landing- Very light front riser pressure and moderate rear riser pressure. Harder to plane out using rears that my Competition Cobalt. Keeps speed and a dive very well. Swooping into the wind is no problem- Cuts right through the wind. On the 83 loaded at 2.0+ started 360 turn at 800-1000ft. Dives like crazy. Come out of turn at 200+ feet and put pressure on rears right away. Planes out very nicely on rears using this technique. If you are late on the rears use toggles because it will not plane out right away on rear risers. Can hold double fronts to keep in a dive if needed. Not a forgiving canopy. Has good flare. Not quite as much flare as my Cobalt and Competition Cobalt. At higher speeds and correct dive altitudes there is much more flare. Lower speed- Decent flare. (Enough to have a nice stand up but you can feel the need for more) Low turn=Not much stopping power. Dont do it because you will not pull it out of the dive even if you are deep on the toggles. 270 turn worked best for me. @600+ft Whether doing a slow carve or a fast dive swoops are great. Fast dive and then hard on rears makes for super fast swoop. Carve makes for a long smooth and fast swoop. Had to do an aviodance braked approach and landing. Landed much better than expected. Almost half brakes until full flare and it still landed me softly. Canopy can be jerky if the transition from rears to toggles is not smooth. Just fly it smoothly. Jerky Motions(Rears and toggles)=Loss of speed and shoter swoop. Not much or really any running out landings. Flies until its almost stopped. Overall- Awesome canopy. Swoop machine. If you like to open low then the spot better be good because you will be on the ground shortly. Most agressive canopy I have flown. Approaching the dive and long recovery of the Velocity. Great canopy to try with 750+ jumps and good canopy control and progression. Not a good idea if you are not current or dont have the swoops mastered on something else. Competition Cobalt is a good transition canopy to the Katana. Main negative aspect is that it doesnt fly as well at slow speeds as my Competition Cobalt. The Cobalt will continue to fly going slow and keep gliding at that slow speed. (End of a swoop) Once the Katana starts to die out it will lose the speed and the swoop is over. Still flies well at that slow speed but comes to a stop sooner. Swoops were longer in distance but seemed shorter in time than my Cobalt. Meaning it is much faster and covers ground in a swoop very fast. Great product from the best in the biz. A+ Canopy
  4. 1 point
    I owned a Falcon 235 which I bought used with about 400 jumps on it when I had about 120 jumps. At the time I weighed about 200. It took me a while to learn to land it on no-wind days, but I never had a hard opening, the worst was an occassioinal 90 - 180 twist (flatpacked - usually quickly). That canopy has Dacron lines, which may have something to do with the soft openings. When I moved to a Batwing about 450 jumps later, I sold it with a lot of regret. That same canopy is now on its fourth owner, each having put about 400 jumps on it. As far as I know the total now is roughly 1500 with ZERO malfunctions and even more amazing, still the original lines. I trust it enough to use a Falcon 195 as a Reserve. Nuff said.
  5. 1 point
    I've been jumping a JFX2 119 for about 1 year now. Previously I'd done about 1,200 jumps on a Xaos21 120, prior to that about 1,400 jumps on a Velocity 111. My wing loading is about 2.1 The openings are very smooth, positive and almost always on heading. If it does go off heading, it's usually just after coming out of the D-bag and is easily managed. Once open, it's quite responsive and lots of fun to fly. It has a great glide angle and a bit of rear risers has gotten me back from some very deep spots. I've also been impressed with its ability to cut through turbulence. The landings are great with a predictable recovery arc, irrespective of whether doing toggle or riser turn final approaches. You have to lean heavily to do harness turns, but that's to be expected of a canopy like this. The flares have plenty of power and I can get excellent, semi-swoop landings in most conditions. Very stable and predictable to land in gusty winds too. My only gripe is that the lower brake lines supplied were waaayyy too long and had to be shortened by about 30cm. In summary, a predictable, well behaved canopy for an experienced pilot who wants a more power and spice than a Crossfire but doesn't need the aggravation of a swoop canopy.
  6. 1 point
    I'm currently flying a PD 260 at a wing loading of 0.9. I love it. Although I'm a relatively new skydiver, I find that it flies nicely, it's easy to pack and my parachute atleast is in fantastic condition. I have had optimal flare timing and consistently soft openings.
