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  1. What's it like to know everything Westerly? 'Cause I gotta tell ya, it looks exhausting to be you
  2. That's better! Just small morsels of ignorance, one at a time to keep things going. Make us think there might be some semblance of rational thought back there we can break through to. Keep working at it. You'll get it!
  3. Westerly, overwhelming people with sheer volume of ignorance is not an effective trolling technique. Where's the subtlety?? To be a good troll, you need to get people to respond, right? In that post, there's just too much for anyone to even know where to start with a response. We all know you can do better than that.
  4. If you think the Havok has no value because it's too slow for performance, then you have a very one-dimensional view of wingsuit flying and you don't understand what the Havok is. But you've been doing this for multiple years now, so you must know that already. Forgive my intrusion on your lecture.
  5. My Nana's never been there either. You want her number so you can ask her opinion? Should be just about as well-informed. Skydiving has been through this whole skepticism phase before with vertical tunnels. Personally, I can't wait to get past that phase.
  6. I'm pretty sure grippers are optional on both the Tri-Bird and the Gnar Bird, but PIGS have so far only gone on the bigger suits (R3 and up). Not sure if there are plans to put them into the smaller suits. The R3 is probably too big for most teams to use in comp, if for no other reason than that there are still front loops in the dive pool. You can do a front loop in an R3, but it's going to take some training to get it consistent. Although, under FAI and USPA rules you are allowed to change suits between rounds. So a team could theoretically fly the R3 for 6 out of the 7 jumps, and then switch to something smaller when front loops come up. The PIGS are a pretty cool development. One of the concerns in acro is that a long gripper flapping around could obscure a grip on the video, and I think PIGS would help with that part of it. Other concerns with grippers are just the mental distraction, and then the possibility of having to take a grip from a funny angle where the gripper could get in the way, even if it's not flapping. Say you're approaching a grip from the back - anything that extends past the wrist could get in the way from that angle, which could cost you a second or two on a grip. For that reason, I'd still rather have no grippers than PIGS. But I'd go for a static gripper like the PIGS over something flappy. There are good teams that choose suits with flappy grippers, though, so it comes down to personal preference.
  7. Ah, sorry to assume, I just saw USPA in your profile and got excited that we might have another team in the mix. Anyway, I haven't seen or heard of Barracudas being used in competition, so I'd be surprised to see any informed opinions out there. I suspect in the end you'll just have to decide whether the cost savings is worth the risk of the unknown. I'm a PF guy so I may be biased, but it seems like a pretty big risk to deviate from what we more or less know to be the standard in acro, especially since you already know the Havoks and like how they fly. But if you go for the Barracudas, I'd be curious to hear how they compare!
  8. I'm gonna call this a "unique" opinion and just move on from it... OP, you don't have a way to demo the Barracuda do you? It's always risky to buy before you try. But then again, if the price is low enough... I can't remember seeing a Barracuda in an acro competition in the US or FAI events in the last 5 years. Maybe they've been used elsewhere, but I haven't seen it. That doesn't mean it's not a good suit - it could even be the best acro suit out there - but you'd be something of a guinea pig for it as far as I know. Personally, I'd love for you to try it out and let us know! Not that you need to muddy the waters any more, but the Magister (PF) and Gnar Bird (Tony) are two other proven acro suits. I've been flying a Magister for the last 3 years, and the Wicked Wingsuits guys have been flying some version of a Gnar Bird for about the same time I think. Is your team planning to compete at Nationals next year?
  9. Ok, that's it. I have to ask - what's with the wude/shude thing? Shirley you know that's not how those words are spelled, right? I mean, you can spell "existence," "organizations," and "artifacts," so I have to think it's intentional. I only ask because I'd really like to stop hearing "wooooood" and "shoooood" in my head every time I read one of your posts.
  10. True, though the amount of control you gain with speed depends on where you are in the learning process. I would just revise it to: "speed + skill = control" "control + awareness = safety" Boom. Wingsuit Equations 2.0. Someone prove me wrong, I dare you!
  11. We're all arguing for the same thing, really. We all want to be away from the extrema on the speed spectrum. We're just attacking opposite extrema, even though no one here is arguing to fly at either extremum. I'm saying don't fly pinned out all the time, you're saying don't fly at stall point all the time, but we all agree that in general, faster is better than slower. Where we seem to disagree is the "speed = control = safety" thing as an absolute in skydiving. Right?
  12. The main thing I was arguing against is the idea that speed creates a safety margin in skydiving. I disagree with that mentality, which seems prevalent these days. But that doesn't mean I'm going to tell someone to go fly at the stall point all the time, that's crazy talk. Speed has a lot of benefits, just as you listed. But what I've seen is a willingness to sacrifice a level of control in pursuit of speed on jumps where the speed really isn't necessary. Speed can contribute to sharper control, but speed is not the same as control until you know how to use it. Flying fast enough to gain the benefits of speed doesn't require hitting the edge of your range. (That's not a response to anything you said, just me rambling at this point) In fact, being at the edge of your speed range often comes with drawbacks, especially during your learning progression. 20kN: I agree with LJ: you should absolutely work on flying fast. And you should work on flying slow. Find the stall point. Work on backflying. Work on barrel rolls and instability recovery. Fly in your deployment position while maintaining stability. Explore the whole range of the suit, and just remember that speed is not the only form of progress in wingsuiting.
  13. I disagree with this in the skydiving environment. When you're flying relative to other people I propose that you are safest when you are right in the middle of your comfortable range, both vertically and horizontally. It gives you room to maneuver in any direction if you need to - left, right, up, down, back or forward. If you're already at max forward, you're eliminating your freedom of movement in one direction, and it happens to be the one direction where you can see where you're going the best. I'd rather be able to move forward if I need to. I don't understand the trend toward sprinting speeds in group skydives. There is no terrain at the drop zone - you don't need to worry so much about energy conservation. The ability to flare out at any moment is not a safety consideration at 8,000 feet. Breakoff? Go ahead, pin it out, get the hell away from me. Until then, fly at a speed that optimizes the group's range of maneuverability and allows people to use the space that we have in the sky. I'm not a BASE jumper, and I don't know the technical details of that environment. But I've never heard of a skydiving fatality that resulted from bent knees in a wingsuit.
  14. Two words: Zip ties. Just tie one around either side of the slider after it's collapsed to collapse it further. Bring at least 2 on every jump, in case you drop one. You wouldn't want to induce a turn by tying off one end and then dropping the second tie. Also, be careful with the hook knife when you're taking them off on the ground. Two other words: Bluetooth speaker. Some of these speakers are pretty compact and powerful these days. Try a few different models, maybe one will be loud enough to drown out that pesky flapping. If you have a good local rigger, maybe he/she can even sew the speaker right into the slider for you. Just make sure he/she leaves a channel open to charge it between jumps. This method will also increase your safety factor, as other canopies can hear you coming.
  15. Awesome, come check it out! Organizers, food, beer, live music, swoop'n'chug obstacle course, probably a slip'n'slide. We're getting started on Friday if you can make it out early