Monday, 22 December 2014

Gin Boomerang 10 Overview by Lauren

Gin Boomerang 10 Overview by Lauren

With 96 cells an aspect ratio projected of 5.9, flat of 7.5 (CCC measurements)  and 14.5 cm of accelerator travel coupled with a more sharky nose and B's attachment points in between the A's like the Enzo 2 and Icepeak 8, the Boomerang 10 M and L is going to leave the competition behind in head wind glides specifically.

In my opinion and of a few others, overall the boomerang 9 glides better than the Enzo 2 but, why did the Enzo 2 won more comps and glide slightly better in head wind even although its accelerator is smaller, only 12.5 cm?

As I found out a couple of days ago, my boomerang 9 was certified with 14cm speed travel but the pilot can only achieve the fully length by totally overlapping the pulleys, takes a lot of leg power and its dangerous by getting the pulleys locked and tangled or tearing the accelerator line. My guess is that Gin did it that way, to avoid pilots from getting over the 14cm range and cheating. without overlapping pulleys, the boom 9 will only give you 12cm.

So how did the enzo 2 glide better in head wind than the boomerang 9 with 12.5cm?  The answer is simple. Unlike the boomerang 9, the enzo reaches 12.5 cm without overlapping the pulleys, in other words, after you overlap the pulleys you gain another 2.5 cm that brings the enzo 2 accelerator to 15 cm, not only that the enzo also has an "appendix" like top pulley, allowing very easy cheating in flight, if the pilot move the loop from the top pulley upwards, he could gain another 2 cm, bring the accelerator to 17cm! As most pilots are aware, in head wind glides, the less angle of incidence you have (more speed travel) the better your penetration/glide and that is where I think the Enzo 2 had a slightly advantage, not because the enzo 2 was better but because pilots were able to gain extra speed by overlapping, which isn't possible with the boom 9 as overlapping will only give you the certified 14cm, not a millimeter more.

With the new CCC limiters, the Enzo 2 will not be able to go over its original 12.5cm certified range, the boomerang 9 with its 14cm, the Icepeak 8 with 13cm and the boomerang 10 with 14.5cm, will in my opinion obliterate the enzo 2 in head wind glides in the ucomping competitions (giving all pilots flying at the at the same wing loading of course).

I strongly believe we need a to limit the speed of CCC glides at 14cm and the distance between the B and A rows in the sail, B no further than middle of the sail towards the leading edge, otherwise its going to be a race for cheating and manufactures trying to get the speed ever higher without any further real improvement in technology of the sail itself, plus pilots need to understand that the more he/she accelerates the lower the angle of incidence and the closer he/she is from the collapse, there is no way around that. Some gliders like the Icepeak 7 pro has a very high angle of incidence at trim, that allowed its accelerator travel up to 15cm, but don't be fooled, that is because at trim the angle of incidence is 2.5cm higher than other gliders, when it goes full bar, the angle of incidence is about the same as others, giving around 12.5cm. Because the angle of incidence of the icepeak 7 pro is so high at trim, it makes the glider more collapse resistant, understand that the higher the angle of incidence the further away the pilot is from the collapse, the drawback is that, it makes the glider wobbly, which the icepeak's are well known for.

At around 18cm (old open class) the angle of incidence is about to go negative (collapse) at full speed, we all know that pilots in competitions will push full bar no matter how close they are from a negative angle of incidence (collapse) frequent frontals and accidents will come back and the CCC class will be ruined by the same problem we had in open class.  I will write a full article explaining why I believe CCC gliders should have the speed travel limited to 14cm maximum, nowhere near 18cm as it is at the moment.

Back to the boomerang 10! The boomerang 10 is basically a boomerang 9 with improved stability by the little forking B's and shark nose and with a little bit more speed. The boomerang 10 has a little bit more lines due the forking B's to improve stability. I would say Boomerang 9 and 10 will glide about the same but the 10 will have a slightly advantage in head wind glides due its 5mm extra speed travel. As the boomerang 9 was the best glider ( without the enzo 2 getting extra 2.5cm over pulleys).

In my opinion, I believe the Boomerang 10 size M and L  together with Nef Olivier Icepeak 8 26 are going to be the kings. Unfortunately the size Small of the boomerang 10 doesn't not offer the same wingloading (speed) as the M and L, the same can also be said about the Icepeak 8 22 and 24.

For light pilots, I believe the Enzo 2 XS 20.3 flown at 95kg (4.7kg/sqm flat) and the Boomerang 9 S 21.2 at 105kg (5.0kg/sqm flat)  are going to be the most competitive small gliders, specially the boom 9 21 if one has enough weight to fly it at 100-105kg.

If you like what you read, feel free to share it.

