The S-Fly guys have been busy R&Ding a new suit for some time now, and they've finally released it: the S-Fly Ridge.
This is nobody's idea of a skydiving wingsuit. It's been 100% designed for mountain flying. Here's what Antoine Collignon, Marketing Lead at S-Fly, has to say about the company's beautiful new baby.
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Proudly Introducing the Ridge
The Ridge wingsuit has been developed since the very beginning for experts.
We designed the suit to suit the needs of very demanding and experienced wingsuit BASE jumpers, who progressively open shorter and shorter exits and seek new lines that require more and more glide performance without compromising on speed.
The suit's key features are:
- Ultra-short starts
- High glide ratio
- High speed
- Ultra-clean pull
The Ridge is the result of a 15-month collaboration between Stéphane Zunino, the original S-Fly designer, François Gouy, a prominent mountain guide who has opened numerous exits, and Julien Peelman, aerodynamic engineer mostly known for his high-performance parachute canopy designs (i.e. NZ Aerosports' Icarus Petra and Icarus Leia).
Numerous test pilots flew the various prototypes that led to the final version. Among these test pilots are, of course, our collaborators Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet, as well as the Frenchies from Vercors: Maël Baguet, Vincent Cotte, Jean-Philippe Gady and Matthieu Leroux.
Last summer, François Gouy used a Ridge prototype to open some spectacular exits in the French Alps, including Ceüse and Les Rouies.
He was able to achieve this thanks to the suit's short starts and high glide performance.
The Ridge is one of the biggest suits on the market. It has a high arm sweep, and it sports a longer, thicker leg wing than other wing suits in this category.
The leading edge of the Ridge is designed to deliver the best possible aerodynamic performance while maintaining an easy pull. That is why we have split the sleeves into two parts:
- The upper arm, which is made of parapack with an underlayer of soft foam.
- The lower arm, which is made of neoprene.
We have assembled these two parts with a diagonal cut, so as to maximize the surface of the combined parapack-foam leading edge.
Finally, we have added an inflated cell behind the arm. This fully fills in the sleeve, getting rid of the empty space between the back of the arm and the arm wing. This cell is connected and inflated by the arm wing.
The Ridge wingsuit is partitioned in a way that offers a super-tight fit around the pilot's body. This allows better wing control at all times, as well as excellent agility in flight.
The Ridge features large inlets with open airlocks, which allows an ultra-fast inflation of both arm wings and leg wing.
The higher arm sweep and the larger surface of the Ridge enable the wing to catch air as soon as the pilot's feet leave the ground. Because of its thicker profile, the Ridge starts flying even at very low speed, allowing quicker forward motion start. These unique features give the Ridge an unmatchable exit profile.
The high glide performance of the Ridge is the result of the balance between surface and profile.
Because of its unique profile/surface balance, the Ridge has an excellent glide ratio. Whatever the wind conditions, our test pilots report that they have experienced and recorded a better glide ratio than with other wingsuits.
The drag created by the large surface and the thickness of the suit is compensated by the extended length of the leg wing, allowing the Ridge to easily match the speed of the other wingsuits in its category. An experienced wingsuit BASE athlete will find that the Ridge is remarkably fast and easy to fly in any wind conditions.
The unique partitioning and tight fit around the body make the Ridge an easy, fun, responsive wingsuit for an experienced athlete to fly. The Ridge allows for aggressive dives and sharp turns without loss of control.
Also: because this wing suit is highly pressurized, it has a incredible lift power in flight.
The Pull & Canopy Deployment
The pull is ultra-clean, thanks to the bevel-shaped wrist end of the sleeve. The soft neoprene patch behind the elbow gives extra freedom of movement to allow the arm to bend more easily. The hand will reach the pilot chute handle naturally, no matter how long the flight.
The Ridge's neoprene half sleeves allow both an easy punch-out and a high reach up to the risers.
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Intrigued? Thought so. To order (or for more information), head over to the S-Fly website.