“The transition and progression from the Safire 3 to Crossfire 3 was simple yet drummed excitement with its performance possibilities. As a self-confessed conservative canopy pilot, this sexy wing with technological enhancements and efficient design feels as safe as the Safire 3 – with tactile responsiveness and powerful flare, but with added Grrrrrrunt!” Read the entire Crossfire 3 review by the accomplished speed skydiver Shane Turner from Australia.
Crossfire 3 Review – First impressions and progression
To review the Crossfire 3 properly, I’ll start with a bit of background. The first canopy I ever owned was an Icarus Safire 2. I subsequently transitioned it to a Safire 3 during a “Pull Ya Strings” canopy course run by Jules McConnel. I’ve continued my progression by first downsizing within the Safire 3 model, and now I’ve entered the Crossfire 3 domain!
My time on the Safire 2 and Safire 3 had been rewarding and fun but I felt I had exhausted my progression on this wing. I was after a canopy that offered a more responsive and exhilarating ride, with more range and more aggression towards the ground to improve my overall flying skills. Plus I wanted to sharpen my reaction time and work towards the goal of progressing my canopy work. The Crossfire 3 had all those things!
The transition and progression from the Safire 3 to the Crossfire 3 was simple yet drummed excitement with its performance possibilities. For a self-confessed conservative canopy pilot like me, this sexy wing with technological enhancements and efficient design feels as safe as the Safire 3. With tactile responsiveness and powerful flare, but with added Grrrrrrunt!
With its comfortable, easy flying characteristics comes an extra level of power and performance. It’s in this peaceful place between “sky hungry” canopies and “ground hungry” canopies. The Crossfire 3 offers pilots the option of sending it either way. I think it’s the full package for the intermediate-advanced canopy pilot!
Crossfire 3 Openings
The openings are simply incredible! I jump with a pull-out system or “Bunny Tail” to safely execute a Speed Skydive without increased risk of a premature deployment. But if I am still slowing down from a training or competition Speed dive, the Crossfire3 offers sweet cloud soft openings easing the stress on my ageing back and bones.
And with only 55 jumps on the Crossfire 3 before the Covid-19 pandemic, the return to skydiving was made easier knowing I was going to have super soft, on-heading openings, and an easy, responsive, powerful flare to land with.
Crossfire 3 Flight
Once the brakes are released, the Crossfire 3 is ready to power into a long 90 downwinder or to fly peacefully into the sunset on that last load of the day. It gets me home safely from long spots. The toggles are magnificent puppetry at play, pull left, half right, flat turn, spiral, flare and all just so smooth.
The rears are beautifully in tune with the canopy and its pilot allowing for a complete sensual flight and efficient responsiveness. I love my rears and subtly grab them through the entire performance of my canopy flight. The flow, movement, agility and longevity of the rears is just awesome…who doesn’t want to touch the rears…Jesus, taketh the rears!
Coming from the heavier front riser inputs of the Safire 3 compared to the Crossfire 3 is a dream pulling down and cutting through the air whistling up speed and precision. The more I use them the more I want them!
All-in-all I feel the Crossfire 3 is every bit a higher performing and interactive canopy across all aspects of flight compared to the Safire 3.
Crossfire 3 Landings
The Crossfire 3 has sweet, soft, beautiful and safe landings for those rock hard grounds, rural landings (specifically chasing kegs out of a plane during Funny Farm), or for landing in almost bare feet from a Speed Skydive.
In Speed Skydiving, I consistently pitch at 3,500ft and when not “over the top” I rely on good use of rears and tucked body position to get me home safely. The Crossfire3 delivers that – but – we can all get stuck with off DZ landings and I can safely say that landing on dry countryside uphill with minimalist footwear my Crossfire 3 performed superbly. I can’t go past it for a stress-free easy landing and injury free walk back to the DZ.
It’s my goal to continue developing my canopy skills executing high performance landings with precise accuracy and plenty of swoosh! I know from watching my original skydiving instructor Steve “Belgy” Geens, that ripping out consistent and precise 270s on a Crossfire 3 is every bit possible. But it’s also known that the Crossfire 3 has a shorter recovery arc in comparison to its cross-braced sisters. Hence, for me 270s will come with further experience, and possibly the beautiful JFX 2, when I’m ready to progress to my next canopy.
My experience of the Crossfire 3 is still in its infancy with much to learn and experience with the right coaching and canopy focused jumps. It’ll be a hard canopy to give away!
What’s your favourite thing about the Crossfire 3?
I love how sexy my wing looks – Bubblegum Blue Mainsail, a mean Black Power Band and seductive Red Ribs with White bottom skin makes me weak at the knees watching her cascade on the ground after a successful jump. I just want to pack her in my rig and jump her over and over again!
What’s the worst thing about the Crossfire 3?
I hate how she has to hide in my rig all the time. I just want to get her out and ride her 24/7. I look forward to high winds so I can get her out on the DZ and show her off to all my friends while I give her some ground schooling and ground control.
If the Crossfire 3 had a superpower what would it be?
Not really a superpower but a real life superhero to many all the same – The Stike of Muhammed Ali – Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!
About Shane Turner
Shane Turner is a Paramedic on the Gold Coast, Australia and has been Skydiving for 5 1/2 years. He started at the ripe age of 32 at Ramblers, Toogoolawah in Queensland Australia, and has been fortunate enough to skydive around Australia over coral reefs, Fiji, UK and across the Tasman several times to Aussies sister state (ahem, nation), home of NZ Aerosports – New Zealand. He has 930 jumps and currently flies an Icarus Crossfire 3. Speed Skydiving is his competitive discipline. He has gained the rank of 3rd fastest Speed Skydiver in the World with a Silver medal at the last World Parachuting Championships, 5 continental Records, Gold in the Australian/New Zealand Championships, beat the POMS (English) at the UK Nationals, and he came 6th in the World Cup with a unwavering hunger for GOLD at the next World Class meet!