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  1. It's possible to do zero-altitude-loss barrelrolls on speedwings. Check out: (the wing used here is kind of a very special design) Do not forget, that speedwings have much shorter lines than skydiving canopies. In my experience - the shorter the lines, the easier it is to prevent diving after a barrel.
  2. Intro As there are not a lot of ressources regarding a transition from skydiving to paragliding/speedflying available online, I decided to share my experiences and impressions in this post here. Even if you are not planning to get into paragliding yourself, it might still give some interesting insights. If you like, I can keep you updated on my journey. About my skydiving background Originally from Austria, I started skydiving in southern Germany back in August 2012 and got pretty hooked on it. After spending every weekend at the dropzone for about a year, I decided to quit my regular job, move to the dropzone and pursue a career there, although I always had to support it with at least a part time "normal" job. Living off skydiving alone is almost impossible within Germany. After about two years (as soon as legally possible) I got my coach and tandem instructor rating. I was able to earn money with skydiving from that point on, mainly doing videos, tandems and coaching jumps. My AFF rating followed soon after. My favourite discipline in skydiving has always been canopy piloting, why I invested lots of time, money and effort into that. I quit skydiving in the beginning of 2020 as I was starting to burn out after 7 seasons of 7-day-weeks during the summer and moved back to my origin in the Alps of Austria at the beginning of this year. Alltogether I did about 3500 jumps of which about 2000 have been on solo-canopies. My canopy progression was: * PD 170 (~150 jumps) * Pilot 150 (~150 jumps) - started working on high-performance landings with that canopy * Pilot 132 (~200 jumps) * Katana 120 (~200 jumps) * Velocity 96 (~300 jumps) * Valkyrie 84 (~1.000 jumps) - loaded with up to 35lbs of extra lead (total exit weight around 220lbs) (sample landing) Do not take my personal path as advice for your own downsizing. I went through some downsizing steps rather fast, but keep in mind that I did many of these jumps in shorter timespans than many other people and always had direct mentoring from more experienced pilots available. In retrospective I have to say, that the step from the Pilot 132 to the Katana 120 was the most challenging. My paragliding experience until now I started my training at Cloudbase, a professional, commercial paragliding school in Zell am Ziller (Tyrol, Austria) - huge recommendation by the way - last Saturday and completed my final exam yesterday. Usually training takes a bit longer (40 flights) but due to local regulations a shortcut for licensed skydivers is possible (15 flights, although practically not appropriate in many cases). Theoretical instruction is easy, but covers topics that many skydivers have likely never had any contact with. It might have helped that I also hold a commercial pilot license for airplanes and have quite some knowledge regarding meteorology and basic aerodynamics, but I doubt that my skydiving experience gave me an advantage in that area. During training (and some test flights today) I had the chance to fly the following paragliding wings (surface area in brackets although less relevant): * Mescal S (240 sqft) * Masala S (235 sqft) * Susi 23 (213 sqft) * Susi 21(190 sqft) * Kode P 18 (173 sqft) * Tonic 2 S (172 sqft) How do paragliding wings compare to skydiving canopies? I was surprised how much performance even large student paragliding wings offered in comparison to skydiving canopies for students. While a skydiving canopy for students (and to be honest - also most intermediate skydiving canopies) allows the pilot to hang in the harness like a bag of water and yank on the steering lines without any requirement for sensitivity, a paragliding wing requires immensely more coordinated inputs by harness and brakes to achieve an acceptable amount of control. I suppose a docile student paragliding wing would likely still not kill you, but it will be a very uncontrolled ride, if you fly it the same way a skydiving canopy allows you to fly. Techniques required to fly real high-performance skydiving canopies transition very well to paragliding. From the first flight on paragliding felt very natural and I had the feeling of having a good amount of control over the wing. I got lots of compliments to be the very first skydiver at the school with sensitivity for brake inputs. Aside from techniques like doing big ears, that are not used/available in skydiving, a huge difference is the possibility of (unintentionally) inducing extended rolling and pitching oscillations and the inputs required to stop these oscillations. Standard skydiving canopies do not really require such inputs and will quickly self stabilize (or at least keep the oscillations low). High-performance skydiving canopies require such inputs but still stabilize quicker than paragliding wings. While angle-of-attack control is not necessarily required to safely fly a skydiving canopy, like it is on a paragliding wing, it certainly allows much better flight path control even on less performant skydiving wings (Did you ever feel your controls become "mushy" after recovering from a turn input? Surprise! There's ways around that...). Some skydiving pilots might bring that skill, some might not. Paragliding wings are a lot easier to flare than their skydiving counterparts. I did not see a lot of really bad flares during the course on my coursemates without any pre-experience. That is likely due to the much lower sink rate and more lift that paragliding wings provide. I would not expect any skydiver to have much trouble correctly flaring a paragliding wing. Paragliding wings seem a lot less critical regarding low turns. While even very docile student skydiving canopies react with a good amount of dive to any turn, I have seen safe turns at heights that sent shivers down my former skydiving instructor spine during the past week. There are other dangers that