  7. 1 point
    What a great canopy! My experience has been amazing with the Sabre 3 line, I've jumped them almost exclusively from 230-135 sqft with some demos and rental days on s-fires, safires, and sabre 2s. I'm loaded at 1.35 and I feel like this is where the wing starts to wake up, it doesn't have any of the muddy feeling inputs the larger sizes had, the harness feeling starts to develop and you can really get it moving in a dive! The Opening: I would say it opens reasonably well, it typically opens pretty quick, 600ft. is probably average. Sometimes, I get crazy off heading openings, I've had the usual 90° off heading with the occasional wild 360°, I don't know if they are body position induced, packing, or a variety of things working together but the wing is controllable so quickly you can just make the appropriate input while checking your surroundings and it will do whatever you tell it. It's also not out of the ordinary to have to manipulate the rears to get the slider all the way down. The Performance: In just one word, Versatile! The rears have gotten me back safe and sound from some spots that I KNEW I wasn't making it back from. It's extremely predictable which is confidence inspiring. The brakes have a ton of range and slow flight performance is impressive, it can hang in deep brakes forever without sacrificing controllability or risking a stall. When inducing speed with the fronts it builds speed quickly and can be forced to keep diving if you need a little more before the fronts get too heavy. The rears have a lot of power and made it easy for me to make my first of many rear riser landings! When you transition to toggles there is immense stopping power, you can always get a nice tip toe landing even in no wind conditions. The Conclusion: I love this thing! I think it has been and continues to be a wonderful platform to learn basic up to high performance skills and maneuvers. I look forward to progressing further and seeing what else this wing has to offer at the next step!
  8. 1 point
    I m beginner jumper. I used Safire for rental gear. Recently I bought Volt 170 because low price. My WL is 0.88. I think Volt is similar to Safire about landing. I also read Volt Description before buy. Looks like aggressive canopy on description. But Very soft opening and Landing is very easy. I recommend volt to first canopy to beginner jumper that wanna save money of beginner jumper.
  9. 1 point
    Only one high pull jump, but for what it’s worth my impression. Loading 0.90, it opened softly and on heading at TV. Easy and quick to pull in slider which was already on risers:-) a quick task then to bring down, unlike with my pilot. Front risers I compare it to be harder than Sabre or Pilot at same sizing. Sink rate: brakes up Pilot (19mph) Volt (8.7mph) 1/2 braked: Pilot 8.6 Volt 2.8 Landing in side wind, a nice long ground surf - fast ran it out as if my life depended on it and didn’t face plant!
  10. 1 point
    Underloaded at .09 I’d been seeking my first canopy. I’d flown - Sabre 2 / Sabre 1 / Skylark Magellan. Till I realised for me the most important aspect was the openings which at one piont I came close to a knockout on a Magellan. I loved the Sabre 1 front riser response and ease, hated weak flare and impact on opening - muscle pain the next days wasn’t doing me any good. Even with the bigger slider. Wasn’t so impressed with Sabre 2 Mmm. Is that it? The Pilot didn’t think it would excite me, but I was very surprised indeed. It felt clean not so rough on the edges, the most consistent softest openings I’d had. A huge difference to anything I’d flown. Toggle response so light and doing a sharp pull I was facing the ground, without feeling the pressure of g’s BONUS BONUS! Landing Flare was powerful - 2 stage flare excellent being able to glide her out longer than Sabre WHAT!?!?! PILOT I LOVE it...
  11. 1 point
    I've probably put about 600 jumps on my Crossfire 2 129. When the Crossfire 3 came out, I ordered a 109 size (wing loading about 1.7) The flare is about the same as a Crossfire 2, that is to say, quite strong. Straight off, I noticed the openings were faster. They weren't painful or even uncomfortable, just quicker than you'd get with the Crossfire 2s. The Crossfire 2s had beautifully slow openings, though it burned up a lot of altitude. My guess is the feedback is that they wanted something that opened a bit quicker, and that's what the 3 is. It's still a well staged opening. Another change from the 2 is the trim. I didn't notice it at first as I was super conservative in my flying (most of my patterns were done on rear risers for the first dozen or so jumps) as I had changed my wing loading a bit more than I wanted to. But as I got more comfortable with the 3, I noticed my turns bled off more altitude. It has a longer recovery arc than the 2 does, and the even if doing conservative turns you'll need to start your pattern higher than you would with a 2. The jump in wing loading can account for some of this, but generally people have also said they're trimmed steeper and the recovery arc longer.
