• Content

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


Posts posted by Johnkelley

  1. On 8/29/2019 at 2:46 PM, birdynamnam said:

    I jump it terminal from time to time. no issues. no hard openings. Openings are swift, but still soft and controlled. It's just that the snivel phase is very short. The next stage is in fact very very soft and totally controlled. Also I and others did not know it was not meant to be used for other jump types.... Many people do. I know a vivid freeflyer that used it for this regularely. 


    Pls only post facts


    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. 11 hours ago, Gideon Yampolsky said:

    Seems that I have to change from Storm to something else earlier than I thought.

    I see recommendations for several models in this thread, but I’m not sure what should be the right one for me. Reading specs in canopy manufacturers web-sites doesn’t help either – according to them all their canopies are perfect.

    Can somebody please recommend specific canopy which will best suit my needs ?  The things which are most important for me are soft, reliable openings (with wingsuit) and safe landings. Maybe also good glide ratio. I don’t care about canopy flight performance, I’m not sporting canopy flight, but rather just want to land safely.

    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.

    • Like 1

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    • Like 1

  9. 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:



    The max weight is there for reasons of caution, but plenty of pilots use it at higher loadings and it was load tested higher during dev. The more important issue is wingloading. The main point of the Epicene is to take the stress out of wingsuit openings. And for that, you want to be loaded more lightly – best is in the range we suggest, which is more like 1.2 to 1.3 ish… some go higher but it does not make things better.

    1.3 may be an appropriate wing loading for you, but again it depends on your experience level and what your goals are.

    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.

  10. 5 hours ago, birdynamnam said:

    Its just specifying minimum requirements for a suit design and its specific usecases.

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 13 hours ago, skow said:

    Squirrel's max WL recommendation of 1,18 for 190sqft or 1 for 210sqft seems to me more like a protection against lawsuit rather than actual maximum range.

    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.

    • Like 1

  13. On 1/21/2019 at 5:47 AM, timski said:

    +1 on the Storm. Don't get me wrong, I love the canopy over all and it's not a terrible WS option, BUT there are better options. 

    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.

  14. So from the average answers I'm finding, the ranking order from "best" to "worst" for WS specific canopies are:

    WinX, Pilot 7(almost tied with WinX), Horizon, Epicene (subject to change with the Pro model)?

    It also depends if you plan on flying the canopy doing anything else other than a wingsuit, and if you want to fly fast (WinX and Pilot 7), or slow and safe (Horizon and Epicene)?

  15. 15 hours ago, 20kN said:

    Regarding the WinX. I found the manufacturer to have very good customer service. They mostly make BASE canopies and seem to have a good reputation. My friend has a WinX, complained the openings were too hard and they sent a replacement slider for free without question. They offered to send me a demo for free (which I took them up on via a US dealer). One thing to note is that the canopy is smaller than marketed. The 170 is actually a 163 and the 150 is I think a 144. It says this in the manual.

    How would you say the WinX packs in terms of size compared to a traditional ZP canopy? The Horizon and Epicene pack "2 sizes smaller", meaning I could fit a 190 in my container built for a 150. However, those are made out of F11 material, where I'm reading the WinX is completely ZP. However the manual for the WinX says it's design is slimmed down making it pack smaller than normal, but what does that actually mean?

  16. I’m looking for a low pack volume main for primarily wingsuiting, but also to get my wingloading down as well. My current setup isn’t ideal, and I’m also flying at a 1.7 wingloading so that’s also not ideal. Once I figured thats the route I wanted to take, I narrowed it down to the Epicene, Horizon, Pilot 7, and WinX.

    Though I’m a Squirrel fanboy till I die, the wingloading for the Epicene isn’t forgiving, and is far less then all other canopies of its class. I’m 245lbs with gear on, and I’m above the max operating weight for it, even at the 210 size. I can also only fit a LPV 190 in my container, so Epicene is out.

