Gear Guides

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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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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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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Supair ALTIRANDO LITE harness review

The Supair ALTIRANDO LITE is aimed at Progression Class pilots (typically flying EN A or EN B) who want the security and simplicity of a traditional upright harness but are wanting to make their kit light and compact. It features a split-leg support system and a seat plate. The harness reverses to form a backpack, and it inflates in the air to give you certified airbag back protection that appears large and effective.

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Triple Seven Q-LIGHT review

As an experienced hike-and-fly enthusiast, a lightweight C is something I am interested in, so I was excited to receive the Q-LIGHT for testing. Triple Seven say “The Q-light is the ideal tool for long, difficult hike&fly adventures in remote mountain areas. It has a high passive safety level in combination with performance that is way out of its class.”

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The new King of Miniwings?

Miniwings for high wind soaring are one of my personal obsessions and I spare no effort in finding the worlds best. I live in Auckland, New Zealand with large picturesque sea cliff and conditions that are often strong, laminar and superb for high wind soaring/speedflying. This is unusual in the world, so we are lucky and constantly looking for better miniwings to give us more fun in our smooth 20-45km/hr coastal winds.

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Nova MENTOR 6 paraglider review

It’s only two years since I reviewed the Mentor 5 (and the Mentor 4, 2 years before that). NOVA have a regular release schedule and are bang on target with this update, ‘A sports intermediate for cross-country and fun flying’. Has the reliable stalwart of the ‘high B’ class changed much?

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Phi MAESTRO paraglider review

The Phi MAESTRO is designed for recreational pilots with some experience who want to excel at cross country flying or are looking for a wing with feeling and feedback. It’s what we call a ‘high B’ or B+ for short, which means it passes the standard EN-B certification tests, but requires more piloting skill to fly when compared to something like the Phi Tenor.

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