  12. 1 point
    As an older jumper, I was looking for a conservative, soft opening canopy with a flat glide to maximize landing options at our home dz surrounded by woods and housing developments. Demoed a Pilot 210 at 1.1:1 WL for 15 jumps with temps in the low 90's, mostly no wind. The Pilot flew exactly as advertised: significantly lighter on the controls (30-40%) and more responsive to control inputs, flatter glide and more powerful flare than my Sabre 1 210 with dual steering lines. Flying in deep brakes on the edge of a stall for a minute or so on several jumps, the canopy remained docile until I forced the stall break. Recovery was quick and easily controllable. Landing approach speeds seemed higher, possibly due to higher than normal density altitude for our location. The landing flare sweet spot is definitely lower in the stroke than my Sabre 1, as described by other reviewers. Flowering the slider, then exposing the slider nose an extra 1-2", yielded soft but positive openings. After additional input from several Pilot owners with 3,000 to 12,500 jumps (the latter owns two Pilots), I ordered a new 210 from Aerodyne in standard ZeroP with 725 Spectra lines. It arrived two weeks earlier than promised. Quality control was excellent. Dyes are extremely bright, and should enhance in-air visibility and collision avoidance. Despite being brand new, the canopy folded into my Javelin D-bag first try. To date, Aerodyne's ZeroP fabric has definitely allowed controllable new canopy pack jobs. My new Pilot flies and lands sweet. Thank you for an excellent parachute, Aerodyne. (And, thanks to all who posted here and in the forums.)
  13. 1 point
    So after testing this canopy for some jumps I have grown to love it. At 1.15 wingloading it is a fast, reactive canopy that will take your fun to a whole another level. It is a big step up from most student canopies (navigators, solos) etc. so be prepared. It gets you home from long spots, while having a good sporty profile to play with. Toggle inputs are light with flare power to last. Even at my wingload you can get decent dives out of it so it is a good canopy for those getting into swooping. It can fly slow if you are tired or it can get your adrenaline pumping. Packing is a breeze. One of the best canopies I've flown till now. I'm updating this post since I have downsized to a 185. I must say nothing has changed. Everything just got a bit faster and more fun. I load it at 1.3 and it opens and flies perfectly. Soft openings are standard. Love it even more now. I would say it feels even better at 1.3 than at 1.15. Everything is more positive, the wing feels like a part of your body. I had a light downwind on my 3rd jump and ran out no problem, great flare. The only problem I noticed after 50 jumps it is not that consistent on openings. It varies from a 2 sec fast off heading deployment to a perfect 4 second on heading with same packing every time. It is a steeper trimmed canopy compared to a Safire 3 and Pilot. I'd say it is closest to a Sabre 2.
  14. 1 point
    I have about 700 jumps on a Rage 170. Flights are uneventful. Landings are nice. Even with a conventional landing, the Rage will maintain a horizontal flight for quite some time. Openings were quite hard for the first 50 or 100 jumps. No complaints for openings after the first 100 jumps. Then I had it relined. Now openings are hard again. I am eagerly awaiting until the jump numbers increase and the openings become slower again when the lines age. I would recommend buying a Rage that has 50-100 jumps on the current lineset.
  15. 1 point
    I got a pretty good deal on a new Volt 150, so even though there was very limited information/reviews out there on the performance of this canopy. This review comes after only 20 ish jumps on the canopy and after roughly 300 jumps on a triathlon loaded the same. The flare on this canopy is AMAZING!!! I made my last 10 jumps on no wind conditions and the flare was beautiful, a lovely little ground surf and then max, 2 step run out! The toggle response is light and very reactive. My volt has been really fun to fly! After 20 jumps, the openings are definitely interesting. If you have a 360 off heading opening, was it actually "off heading" lol? I've had 1 out of 20 on heading openings, now granted this could be body issue, so I am experimenting with this, but I also think it could have something to do with the closed end cells, every opening. Regardless, right now, I track hard, work on body position and get those rears as soon as possible, it's worth the fun of flying this really decently priced canopy!
