Synergy in Main Canopies August 30, 2003 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. Disclaimer: 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.