come with paragliding wings, but the risk coming with low turns seem a lot lower with paragliding. I do not have any numbers on that feeling, so take it with a grain of salt. Conclusion I have a hand full of paragliding flights by now, so my opinion might either be false or have to be revised by myself in the future. High-performance canopy flying experience transitions very well to paragliding and should allow you to feel comfortable on a paragliding wing quickly. Controls are different but follow very similar principles. If you got the feeling for a high-performance skydiving canopy, you will likely have the feeling for a paragliding wing. At least a docile one (like to ones I used to fly during the past week) and at least in my case. I doubt that limited, other skydiving experience will give you a huge advantage on paragliding. Some things might feel similar, certainly taking away a good amount of stress. Some of your habits might be very counter-productive. And it is very well possible that you will have to seriously extend your "toolbox of canopy control". Recommendations In any case, do not assume that you know how to fly a paragliding wing, because you know how to control a skydiving canopy. It's different. I for my part decided to go with the Tonic 2 S for now. It's very slow in comparison to the Valkyrie 84 I used to fly, but it still behaves reasonably agile and I have the feeling that I got a good amount of work to do until I can fly it perfectly to its limits. It outperforms similarly sized skydiving canopies by far. Speedflying is my goal, but I do not see any reason to rush it. Doing some paragliding training could be a good addition to becoming a great skydiving canopy pilot. I can see paragliding skills and knowledge transition extremely well to skydiving canopy control, if you already bring some skydiving experience. Paragliding training is super cheap in comparison to skydiving. And it's a huge amount of fun.
  3. Thanks a lot for all the responses... Helps already to see that I'm not the first one to have that kind of skydiving-burn-out happen to one. I think I am just going to ask to reduce my time spent at the dropzone as I see this as the only chance in bringing my passion for the sport back.
  4. I think it's fair to consider myself an experienced skydiver. I started back in the end of 2012 and did about 3.500 jumps since then, of which "only" 1.500 jumps are tandems. Did my coach rating the second year after obtaining my license and my tandem and AFF ratings not that long after. Where I jump skydiving is seasonal so it's not really possible to live off it alone, so I still have a part-time job next to it. Skydiving season is pretty intense, as we have a 6-day week at our dropzone and due to my part time job I have a 7-day workweek from late spring until mid fall. Staff does normally not get any days off and we are expected to be available at all and any time. No pay for bad-weather-standby-days though and no getting out even on light workload days. I've had a total of 2 requested weekends off the last 7 years - and that is "surprisingly" taking the fun out of the sport for me. Season opening was late this year due to COVID. When we finally started our season it hurt to see all those great people at the dropzone, all my friends and students being amazed to get up into the sky again and me myself just feeling numb and irritated that all those days of endless standby and waiting at the dropzone are now starting again. Being on my canopy for the first time in more than 6 months did not excite me even the slightest. My only thought was to just get this over as quickly as possible so I could finally go home to do something with my valuable spare time that I actually wanted to be doing. I don't want to rant too much. I just never had those feelings about skydiving ever before. Maybe all that is caused by the COVID restrictions, that finally gave me some spare time in the warm season and reminded me that there is more in this world than just skydiving. Maybe I just overdid it the last few years and need a break from skydiving. Anyways... Has any other experienced skydiver out there ever been in a similar position? Advice is very welcome...
  5. I have about 1500 jumps experience on the Aerodyne 350sqft A2. Openings are nice and constistent, although sometimes they will rock back and forth after opening. This issue will resolve itself after a few seconds without any need for interaction, but will resolve faster when brakes are being released. Other than mentioned by another jumper, I think they fly absolutely amazing in turbulent conditions. I have loaded them between 300lbs and 470lbs, landed them from downwind to extremly gusty 25kts wind in very, very turbulent conditions and never ever even had the slightest disturbance in canopy rigidity. The canopy does not need any form of acceleration to maintain its pressurization and long straight finals are perfectly fine. I've heard very different stories about tandem canopies from another manufacturer. Longevity is amazing - the oldest canopy we currently have in use is 12+ years old with round about 4000 jumps on it. As we regularly reline our canopies (from my experiency this makes a huge difference), the flare is still very comparable to a brand new one. I will not hesitate to jump this canopy with any passenger in any jumpable conditions. Now on to the downsides... The flare is great, although it requires a lot more power than for example a Sigma 340. Also steering is quite power-consuming but nothing one couldn't get used to. Interestingly responsivity increases and steering-backpressure decreases with line-age. The flare-power significantly decreases, once the lines are noticeably out of trim. Opening characteristics stay pretty unaffected by this.
  6. True... We are landing on grass - but compared to previously used rainbow pants (with parapack reinforcement on the butt) the new kevlar version is a massive improvement. Anyways, as you already said, landing on sand will kill any type of pants sooner than later. If I would land there, I'd probably also go with the cheapest I could find. Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.
