Fluid Wings releases a new canopy – the Helix


DeLand based Fluid Wings have released a new high-performance crossbreed canopy, the Helix.


From the company website:

The Helix may have all the desired characteristics of an everyday wing, but it is built to Fluid’s high standards of a modern competition wing. The Helix is intended for free-fall use, so the deployment performance was a major consideration in the development. Those who have flown it tell us the openings on the Helix are “the best they’ve ever had”! The Helix was designed from the beginning to be fun to fly, whether filming, training or canopy piloting, the Helix will energize your jumping and excite you. 

  • Harness: The Helix is much more sensitive to harness input than most typical cross-brace wings. The wing rolls almost effortlessly and doesn’t require huge inputs to get the desired result. This only gets better as the wing is accelerated. 
  • Rear Risers: Whether you are in flight or swooping, the Helix design was optimized to fly on rear risers. It has more power and a wider range on rears than similar wings on the market. The Helix is very efficient in converting vertical speed into forward speed, and is the best in its class on a long spot. 
  • Deployments: Throughout development and during demos we have received positive feedback from all users regarding the Helix openings. We have found the openings to be smooth, well-staged and with less tendency to shake violently or search for a headings during the snivel than some other cross braced wings.

The Helix retails for $3,200.00. For a limited time, the canopy is available in Hybrid Construction (sail fabric internally) at no additional charge (normally $100.00).  As an introductory offer, the Helix will also ship with an RDS (removable deployment system) at no additional charge, a $339.00 value.  For more information, please visit the Fluid Wings website or follow them on Facebook or contact the company directly.



Hypoxic: Hero4 Session Review


Mark ‘Trunk’ Kirschenbaum of Hypoxic – makers of Extreme Electronics for skydiving (and other extreme sports) – has released a review of the GoPro Hero4 Session, focusing on its use in skydiving. He kindly gave us permission to share it – originally published July 11, 2015, on the Hypoxic blog.

GoPro Bomb Squad wingsuits

Photo from the GoPro Bomb Squad – click to visit their page!



With its 1.5″ cube form-factor and 50% smaller size, it’s great for skydivers worried about snag hazards. The new mounts and one-button recording make it a good camera for the weekend warrior. It’s waterproof even without an additional case, making it great for water-based sports.


A sleek wrist mount is perfect for tandem instructors using hand-cams.



The $399 price tag is expensive for its feature set (8MP stills / 1080@60fps – 25Mbps bitrate / Based on 2+ year old imaging core). The lack of interchangeable battery and HDMI limits its use as a primary camera or for debriefing. Once the camera is dead you are SOL for a few jumps. All settings must be changed over WiFi so that may limit last-minute adjustments on the plane.


We feel it’s overpriced for the quality of the camera. For the same price, you can purchase a GoPro HERO4 Silver with 12MP sensor, better lens, higher frame-rates and bit-rates. The lack of HDMI and interchangeable battery is a deal breaker for us working at boogies. However, the lower profile mounting and form factor may outweigh these limitations for some. We personally would choose the GoPro HERO4 Silver over this camera but with that said, the GoPro HERO4 Session is a sexy camera!

Our guess is we’ll see a cubic GoPro HERO5 with a better feature set in 2016 to coincide with the GoPro Drone launch. That is if they figure out how dissipate the heat.

Want more? Keep reading our in-depth review for the nitty-gritty.


The newly released, streamlined, GoPro HERO4 Session finally breaks the standard rectangular form factor we have all gotten used to from GoPro. This 1.5″ cube will surely fly better and inherently result in less shaking while in freefall. The new lower profile mount sucks the camera into the mounting surface and allows for it to be flipped 180 degrees for forward- or rear-facing video.


The camera will automatically set “what is up” at the start of the video so you no longer have to set the camera’s orientation manually.


The interface is different on the GoPro HERO4 Session than previous GoPro models. The top button powers on the camera and starts recording. A red light on the front of the camera and small display shows the status. Pressing the top button again will shut off the camera. All adjustments are now done via WiFi which is turned on with a small button on the rear of the camera. Pressing and holding the top button will switch to time-lapse mode which will be nice for those photos on the plane or after landing.



With a $399 price tag, this waterproof camera is not cheap. In comparison, it costs the same as the 10-month-old GoPro HERO4 Silver and its quality is greatly diminished. Limited at 1080@60fps with 25Mbps bitrate this pales in comparison to the GoPro HERO4 Black at 2.7k@60 with 60Mbps. The 8MP stills illustrate that the sensor and lens are subpar to the existing GoPro HERO4 product line. The GoPro HERO4 Session is basically a GoPro HERO3+ Silver in a new package with a slightly upgraded processor and one-button mode turned on.

Photo wise, the GoPro HERO 4 Session will take up to 10 frames in 1 second burst and two photos a second in time-lapse mode.
For extra geek points, tricks and hacks – click here.


The body is waterproof to 33′ (10 meters) and the lack of an external case makes audio clearer. With that said, a front- and a rear-facing mic, supplemented with a wind cancelling algorithm, makes audio for high-speed sports crisper. The microphone’s special canal purges itself of water within seconds after its removed.

The waterproof glass over the lens is a nice bonus as it always protects the lens from scratches. We expect this to be user replaceable in the near future.


