Friday, May 05, 2006

AIR

Jerome Maupoint, author of the beautiful paragliding book "Stolen Moments" is in town shooting for a week or so. Yesterday we flew Swansea near Invermere, fantastic day, four hours of turning circles above very snowy peaks. Light winds, good lift, it was about as good as it gets in the spring. Josh flew the Zulu, I flew the new Boomerang Sport.

My favorite part of the flight was playing over the top of a ridge down near Fairmont--the tops of the ridges still look mid-winter, big whipped cream rolls of snow everywhere, plus the snow mellows the thermals out a bit making it more reasonable to fly close to the ground, a rare treat and something I normally avoid like the plague in the Golden-Canal flats area. It wasn't even too cold at altitude, but I was dressed in Himalaya-style clothing in anticipation of suffering. Thanks to Tobias and the nutter mountain bike crew for the lift up the hill too.

The Sport is one silky and intuitive glider. It normally takes me a few flights to figure out a new glider, but I felt totally at home on it after only a couple of hours of thermalling. I flew several DHV 2/3 gliders a few years back and liked them at first, but ultimately decided DHV 2/3 gliders mainly offered the performance of a 2 and all the danger of a 3. So far the Boom Sport provides enough feel of the air for me to keep it inflated, without requiring nearly as much attention as the full comp Boomerangs. The Sport feels more like the Boom III than the Boom IV, especially on the speed bar where it seems to "firm up" and remain stable. We had to use a fair amount of bar to get back to Swansea, my 5020 said the performance stayed relatively good on bar. The "feel" was good too, the Sport stays pitch stable when cutting through chop upwind, that's where the difference between a comp glider and a DHV 2 is usually most apparent. I'll write a bit more about it after I get some more hours on it.

I'll post some photos later, we're out the door to have at it again today. I love spring flying!

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