Archive For: NEWS

5 March 2016

horizontal break


5 hours to the summit

Paragliding pilots and rock climbers, Brendan Reid and Mark Robson, tackled one of the great classic routes in Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe last week.  With perfect conditions and light winds, Brendan and Mark took on the Grade IV 4 route up the North Buttress with ultralight flying gear.

Brendan on an Ozone Ultralite 2-16 and Mark Robson flying an Ultralite 3-19 both launched from the summit after 5hrs of climbing the route manned with crampons and pick axes. The flight straight back to their car only took them a leisurely but they were able to take some great footage of their adventure to share with us.

horizontal break
Hernan Pitocco joins the Ozone family

Hernan Pitocco joins the Ozone family

Admired by many for his imaginative projects and vol-biv routes through the Himalayas and the Andes, Hernan Pitoco is also a World Cup acro champion and cross-country distance world record holder.

Read more →



horizontal break

CCC gliders

Delegates vote for 90kg

It looks like at the CIVL Plenary meeting, delegates have passed their vote on a number of important subjects, notably the manufacturing and testing of the CC class or “CCC”.

It has been agreed that CCC gliders will be scaled using the XS size and maximum take-off weight of 90kg in order to pass certification. All other sizes will use linear scaling from this XS size to produce other gliders in this class.

Existing gliders are not affected by the new standard and their configuration will stay the same, and it is unlikely that there will be further scaling down from the mandatory XS size, however in the event that a manufacturer wishes to do so, this will now be possible.

The new certification standard will open doors for other paraglider manufacturers to produce competition wings, as well as enable lighter, smaller competition pilots to fly CCC class gliders.  In the past the lighter pilots and indeed female competititors have been deprived from flying a comp wing because of sometimes having to carry up to 33kg of ballast.

There will be many happy faces amongst the manufacturers and the competition pilot community. CIVL will be no doubt be releasing a full report soon.

horizontal break


horizontal break


Glider manufacturer Gin Gliders is deprived of its production unit due to political unrest

Political tension between North and South Korea means the manufacturer, Gin Paragliders, must abandon its activity on the major production site of Kaesong, the “inter-Korean” economic zone

Kaesong is geographically situated in North Korea but accepts South Korea’s trade. In 2004 the opening of the shared zone symbolised a reconciliation between the North and the South, however it was discovered later that salaries earned from the North were chanelled to provide financing for nuclear programmes.  

News from Arirang on the political decision

“Some days after the North Korean firing of long-range missiles and just one month after the fourth nuclear tests, South Korea defended the decision to close the inter-Korean industrial complex in Kaesong, claiming that the North Korean capital of Pyongyang had syphoned off some 70% of its North Korean workers wages to fund its nuclear missiles program.  The site had 124 South Korean companies employing  53,000 North Koreans.”*

This decision has an effect of the paragliding market because Gin Paragliders have their primary manufacturing unit there, and therefore lose their production site, its qualified workers, the machines, stock references and raw materials. Gin Paragliders has an alternative factory in China which will in the meantime take on the Kaesong production.  Gin Paragliders apologises in advance for delays in delivery.

* Source: Europe 1

Extracts from Gin Paragliders’ news to distributors

“As of the 11th February 2016, it has been confirmed that our factory will be closed.  All raw materials, machines and stock will be abandoned.  We have been authorised to cross the frontier to collect any equipment we are able to transport from our factory.  This definitive closure will affect our entire production because the manufacturing of all our products is from the Kaesong factory.   Fortunately, we are able to continue manufacturing to a maximum capacity in our Chinese factory where production will commence in the near future as soon as we have recovered our equipment…

This political situation has seriously effected our company.  We would like to apologise in advance for the inconvenience caused due to late deliveries and for the lack of information available with regards to future production…We are in the process of negotiating the necessary compensation and support from our government and reiterate that your satisfaction is our priority…”

horizontal break


horizontal break


Kirsten Seeto makes goal and FAI World Record history at Kiwi Open

Kirsten Seeto, female paragliding pilot and well-known author of recent buzz-article “Competing without a Penis“, makes FAI World Record history by being the first of two female pilots to have completed the longest FAI World Record Distance Competition Race to Goal in the history of paragliding. The second female pilot in goal and just before task deadline was Japanese pilot, Nao Takada.