Battery life is expected to be around 50 minutes of continuous filming at 1080@60. With the 4-second press-to-record lag, we feel most skydivers will be alright to press record at the green light before climb out. If you charge the camera fully at night, turn it off during canopy flight and do not debrief on your tablet, you may make it a full day of summer jumping. The non-replaceable battery really makes this a difficult sell for professionals making money off of this camera. It is just too much of a liability to not have a backup.


We are saddened by the lack of HDMI out since this is how we love to debrief our footage after each jump. With GoPro’s shift to media transfer protocol (MTP: means the device acts like a camera vs. a drive when connected to a computer), stand-alone players will have a difficult time playing off USB. Tablet playback will be the means to debrief your students, with the unfortunate cost of killing your internal battery. Removing the card and placing it into a player or laptop will be our means to debrief footage off of this camera.



No camera is “safe” but with the 50% smaller size and the tighter mounts, we see this camera as being safer than previous models. However, if you do tilt the new low-profile frame (seen above) up slightly there is a scary little gap that will just love to suck in lines. I personally would tape this off with a nice square of gaffer’s tape before my first jump with it. We foresee a bunch of manufacturers rushing to create new snagless mounts for these cameras but honestly a few pieces of gaffer’s tape will be just fine.

For those who are snag conscious, you might as well NOT use the included ball joint or the standard frame on your skydiving helmet. I personally would go to the hardware store and pick up a small M5 socket head to replace the thumbscrew and call it a day.


Here is a short video showing how to mount this pretty camera:

Helmet manufacturer Cookie reports that they are working fast and furious to come up with mounting solutions for their line of products and expect to have them available before too long.

Mark ``Trunk`` Kirschenbaum

Owner, Get Hypoxic LLC

About the reviewer: Trunk is the owner of Get Hypoxic, LLC – more commonly known as HYPOXIC, or, that company that makes all the cool camera-related shit.

Cookie Helmets releases Fuel Flatlock Adapter

Fuel Flatlock Adapter mounted on a Fuel helmet

Earlier this month Cookie Helmets released the long-awaited Fuel Flat Lock Adapter.

The Fuel Flat Lock Adapter is an easy-to-install adapter that provides a secure option for top-mounted video and still cameras. Created for Fuel jumpers wanting to take their open-face helmet to the next level, as well as for camera flyers who have been waiting for a low-profile top-mount to create the perfect work helmet.

When combined with the Fuel Cutaway Chin Cup, you have a helmet system with a sleek profile and easy to access cutaway handle, requiring minim force to engage. The Flat Lock Adapter retails for $27 USD. The Flat Lock Camera Mount is sold separately for $109 USD.  Both are available for purchase online via the Cookie website, or through your favorite dealer.

Fuel Flatlock Adapter mounted on a Fuel helmet

Fuel Flatlock Adapter mounted on a Fuel helmet

Squirrel releases the Snatch PC


The guys at Squirrel are nothing if not prolific, as can be seen in the plethora of new products spilling into the market from wherever it is they store their nuts. Wingsuit are the main product line, but they also offer a couple of canopies, a wingsuit BASE specific container. The latest addition to the family is the Snatch PC, a pilot chute.  This time around they’ve released the BASE specific version (available for ordering on their website), with plans to come out with versions for standard and specialized skydiving applications (ranging from freefly to CRW) at a later date.

From the Squirrel website:

In a way, traditional pilot chute designs are very simple. Take two circles of cloth, one mesh and one ZP/F111, and then sew them together. Add some load tapes, or not, and ship it out. Pilot chutes today vary widely in weight, design, and construction, and many seem to be carelessly made if you start to think very carefully about the importance of weight and symmetry – or maybe the manufacturers just accept the fact that they “work”, as is. And it’s true, current PCs “work” just fine. That’s what one experienced jumper told me when I showed him my Snatch – he shrugged, sneered, and said that his old thing worked just fine. So maybe it’s nothing special, but we think it’s better. 

We started out with a traditional PC design two years ago. It worked just fine. Will Kitto then presented us with the idea for the Snatch: a Toroidal Arc PDA, designed in 3D. Even from the first moment we snapped it open by hand, you could see the difference. So we decided to focus on this new design instead, and see what it was all about.

A year of testing, with wingsuits, slider-off low cliffs, in wind-tunnels, etc, and we’re convinced that this is at least a small step forward. Personally, for wingsuit use, I like the light handle and the increased stability – you can see it in rear facing video quite clearly. Will likes it for his low-cliff jumping, he says the larger sizes “set” better and pull more steadily.

They are complex to build. It’s not easy to sew the six or eight gores together because they aren’t just “slices” of pie. Each panel has a subtle curve on all edges, to enable the 3D shaping. It is a very time-consuming process and it takes a high level of sewing ability. Fortunately, we have the manpower and the skill in the Squirrel workshop. Anyone who has seen our wingsuits can attest to the precision inherent in them, and our PCs are no different.

 Finally, since we do believe that this is a worthy improvement and we would love feedback from all interested jumpers regardless of where they like to get their gear from, we are open sourcing the design. We’ll send the 2D patterns for the entire size range to whoever wants it.

Cheers, from all the Team.

UPT service bulletin #20121106 – Reserve Staging Loop

vectorUPT has released a new service bulletin regarding “Reserve Staging Loop” with a support washer.
If you are not a rigger, this probably sounds like a bit of latin to you – but your rigger will know exactly what to do.

Compliance status is mandatory – at next scheduled inspection/repack cycle.

You can view or download the full bulletin from the UPT website here.