The original Sabre was released in 1990 and more than 20,000 were manufactured until the Sabre2 came on the scene in 2001. By 2018, the Sabre2 reached 20,000 canopies sold like its predecessor. One of the biggest improvements skydivers talk about from the Sabre to the Sabre2 is a softer opening.
ChutingStar recently conducted a main canopy survey, and PD's Sabre/Sabre2 line topped every category as the most popular first canopy, your favorite main canopy and the canopy most recommended to others as their first main canopy. It also tops the list as to which canopy you're currently jumping.
Here are some of those comments from the survey when asked what canopy has been your favorite:
- Sabre 2 - it can do everything from novice, to wing suit, to swooping
- PD Sabre2. Reliable, proven, versatile.
- Sabre 1. I am planning to upgrade to a sabre 2 just because of openings
- PD Sabre 2. Smooth, consistent and sporty enough for my canopy flying style.
- Sabre 2 150 Flare, Predictable flight
- Sabre2 190 - Excellent all around canopy. Used for wingsuiting as well. put over 700 jumps on it. Predictable, yet fun to fly. Good strong flare, ability to return from long spots
- PD Sabre 135, versatility and WS performance.
- I like my sabre2 because it is a bit more aggressive than the pilot that I used to jump. In particular I like the sabre2's flare because it's always powerful.
- Sabre 2 - Of all the beginner canopies it is the one that felt most acrobatic to me.
- PD Sabre2 because the openings are always really soft, they are fun to play around with, and nearly all my landings have been perfect because the flare is exceptional
- Performance Designs Sabre 2. First non student canopy. Fun and easy to fly.
- PD Sabre2, would be my favorite because you can still have a very forgiving canopy as well as a very sporty canopy at higher wing loads.
- Sabre 2 has been my favorite. I've flown a couple different models of student canopies, but only 2 different sport canopies. That said, the S2 is in a league of its own for performance in what I've used. It really inspires confidence in a new jumper.
- PD Sabre2 135. Reminds me of a Mazda MX-5. It's fun, sporty, responsive, but a 4 cylinder so you can't get too crazy, peppy, but not too fast.
- PD, Sabre 2, 170. Good intermediate level canopy. Best to learn canopy piloting for new skydivers.
- Sabre 2, 170 has the nicest flare of everything I’ve jumped, so much power to shut down and land super soft. Fun to fly, responsive enough for me at a lighter wing loading, opens pretty soft, even though it can snivel for what feels like days. Flies further than I’d have believed possible on rears for the glide ratio it has.
- Performance Designs Sabre 2 because of the bottom end flare power to really easily shut it down on landing. I also like the pitch of the canopy. A Pulse, Safire, or Storm would likely be too flat for my liking.
- Sabre 2 . It is fast and responsive, yet safe and reliable
- PD Sabre-2 Aggressive penetration. Strong flare. Good control.
We also received some feedback on what you think could be improved upon with the Sabre2:
- Reliable consistent on heading and soft openings. There are a few wings out there that would be great flyers if they had reliable consistent on heading and soft openings (I'm looking at you PD Stiletto, PD Sabre2)
- I suppose the only thing would be to better the all-around canopies (like Sabre 2) to be more easily flown as a wingsuit canopy. I find it impossible financially to have a wingsuit canopy and a regular all-around canopy, so finding a way to make the all-around canopy more all-encompassing would be a plus.
- The Sabre II sells well, yes - but letting a design stagnate for decades is not great for intermediate pilots seeking a step up without quite being ready for the Katana. It works, but there is so much room for innovation.
- Opening Sabre 2 kills my back
So does the Sabre3 take all the accolades, and criticisms, of the Sabre and Sabre2, and give us a canopy that another 20,000+ skydivers will want over the next 10+ years? According to PD, it will do just that.
PD is promising the Sabre3 has crisp handling, consistent on-heading openings, huge dynamic speed range, incredible landings, more power, and is seriously responsive to inputs.
According to PD, though the Sabre3 shares a lineage with two historically popular Performance Designs canopies, the Sabre and Sabre2, the designers began with a clean slate with the goal of creating the world’s next most popular canopy. They enhanced the qualities people loved most about the Sabre2 but minimized or eliminated those some found less desirable. Already tested endlessly by PD Test Jumpers, and demoed by PD Athletes, the Sabre3 has been described as dynamic, powerful, and perfectly suited for today’s modern canopy pilot - delivering superb openings, crisp response, and amazing landings.
- The Sabre3 definitely has the range to be a great straight in, no wind, standard landing type canopy for a lower experience jumper. Or you can really push it and get some amazing flight performance out of it. It’s pretty much for the world. What we want as skydivers is a reliable canopy that is predictable on opening all the way through landing. It really is a beautiful wing. - Brad Cole, PD Test Jumper
Here's an hour-long Facebook Live Q&A with PD's John LeBlanc on the Sabre3 that may answer a bunch of questions.
Jumps and feedback on the Sabre3 by everyday skydivers will have the final say for sure. And if you're ready to give one a try, select a linked option below.