01.09.16 “It shows how gliders have improved in recent times”
The hundredth edition of Parapente Vuelo Libre includes a test of the wing Niviuk defines as ‘easy performance’ with an B+ classification. We are referring to the Ikuma, which the Spanish magazine was commissioned to evaluate and introduced as follows: 'If there is a type of wing that shows precisely how paragliders have improved in recent times, is the lkuma. A wing with the passive safety of a genuine EN-B but with added performance'.
The magazine examined the wing’s behaviour and argued in detail that the balance between comfort and performance is increasingly clear.
'Easy to handle from first inflation. Compact and climbs well. (...) It has few lines, all unsheathed, resulting in minimum drag and therefore good glide. A hybrid three-liner, which does not have split A-lines, but split B-lines. Steering with the rear risers is effective, efficient to correct the direction of flight or compensate for pitching' and they continue to say 'in thermals it climbs well, it does not wind in and it is not hard to hold the desired angle of bank'.
The test also highlighted the good turn performance: 'the turn is agile and progressive and does it tend to dive in too much, rather the opposite, it tries to carve a flat turn while the outside carves into the thermal and can be easily controlled with a little brake'.
They conclude 'The speed-bar travel is neither heavy nor too long. The speed-bar range is tolerant even of excessive or inadvertent use. The wing always feels solid and stable. Its slightly elongated appearance, calm input responses and smooth turn make it ideal for effortless cross-country flying without giving up additional balanced performance'.
25.08.16 Back Country, soaring a volcanic crater and lava flows
Molly McEwin is a low-airtime pilot from Australia. She recently brought an Ikuma and headed off to the Indonesian island of Bali. A few nights ago she hiked up Mt Agung, an active volcano, to 3140m then flew off and ridge soared the volcano before gliding off to land on the beach.
She describes her adventure as the most breathtaking flight - made even more remarkable because it was also her first hike and fly, highest altitude gain, her first XC and all on a new wing, the Ikuma, that she had owned for just a week.
She added: 'With only 10 hours airtime before coming to Bali and no XC experience, I was originally very nervous about the planned flight, but after adding 13 hours of flying my new Ikuma in Bali, I was very confident with the wing and its potential. After a slow but easy 5 hour hike up with our gear, we watched the most incredible sunrise from Bali's highest peak, Mt Agung, and set up the gliders. The wind was perfect, and after launching from the steep scree slopes, we easily climbed to over 10,000 ft, soaring the volcanic crater and lava flows. After a spectacular half an hour of soaring the slopes, we went on glide to the coast. I was topped out above everyone else, which I was particularly happy about after having to change our landing destination due to a strong headwind, giving me lots of time and options before landing in a clear paddock next to the main road, ready for the long hitch-hike back'.
Talk about off-the-beaten-track, pure Backcountry!
A few weeks ago we anticipate that Niviuk would expand its light glider family, the P-Series range. Thus, we are now pleased to unveil the Ikuma P, the lightweight version of the standard Ikuma, the EN B+ ‘easy performance’ wing - but with up to 1.4 kg less weight (size 27).
Designed for pilots passionate about cross-country and Back Country, hike & fly or vol-biv adventures, this new model has reduced weight and volume to make it easier to carry and transport, among many other advantages.
19.08.16 The unprecedented and incredible story of Kate Baker
Just a year ago Kate Baker learned to fly in Canungra, Queensland. It soon became an obsession. After flying an EN B glider for six months, she decided it was time for more responsiveness and feedback from her wing. Her choice came down to the Niviuk Artik 4 and she joined the SEQ Paragliding Junior Development Team – which made her feel excited and humble.
Since then, Kate has not stopped surprising us. Last weekend for example, she completed an incredible 80 km flight in the middle of Australian winter. ‘She flew further than anyone else including the top club pilots. She flew 80km in our winter, this is massive for this time of year in very light conditions’, explained Shane Gingell, the Niviuk dealer of the zone.
