Squirrel Epicene Skydiving Canopy
- April 2017
The Squirrel Epicene is a skydiving parachute designed specifically for wingsuiting. I waited a while before trying one, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! The Epicene combines reliability and docility with a feeling of responsiveness and an amazing flare. And, it’s light.
I’ve primarily jumped Spectres for the last 10 years, because although it’s old technology, the Spectre is a tried and true wingsuit parachute–it’s reliable and it gets the job done. But I’d heard enough good things about the Epicene that I finally decided to upgrade. Spectres are not known for their great flare, but still I was totally unprepared for how powerful and complete the flare would be on the Epicene, and this alone would have made it worth the switch for me.
For wingsuit use, I want the opening to be positive but not slammer, and this is another thing the Epicene does really well. The Epicene has a nice smooth, positive opening, especially compared to a Spectre which often snivels for so long I start to wonder if it’s actually coming out back there, and occasionally leads to line twists.
And, speaking of line twists…. the Epicene seems to want to open clean. I’ve had a few openings that felt like I was going to have a little rotation, but then the parachute snapped open straight and the twists never happened. When I have gotten a few twists I’ve been able to quickly spin out of them without much struggling. It can be really hard to get a turn going under a Spectre to get out of twists, even with just a few twists and a fully open canopy. Once that thing is parked, it wants to stay parked, and I once had to cut away from a Spectre with 3 line twists, which was truly annoying. I’ve been pleasantly surprised from the beginning by how responsive the Epicene is to harness turns, and I think this is why it feels easier to get some momentum going and quickly spin out of twists–which is a very good feature and can save you a reserve repack.
Though the Epicene feels responsive and nimble, it does sink and recover much like a BASE canopy, another big point in its favor for my use since that’s really why I skydive. And of course, it’s lower volume than a regular zp canopy, so it’s easier and faster to pack and keeps the weight down on my skydiving rig. I’m really picky about parachutes, and I could not be happier with the Epicene. This is a truly awesome skydiving canopy!