Lauren Martins

Friday, 19 December 2014

Niviuk Icepeak 8 overview

With 99 cells, a flat aspect ratio of only 7.2 (CCC measurements) and an incredibly high projected of 6.0, besides the Aircross U3, the new CCC glider from Niviuk has the flattest arc I ever seen. The flatter the arc the more efficient the sail becomes, a totally flat airfoil would be the ideal, but I don't believe paragliders would ever be totally flat but we may get very close to that in the near future.
Some say paragliders with flatter arcs tend to be harder to thermal and turn, maybe the Icepeak 8 will show us that, with new technologies and a creative mind, Nef Olivier may just have pulled that magic out of the bag.
The low flat, yet high projected aspect ratio glider echos similarities with its smaller brother, the peak 3, but not only that, there are lightweight thin springy nitinol metal rods in each cell, I personally said paragliders would use nitinol rods, back in 2009 and I've been using them myself in my Sterna proto harness since 2012. Nitinol is lightweight with high elasticity, which means you can bent it to a very small radius and into the glider profile but it will always be wanting to bounce back into a straight shape, which in my opinion makes this the perfect current material for use in enhancing paragliders stability. I do believe in the future, nitinol rods would run all the way chord wise, just like the Ozone Mantra 6 do with plastic rods, but instead with nitinol rods. That is what I would do if I was designing paragliders right now.
Another ingenious is the line plan of the Icepeak 8, similar to the enzo 2 in some ways, like 4 and 5 cells between A attachment points, yet in between A's there are B attachment points to enhance trimming and stability of the sail, but there is also something unique to niviuk, that has been successfully used since the icepeak 6, which is the stabilo line being directly connected with the A3, therefore saving in line consumption.
Among many changes from the Icepeak 6 and 7Pro is the last wingtip cell, which is now floating, similarly to the enzo 2 and Icepeak 5, but not so elevated, with a more straight feel, which I personally find beautiful in the enzo 2 and now somehow in the Icepeak 8 too. The boomerang 9 has the same feature but the cell is much smaller, not giving the same wing appearance, the Boomerang 10 seems to have a bigger floating cell, which may give similar bird like looks as the Enzo 2 and Icepeak 8.
The Risers of the Icepeak 8 looks simple yet complex, simple to see and use yet complex in its mechanics, with the A3 being able to slide down much further, which can help profile acceleration and to better clean cravats or do very big ears. The B handles now is much better, with similar grip as the Ball in the Boomerang 9 and rings in the Enzo 2 which I prefer, opposed to those C shape handles of my old Icepeak 6, which is also present in the 7, 7 pro and peak 3.
There are 3 sizes, 22, 24 and 26, up to 80-100kg, 95-115kg and 105-125kg respectively, even although the size 22 is not really 22 but 22.5 and the size 26 is also not 26 but 25.5. The only thing I don't like about this glider is the sizing, the 24 and more specifically the 22. The disparity of wingloading (speed) between the 3 sizes is too much, with the size 26(25.5) having 4.9kg/sqm flat, the 24 only 4.7kg/sqm and even worse the size 22(22.5) which is only 4.4kg/sqm flat at maximum weight. With a max weight of 100kg the size "22" should be around 20 sqm flat, no where near 22.5 as it is. That is one of the reasons, the Icepeak 8 24 and 22 will be much slower than the size 26 and I would strongly recommend light under 95kg go for the Enzo 2 20.3 instead.
The lowest flat aspect ratio glider yet the highest projected among all current CCC gliders is a beautiful and intriguing machine, hanging over 8m of line height above the pilot. I don't know yet if the all 3 sizes have been loaded tested separately, giving each size optimal line thicknesses but I would like very much to see a CCC certified Icepeak 8 19.4 up to 95kg with specific load test to compete with the Enzo 2 XS up to 95kg.
Finally, I believe the Icepeak 8 26 just may become the new king ! with similar performance as the Boomerang 9/10 and Enzo 2 but due its shorter aspect ratio of just 7.2, high angle of incidence at trim and enhanced stability by nitinol rods, I believe this glider will be the easiest to fly, and pilots flying the Icepeak 8 size 26 will do really well.
The Overview of the Boomerang 9 and 10 coming soon. Like and share this if you like.
Lauren M.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Gin Boomerang 10, GTO 2, Niviuk Icepeak 8, Ozone Enzo 2, Mantra 6, etc Wingloading Comparison.

For those thinking in Buying the GIN Boomerang GTO 2, Boomerang 10 or Icepeak 8 sizes S or even Medium in the case of the GTO2 and IP8 here are a few reasons why you should NOT buy it and buy the Enzo 2 S/XS or Boomerang 9 S instead. Don't be fooled.
Obviously if depending on me, Gin and Niviuk wont sell a single small Boom 10, GTO 2, Small Icepeak 8 or any manufacturer with oversized small gliders in the their range for that matter.