Meet Director Mark Hardman set a 214km task from Mount Borah to North Star on the 6th task day of the Kiwi Open in Manilla, Australia,   By reaching goal, Kirsten also broke her personal best distance record and was amongst only 32 other pilots to complete the task.  Conditions were said to have produced some solid climbs of 4-5m/s to almost 3000m altitude, and with a 30km wind at the upper levels some of the competitor’s final glides were achievable from 30km out!

If you have read Kirsten’s recent article which talks about being a female pilot in a male-dominated sport, you will understand how her obvious mental approach played an important role in keeping her focused for the 6+hr flight.

Huge congratulations go to Kirsten from the team at Rock the Outdoor !

For full Kiwi Open competition results, click here

(Photo credits: Kris Eriksen and Kirsten Seeto)

horizontal break

Companion SQR – the new generation reserve parachute in the shape of a criss-cross

After the round, then the square, we now have a criss-cross parachute design called the Companion SQR (short for “Square Round”).  The Companion SQR is a new generation of safety reserves which combines features from both its square and round counterparts.  The concept is the result of many months of research using a digitally designed concept programme which studies air flow over the canopy and develops the perfect shape for a parachute.

The result is a reserve parachute with a rapid opening and improved pendulum stability, primarily due to the four lateral openings, a feature found in some square parachute designs.

Other advantages of the Companion SQR

The important choice of material means the Companion SQR is one of the lightest around,  weighing only 1.25kg for Size 100 and 1.35kg for Size 120.  In addition to the rapid opening time and pendular stability, there are other advantages:

– Slow descent rate
– Easy untangling due to fewer lines
– Shrink resistant cloth (chosen for water landings)
– Easy folding thanks to visual folding aids and a simple book of instructions
– Certified to the EN and LTF norms

Download the brochure in English

Air flow simulation

Who are Companion Rescue Systems?

A new brand to the parachute market, Companion Rescue Systems is a joint subsidiary of the Hungarian company EVOTEC and Switzerland’s ADVANCE.  Hannes Papesh is the Chief Designer with Peter Mack also working on design and the production management in Hungary, whilst Mike Küng tests and distributes through the ADVANCE in Vietnam.

Technical Data
Area 25,4 m2 32,4 m2
Max. TOW 100 kg 120 kg
Sink rate at Max. TOW 5,4 m/s 5,4 m/s
Weight 1258 g 1534 g
Certification EN/LTF EN/LTF

Comparison between round and square parachutes (Rogallo).

Naturally untangled lines – lateral air passages

horizontal break


– More information : et

horizontal break

14 JAN 2016

horizontal break


“350 seemed too wimpy, so now it’s 500. Hopefully 500 miles to somewhere this time!”

After the acclaimed film 500 Miles to Nowhere, a paragliding adventure from Utah to Wyoming, Gavin McClurg is planning his new mission…Alaska!

In May of this year, Gavin plans to start his journey, as he attempts to travel 500 miles across Alaska in some of the most spectacular and remote mountains by paraglider and on foot. “350 seemed too wimpy”, he says, “so now it’s 500. Hopefully 500 miles to somewhere this time!

“Hike high, fly all day, land,and camp. Repeat as long as the weather allows” – Gavin McClurg

Watch this Spot!

horizontal break


horizontal break


The Westrum way

This month Red Bull XAlps pilot and long-distance runner, Dawn Westrum, trades her paraglider for trial shoes as she prepares for the Happy Mutant Adventure Race in Utah, USA.

The race is one in a series of outdoor trials across the country, involving trekking, mountain biking, caving, orienteering and canyoning along a course line over a 72hr period.

Dawn is no stranger to gruelling challenges after proving her stamina during the 2015 Red Bull Alps race. Follow Dawn and team-mates Jeff, Jon and Eric, on livetracking  during the race which kicks off this Friday at 7pm in St George, Utah.

horizontal break