Paragliding in BC

Paragliding in BC

Monday, June 23, 2014

Get high with my Join't

Skywalk has a fun sense of humour for naming their wings.  The first wing I heard of from them was the Tequila, then the Chili and now…the Join't.  How much fun will it be talking to people about "getting high with my Join't" and then pulling out a paraglider?

Anyway, I am bursting with excitement over my new tandem wing!  There's a whole ritual when unpacking a new paraglider.  Open the bag slowly to savour that new wing smell, then take a whole bunch of photos because it will never pack down that small again.

Step 1:  Look at the cool bag with the vents to let your wing breathe when packed

Step 2:  Open the bag just a little to peek at the blue sky/orange-yellow sun colour combo you picked.

Step 3:  Remove goodie bag filled with stickers, a bandana and manual

Today…today was Step 4:  Fly the new wing!  Oh my poor Join't3 sat patiently inside waiting for schedules and weather to match up and finally today we got airborne.  A hang gliding friend who wanted to see first hand what the differences were between our gliders got the chance today.  The weather was borderline…winds predicted to put a stop to flying by noon, yet barely a puff coming up at launch when we got there at 10:30.  Patience won out…eventually.  I wanted to do a reverse launch so I could inspect this brand new wing as it inflated, and we had to wait clipped in for 10 minutes until a light breeze came up the slope.

Inflation:  the wing came up just as nice and easy as my solo glider.  I was surprised since I bought a size lager (41 sq.m)  and thought it would take a lot more effort to inflate than my old size 38.  I'd flown another brand once and found the 41 a lot to manage.  But my Join't (tee hee) is actually lighter than my old tandem, thanks to new technology and lighter materials.

Flight:  I was going to pass the controls to my passenger & snap some photos, but hang glider pilots seem to find it difficult to trust our "flimsy" wings so he let me fly the whole time.  We were able to do a turn with only weight shift which surprised me since we were pretty lightly loaded.  Putting some brake into the turn got us into a nice 360 that I could have easily turned into a spiral, but we were already getting close to the landing field so no time for that. Oh, and the trimmer set-up is fantastic!  I will have to post pictures soon but for now will pass on that they are incredibly easy to adjust in flight.

Landing:  I'll admit I was nervous about landing this "big" wing.  I've been meaning to go to the gym or at least do some pushups to prepare for tandem season but…but…yeah, I didn't.  So I told Doug to look at the horizon and be prepared to run out the landing, then started pulling brakes to flare and...success!  A super easy stand up landing.  It must have everything to do with Skywalk's unique jet flaps wings because really, I've hardly done any tandems this season so I can't claim it's all skill.  Seriously, I credit those jet flaps with my improved top landings and just landings in general, so I'm excited to see if the same holds true with this Join't3.

Only one flight so far, but if this is an indication of things to come then I'm impressed with Skywalk's newest version of their tandem wing.  So come get high with me and my Join't but sorry, in-flight snacks are not included.

Doug the hang glider pilot and my Skywalk Join't 3