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    Vigil 2

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  1. Gangster is definitely your best bet. I have about 500 jumps on Katanas and after having recently jumped a Gangster, I can honestly say that the Gangster represents everything the Katana was supposed to be. It has the dive and recovery of a high performance elliptical, power behind the rears and toggle inputs (where the Katana severely lacked), and harness inputs that fall in line behind cross-braced counterparts (such as the Velocity) but ahead of the tamer canopies (such as the Sabre 2). Where it completely destroys the Katana is in the openings. Out of my canopy flying experience, which is extensive (I take advantage of demo programs like they're going out of style), the Katanas were the most lacking on opening, and Fluid has done a great job in enhancing the opening experience. I currently own an Airwolf but have flown the Gangster, Helix, HKT, and HK, each in multiple sizes and have discovered they all have good to great openings.
  2. so obviously the dz has the final call on something like that but i definitely know where you're coming from. i do know someone who routes their chest strap the same way and have tried that routing myself and the ease in which it comes out and the precious seconds it saves when you're under a highly loaded cross braced canopy is nice, however it does not hold as strong as traditional routing as it does not allow the friction adaptor to engage properly. I've seen and first hand experienced, most typically during belly angle jumps, the chest strap loosen (not come out entirely) and that can cause other potential issues, especially while freeflying/angle flying. as an experienced skydiver making a conscious choice, i think you can use that routing the rest of your jump career and have hardly an issue, but i do feel that a more traditional routing technique possesses more integrity.
  3. to jump on this, if i'm not mistaken, they're also offering their demo program, on these 4 canopies specifically, for only $50 per demo. that was a lot of commas, but all appropriately used, i think....i did it again.
  4. the katana. the thing swoops fer sure. crossfire 3 isn't too bad, but the turn has to be dirty low. haven't flown fluid's tesla yet, but i hear it's katana-esque.
  5. I do not work for fluid, but I am a fan of their products (I'm waiting on getting my Airwolf in the mail currently). From what I remember the owner saying about the Nexus is that it is similar to the Sabre2, only steeper. If it's anything like their more aggressive canopies, I'd assume it would have good rear riser range and a strong flare. All their canopies have damn decent openings, and everyone who test jumped a Nexus at our demo day had nothing but positive things to say about them, one guy even bought one shortly after, so it made a positive impression on him.
  6. Wtih a B license, you'll be slightly hampered and as has been mentioned, the amount of sport skydiving is very limited, especially compared to the US. On the north island, my favorites were Ballistic Blondes in Whangarei and Skydive Auckland in Parakai. There's a newer DZ south of Auckland (GoSkydive New Zealand) that I didn't go to. Wellington has a DZ that I missed out on, but it's much smaller apparently. I'd say avoid Taupo and the other DZ's are either tandem only or not worth the trip. On the south island, Skydive Abel Tasman in Nelson was pretty ok, not super dope, but decent. NZONE in Queenstown, which used to require a D but when I was there I could have swore I heard them say B was sufficient, is pretty much a tandem mill, but the view is worth one solo. You won't be able to jump at Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, Glenorchy, or Wanka, they all require at least a D license. SKYDIVING KIWIS in Ashburton on the south island is really the only skydiving you should do in New Zealand. Despite beautiful views and some nice people at all the other DZs, Kiwis is the fun jumper DZ of New Zealand and has some very cool staff and a regular contingent of fun jumpers. Just my $.02
  7. So the only tri-tapered design canopies I've flown have been the HK and the Airwolf, so I don't have any comparable details (though I will be flying a Valkyrie next weekend) to other manufactures, but I can compare the Airwolf to the Helix, and older design cross-braced canopies. The Airwolf, jumped a 79 at a 2.55 WL, compared to the Helix, jumped a 84 at a 2.4 WL, was much less responsive on the harness inputs. The Helix was a little harder to control upon opening, the start of the turn was much quicker, and I was unable to dial-in the rollout with the limited jumps I did on it, always needing to over-correct what always turned out to be a very quick whip. It did recover quicker than the Airwolf, but with its ZP external and Sail internal design allowed for what felt