To a better understanding, in a simplistic language, think it this way, the molecules of air are the same size to all of us, that means the advantages and disadvantages between the sizes is applied equally in ALL sizes when compared to each other. For example if Ozone or Gin gave to the XL, L and M the same flat wingloading, but denied the S and XS the same benefit with its advantages and disadvantages, it is absolutely unfair for S and XS pilots, remember wingloading translates (speed, stability and handling).

Smaller pilots already don't have physics in their side, the Reynold numbers, but when manufactures decide to accentuated the problem by refusing to give the S and XS the same wingloading as the M, L and XL it makes matters worse. Small flying beings like insects have extremely high wingloading when comparing their wing to their body size ( wings smaller than their abdomen) compared to bigger flying beings like soaring birds, (wings much larger then their body) that is because for smaller things to cut trough the air viscosity they need wingloading, it is VITAL, it is the KEY for them to be able to move around the air mass.
Here are some common misconceptions for reduced wingloading in the smller sizes and I will debunk one by one.

1- XS and S sizes have more drag therefore it must have less wingloading to achieve the same climbing abilities.


Ok, lets imagine this wrong misconception is correct for a moment, so why is the M and L has the same wingloading as the XL? They all fly great. Use logic, the molecules of air is the same size to all of us, so the advantages and disadvantages should be applied to ALL sizes here but it is not, stupidly in the head of some designers it only apply to the S and XS, when smaller things are the most dependent upon wingloading to move trough the mass.
Smaller gliders have smaller circling radius, that means any insignificant small disadvantage in climbing caused giving the same flat wingloading to smaller sizes will be auto compensated by staying near the center of the thermal, where the lift is stronger. Proved many times when flying my Icepeak 6 19 at 90kg 4.8kg/sqm flat and climbing just as good as everybody else.

When one buy an oversized glider who doesn't have the same flat wingloading as the larger sizes, He/She has numerous problems, not only performance disadvantage, more increased risk of being blown to the lee side while everybody else is managing to cut trough the wind, difficult take off's, increased risk of being dragged in rocky terrain, getting blacked out in spiral, easily getting into uncontrollable cloud sucks, uncofortable flight in thermic conditions, all these can lead to death, accidents and taking away the confidence of the pilot in him/herself, when the problem is not necessarily them, He/She may be inside the top of the weight range on the glider but the actual wingarea of the glider is for someone twice of his/her weight.

Ok, Ok, so why manufactures don't give the same flat wingloading to all sizes and fix this problem once and for all, after all they are skygods and know what they are doing?


There is not a single reason for this problem, I will list a few and comment upon them.

1- Firstly designers are just people like you and me, nobody knows everything, they are still learning after each project. In the past there were people designing gliders for Swing after reading a single thin book about aerodynamics who actually never flow a comp glider, never the less smaller sizes. After speaking with some designers I can clearly see they are incredibly knowledgeable with medium gliders but they also lack of knowledge and experience when comes to sizing of small gliders.

2- The reason why some designers, doesn't know how to design well small gliders, is because the designer himself usually flies Medium, their light factory pilots are good at pulling collapses and stalls but knows nearly nothing about aerodynamics applied to smaller flying things and they give the designer the wrong input, just like happened with the Small Boomerang 10, which the light factory pilot who couldn't stay in the best bits of the thermals, asked extra cloth for his glider to stay up with the rest of the pack, then of course, his mistake and extra cloth ( lower wingloading, lower speed and stability), is now going to be forced upon all of us, who wanted to buy this glider. I gladly no longer will spend a penny in it.

3- Certification process. Isn't the glider too dynamic to pass certification?. etc...
In the beginning I thought the problem was Alan Zoiler, but it is not, the problem is a mix of factors and some I listed above. Smaller gliders are not more dynamic when they are given the same number of cells as its larger sizes and a considerable line length between the glider and the pilot. Also smaller people, things ( animals in general ) has faster reactions, so I believe the problem is not at the certification, the enzo 2 XS 20.3 up 95kg is only 0.6m bigger than what would be ideal (19.7m) and it passed on certification with flying colors. So fly if you are a pilot around 90kg, get an enzo 2 XS 20.3 and fly it at 95kg and you are almost as efficient as everyone on bigger gliders, if load the enzo 2 XS up to 98kg you are in virtually no disadvantage.

For almost 10 years I asked politely, for manufacturers to change, they didn't. They are robbing many girls and light boys flying careers and even putting them into dangerous situation with their oversized balloons, its the manufacturer responsibility, when he claims the same trim speed for all sizes of a model ranging from 3.1kg/sqm in the smaller size and 4.2kg/sqm in the XL, that is a lie and irresponsible.