  7. As the pants are kept in the dropzone design, the dropzone provides them. I jumped the same model (but a different design and without the mentioned modifications) before I became a staff jumper - and I also was involved in specifying those special modifications. Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.
  8. Rainbow Designs Freefly Pants (see All of our staff are using the same design. We requested the latests series of our pants with some special modifications: - No backpockets as those proved as weak spots - Butt reinforcement made from kevlar instead of cordura - Lycra slider pocket on right leg (very useful not only for removeable slider but also for handles, etc.) We not only use the pants for tandem but also for solo jumping. I usually land my VK84 downwind and prefer to slide landings out on my butt, when winds are too strong. Until now - about 500 tandems and 500 solo jumps - the pants only show slight wear and no damage. Can fully recommend. Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.
  9. The Speed 2000 reserve made by Paratec in Germany is absolutely great. It flies nice, flares great and has a smaller pack volume than a same sized Optimum (saying the 120 Speed will pack like a 106 Optimum). By the way it is also cheaper, but still on the more expensive side for reserves. The disadvantage? Because the pack volume is so small and the material is so thin it will wear out rather fast. 5 or 6 openings (depending on deployment speed) will require a replacement or living with a pretty weak flare. Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.
  10. The graph shows actual speed - not average speed. Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.
  11. Basically yes... I think that speed skydiving given the current measurement methods is complete nonsense. I mean, just look at the deployment speeds of some curves?! Deploying at over 250km/h - that's a pull in headdown. I once had a deployment happen at the transition from sit to track and that was already painfull as f*ck. And now I should believe in curves telling me that people pull at over 250km/h on a regular base? Change the measurement. Make it ground based, make it based on an inertial navigation system, whatever... But get away from something that obviously cannot be right. It makes a joke of the whole discipline to accept speeds as records that are physically impossible. Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.
  12. Summary for people too lazy to read: The measured acceleration is physically not possible. Measured speed is a result of air turbulence influencing the Protracks, and while it is still a record, it does not give a lot of information on the actual speed. Detail It's very impressive to see results like this. Anyways I don't think that the real speed relative to the ground was actually that high. I think this is acutally kind of a big problem in speed skydiving. Protracks are using airpressure to measure altitude and therefore speed and allow for manipulation by "turbulence". Just look at the graph. At the beginning of the speed curve there is a speed of about 40km/h or 11,1 m/s. At the beginning of the measurement window at 2700m the speed is at about 400km/h or 111,1m/s. The time between these two points is about 20 seconds and that gives an average acceleration of about 5m/s². As soon as the measurement window starts, acceleration increases a lot (the speed curve gets steeper), which is very strange already. Given the entry speed of about 400km/h or 111,1m/s and the exit speed of about 620km/h or 172,2m/s (lowest reasonable value to see from the graph - real exit speed is not visible and possibly even higher) there is a speed difference of 61,1m/s over a time of 5,99s (average between the two Protrack values). This gives an acceleration of 10,2m/s² for the measurement window. As you might know freefall in vacuum happens at a acceleration of 9,81m/s², so without additional thrust the measured acceleration is impossible to achieve (even without any air resistance that is working against acceleration anyway). So what I want to say is, that the record is very nice (and of course valid) as it happened in compliance with the ISSA rules, but the measured speed cannot be anywhere near the actual speed as it is physically impossible to achieve such an acceleration. Wether the influencing of the Protracks happened conscious or unconscious is not subject of my post. Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.
  13. Seriously?! Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.
  14. First of all - I know that the 132 Pilot ZPX packs about the same size as a 120 Katana. It will still be a thight fit that I do not recommend. Second - a 150 main combined with a 126 reserve is a bad idea because of your ability to land it safely. If your jump numbers and weight are correct you have no point in being under a 126 reserve. Why jump a 126 reserve when you want to jump a 150 main? And just some generic advice... You want to buy a new container but somehow it seems you are not having your priorities in the correct order: 1. Choose a reserve canopy - this will be the one that will save your ass. This will be the canopy you jump for. If your main opens, nice for you. But always expect to need your reserve. And to have to land it in a tight spot between buildings, trees and power lines. 2. Choose a main canopy - this will be the one that you will spend the most time under. It should fit your skill level and your intentions. It will be most likely for you to hurt yourself because of a wrong sized / wrong planform main. 3. Choose a container to correctly fit your reserve and your main canopy. Form follows function - not the other way around. Do not put looks above safety! Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.
  15. Stuffing a 150 in a V319 is plain stupid. Combining a 150 main with a 126 reserve and your jump numbers is even more stupid. Don't do it, invest money and buy a container for the canopy you are jumping, not one that you might jump some day. Simple as that... P.S.: I don't know which chart you are using but in the sizing chart on the UPT website ( the OP 126 is marked as a loose fit. Nice words are not always true - and true words are not always nice.