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Exploring Top Skydiving Canopies from JYRO, Performance Designs & others

Exploring Top Skydiving Canopies from JYRO, Performance Designs & others - SkydiveShop.com

At the core of our adrenaline-fueled sport lies one crucial element: the main skydiving canopy. This vital gear piece is not just a tool for descent; it's your partner in the skies, ensuring your safety and amplifying the joy of each jump. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you on a journey through the diverse and innovative universe of main parachute canopies. We will look into our industry giants like JYRO (formerly Icarus NZ) and Performance Designs. Whether you're just starting out or are a seasoned skydiver, our exploration of top-tier canopies will arm you with the knowledge to make well-informed decisions for your skydiving adventures. Get ready to dive into a realm where precision meets passion!


JYRO (Previously Icarus NZ) Main Canopies

The Evolution of JYRO from Icarus NZ

JYRO, emerging from the well-respected Icarus NZ, has etched its name in the skydiving realm through a relentless pursuit of innovation. The transition from Icarus NZ to JYRO wasn't merely a rebranding, but a symbol of evolution, representing their foresight in canopy technology and design. They've continually pushed the boundaries, transitioning from conventional designs to pioneering features, ensuring each canopy meets the ever-evolving demands of skydivers.

JYRO’s Main Canopy Models

1. JYRO Safire 3:

  • Target Audience: Ideal for beginners and intermediate jumpers. Suitable at wing loadings between 0.8 and 1.5, offering a balance of safety and performance.
  • Characteristics: Recognized for its smooth, consistent openings and safe, predictable flight. It features a short recovery arc and a smooth flare. Despite not being high-performance, its efficiency and responsiveness are noteworthy, as it offers a higher standard of performance.
  • Unique Features: Enhanced responsiveness to toggle and harness inputs, improved planform shaping for better glide on rear risers, and advanced design elements for overall efficiency.
  • Skydiver Feedback: People praise its easy packing, smooth openings, responsive flight, and excellent landings. It's appreciated for its strong flare, adaptability to various wind conditions.
  • Price: $$

2. JYRO Crossfire 3:

  • Target Audience: Confident intermediate to advanced skydivers. This canopy is recommended for those transitioning from Safire or similar canopies, especially those with a minimum of 500 jumps on square or semi-elliptical canopies.
  • Characteristics: The canopy is fully elliptical, and it's a high-performance 9-cell canopy known for its snappy turns and dynamic flight characteristics. It also features a longer recovery arc and an aggressive dive, making it ideal for fun, high-energy maneuvers and swooping.
  • Unique Features: Drooped wing-tips to minimize drag, enhancing efficiency and power in dives. The advanced trim and nose reinforcement contribute to smoother openings and landings, offering a mix of performance and practicality.
  • Skydiver Feedback: Pilots appreciate the predictable and strong flare, faster openings compared to Crossfire 2, and the longer recovery arc which requires adjustment in flight patterns. Its responsiveness and performance make it a favorite among advanced and team flyers.
  • Price: $$$


  • Target Audience: Experienced 9-cell elliptical pilots already pushing their wing loading on a non-crossbraced wing. People looking for their first crossbraced canopy.
  • Characteristics: Designed to offer a smooth transition to high-performance wings, delivering consistent performance whether loaded light or heavy. It's notable for its predictable openings, intuitive flight characteristics, and substantial flare.
  • Unique Features: 
  • Notably, it has drooped wing-tips to minimize drag, which enhances efficiency and power in dives. Additionally, the advanced trim and nose reinforcement contribute to smoother openings and landings, offering a unique mix of performance and practicality.
  • Skydiver Feedback: Reported to be very responsive to harness and riser inputs, offering an enjoyable flight experience. Its openings are described as fast but not hard, typically on-heading. The canopy is praised for its powerful flare in various landing scenarios and its strong slow flight capabilities.
  • Price: $$$$

4. JYRO Leia:

  • Target Audience: Highly experienced pilots, specifically those with significant experience in swooping small, highly loaded crossbraced wings.
  • Characteristics: Exhilarating, high-performance flying experience characterized by wild, powerful swoops and reliable, smooth handling. It features a sleek, 21-chamber design, an advanced airfoil, and Vectran 400 lines, engineering it to be not just an ultimate Zero-Porosity (ZP) canopy but also an everyday swoop wing. Leia's design ensures softness where desired and strength where needed, suitable for regular use by skilled pilots.
  • Unique Features: Soft and well-staged openings with excellent heading control, highly responsive toggles with light pressure, a high stall point, and powerful rears with ample warning before stalling. The canopy is sensitive to all inputs, including the roll axis, and features a very long recovery arc. Leia boasts steep, fast dives and a massive range, complemented by a powerful flare.
  • Skydiver Feedback: Users rave about Leia's intuitive handling and responsiveness to control inputs. Its consistent openings, long-distance coverage from deep spots, and impressive swooping capabilities often receive high praise. Pilots describe it as a versatile canopy for various activities like camera work, AFF, fun jumps, and pond swooping.
  • Price: $$$$$