I became fed up of seeing girls getting blown back behind the hill, dying and getting hurt, I almost got myself killed by one of these balloons, I decided it was enough, someone has to do something about it, I decided to passionately fight for this cause. Since 2009 I work educating pilots about the problem and encouraging them to check the actual size of the wing and not just the weight range, some got the message and greatly appreciate it, others usually larger pilots and dealers who aren't directly affected by the problem, tried to silence me and even get me banned from a forum for speaking about the subject. For believing what I'm doing is the right thing, I open my own forum and thousands follow me into it. Educated pilots wont buy oversized gliders, and we manage to hurt the profit some manufacturers make in their smaller wings, forcing them to reduce drastically the size of their small gliders. From 2012 we've seen small 60-80kg gliders dropping from 26sqm flat to 21-20sqm. a 6 meter drop in 2 years.

I would like thanks those who supported me, who embraced this cause for a fairer sport, where women and men have similar opportunities, performance and safety in paragliding. We conquered a lot, but we are not quite there yet.

"A girl who grew up being told she is not inferior to men, will never accept inequality"

Lauren Martins

Friday, 14 November 2014

I'm open to sponsorship for the 2015 season! Here is a little about me, what I can offer to my sponsors

I'm open to sponsorship for the 2015 season! Here is a little

about me, what I can offer to my sponsors.

About me.

Former Falconer, self taught falconry and bird rehabilitation since the age of 10, I flew Falcons and Hawks. Falco femoralis, Falco peregrinus and Geranoaetus albicaudatus are some of the many birds of prey I worked with. I also studied Engineering and Biology at University. I also spent big part of my free time, studying fluid dynamics and aerodynamics for the past 10 years.

I dream about flying since I can remember, my parents can attest my attempts at the age of 6 of gluing feathers in my arms and fingers and jumping from threes, building my own ram air gliders in my mother's stitching machines at the age of 13 is something she won't forget. I Started flying paragliders at the age of 15, again self taught with a 1991 Edel Corvette, due the lack of money or near by instructors, a year later I sat for the pilot test and got my certification as a Pilot.

After almost 10 years flying many wings, harness, studying and doing some longish cross country flying, I decided in 2014 to pursuit my biggest dream, which is to compete and see where do I stand compared to other pilots. My first competition was at the British champs in Ager this year, with 3 valid tasks, with all my inexperience in mountain flying and comps, I manage to arrive in the top 10 in the first task and 44 overall among 120+ pilots.

My goals are, to continue flying paragliding competitions and cross country, make films about my flying adventures, fly tandem with my friends and family, start flying my Hangglider a bit more, finish my Winglider prototype and maybe one day, design gliders that I enjoy flying or teach others to fly.

What I can offer to my Sponsors.

I'm not a world champion or pwc champion but I do have something to offer in return to my sponsorship and that comes in the form of social media, I have a some of 10.000 people following me on social media and my youtube channel has around 5000 views per day, mostly pilots, eager to learn, about flying, gears etc or people who want to learn paragliding. By sponsoring me, your brand will be stamped on my wing for thousands to see, but I will also recommend your company all those who contact me in a daily basis for flying guidance.

What do I expect from my Sponsors.

Help to acquire my flying gears, support for travelling in competitions ( not necessary but that would be a bonus ).

If you are interested, please contact me via facebook or

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Boomerang 9 21 first flight, 20km from milk Hill to Liddington Hill. Photo at Liddington Hill SW take off.

Cross country with heavy gear and ballast = nightmare! That said the boomerang 9 21 is just another league from everything else, gliding tail wind at 30:1 is something I never experienced with a paraglider before, simply amazing, although I couldn't turn tight as I usually do with the Icepeak 6 19, maybe because I was a bit conservative on the brakes and turns on the boom 9 as it's my first flight with it. Results of flying big glider with 20kg bag + 8 ballast = broken nail, dragged by strong gust, dirty my Xrated 6, hurt my foot and just managed to finish packing.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

My magic Nitinol rods has arrived!

My magic Nitinol rods has arrived, it worked wonderfully in the Sterna harness, with its superelastic properties, water prof and bent up to 3cm this will change paragliding harness and wing design forever. Stay tuned!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Martins / Sterna paradisaea

My hubby checking my latest... :) After months of heavy stitching, cutting and testing here it is Sterna my new harness 3kg with 2 reserves, certified back protector, fantastic ABS system, Anti-G front pocket, up to 120kg, removable (velcro) fairing system, removable and optional carbon seat plate or hammock, plus 4.5L ballast space under the seat. Video coming soon :)