Johnkelley

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  • Main Canopy Size
    150
  • Reserve Canopy Size
    140

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  • Home DZ
    Skydive Allegan
  • License
    A
  • License Number
    70814
  • Number of Jumps
    252
  • Years in Sport
    6
  • First Choice Discipline
    Wing Suit Flying
  • First Choice Discipline Jump Total
    25
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Freeflying
  • Second Choice Discipline Jump Total
    150

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  1. Johnkelley

    Canopy options for wingsuiting?

    If you want to jump it terminal and don't have any issues doing you, then you do you man. No, I haven't jumped a WinX, so I wouldn't know how it actually jumps. But I'm just stating facts that Atair told me when I asked them. They specifically said it was "specifically designed for wingsuiting in mind, and should not be used for terminal openings due to faster/harder openings and additional wear on the equipment" in an email I asked them specifically for that question. So like I said, you do you man. But according the the manufacturer, these are facts.
  2. Johnkelley

    Canopy options for wingsuiting?

    Over the winter I was in a similar situation and did as much research as I could. I even made a similar post here, asking people their opinions. Here is what I found out (note, I'll answer your question at the end): For WS specific canopies, you really have five options. The Epicene Pro, Pilot 7, WinX, PD Horizon, and the new Kraken. Here's a breakdown of each canopy from info from the manufacturer, as well as what I've hear from the community.: Epicene Pro: Low bulk WS canopy, and one of the first (OG Epicene, not Pro version) WS specific skydiving canopies produced. The canopy is as reliable as all these other canopies, if not slightly more. For ranking purposes, I'll give it a 10/10, and I'll rank all other canopies openings on the same scale. The Epicene Pro flies like a reserve, and some may consider it "boring" compared to other WS canopies. But it still it amazing to fly and I would choose it again. Things to note that improved from the OG Epicene is flare power, and glide ration. It packs about 2 sizes smaller, so my Epicene Pro 190 that I have now packs in the same container that held my Sabre 1 150 which almost no difference. Squirrel also claims it can be used as an "once size fits all canopy", and can be jumped terminal without a wingsuit, which I can confirm it can and is comfortable doing so. WinX: WS canopy that can be made from either low bulk material, ZP, or a mix of the two. If you are looking to upsize your canopy, be careful when choosing which option you want. A WinX 170 ZP will pack like a normal 170 canopy in terms of size, but a WinX 170 low bulk will pack like a 190 ZP canopy or even smaller. From what I've heard, everyone who flies this canopy loves it. It gets a 10/10 for "fun to fly", and is reliable (openings rank 9/10). The flare is also really powerful which is something low bulk WS canopies lack. The only issue is that finding one used is almost non-existent, and it's not meant to be jumped terminal, or non-wingsuit. Pilot7: Probably the most sporty option without knowing more about the Kraken. It comes in similar materials to the WinX, so keep that in mind for what you want, and for size/packing. As for openings, it's not quite as reliable as these other canopies from what I've heard, but it still gets a solid 8.5/10. The trade off is it flies like a normal ZP canopy and has arguably more flare power than any of these other canopies (again, not knowing more about the Kraken). Think of this as a real canopy, while all of these other options as flying like a reserve. It also can be jumped terminal, or without wingsuit, but I've been told by many people that it's not the best idea as the opening is fast and sometimes hurts doing so. PD Horizon: Low bulk WS canopy that packs similar to the Epicene Pro as in two sizes smaller. This canopy is just as reliable for openings (10/10), but the list really ends here. The canopy flies like a reserve, and I've had more than a handful of people who've test jumped it refer to it as "boring". Basically you deploy, get a good opening (assuming you have good form, and many other factors), and it gets you to the ground safely. But that's it. The flare isn't the best because it's entirely F11, but still enough to stand up land. It is also not meant to be jumped terminal, or non-wingsuit. I have a friend who has it and loves it, so to each their own. Kraken: The newest canopy of the bunch. Is entirely ZP, and packs 15% smaller than normal ZP canopies. So whatever your current size canopy is, add 15% to that, and that's what will fit in your container for the same size. Again, I know little about this canopy, but assuming its ZP, I imagine it flies "sporty", and has a ton of flare. I can find a handful or articles and pictures of it, but I won't really form an opinion until I can demo it, see videos of people flying and landing (especially on a no-wind straight in approach), or hear what others are saying about it. I also think it can be jumped terminal as well. So really it comes down to what you want. Personally, I wanted a reliable canopy that packed small to decrease my wingloading (needed a 190sqft to get my WL to 1.3 but my container maxes out at 150sqft ZP), that I could also jump terminal so I don't have to have a second rig, or change out canopies when I don't want to WS. At the time, all those boxes were checked by on the Epicene Pro. Now that the Kraken is out, I think its worth taking a look at. Would I choose the Epicene Pro again? Absolutely. Is someone else going to tell you different? Absolutely. I recommend demoing the canopies if you can. If you can't and can only buy used, then reach out to the manufacturers with questions. They will always respond (still waiting to hear back from Atair about the WinX 8 months later). Figure out what you want, which canopy(ies) check those boxes, and then go from there. Disclaimer: Like other will tell you, simply getting a WS specific canopy will not solve all your problems. They will help, but you still need good form and focus when deploying to get an optimal opening. Get coaching if you need it.
  3. Johnkelley

