The swooping rabbit hole goes deep. By the time you arrive at the pointy end, the equipment you require is very specific – parachutes that you are supposed to store unpacked and lines that are too thin to be used for terminal deployments. As with how suit design works for other disciplines – it makes sense that there are specific swoop shorts that represent choices for exactly where you are and what you are doing. This is why Vertical offers four separate design platforms for swoop shorts. Here is what they are for:
Our OG Swoop is the most straightforward version and offers the most accessible way to have Vertical’s legendarily hard-wearing shorts while retaining simplicity for practical use. This is the product that is most popular for commercial operations aiming for a solution that will look great, provide the right basic options, have enough space for good brand embroidery, and last for ages when full-timers use them day-in and day-out.
Raptor and Viper Swoop
The Raptor and Viper versions of swoop shorts are the bottom half of their equivalent suit templates – and represent the same basic considerations as when choosing between the full-length suits.
Are you still doing freefall before your swoops? The Viper or the Raptor shorts are what you need. The Viper is the more form-fitting and flexible version, so if you are freeflying this is the correct choice. Belly flying but still want shorts? Doing AFF work jumps? If you want or need shorts that offer a slightly looser fit around the hips and seat area, the more relaxed fit Raptor shorts are likely what you require.
Have you now arrived at the point where you prioritize the hop and pop above all else – because things are getting serious and your teeny tiny canopy likes it much better that way? Now is probably time for the Pro shorts, which have been designed from top to bottom with hardcore swooping in mind following feedback from some of the best canopy pilots in the world. Here are the relevant upgrades:
No Seam: The bum area is covered with a single panel of Cordura. There is no centre line seam to wear out when you are purposefully sliding out on your bum every time. An optional second seat panel can be ordered – which can be easily removed by a rigger and replaced when it has worn out.
Padding: You can order integrated G-Form tail padding as an option for convenience – which removes the effort of finding a solution later when you realize that at this point you probably need it.
Fit: The Pro Swoop is a tighter fit to cut as much drag as possible and gain every advantage while rolling out of the turn, where it matters the most. If you are at the level where this is important – you already know how important it is.
Material: To accommodate their tighter fit and technical nature, the Pro Swoop shorts are built from Cordura 160 and 1000 (the thin kind used in suits now, and the traditional type for toughened areas) and Durastretch – the same tough but flexible composite material our Phoenix tunnel suits are made from.
RDS Pocket: The available RDS pocket is appropriately sized for all the things that need to both go in there easily and not come out again until you want them to. This can also be reinforced with Cordura as an option.
As ever, it depends on what you are doing. The swoop journey is a long one – but hugely rewarding when done properly. The different swoop shorts designs we offer are there as helpful stepping stones to be the right thing at the right time for your progression – and are built to last like no other.