  16. 1 point
    I have jumped a Batwing 153 over 4500 jumps, mostly video, AFF and Records. Love it! See no reason to change to "keep up with the Jones's"
  17. 1 point
    I have run it in the tunnel for free flying, then unzipped to flatly in the tunnel with the lightweights. Have jumped with 70KG students with myself weighing in at 107kgs
  18. 1 point
    I really enjoy my Volt 185. I have great landings, even in no wind. I kno folks think...Really, South Africa. You just gotta open your mind
  19. 1 point
    To put this review in context (all numbers are approximations), I have about 300 wingsuit jumps, roughly 50 on a P3 and a S-Bird combined, 30 on an X-Wing (like a X-1), the rest are on an original Havok with a handful on other suits. I’m not an especially talented pilot but just a regular fun jumper with zero BASE experience. I’ve put about 10 jumps on the Colugo 2 at the time of writing this so it is an “initial impression” type review. As far as dealing with Squirrel prior to and during ordering as well as after the suit was delivered, I can’t say enough good things. They responded very quickly and thoroughly to all of my inquiries and sent updates when the suit was finished, when it would arrive, and when it actually shipped. They quoted 4-5 weeks for delivery and I think it came in at 4 ½ weeks. They also followed up to make sure the fit was just right. Trying it on and checking everything out: I tried it on without a rig and everything seemed to fit well, the arms seemed just a touch long (like ½ an inch) but that was made perfect after trying it on with a rig. I was already familiar with Squirrel construction and zippers, no surprises there. On a side note, I’m not a fan of any innie-outie system since I don’t BASE jump so there is that, but take a look at how Squirrel suggests assembling it with the bungee routed between your body and the lift web and the handle swallowing problem is considerably reduced. On the ground, in the plane, during flight, and under canopy, my handles haven’t been gobbled up yet. The fit on the ground was a little snug in the crotch, when I sent a photo and asked Squirrel if it was suppose to fit like that they assured me it was not uncommon and as long as I didn’t feel it in flight then the fit was perfect, which is the case. The zipper comes very high on my neck, the only time I could completely zip it up would be during flight. This is a problem I’ve had on every suit I’ve ever jumped, some worse than others. In general I zip it as high as is comfortable, leaving about 2 inches unzipped, I don’t notice it during freefall or canopy flight. Over all the fit is “snug” and comfortable, perfect for flying in plain clothes but would likely be uncomfortable with any insulation underneath. If you jump with layers, I would suggest asking Squirrel about making it fit to allow that. The last thing to mention is the arms, they also fit “snug,” making a fist causes the arm to become a little tight, again feels great in flight but requires a little more effort at pull time. It comes with two sets of arm padding, thick and thin, the thick stuff is way tighter than I am comfortable with, I made a few jumps without any padding which was very comfortable, then added the thin padding which seems to be a good compromise between comfort and keeping the leading edge nice and shapely. How it flys: I’m not a big suit expert and my only other experience is an X-Wing. I was impressed with how smooth the exit felt, immediate pressurization and transition into flight. (I made the first jump with the vents ¼ unzipped, don’t bother, just rock out full pressurization.) The suit immediately felt more stable and controlled that I expected and in a relaxed position it is very fast. I made a few small turns to make sure I could fly where I wanted to go and the input was incredibly intuitive. Then on to some nice big and hard turns, the suit stayed locked in exactly the orientation I put it in, it felt just as stable in a steep bank as it did flying flat and level. I then flew in a deployment position for a few seconds, again the suit was stable and controllable during the whole process and I could steer just fine with both hands on my rig and my knees bent. A few more turns and a little playing with pitch changes, the C2 responded precisely and stable to every input I gave it. Subsequent jumps have included chasing Funk range suits, very steep dives, cloud carving, trying to max out glide and speed, and chasing an Aura 2 flown by a much more experienced pilot. The recurring theme is fast and stable. The C2 really likes to run, but I was able to shut it down, dig my knees in, and preform surprisingly smooth slow speed maneuvers chasing the smaller and slower suits. So far I am very impressed with how it preforms both in raw speed/glide as well as intuitive control and slow speed flight. I’ve still got a lot to learn about it but I’m glad I chose the Colugo 2 for my upsize. If you are coming from a Havok/Funk style suit then this should be an appropriate choice to upsize, it will feel a bit more ridged and sensitive to input so make your first couple of flights about learning to go where you want and getting comfortable at pull time (I suggest jumping without any arm padding at first). It will also feel like it wants to pitch steeper but just relax and it will settle into a nice glide, don’t be afraid of feeling you are pitched down, just go with it, the suits wants to fly nicely in a relaxed body position. If you are coming from and earlier X-1/2/3 then you’ll notice that the leg wing is a lot more flexible, you can actually tap your heels, and the arm pressure feels a little lighter. That said it is certainly faster than the X-1 even though it isn’t as stiff and the tail is a little shorter. It will also feel much more stable and controllable. The only thing I’m having trouble making it do is fly slow and floaty, but it wasn’t really designed for that, and I’m sure it will come with more jumps. May not be the best choice for XRW unless you are a very light or highly experienced big suit pilot. Everything else it eagerly obliges to.
