The Flybubble Challenge 2019

The concept was to fly or hike around most of the Southern sites in a day, a 65km course that would be challenging for everyone. The forecast was for moderate northerly winds and good thermals. Carlo shares his insights from his winning route.

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Paragliding safely in strong wind

Strong wind and paragliders don’t play well together, but at some point you’ll be flying in ‘stronger’ conditions, and knowing how to handle this can improve your safety. Here are some techniques to help you paraglide safely in strong wind.

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Gin BONANZA 2 vs Niviuk ARTIK 4

I have enjoyed testing the Gin BONANZA 2, which is a modern reinforced Sports Class wing. For the last couple of years I have been flying the Niviuk Artik 4, so this is mainly a comparison between the two.  Over the few weeks I had the wing I managed 25 flights ranging from 2-90 minutes and a total of 10 hours airtime over three different sites. These were in conditions varying from light to strong and thermic to soaring with a couple of short (17km) XCs.

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Paragliding safely in the mountains

Flying a paraglider above mountains is an amazing experience but has some risks that you don't face when flying over the flatlands. Where are the danger zones? How do the winds work? Where are the best thermals?

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Supair LEAF 2 review

I first flew the LEAF 2 on an inverted and gusty ‘low down’ day that required fast reactions and high agility. Paired with the very stable ALTIRANDO LITE harness, I found the LEAF 2 unresponsive. It felt entirely ‘average’ and I was worried I couldn’t find anything unique or outstanding to comment on. It just kind of flew around.

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Sailing in the Sky (X-LAKES 2019)

The forecast was normal for the Lake District – in other words, dire warnings of rain and wind. But I’d arranged time off for the weekend and Team South partner Andy was up for a long drive, so we set off for The Flight Park in Keswick.

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Landing safely in a valley wind

In the morning, the wind begins to whisper through the grass. It tickles the trees. By noon, it tugs at the flags and nudges the umbrellas at the café. Landing is easy: point into wind and touch down. But by afternoon, it’s blowing over 30km/h and you’re getting worried. You had a long flight and now you’re dangling over the town. What’s a good approach when the wind is strong?

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Skywalk BREEZE harness review

This modern semi-reclined harness features an inflatable crash protection, which helps to reduce the weight and makes the packing size tiny. It has an integrated reserve pocket, split leg support (without a seatplate) and a lot of storage space in the rear pocket. What makes it really unique is the modular approach that allows you to zip off the protector and reserve and reveal an ultralight mountain harness.

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Advance OMEGA XALPS 3 review

Featuring a minimal line set, simple risers with carbon fibre handles, and those tiny trademark winglets, this is a 2 liner with a flat aspect ratio of 6.95 that weighs only 3.5kg! That would have been enough, but Advance has worked on this wing to make it shine. You can tell on the ground that it is exceptional. What other two-liner can you float up from low angles in light wind, put on a tip and bring back on the brakes, start from a ball, and generally play around on the slope with? It is an absolute pleasure to handle on the ground, with the only slightly demanding characteristic being the tendency to shoot ahead when coming up.

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