    "long" WS containers - who makes them?

    Mirage just announced 4 days ago via their instagram two new containers, the M3 Long and the M4 Long. I'm assuming they are just longer versions of their normal M3 and M4, but no other details can be found, not even on their website.
  4. Johnkelley

    Best wingsuiting audible?

    The audible I use and one that not many people talk about is the Parasport NeoXs. It's a super simple audible that can do 6 alarms (3 freefall, and 3 canopy). It's reliable and I haven't had any issues with it in the 4 years I've owned it. It's $225 new from chutingstar for the v2 version, but you could pick up the v1 version used for even less (the one I have). I love L&B altimeters and use their Viso for all my jumps, but this audible has given me no issues and I'd buy it again for cheaper than a L&B.
  5. I feel the need to update my Squirrel experience since placing my order and posting the other day. I was quoted 8 weeks lead time for an Epicene Pro at the peak time to order just before the season starts. Just received an email today saying it is finished and should be here next week. Total time from ordering to receiving has been about 4.5 weeks. Absolutely thrilled with Squirrel and their service.
  6. If anyone was wondering, I messaged Squirrel and they offered to send me an Epicene Pro 190 to try and pack it to see how it would fit. If it didn't fit, they said they would help me out one way or another. Luckily, my friend had an Epicene Pro 190 delivered just the other day that he let me pack. The Epicene Pro 190 packed into the same deployment bag as my Sabre 1 150, and packed almost the same volume, if not slightly smaller. So yes, it an Epicene Pro packs about 2 sizes smaller than a normal ZP canopy, and does not require changing deployment bags to do so.
  7. Disclaimer: This may be a dumb question, but I just want to be safe. A few weeks ago I ordered an Epicene Pro 190 which should be here early/mid May. My current main is a Sabre 1 150, which will be replaced entirely by this canopy. For the Sabre 1, I use a fully stowless bag from Seamless Rigging and when packed nicely, fits in the bag perfectly. If packed sloppy, it's hard to get into the bag, but fits all the same in the end. I've also been told that a Sabre 1 is higher on the spectrum of pack volume per size (idk if this is true, just what I've heard). Squirrel claims that the Epicene Pro packs about two sizes smaller than a normal ZP canopy, so an Epicene Pro 190 should fit into my container that holds a Sabre 1 150. But my question is, will it also fit into the same deployment bag? Or will I need a slightly larger bag? I realize this is probably a dumb question, but I just want to be safe and not sitting on the ground when my gear arrives because it doesn't fit properly.
  8. I recently had a similar experience with Squirrel. Two weeks ago I ordered an Epicene Pro. I asked Squirrel to email me back a confirmation of the colors I chose just to play it safe, and I got an email back within minutes of me submitting my order. A week later I ordered an ATC 2 (granted I might have waited had I known a 20% coupon was coming), and had an equally pleasant experience. Right now I'm quoted an 8 week lead time, but that's mostly my fault for waiting until the start of the season to order gear on two of their most popular items. Like others have said above, I also had issues with measuring for a suit, specifically the inseam. I also wasn't sure how tight the tape measuring had to be, and where to start or stop. But a simple email to Squirrel solved that within a matter of minutes. In the past I've emailed Squirrel probably 50 times about random questions regarding gear, techniques, or just random questions. Each time I've had an email response from either Matt or Mike within 24 hours. I've even messaged them about purchasing used Squirrel gear, and they were more than happy to answer my questions. Their level of customer service and professionalism has ruined my expectations for other companies because Squirrel has set the bar so high. Unless something dramatic happens, I'm going to keep buying Squirrel gear and keep recommending it to others.
  9. Johnkelley