  20. 1 point
    I was supper excited about this altimeter as it had everything I wanted. Unfortunately, my experience with it has been horrible. I've had this for over 1 yr now the NMU is still not working (PC and MAC), and poor battery life. The costumer service is very poor. I have called and sent them numerous e-mails with no responses. Would not suggest this Altimeter or company to anybody. Will not buy from them again.
  21. 1 point
    Coming from a Stiletto 135, I was advised an x-fire 119 to be my next canopy. Hated the frontriser-pressure on the Stiletto, and hoped for better on the Crossfire. I liked it very much, till someone let me jump a Katana 120. Now that's what low pressure is about! I instantly sold the X-fire and ordered a Kat 120 from PD-stock. I now have 70 jumps on it and a lot of what people say is true. It can be searchy on openings (X-fire opens like a dream, always, everytime) but I have only had one single twist so far. It really dives like hell once you let it built up speed on fronts, and you better be careful: I've been a few times deep down in the corner because it tends to keep diving after you let go of the risers. The emergency-digging-out on toggles made me swing forward so fast I pitched up some 15 feet above the ground. Well, I survived without injury, and learned fast... Now that I am somewhat used to it's characteristics, I start to feel confident about the Katana. This is really the modern way of flying. You have to be active and keen on every aspect of your flight. No more fun-360's and other aerobatics before you start your landing pattern. You'll be on the ground in no time if you do that. Is that a shame? No way! When flown with dedication the Katana is very rewarding. Fast, clean, yet smooth turns, very predictable. The canopy is diving fast, but puts you exactly where you want to be. Turbulence, strong headwinds, no problemo: It cuts through the air like a razor. Don't be dazzled by it's high speed once it recovers. Don't brake in panick but start your flare gently and higher than you're used to. Once it starts to decelerate you can easily flare it to a full stop, surfing with your toes through the grass forever. I really love this canopy, but handle it with care and respect! Still a lot to learn, but getting there. Starting my 270's at 800 ft and ending up a little high, but that's good for now. BTW: Have to keep my fullface closed, since I wear lenses. The relative wind blows them out of my eyes in a steep turn. A speedy ride, everytime. And big fun! PS: Some extra advice on the openings. Katana has a reputation for it's unpredictable openings, easily leading to twists. After about 150 jumps I have found out wat works for me just right te prevent this. 1) Divide the slider between the line-groups and push it down firmly and tight to the sliderstops and keep it that way until you put your lines on the first stow. 2) Keep your stows fresh. Replace them when they start to wear out, don't wait for them to break. Line dump is a bad thing for openings, but the Katana really hates it. 3) And most impotant: perform a fast and "positive" throw-out of your pc, after that immediatly fix your shoulders and upperarms and look at the horizon. Try NOT to look up at your opening canopy before you feel the snivel has finished. Body position is everything. Perform this way you will experience the Katana is a very smooth, somewhat slow opening canopy (900 ft is normal) that keeps heading quite well and is a relief for your back. Stressful openings are often caused by fear of line-twists, resulting in a quick head-up and/or shoulders-turned bodyposition, making the opening progressively worse.
  22. 1 point
    Our drop zone bought 3 of these in 2013, and my life on the mats is not the same. I have time to do a fun jump every once in a while in between pack jobs, they have saved me a bunch of time. The instructors tell me it is like flying a sport rig with a passenger attached. Thanks a lot Plexus, you gave me some more fun back!
  23. 1 point
    Pros: I liked that I could keep the visor up until the jump door opened. The face shield never interfered with my prescription glasses, and I never worried too much about scratching the lense while in the aircraft. Cons: I did not care for the lack of peripheral vision & it was not very air tight on my face. I had to add some folded up paper towel in the chin cup padding to reduce the constant problem of air entering the helmet. I also added some closed cell foam self adhesive weatherstripping along the inside of the face shield to help control the drafty helmet. This may just be imagination, but I felt that the face-shield/chincup inhibited by ability to look back at the formation when doing RW. I was having trouble looking over my shoulder at the formation whenever I was turning 360's. I always felt that the large chin brace on the visor would hit my shoulders & I could not look behind me as far as I should be able to. I ended up selling my REvolve & bought a Cookie G3. I am much happier with the G3 peripheral vision & airtight fit. I made a few jumps with a Phantom X & I really like that helmet as well. Good Luck, I hope this review helps.
  24. 1 point
    I bought it after reading the reviews here. I love this canopy, the only think what to be aware is, that you should have a minimum of 1,4 wingload; It doesn´t matter but, if you haven´t enought wingload at windy days it could be not so charmed like usually! I would by it again!
