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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/16/2018 in Gear Reviews

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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"
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 :-)
  15. 1 point
    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
  16. 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.