Christmas came a few days early this year!
Skywalk Paragliders have been working on their new Chili 4 ("high" EN B) over the last year or so, testing and modifying and testing again until it met their exacting standards. To find the perfect balance between safety and performance meant having patience as they modified designs until they were satisfied.
I eagerly read each of our Team Pilot updates - this was my new baby in production after all! Knowing the delay meant a better wing made the wait worth it...that and the miserable weather we seemed to have here almost every weekend this season.
On Thursday December 8th the email came from Skywalk - the XS Chili 4 would be ready for shipping early next week! Sure enough, UPS tracking showed my glider ready for pick up from Skywalk's warehouse in Germany on Tuesday morning. By Thursday it was sitting in Richmond, BC - merely an hour's drive away from me - waiting to clear customs. As usual, the customs agents took their own sweet time and didn't release it until Friday afternoon, which meant no delivery until Monday. Who cares if it was snowing and the wind was gusting over 30 km/hr...I wanted my wing!
So, I now have a perfect new paraglider sitting under my Christmas tree waiting for a sunny day and the energy to hike up to one of our local launches (that whole snow thing means no driving up to the take-off any time soon).
I did peek inside since there weren't any signs saying "Do Not Open till Christmas". I don't think I'll be missing much "stepping down" from my 4 year old EN C. By the look of the risers that I carefully wiggled out of the magically folded glider (so I could actually fold it back up factory-style), it's obvious that EN B wings have come a long way.
Another post coming soon with some first impressions and pictures from my sneak peek in the (wicked new) bag!