Review: The Gangster by Fluid Wings
We have heard a ton about the Gangster from Fluid Wings. It seems to have grabbed a lot of people’s attention in the skydiving community, so we wanted to do a review on it! The only thing is, we haven’t flown it… so we grabbed a guy that has a LOT of jumps on Gangsters, of several sizes, Justin Fuller. (@fulltown)
Justin is an AFFI and TI at Skydive Tennessee. He’s training as a swooper and really pushing the limits of the Gangster and what it can do, so we thought he’d have some really solid opinions of the wing.
Here’s our brief chat with Justin:
- Alright Justin, Let’s start from the top. How are the openings? (see what I did there?)
Justin: Great, let’s start with my favorite part of this canopy, the openings! I’ve never had a canopy I can deploy in the basement with and still have the confidence that this wing will be there to save me. It always seems to snivel the perfect amount of time, and 9 times out of 10 I’m coming out on heading. Fluid Wings promotes good openings and for good reason, this canopy is an absolute dream for reliable and comfortable openings.
Justin: Normal landings I haven’t had too many of, only a handful. The qualities I’ve noticed are very responsive toggles, harness, and rears. I only turn using harness and rears, and the inputs are quick and precise. The rears will dive you a little bit and it has a very predictable recovery arc which allows for great control on you final for accuracy. Tons of power in the flare, easy stand up landings aren’t hard to come by. Stay symmetrical though, as it is a high-performance canopy, it can be twitchy for someone who doesn’t have their flare down confidently.
- What’s a normal, low performance (if you will) landing like?
- OK now for the good stuff whet everyone is here for, tell me about…. THE SWOOP.
Justin: Yes, now we are getting on to my favorite part of this beast, the Swoops. The first thing I noticed is how light and powerful the front risers are. After a day of hanging on my fronts, my arms are a lot less tired compared to days I’m jumping my old JVX. It’s extremely easy to pull both fronts down to my chest which in turns builds up an immense amount of speed. Whether you’re doing 90s, 270s, or something larger, the ability to acquire speed in the dive is smooth and easy. The recovery arc is long and smooth, which is ample for hitting the gates while carrying speed and power. The rears get even better when all that air is forced into the wing, leaving me to describe this wing as having “rears for days”. After a solid turn, the rears become sensitive and powerful allowing you to glide for shockingly long distances. If you’re low, the rears aren’t a bad option compared to other wings. But there’s no shame in bailing to toggles with this thing, as I’ve had some low swoops I’ve had to stab out of that are still long and powerful. The harness is a great tool for inducing turns on this canopy as well. Very controlled and precise, it’s very easy to build speed and carry speed through bigger turns. Overall, it’s a great wing to build speed on and I feel my progression really excelled after transferring to this platform.
- Any final thoughts on the platform and company?
Justin: All in all, this is hands down the best wing I’ve ever had the pleasure of flying. Fluid Wings are doing some pretty innovative things that is helping to progress this sport and innovating canopy flight. I suggest that everyone demo a Fluid Wings canopy just to see what they are doing on your platform, you’ll be surprised.
Photo Creds to Eddie Rapid Photo. Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think about the Gangster!
Here are a few more resources from Fluid Wings.