Nova Codex review

Nova Paragliders CODEX review after few months of paragliding in a wide variety of conditions in Colombia and the UK. Carlo did most of his testing of the CODEX (size S) over several epic flying days in Colombia, and then some more on some good paragliding days back in the UK. Nancy tested the CODEX in her size (XS) in the UK.

The Nova Codex is a solid, reassuring glider tailored for pilots venturing into the sports class or two-liner category. Its comfort and stability, combined with manageable pilot demands, make it accessible for those moving up from high-B gliders. Here's a detailed breakdown of its features, handling, and performance based on our thorough testing:

Build Quality and Launching

The Nova Codex immediately impresses with its build quality. It features numerous rods and shaping, contributing to its solid and collapse-resistant structure. This solidity is felt straight from launch, where the glider exhibits excellent pitch stability and a dependable feel. The Codex builds a wall easily, sits well in various conditions, and comes up smoothly during inflation without the unpredictable "plucking" sensation.

Stability and Handling

Once airborne, the Codex continues to offer a solid, stable experience. It feels particularly reliable in slightly stronger winds, where it maintains a stable rise and manageable top-end performance. However, the glider does have a tendency to drop back slightly, requiring the pilot to stay active on the risers to keep it flying optimally.

Ground handling on slopes and in mixed conditions is equally impressive. The glider is easy to control, doesn't pull excessively, and has tips that might slightly curl but generally come up as a cohesive block. The low aspect ratio and extensive ribbing along the leading edge contribute to this monoblock feel, ensuring consistent performance.


The Nova Codex excels in a range of conditions, from small punchy thermals to buoyant lift. It boasts a commendable sink rate and climb rate, enabling pilots to hold their own against a variety of wings, including higher-end B, C, and even D-class gliders. Its solid construction and pitch stability make it particularly effective in turbulent air, providing confidence and control even when conditions get sporty.

Agility and Speed

While the Codex is not the most agile glider in its class, it compensates with its solid, reassuring feel. It responds well to increased brake input, requiring a bit more brake pressure to achieve tighter turns. This is where its direct, firm brake pressure becomes apparent. The Codex is not overly light on the brakes but strikes a balance that avoids fatigue during extended flights.

Speed-wise, the Codex performs admirably. Its speed bar system is smooth and effective, offering around 16 km/h over trim speed. The glider maintains its glide performance well when accelerated, staying solid and stable. The rear risers become more usable and responsive when the speed bar is engaged, enhancing control during fast glides.

Comparative Performance

In terms of overall performance, the Codex holds its own against many gliders in the sports class. It may have a slight edge over gliders like the Gin Bonanza 3 in terms of speed and glide, particularly when accelerated. However, it falls a bit short compared to the highest performers like the Ozone Photon or the Niviuk Artik R, especially in sustained glide and speed capabilities.


The Codex is ideal for pilots transitioning from high-B to sports class gliders, seeking a first two-liner experience, or those looking for a more forgiving sports class glider. It offers excellent performance with lower pilot demands, making it suitable for those who value comfort and stability alongside performance.


One notable aspect of the Codex is its long rods, which require careful packing to avoid damage. The recommended concertina packing method, as demonstrated by the Nova team, works well. Despite the rods, the Codex is relatively light and compact, making it suitable for hike-and-fly adventures.


The Codex handles big ears and B3s (tip stalls) effectively, though the physical effort required is notable. Spirals are controllable and stable, with no tendency to lock in, making descent techniques manageable. Wingovers and other fun maneuvers are enjoyable, thanks to the glider's solid and precise handling.

Final Thoughts

The Nova Codex stands out as a solid, reassuring glider with a good balance of performance and ease of use. Its main appeal lies in its accessibility for pilots stepping up from high-B gliders or those seeking a reliable sports class glider with manageable pilot demands. While it may not have the absolute highest performance in its class, it offers an excellent combination of stability, ease of handling, and competitive performance, making it a strong contender in the sports class glider market.

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