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  1. What's up? I was there last year. I was the only one swooping hard. What d'ya want to know?... -Prevailing wind is off the water so you will be landing cross wind 90% of the time. -Prioritise your jumps to the early morning and late afternoon loads. The wind is low and the tide is out. The benefits are that there is a shallow reef running along the beach about 40-50yrds out from the water at low tide. You can see it from the air. When the tide is out the water shore side is completely unaffected by the tide therefore you have the perfect swoop channel coz it's flat like glass. - When the tides in the beach is very narrow - around 8-10ft. Be sensible, Look for other traffic because there tends to be a lot of lower experience jumpers there who are trippin' just trying to land on that narrow strip of sand! They won't be looking out for you... -(Depending on your level) - I was dropping in hard downwind off the water and then carving to land crosswind. BE CAREFUL as locals don't understand and won't move!! You are solely responsible for eveything you do!! - Let me know what you're jumping and what level you're at. I was jumping a VX79 loaded at 2.4. "If you truly love something - let it go. If it doesn't return, hunt it down and kill it." -- When you flirt with death, you run the risk that death has something more serious in mind. --
  2. Ok Sharky, Important rule no.1 : Speed equals Lift. - The faster you (your wing) is going through the air the more lift you have to 'play' with and the more 'control' you should have. (Compare landing straight in on full-glide and landing on half-brakes and trying to get a decent flare) 2) When flying straight (from a deep-spot) using RR you are hanging at 1G in the harness. 1G of your weight in the harness on your canopy size using RR will have a stall speed of x. When pulling hard out of a dive on RR you are hanging (for arguments sake) 3Gs in the harness therefore your RR stall speed will be 3x - basically MUCH higher (this is NOT accurate physics but indicates the fundamental theory...) There is one other factor that skydivers have to contend with which solid wings don't have and that is when we (skydivers) pull a very hard negative angle of attack (as in over doing the RR) we deal with wing deflation. A solid wing will stall but will become 'operational' before a parachute. That aside, if you treat your parachute like a wing and understand and respect the laws of aerodynamics you 'shouldn't' have to worry too much about the last bit. Remedie : 1) fly straight (up high) on RR and keep changing AoA until it stalls. 2) bust a hard front riser dive and pull out hard on RR until stall, observe the difference. At what speed did the wing stall in straight flight compared to a dive (increased speed AND harness weight)? was one more abrupt than the other? Take care everybody, Remember, knowledge is power...
  3. Yeah Chuck, I know that! :o) Unfortunately mine was on 10ft entry gates. More of an example of how learning to use RR really put me up a 'performance category' so to speak! I am hoping to come out to the meets next year. Look forward to seeing you guys there. By the way, did Clint get the 340ft under 5ft gates? I heard 'rumours' that it was under higher gates and THEN they changed the entry gate size. Maybe so no-one can touch their records? But it could be just rumour.... ;o)
  4. I believe you want to use the front riser as long as possible and as soon as you know it's about to pull away from you transition to full weight shift and you can release the riser... it's clean with very little drag and builds up a lot of speed. Fly safe, and fly smooth....
  5. Basically, RR landings will ONLY benefit you if your recovery arc placement is bang on the money. By that i mean, NOT low! This may sound obvious but RR are VERY sensitive and have a VERY narrow control range. If you've put yourself in a position where you think you will have to use your RR outside that control range then the swoop will suffer severely or worse. An example of a catalogue of small errors would be you have initiated your dive and you are a fraction on the low side. Here's 2 scenarios : - a) the jumper using toggles will give more input coming out the dive to get round the corner. b) the jumper learning RR will start on his RR and as he is pulling out the dive, as there is no drag, it feels like you are accelerating towards the ground because basically, you may not know it, but when you flatten off with toggles you are slowing yourself a little. Suddenly, the jumper realises he won't be able to pull out this corner on RR and has to get on toggles by which point he is now probably too low for toggles to save him. This all points to being proficient on your altitude judgement and being able to judge even better than normal if you are gonna use RR coz you need to get off real quick if you think your low. I have 2 good bits of advice (from experience!) 1) If you are in ANY doubt whatsoever as you are in or coming out your dive as to your altitude get off the RR and get on toggles. (better to be safe) 2) when using RR don't spread the RR outwards as the canopy will get very unstable. I recommend pulling them straight down BUT with a twist in the wrist. By that i mean, the last thing you want is a riser to slip out your grip!! With a twist it locks the riser in the hand better. Finally, In answer to your question, I have video from my team mate of me clocking a 370ft swoop on a measured course at Lake Wales Florida! (12mph downwind) You can expect average 30% increase to your swoops
  6. Hey Sharky, I noticed from another posting that you jump in the U.K. Well, I run a canopy flight school at Hinton. I'm flying a VX 79 and I use rear-risers on landings. The most important thing to remember when wanting to use rear-risers is UNDERSTAND wing aerodynamics fully! I say this because the concept of rear-riser landings is pretty simple when you understand how a wing works. By that I mean when you use your toggles to pull out the dive you are creating MORE lift over the wing BUT also more drag. When you use rear-risers you are changing the wing's angle of attack (same affect - coming out the dive) BUT you don't add the extra drag. This means a more efficient swoop. Believe me, my swoop distance has improved monumentally since i have been landing on risers. The next thing i know you are asking is, at what point do you try this near the ground? Well, as i said before, rear-risers (RR) don't add lift. This means that should you turn in lower than normal and need to 'dig' out, using RR is a death-trap! With no extra lift and your increased weight in the harness due to pulling out the dive (pulling more Gs) your canopies stall speed will increase. This is the case regardless of whether you use toggles or RR. BUT with toggles the extra lift means there is less chance of the canopy stalling out on you. With RR it will be hard and fast. Stalling out your canopy on the horizontal on RR is one thing but trying to 'dig' out with RR will get you a toe-tag!! The next difficult part is knowing when to come off the RR and onto the toggles. You can't do the whole landing on RR. The benefit you gained from coming out the arc with no drag will be more than lost by you stalling at a high speed (no extra lift remember?) So you need to know when the optimum time in the swoop is, to transfer over to toggles to increase lift for the slow-speed portion of the swoop. It's dependent on the canopy but I'm doing around 75-80% of my swoop on RR. This then brings in the last complication. Moving from RR to toggles without getting dumped into the ground. Yet again this is where your high altitude testing area comes back in. I would say, practise up high simulating a dive/swoop and going onto your RR without having to look for them. Then try the whole swoop on RR and see the effect when it stalls - not pretty! Get used to the change over from RR to toggles. Only when this is second-nature should you try it near the ground - particularly as i know you have no pond.... ;o) If you want to talk in depth about this, please contact me, Tim Carter, at Hinton skydiving centre.