  25. 1 point
    I bought my safire2 189 (WL ~ 0.97) used with 200 jumps on it. I have put about 10 jumps on the canopy thus far. The openings are as everyone has stated consistently extremely soft and on heading. I have not had an opening more than 500 ft with a normal pro pack (not messing with nose). Maybe I am just a shitty packer but I have a hell of a time putting the canopy in the bag / closing my mirage g4 m6 (mirage recommends a safire2 189 to be the smallest "soft" fit). You would think it would have no problem fitting??? I have also put about 15 jumps on a sabre2 190. The sabre2 was much more responsive to toggle inputs, and riser pressure was much lighter. However, the glide slope on the safire2 is much flatter compared to the steeper sabre2. Openings on a sabre2 are complete shit when compared to a safire2. Amount of flare was very comparable, not much difference. The biggest selling point of the safire2 to me were the amazing openings. I am a rather conservative pilot and don't plan on changing for a while. When I downsize to a 170 I will probably be going with more aggressive sabre2 or nitron.
  26. 1 point
    Dragon is a tapered 7-cell, designed to combine good characteristics from classic 7-cells and elliptical 9-cells in one canopy. My girlfriend bought Dragon 150 as her first canopy, downsizing from student 210 sq ft (she is 160 cm, 50 kg - 5'4'', 110 lbs). But before giving her the canopy, I made first 6-7 jumps, at wing load of 1,25 (I am 85 kg - 185 lbs). Canopy has very smooth, consistent openings, always on heading. It flies great, and I estimated that glide is equal or better then PD Spectre. Toggle inputs are light, but the canopy is quite responsive (also, more toggle input is required then on elliptical 9-cell). It is also stable in deep brakes, and rather difficult to stall. It is also very predictable canopy, no nasty surprises. I tried hook turns, and to my surprise, it was possible to make some very decent hooks, with long flare and enough lift at the end of the flare to climb a little, just enough to touch down softly (no running required). Front risers are a maybe bit harder then on my Radical 135. My girlfriend's transition to new canopy went smooth and without a single problem. She immediately fell in love with it, finding it agile and responsive, and enjoying very good glide, nice flare and great openings (just wanted to share her impressions, of a skydiver with only 50+ jumps). Later I had a chance to jump PD Storm 135, which is kind of high - end tapered 7-cell, and I think that Dragon is not so far behind (at proper wing loading, of course). It is great as all-round or transition canopy, and would be also very convenient for WS jumpers, due to consistent on-heading openings. I would always recommend Dragon to novice jumpers.
  27. 1 point
    Light front risers, 1/2 and 3/4 braked flight, stall recovery, smooth and radical toggle inputs... the canopy is responsive and predictable in all flight modes. Magellan is docile enough even at 2:1, yet has plenty of swoop in it for experienced pilots. So I use my Mag-120 for wingsuit jumps and am very happy with its smooth openings and great glide.
  28. 1 point
    Ordered my first Tony Suit from tony himself. Delivery took much longer then he promised and the suit did not fit. After sending the suit back at my expense for a second round of alterations which took about a month I got the suit back with a better fit, but the hook knife pocket was never moved and was a knee level. I brought this problem directly to Tony and expressed my dissatisfaction with the extra expenses and down time of purchasing a new suit that he had actually measured, which still needed some alterations to have the hook knife pocket properly relocated. His response was to have my DZ rigger make the modifications because his company was to backed up to take care it. So... if you're not in a hurry for a jumpsuit, have some extra cash to throw away for shipping costs if the suit does not fit then you might want to consider a Tony Suit. If not then I would recommend a Bev Suit, who has always come through for me the first time around.
  29. 1 point
    Bought my first new rig a couple of years ago. I went with Wings because of the instructor deal offered and there were quite a few of the rigs at my DZ and everyone had good things to say about the gear. When I received the gear in the mail, i tried it on and the MLW was too short. I couldn't stand up straight in the thing. I wrote Sunrise and explained the problem and they told me to send it back right away. I did, didn't cost me a thing. Got the new rig back, had a res installed and guess what,,, the mlw was too long. the rig sat really low on my back, huge gap between my shoulders and the rig under canopy. Anyway, i figured i screwed up by not having the res installed before i sent it back the first time. I didn't contact Sunrise again about it until about a year later when i was ready to get rid of the rig since the fit sucked so bad. So I wrote to Sunrise again and explained my situation to them. Reply,, send it back to us.. So i did, the new (third) rig sent to me fits perfectly. I didn't get charged for anything (shipping, new res repack, they thought the main risers were a little frayed so they gave me new ones, and a t-shirt!) Every email I received from the company was very courtious and professional. Same for every telephone conversation I had with them. They treated even a pain in the ass customer like me very well and I have nothing bad to say about this company. Five stars.