like a faster horizontal speed. The canopy also needed to be transitioned to toggles a little sooner than what feels natural, but still carried as well as ZP with Sail internals can be expected to. I did feel that owning a Helix would, in the long-term, help me become a much better pilot because I would be forced to be able to fly my harness as square as possible and dialing in my harness input during the turn. The Airwolf was definitely steeper than the Helix with a longer recovery arc and was much easier to fly on opening even with an increased wingloading due to the less responsive harness inputs. The turn, roll-in, rollout, and dive were all similar to older design crossbraced canopies, but with increased sensitivity and much more user friendly inputs needed. It has two variations that it can come in, one with FT-30 (which can be placed somewhere between ZP and Sail material, a great article was published by Fluid Wings and is available on their website on the FT-30 material) on I believe the crossbraces and top fabric, which had the awesome benefits of much more powerful rear and toggle inputs and carried forever, even after transitioning to toggles. The second configuration had less FT-30 but I didn't have the opportunity to jump that configuration. The HK on the other hand, which I jumped an 84 at the 2.4 WL including a full RDS as opposed to only removable sliders on the other wings, is by far the strongest wing in their lineup, and comes in full-sail (I very unfortunately did not get to jump the HK-T which is a terminal version of the same wing with other changes to make it more friendly to terminal openings). The harness was more responsive than the Airwolf, but still less twitchy than the Helix. The dive and recovery were steeper and longer respectively than the Airwolf and the power in the rears and toggles was also more powerful. The canopy kept carrying and came to such smooth, easy stops. If I felt more confident flying the HK in traffic, I would for sure be leaning towards that wing (probably the HK-T so I can fall longer before deployment), but as is, the Airwolf was the most user friendly wing with the most powerful responses and great dive and recovery with predictable harness inputs during the turn that I've had the pleasure to fly. Disclaimer: I do not work for nor get any benefit from endorsing Fluid Wings, I just loved the damn canopies, all of them. Plus, I met the founder, and he was one the coolest, most intelligent people I've met in skydiving, which may or may not be saying much... ;p Plus, if you send your canopy to them, they'll do the reline for free, all you have to do is purchase the lineset.
  8. Never took a Flight-1 course, but I have taken an Alter Ego course with Curt and Jeannie Bartholomew, and I can't emphasize enough how well it was run or how much more personalized his course was to any other course which follows stringent guidelines. We could all throw our our own pieces of advice out, but none of us have seen you fly, so obviously your own coaches, instructors, or a structured course (again can't emphasize how great the Alter Ego course is) are the better sources of skill building. One piece of advice, get off that Stiletto. It's great for some things, but swooping is DEFINITELY not one of them. Granted it is what I started learning on...
  9. Ok, this is either a joke or you're very ignorant of all the safety issues related with this. If it's a joke, then it's not that funny. If you're serious, then you're REALLY funny.
  10. Being such a large dealer, I'm thinking you may have slightly more insight. Is Vigil going to be sending you large quantities of the new product or are you going to have the same lead time of +/-6 weeks, like their website says? I have been unable to figure out what the "Xtreme" version (or mode?) is supposed to do different and was hoping maybe you have knowledge on that. If anyone else has informed knowledge on this subject matter, feel free to respond.
  11. Never been to Monterey but Davis is an awesome DZ. I've also heard a lot of good things about Byron. the usual consensus on Monterey is that it's kind of neat to visit but not the place you'd want to call home. Everything is beautiful from 10,000+ ft. p.s. What's up Taylor. you still chatting it up with that cutie from di cicco's?
  12. Hop on the Amtrak and get off at the Madera station and I can take you to the DZ. It may be a little farther than you planned, but it's a pretty cool, albeit small, DZ.
  13. Take your downwind leg longer or make your crosswind turn at a lower altitude, and keep trying several derivations of that until you stop going long. No special advice will assist, just practice.
  14. Get the Benny or even one of the Protecs. They do everything a helmet needs to for skydiving. You can waste the money on a cookie or phantom x, but you're paying for extra comfort and features that aren't 100% necessary for beginners.