    I’ve heard good things about the WinX, but their website contains little information regarding it, and I’ve emailed twice now to no response. Not really a company I want to deal with if I have to dig for information, and not get any sort of support.I can’t even find a wingloading chart, so I’m amazed they want to even try and sell these things.

    That leaves the Horizon and Pilot 7. I’ve heard good things about both, but I’ve heard the Pilot 7 is a little more playful in terms of actually flying. Both companies have reached back out to me to answer my questions, and short of demoing them, I would be more than happy with either. So I just figured I would get others opinions on the matter.

  17. I realize this may be a better question for "video/photography", but my question is specifically for WS and watching deployments.

    My GoPro took a shit a couple months ago and I was looking into the possibility of 360 degree video. I personally hate how 360 video looks when posted to social media because it looks like shit, but for training purposes it could be helpful. It would be nice to have video of the entire jump with a typical forward facing GoPro, but also have the added video of my deployment to see if I was symmetrical, and how the canopy came off my back.

    Everything I'm seeing requires the camera to be attached to an insane unicorn mount which is about as big of a snag hazard as it gets. Also, 9/10 videos are with the GoPro Fusion, which is $500 (yikes).

    Has anyone used 360 video regularly for WS for this purpose? What did you do to mount the camera? Any suggestions for camera? Is it worth it long term?

  18. I currently have a Sabre 1 150, and have put around 200+ jumps on it over the past 4 years. Since the day I've got it, the openings have either been smooth with a nice snivel, or sudden and "neck breaking". Now that I'm starting to wingsuit more, I'm tired of having the fear of pitching my chute with fingers crossed hoping for a nice opening. I should note that my issue isn't that I'm off heading or line twists, just that the opening is sudden and painful. I've been practicing different methods of packing, all of which still have inconstant results for opening speed.

    I know Sabre 1's are known for these types of openings, but I've been reading that adding a pocket slider seems to help substantially. How should I go about getting one because PD, for obvious reasons, doesn't make/sell these sliders because they don't make the OG Sabre anymore? Is this something that a rigger has to make at this point?

  19. Noob questions, just a heads up.

    1. I've been wingsuiting for the past couple years (not as frequently as I would like to), and have been experimenting with deployments to get the best results. I've been watching instructional videos, as well as just general wingsuit videos, and noticed there are two points at where most people deploy. First, and what I've seen most people do, people flare and once they get to the apex of their flare, they deploy. Second, and how most videos say to do it, you should flare, get to the top of your flare, keep flying for a second or two to get forward momentum back and air back over the wing, and then deploy. When do you deploy, and what is your reasoning for doing so?

    2. When deploying, most instruction says to stay symmetrical, but I've seen different variations from different (some highly experienced) people. 1. People stay in full flight, and only with their right hand reach back, deploy, and return back to full flight. Meaning their left arm remains in flight position the entire time.* 2. People collapse both wings to deploy, and stay like that until under canopy. 3. People collapse both wings, deploy, and move their arms to their front to prepare to grab their risers. How do you deploy, and what's your reasoning for doing so compared to other methods?

    *Video demonstrates what I'm talking about:
    Watching the "Epicine Pro Video", at the 29 second marker, you can see 5 people deploy. The last person to delpoy (helicopter print) reaches back with one arm to deploy.

  20. For my next wingsuit, I'm thinking about getting a white wingsuit, or at least white on the front, and black on back. My main concern is not only how dirty it will get, but from photos/videos I'm seeing, white seems to fade faster than any other color. I don't know what it is, but when looking at a white wingsuit that has been used for a little while, it looks really ragged out while other wingsuits with the same amount of use but different colors seems to still look relatively new.

    What is your opinion/experience with white wingsuits?

  21. I'm going to same route as you. I emailed Squirrel to see if this is a reasonable upgrade, and they said it's a perfect upgrade (not going too large too fast). I would advise though that Squirrel is coming out with the ATC 2 next season, so you can either wait, or lose value on your ATC v1 right away if you choose to sell it.