  30. 1 point
    Based on about 5-8 jumps on a Storm 170. Previous experience about 200 jumps on a Sabre 1 - 190 and about 5-8 on a Sabre 2- 170. I tried both the Sabre 2 and the Storm the same week. Conditions ranged from windy and turbulent to calm with no wind. My windloading was perfect as the storm cut through thermals and turbulence beautifully (the main reason I was downsizing). Turns were very crisp with no hesitation, perhaps not as forgiving for a student but it really followed my input. Flat turns were, well, flat. I didn't try a full brake turn, half brake turns were very quick! Front risers in general were tough to pull with lots of pressure in both level and turns. Not too difficult, just tough. Rear risers were sweet for slowing, flaring or turns. Full speed straight and level flight semmed faster than the Sabre 2 and much steeper. Partial brakes leveled out the canopy and really offered comparable (Sabre 2) glide distance. A long spot would have you in partial brakes a long time but brake pressure was not unreasonable and glide was much shallower. Slow flight somewhere around half brakes was not mushy but maintained good cell pressure and felt fully controlled. Openings were actually faster than I expected but without the shaking and sometimes whomping I get from the Sabre 1. Openings seemed to be on heading for both my packjobs and packs by the pros...No tendency for end-cell closure which I did see on the Sabre 2 (to be fair, it didn't affect the openings on the Sabre 2 anyways). What did affect openings was body position, any reasonable change in the harness as the canopy was inflating affected heading. I like this as you can actually steer the thing as it's opening. Unstowing the brakes/collapsing the slider! What a suprise, reaching up for the toggles/collapse cords has to be done at the same time otherwise I was able to turn the canopy easily just by shifting body position. My Sabre 1 has a single cord to collapse the slider so I reach up with one hand while steering with both toggles in the other. Bad habit! On the Storm I had to collapse the slider with two hands then unstow the brakes. There is so much extra brake line stowed that the canopy really picks up speed as you release the brakes. I'd hate to inadvertently release one brake early! Not bad, just different. Now for the amazing part. FLARE!!! I flared early, I flared late, I flared twice, I think I even forgot to flare until it was too late. I swear this canopy actually went upwards when I pulled my stoppin ropes! The steep approach took some getting used to but once you decide to brake, there is so much energy left in the canopy to flare, it does just that. Flare slowly from too high, it keeps flying. Flare hard from too low, it keeps flying. Flare too high, goof and let up, pull again lower, it keeps flying. Even on no wind landings and higher wingloading (for me) the Storm levels out beautifully during flare, holds for a second or two, and let me down gently (all but one time, but that was my fault, and the grass stains are coming out just fine thanks.) My overall impression is that the Sabre 2-170 is a sweet stable canopy. The Storm-170 is a sports car that even I can handle! Last year my instructors suggested that I downsize to the Sabre 2. I don't think they had tried the Storm when they made that recommendation.
  31. 1 point
    Had my Katana for a couple of hundreds jumps...was coming from a Sabre2-120, which i loved, but it was very hard to hit the "sweet-spot" coming out of my 270 because of its natural recovery-arc. Furthermore the riser pressure of the Sabre is pretty hard doing 270-turns. Jumped a Katana 120 for a while getting used to the canopy - which is completely different from the Sabre: Much lighter riser pressure, more responsive on harness (doing all of my turn on harness now), easy to keep in a dive when getting out of a turn to high an still getting the gate. Now I jump a KA107 and I am still in love... Only con is the openings....they are soft..thats for sure....but often off heading (everything between 0 to 360 degrees - if 360 degrees of heading opening actually can be called of heading :-)
  32. 1 point
    I have been jumping my Safire 2 189 (loaded 1.16) for about 20 jumps now and really enjoy flying it. It opens smoothly and on heading. I pro-pack and find that if leave the nose out (not rolled or pushed back at all) it opens in about 400-600 feet. It has a good glide ratio and has saved me on several tracking dives with a long spot (rear risers helped as well). Landing this canopy is also a lot of fun. Once you level off there is still plenty of toggle left to handle unexpected problems or a poorly timed flare (you can also pop back up a few feet at the end of your flare). I really enjoy flying this canopy and plan on staying with it for a long time.