  7. I used to jump a Hurricane 120 for about 50-60 jumps. I now jump a VX-79. The openings are very nice. It always seemed to open slowly and on-heading which was a little better than the stilettos i jumped. The Glide angle is slightly steeper than a stiletto which means it builds up speed quicker in the dive and has a longer recovery arc. I really liked jumping it. I found for swooping the riser pressure was light and flare was similar to stiletto. All in all a very good canopy and i know a quite a few people who jump them now. (My DZ seems to have been inundated with Chute Shop!! ) phat swoops people, Tim
  8. I've now been the proud owner of a VX 79 for about 100 jumps. I'm loading it at 2.4. Where to start? Well, I owned an FX 89 before this. I never would have believed how different the VX is to the FX considering they are from the same "family". The VX is the first canopy i have flown that doesn't feel like a RAM-air canopy. It is so rigid it feels like a fibre-glass wing! I wanted to wait a while before I wrote this so I could attempt a fair and honest review. Openings : I heard rumours that VXs open pretty shitty. I also heard that FXs open pretty nice. My FX opened shitty so I was not looking forward to this. I wanted to open sub-terminal for my first up high but due to numerous reasons I ended opening at terminal. I was braced for a neck-breaker and....I had THE nicest opening i've ever had on a X-braced canopy!! The reason my FX opened so hard was because it was too small for the bag. Even though it was 10sqft bigger the pack volume was far smaller and being loose was already rather full of air. (In a Jav NJ) The VX being pretty tight in the bag opened beautifully! In general, the canopy doesn't really snivel but starts inflating pretty quickly.(not hard - just positive) DO NOT stuff the nose into the centre of the pack job as this provokes assymetrical inflation. I personally recommend 'flying' the opening using harness weight shifting and I ALWAYS watch the opening. Being able to see a twist coming really decreases the chance of a unrecoverable situation! I actually find this dives off less on opening than a Stiletto if the nose is left out the front otherwise i found it will dive off worse. The VX has the typical 'dancing' during inflation of all X-braced canopies if a little more pronounced. Flight characteristics : This canopy has an amazing amount of lift for the size. I have managed to just about stay with a tandem which is pretty impressive! The canopy is seriously ground-sick on full-drive but as soon as you put the brakes right on or use rear risers it can slow right up and get back from bad spots. As mentioned by the other guys (reviews) the power in the control range is right at the bottom so deep toggle strokes are necessary. You can feel how rigid the wing is because it takes quite a bit of strength to pull the canopy out of shape(either risers or toggles) compared to other canopies. The canopy dives hard in turns so be very careful spiralling when first jumping this. Learn to fly the canopy at slow speeds because you will be a danger to yourself and others if you are only capable of burning around a busy sky on full drive. Landing : This is why you should want a VX - for the landings. The recovery arc is huge, obviously very variable on wing-loading. Any non-cross-braced jumpers be WARNED!! Riser turns result in huge amounts of speed and huge amounts of altitude loss! A previous review mentioned that, "no matter how high i hook i always seem to have to give input to pull it out" That's because it was not designed to recover to a flat glide on it's own. You HAVE to give a small amount of input to flatten out at the end of the dive. It will recover to near flat but not completely. The VX is very fickle. If you are not smooth with the toggles then your swoop will really suffer. It took me a while before I was getting my swoops as long as my FX. Directional corrections in the dive should be done using harness weight shift. Using toggles will effect swoop length. The VX shuts down so well considering the wing-loading jumped. As mentioned before the flare power is right at the bottom of the control range so make sure you take it right to the stall point to get the most out of it. Packing : It packs up big, real big! If you bought one coz you wanted a small rig then you got it for the wrong reason. Even when packing it, the awkward bulk reminds you of why it is the swooping machine that it is. So when you're stuffing it in the bag, covered in sweat it still puts a smile on your face! :o) The is the best canopy i have ever flown and has pretty much been the reason for me almost giving up freefall! Have the utmost respect for it at ALL times. Mess around and get complacent and it'll let you know...fast. Flown well, it will reward you with THE fastest and longest swoops possible. All in all, the VX is truly THE swooping weapon.