    Squirrel swift 3 versus funk 1

    Everyone is saying to go with the Swift 3, and I highly agree with them. On that note, I want to take a second to save you from buying a Funk 1. I upgraded from a Swift 1 to a Funk 1 about 2 years ago, and I regret that choice more than anything. The biggest issue with the suit IMO is the lack of forward speed, which makes it hard to keep up with flocks, and the fact that the suit has little flare when it comes time for deployment. I eventually got to a point that I didn't want to WS anymore until I could get a new suit. And this wasn't from lack of skill, but just the fact that the suit is built specifically for acro and not anything else. Plus the suit itself is actually quite large, and definitely not suitable for someone's second suit @15(ish) jumps. If you do decide to go the Funk route, I highly recommend either the Funk 2 or the Funk 3, which Squirrel specifically addressed the issues of forward speed and flare for these models.
  10. Johnkelley

    Pilot 7 vs PD Horizon?

    In case anyone has been following along and curious, I emailed Squirrel regarding flying an Epicene over the maximum in-flight weight, but with a low wingloading of 1.3. This was their response: So to answer the question, yes, an Epicene can be flown above the max weight, but Squirrel does not recommend going over a 1.3(ish)WL. But if you are ever unsure, I recommend reaching out to Squirrel for clarification.
  11. Johnkelley

    Strix vs Freak 2 vs ATC

    The inflatable grippers on the HOG have caught my interest.
  12. Johnkelley

    Strix vs Freak 2 vs ATC

    I think instead of advertising jump number qualifications, manufacturers should start listing flight ability requirements for suits. For example, in order to upgrade to an ATC 2, Squirrel recommends being able to fly a Swift in all configurations, as well as have consistent on heading openings. And to upgrade to a Freak, Squirrel recommends being able to fly an ATC in all configurations as well as have consistent on heading openings (continue process for different suits, and different brands). I feel like this would have a better impact than saying "*insert number* jumps to fly this suit". This may help clear up the grey area of "qualifications", and stop someone with 75 jumps from buying an ATC when they fly like shit and get line twists every time they deploy. But at the end of the day, people are going to buy what they want, regardless if they are ready for it.
  13. Johnkelley

    Pilot 7 vs PD Horizon?

    What would you guys recommend about loading an OG Epicene above the listed "Max-Flight" weight? The largest Epicene I can fit into my container is a 190, which is also two sizes larger than what I have now (Sabre 1 150). I currently weigh 250lbs in flight (I need to lose weight), which puts me at a WL of 1.32. Though that's above the "max-flight" weight, that WL doesn't seem bad at all too me. Matter of fact, it's much better than the 1.66WL I'm at now. Is this something you guys would recommend? Does a low-bulk WS canopy such as the Epicene handle "above max-weight" as well as typical 9 cell ZP canopies do? *I realize now that this thread has strayed far off course from the original topic.
  14. Johnkelley

    Pilot 7 vs PD Horizon?

    I've been wondering if they've been doing this, and I'm glad someone finally put it into words. Like I said earlier when someone asked why I was debating only between the Pilot 7 and the WinX, it's that I love Squirrel but their wing loading chart said I can't fit into the size I need, and the next size up won't fit into my container. However after looking into other options, I noticed that Squirrel's max-flight weight was WAY below all the others. I think they top out at 231lbs, where almost all other canopies go up to 260lbs at least. Like the Epicene Pro 210 has an "Expert" rating at 231lbs, but has a max-flight weight of also 231lbs? Idk personally the Epicene Pro would have been my first choice because all I need is 10/10 openings (when technique is done properly), and because I like Squirrel and everyone is allowed to like what they like, but it looks like it's not happening with that canopy for me.
  15. Johnkelley

    Pilot 7 vs PD Horizon?

    I was watching a PD Storm promo vid the other day, and there was a PD athlete praising the Storm because it "changed his wingsuiting life". Now I've never flown a Storm, but I thought it was strange that PD released a video saying the Storm was the best option for wingsuiting knowing they have a Horizon on their product line. The video was only released a few months ago, so it's not like it was an old video pre-Horizon era.