  33. 1 point
    Background: At the time of this review, I have 580 jumps. I’ve jumped a mix of demos throughout my time skydiving, but my canopy progression was: a Manta 288 (loaded at .75) for 100 jumps, a Nova 150 (loaded at 1.45) for 100 jumps before it was recalled, a Stiletto 150 (loaded at 1.5, since I weighed more back then) for 250 jumps, a nine year layoff because I got bored, and finally a Sabre2 150 (loaded at 1.4) for the last 90 jumps since coming back into the sport last year. I bought a Nitron 135 (loaded at 1.55) to continue to work on my swooping for a couple hundred jumps. My landings are usually either a 90 or 180 degree front riser carve to final based on traffic. Ordering and setup: I custom ordered my Nitron from the Skydive Store, and it took 6 weeks (which is pretty fast for any custom gear in this sport). I hooked it up, and set the brake lines with an extra inch of slack. I ended up letting about 3 inches out of my Sabre2 to keep from deflecting the tail while front risering. It turned out that the break settings on the Nitron starting deflecting the tail right at the break line setting mark, so I ended up letting out about 6 inches. Flight impressions (Comparison to my Sabre2 150): My first jump was a terminal opening at 7500ft to check it out. The first thing is that the openings on this canopy are wonderful. It opened nice and soft, while staying on heading on every jump I’ve made so far. I jump a top mounted video camera, so openings are important to me. Toggles turns are very responsive (it is an elliptical), and it was significantly quicker than my Sabre2. I did my various control tests at altitude on toggles and risers, practiced some flares, intentionally stalled it a few times, practiced dive arrests on toggles, used my Sunnto Observer to measure altitude lost in various types and lengths of turns, etc. Front riser pressure was very similar to my Sabre2, but it turned into the dive a little quicker. Recovery arc was very similar to my Sabre2 as well, and speed at neutral full flight felt a touch faster. I’ve just done double fronts and 90 degree front risers so far, and I’m getting about 10% more surf out of it. Overall, it reminded me a lot of my old Stiletto. Overall: I think this is going to be a great canopy for continuing to progress with swooping. I’ve done a few high opening jumps, and I’m continuing to do so to get familiar with it. I’m planning on grabbing one of the badass canopy coaches here in Eloy after another 25 jumps, because I want to be comfortable with the general flight characteristics before really wringing it out with a coach. I’ll post a follow up after that.
  34. 1 point
    I put most of my jumps on an original sabre and got used to canopies that like to dive. I tried the Stilleto 135 but didn't really like how reluctant it was to really dive. So I was also looking into a Katana. I did some jumps on a Hurricane 135 and a 120 and decided it was the one for me. Some of these PD/Icarus/Precision canopies were over $2000 for a new canopy! My new custom Hurricane 120 cost me just over $1100. The zero porosity coating is different than other companies too. The Hurricane comes with a coating that is not slippery like other new zero P's. It was super easy to pack the first time I packed it. No slippage at all! I've since put 500 jumps on it and it is quite a ride. The toggle turns create quite a dive. You'll be able to see the horizon OVER your canopy when you spin it. It'll keep the speed up longer too. I'd say it has a medium to light amount of front riser pressure. You can really make it float too if you're out on a long spot. It offers you soo much control. The flare is really nice and powerful. You can flatten the canopy and pull out of a dive fast any time you want. My only con is that some canopies can be really forgiving with sloppy packing and body position. Not really this one. If you pack sloppy and don't keep nice body position for and through the open you can get whirly off headings and maybe a spanker (had 2 in 500 jumps on it). It's not too bad though. Just don't expect to be getting those promised nice on heading openings if you pack and pull like sh*t.
  35. 1 point
    I got the opportunity to jump the Blade at the CSS Easter boogie. Beezy had several demos and I made jumps on a 98 and 108. My exit weight was approx 225lbs. The openings- long long snivel, great if you've got a camera. It does not wander or search for a heading. The toggles give quick turns. The risers have very light pressure and long diving turns are quite easy. The rears easily leveled the canopy, however I didn't feel I could stay on them as long as a x-braced canopy, but transition to the toggles keeps the swoop going. The material was very easy to pack, but it would be slightly bigger than comparable sizes due to "winglets" I only got to make about 10 jumps on the two sizes, but from those jumps, I would recommend that if you're in the market for a Crossfire2, Katana, etc... you should give this canopy a try.
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