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Gear Reviews posted by SuFantasma

  1. Openings: In my opinion, this is the area where the Synergy has me puzzled. I must say that I rarely pack and my packing skills cannot be taken into consideration since I've never packed the Synergy myself ( Yes, I hate packing). But, I've had over a dozen experienced packers take a crack at this canopy, and the opening performance is highly suceptible to packing performance. You can expect anything from a 1.3 seconds terminal reserve ride-like opening to a 3.0 seconds pitch-to-opening ride. Compared to the Spectre, the openings are FAST, VERY FAST. However, the Spectre can scare the pants out of anyone who hasn't experienced a 1200 ft snivel. The good news: I am not afraid to pitch my Synergy below 3,000 ( as opposed to a 3,100 ft pitch and 1,900' saddle ride on the Spectre). However, even with such speedy openings, it hasn't come close to breaking my neck, even with a Bonehead Optick and a Sony DCR-120BT on Board !) The openings are definitively on the "lazy" side, and end-cell closures are the norm (which accounts for a softening of the blow). Heading is rather predictable, with only one lousy 180 degrees off-heading opening in about 80+ jumps.

    Flight: This is where the Synergy makes you forget about the opening performance. One word: SOLID ! The canopy flies in orders of magnitude better than a Spectre, but read on. It's almost immune to turbulence, I can't recall a single instance where the canopy buffeted, vibrated or dove amidst unstable air. You will feel a cross-wind, but it will keep flying solid and correcting the direction is not a problem. Takes a significant amount of toggle input to turn (maybe my toggles are set too low), but it's smooth as silk in turns. At the same time, it's not the canopy I like to take on a crew-like ride. I've done two rides from altitude (12,000' or higher openings) and it feels like a Bowflex machine, you will have to muscle your way down ( quite a departure from the Spectre's easy turn attitude).

    Landing: I am no high-performance canopy pilot, and I seek a forgiving canopy. Well, the Synergy is far more forgiving than a Spectre (for slow learners like me). It's flare is like a checking account overdraw feature, it's hard to run out of funds. It will bring you down safely, period. Even at 1.4+ wing load (near the maximum recommended), the canopy behaves like a champ.

    Overall: I can't believe there aren't a few thousand Synergies out there. It's a good overall canopy, and that's all I am looking for. Safe, solid, predictable and responsive when needed.

    I rarely pack, and I mean RARELY ( one packing job in a hundred jumps). The good news is: you get an objective performance about the opening characteristics regardless of the packer. The bad news, I can't tell you what packing method would give you the best results.


    Easy to glance altitude, accurate, lightweight, versatile! Worth its price and then some. I have two units and love them both.

    I've been jumping Digitudes for over six months and can't find a reason to go back to analogs. It's just that much easier to read! No double guessing ! Plus the ability to jump at night or on late sunsets without strapping a chem-glow to my wrist....

    On Coaching dives, it's an excellent teaching tool along with video. Just put your wrist in front of your camera whenever you want to show the altitude to your student during debriefing! Oh, yeah you can do that with an Analog and spend a couple of minutes figuring out if it was 4000 or 3700 deployment. Specially effective under canopy as the analogs have those itsy bitsy 500ft lines !

    The only downside is the reliability of the displays. Unless I am doing something wrong, both units began to lose the display after a couple of hundred dives ( some of the bars go dim or disappear). So a trip to the factory maybe required !

    Overall, it's a solid 4 stars.

  3. What can I say? I am flying a Spectre 210 at 1.0 lb/^2ft. Everyone at the DZ recommended this canopy for a newbie with less than 100 jumps. So I broke down and bought it. What a difference! So long PLF, it flares like a dream. Takes some getting used to the extra speed, but it is extremely forgiving on landing. Responsiveness? Yes! Extremely predictable toggle input, and it handles like a dream in turbulunce. I plan to get at least a couple of hundred jumps before I go down to the 190 (yes, it will be a Spectre again). Thanks PD !