5. JYRO Kraken:

  • Target Audience: Ideal for both wingsuit novices and experienced pilots.
  • Characteristics: A wingsuit-specific parachute with reliable openings and excellent landing performance. It combines low bulk with longevity and is designed to thrive in diverse skydiving conditions. It offers a stable, reliable, and forgiving flight, suitable for a variety of skydiving disciplines.
  • Unique Features: Features quick, gentle openings, intuitive control inputs, and a wide flare range. It has a longer-than-average recovery arc for 7-cell designs, balancing wingsuit requirements with swooping capabilities.
  • Skydiver Feedback: Praised for consistent, on-heading openings and responsive handling in various conditions. 
  • It impresses with its enjoyable dive and recovery, strong flare, and impressive glide, which makes it versatile for both wingsuiting and traditional jumps.
  • Price: $$

Note: Insert a video breakdown of each JYRO canopy model, showcasing their flight characteristics and ideal use scenarios.


Performance Designs: A Legacy of Innovation

Performance Designs stands as a beacon of innovation in the skydiving industry. In addition to their dedication to crafting high-quality canopies, they have earned a stellar reputation among skydivers of all skill levels. Furthermore, they are known for their pioneering engineering and a keen focus on safety and performance. Therefore, Performance Designs' products are a testament to their deep understanding of aerodynamics and the diverse needs of skydivers.

Performance Designs' Premier Canopy Models

1. PD Sabre 3:

  • Target Audience: Suitable for novice to intermediate skydivers at moderate wing loads, and advanced to expert skydivers at moderate to heavier wing loads.
  • Characteristics: The Sabre 3, which evolved from the Sabre 2, earns renown for its long recovery arc, progressive front risers, and steep glide.It boasts spectacular rear riser performance and delivers a powerful bottom-end flare. This feature makes it especially appealing to skydivers who aim to enhance their performance while prioritizing safety and comfort.
  • Unique Features: Notable for its flight stability, the canopy offers responsive handling and a robust flare, ensuring smooth landings.
  • Skydiver Feedback: Users praise its versatility, predictable performance, and impressive slow flight capabilities. It's regarded as a great platform for learning high-performance canopy piloting skills.
  • Price: $$$$

2. PD Valkyrie:

  • Target Audience: ighly experienced cross-braced canopy pilots seeking advanced high-performance capabilities.
  • Characteristics: The Valkyrie is celebrated for its responsive harness input, powerful rears and toggles, and excellent glide, making it ideal for long spots. Furthermore, it offers smooth, on-heading openings and is sensitive to harness input.
  • Unique Features: Additionally, it boasts a high-aspect ratio, perfect for swooping, and is renowned for its responsive nature. It also has an extended recovery arc, lighter front riser pressure, snappy rear riser turns, and a powerful flare.
  • Skydiver Feedback: Users report that the Valkyrie is intuitive to fly and excels in performance, with a strong glide ratio and significant range. It's considered a great step up for pilots transitioning from Velocity/Comp Velocity models.
  • Price: $$$$$


3. PD Horizon:

  • Target Audience: Wingsuit flyers seeking a reliable and high-performing canopy that can be packed in a smaller container.
  • Characteristics: A 7-cell canopy with hybrid construction, packs up to two sizes smaller than a non-crossbraced ZP main. Its design focuses on minimizing the potential for line twists and hard openings, common challenges in wingsuit jumps, making it a reliable choice for both novice and experienced wingsuit flyers. The canopy has sizes ranging from 120 to 190 sqft.
  • Skydiver Feedback: Skydivers appreciate its comfortable openings, powerful flare, and ability to handle long spots effectively. Additionally, its smooth opening and excellent flare power are frequently highlighted.
  • Price: $$$

Performance Designs not only excels in technical aspects but also in understanding the evolving demands of the skydiving community. Their canopies are more than equipment; they are integral to the skydiver's journey, offering unparalleled experiences across various disciplines.

Worth to Mention Main Parachute Canopies

Aerodyne Pilot: The Versatile Choice for Skydivers

The Aerodyne Pilot is a canopy celebrated for its versatility and reliability, making it a favorite among a wide range of skydivers.