It is not surprising that in its July-August issue, SkySailor magazine dedicated an article talking about her paragliding career and distance record, when she had only been flying for eight months. By then Kate had flown a total of 184 kilometres, beating the best flown women distance of the time in the state of Queensland. A distance the Niviuk pilot reached with her Artik 4 in full autumn.
Kate concluded: ‘Every day I get to fly is a treasure and I look forward to every flight on my Artik 4. It is very early days for me in terms of paragliding and I still have a lot to learn, but I look forward to this and it is one of the reasons why this sport is so wonderful – you never stop learning’.
Flybubble's test pilot has just produced a video review of the Peak 4. He was mightily impressed with how the wing flies. On landing after one of the test flights he said: ‘The Peak 4 is awesome. Niviuk has nailed it! This wing kicks ass!’. In the extensive written review, he elaborated on this praise, stating that the glider has ‘exceptional flying characteristics’. He said about the wing that ‘in the air, it is damn near perfect. Solid, responsive, performs’.
On the performance Flybubble's pilot stated: ‘I found myself whistling or humming most of the time. It felt like I had an advantage in the air, instead of being on something that was “keeping up with everyone”, I was able to command the sky’.
The review included a 150km (6 hour) cross-country flight. The pilot also praised the speed, the turning characteristics of the wing, as well glider behaviour when using speedbar, saying: ‘it is super solid on bar, and goes like a blaze, easily reaching 20kmh+ over trim speed’.
The publication went on to summarise the wing as ‘super solid and goes very fast. A beautiful wing to fly. Great thermalling turns. (...) Niviuk has really got the right balance between performance and handling. This is what you want when you are getting an EN D. Awesome! Love it!’.
09.08.16 Podium hat-trick for Niviuk at the Belgian Open
Aron Michiels (Peak 4), Geoff Wong (Peak 4) and Maarten Coppens (Peak 4) were the winners of the serial class competition at the Belgian Open. The weather conditions in Àger, Spain, enabled pilots to complete four tasks between 57 and 70 kilometers.
In 2012, Godfrey Masauli starred in The Boy Who Flies film by Canadian pilot and filmmaker Ben Jordan. Godfrey, from Malawi, learnt to fly through Ben and became well-known in his home country.
In the July issue of Cross-Country magazine, Jody MacDonald describes how she, Niviuk team pilot Gavin McClurg, Nick Greece and Matt Beechinor sought out Godfrey and spent time flying in his beautiful country. At the time he was Malawi's only paraglider pilot.
Photographer Jody MacDonald explained that the plan was to head to Mount Mulanje, a 3,000m massif south east of the capital, but their intended flight did not work out as expected. ‘We hiked up 4,000ft to stay the night in a mountain hut up there and fly off in the morning, but the cloud came in and that was it’. After five days in the “rat filled cabin” the team finally flew. ‘We waited out the rain and then Mount Mulanje delivered pure magic. We endlessly surfed up these Yosemite-like granite walls, flying in close to the waterfalls pouring down them’.
Godfrey has been an inspiration to his fellow Malawians and people flock to hear his stories and admire his belief that people can do anything. The US pilots also worked with the Cloudbase Foundation to help set up the School of Dreams, the country’s first paragliding school. Now established in the Dezda mountains, this May several qualified instructors travelled to Malawi to start training new pilots. From now on, Godfrey will not be the only Malawian pilot. More to come!
04.08.16 Skin P, by Julien Irilli and Jean-Yves "Blutch" Fredriksen
Julien Irilli and Jean-Yves "Blutch" Fredriksen are climbers and paragliding enthusiasts. Considering the needs of those with a multifaceted adventurous nature, we decided to create the Skin P, a lightweight wing (from 1.6 kg) that the protagonists of our latest video could not have praised more.
Due to the huge success of this glider, we have decided to expand the P-Series, the lightweight Niviuk range.