  • Target Audience: Ideal for skydivers of all levels, especially those transitioning from beginner to intermediate levels.
  • Characteristics: The Pilot is renowned for its soft, consistent, on-heading openings and excellent glide. In addition, it is responsive to toggle inputs, offering a smooth and predictable flying experience. Furthermore, the canopy is designed to be effortless, fun, and instill confidence in the pilot.
  • Unique Features: Its medium trim provides a touch of sportiness without being overwhelming, making it well-suited for long spots and varied wind conditions. It is also noted for its strong flare and forgiving nature.
  • Skydiver Feedback: Users appreciate its on-heading openings, moderate response to harness turns, and overall safe and forgiving nature, making it an excellent canopy for learning and progression. [""] 
  • Price: $$

Fluid Wings Gangster: Designed for High-Performance Skydiving

The Fluid Wings Gangster is a canopy that stands out for its innovative design and exceptional performance, particularly appealing to experienced skydivers.

  • Target Audience: Advanced skydivers, including those engaged in swooping.
  • Characteristics: The Gangster offers fantastic openings and is highly responsive. Furthermore, its design includes a mix of cross-braced tri-cells and bi-cells, providing a unique balance of rigidity and efficiency.
  • Unique Features: The distinct design ensures a high number of internal chambers, maximizing wing efficiency while minimizing pack volume. It has a strong flair and is capable of aggressive maneuvers without being overly twitchy.
  • Skydiver Feedback: Users report its exceptional opening behavior, forgiving nature to large inputs, and powerful flare. Moreover, its responsiveness to harness inputs and suitability for various wing loadings make it a versatile and enjoyable choice for high-performance flying.
  • Price: $$$$

Fluid Wings HK2: The Pinnacle of Competition Canopy Piloting

The HK2 from Fluid Wings represents the forefront of competition canopy design, as it embodies the latest technological advancements.

  • Target Audience: Highly experienced and competitive skydivers, with a strong recommendation for those having 1500+ jumps.
  • Characteristics: Optimized for competition and high-performance flying, the HK2 features an original airfoil optimized for higher wing loadings and exceptional rear riser performance. Specifically designed for skydivers who prioritize top-tier performance and handling in their canopy.
  • Unique Features: It utilizes the proprietary FT30 material for improved flight characteristics and rigidity. Moreover, the canopy offers unsurpassed stopping power even at high wing loadings and small wing sizes, clearly reflecting its focus on performance and safety in competitive environments.
  • Sizes Available: The HK2 is available in sizes ranging from 60 (with special approval) to 84.
  • Price: $$$$$

Informed Decision-Making for Skydivers

Considerations When Choosing a Main Canopy

Selecting the right main parachute canopy involves several crucial considerations. This is because the decisions made can be a matter of life and death in skydiving. Key factors to consider include:

  • Safety and Wing Loading: Beginners should opt for larger, slower canopies, which provide a conservative flight profile and improve basic canopy skills. It's essential to be cautious about downsizing too quickly, as this increases the risk of injuries, especially in high-performance landings.
  • Flight Characteristics and Canopy Shape: Canopy shapes like rectangular, tapered, elliptical, and semi-elliptical significantly influence the flight characteristics. More tapered canopies tend to have more aggressive flight behaviors, demanding more skill and precision from the pilot.
  • Personal Skill Level and Preferences: The choice of canopy should align with the skydiver's experience and comfort level. Furthermore, it's advisable to test jump canopies, much like test-driving a car, to ensure the wing loading feels safe and comfortable for the individual.

The Importance of Training and Familiarity

Proper training and familiarity with the chosen main parachute canopy are indispensable:

  • Canopy Control Courses: They are vital for all skydivers, regardless of their experience level. These courses teach critical skills for safely flying and landing the parachute, especially in dynamic environments.
  • Understanding Canopy Dynamics: Skydivers must remember they are pilots of their canopies. Therefore, regular refresher courses and staying updated with the latest developments in canopy piloting are crucial for safety and performance.

    Further Information and Resources

    Skydivers should seek additional resources for research, such as canopy control courses, discussions with experienced instructors, and studying the latest developments in canopy technology. Additionally, they should explore training opportunities and seek expert advice.


    Selecting the right main parachute canopy is a critical decision that significantly impacts the safety and enjoyment of skydiving. Therefore, by considering safety, canopy characteristics, personal skill level, and obtaining proper training, skydivers can make informed choices that enhance their experience in the sport.

    Need Help Deciding? Our Expert Skydiver Team is Here for You!

    Choosing the perfect main skydiving canopy is a significant decision, and it's perfectly normal to have questions or feel uncertain. That's why we're here to help! Our team of expert skydivers at SkydiveShop.com is dedicated to assisting you in finding the canopy that best suits your needs and skill level. Don't hesitate – contact us now for expert advice and start your journey towards an incredible skydiving experience!