Free style wing for heavy pilot


I have about 300 hours as "normal" pilot. Last year I had some SIV training ( 4 training sesions) and I enjoy it quite a lot.

Now I want a littlle bit more so I want to get a free style wing.

My weight is 115 kg naked ( target is 110kg) so I don't have to many options.

Niviuk F-Gravity 2 or Gradient Freestyle 3.. booth of them will be flyed at around 130kg.

So, does anybody had the chance to fly booth wings and is willing to share his experience?

Tank you,

Latest Comments

acromarmot's picture

I want to add: at least as important as the glider is the perfect harness for you and some good rescues. Repeat all your known maneuvers on the new wing (especially stall) before you continue with new stuff. And the most important and sometimes difficult thing is to stick to an altitude safety margin and stop training early enough.


acromarmot's picture

Hey KrisH,

this is probably not the right place to tell a little story ;- ) And I have to mention that I'm in no way an expert or pro, please always look for opinions from more experienced pilots or even better: SIV/Acro trainers).

This represents only my personal opinion:
Well, I'll keep it brief: I started with a low B, just got my license, didn't know much and kept flying for 2-3 years. I learned how to spiral (on a range from 1-10: I managed 4-5) and tried my first WO. I didn't know how to stall, how to recover cravats, the WO timing was really shitty (so you can imagine the risk was really big).
Then I decided (despite the fact that I cannot fly often) to do soft acro because this is really my passion. I knew I would progress slow and spend a lot of money but still... The next season I wanted to learn FS and parachutal because the goal was Helico. So I was looking for a different wing and I just read the adverts and decided to buy a freestyle wing. Well, for the stall and the efforts in Helico it wasn't the worst choice. But Helico training takes time, even if you can fly often. So naturally I got stuck and frustrated from time to time and then I practiced WO. And tried Asy Spiral , dynamic stall, SAT...Basically I learned with that freestyle wing everything, but once I almost killed myself in a spiral (which was ONLY due to me being downright stupid) and WO and Asy Spiral took really long to be nice. The wing had quite some energy (compared to my previous one) so timing seemed to be not that important (yeah well, but this way you don't learn it correctly). But if you want to do a WO, Loop or Asy SAT (or later tumbling) it is necessary to feel, to know exactly that there's enough speed for the maneuver but with the freestyle wing I just went for it and watched the outcome. Today I can do nice WO, Loop, AsySAT but I still don't know if I also can do it with a low B wing, I have to try next time I'm down south ;-)
What I want to say is: it is not necessary for these maneuvres to have a freestyle wing, sometimes quite the opposite. And these wings usually have a C because they're built to do almost all acro-maneuvers, a glide ratio which isn't too bad and still should pass the certification. As a result, some of them are pretty aggressive. And maybe well loaded (or overloaded low B offers still the same or even better glide than some of the freestyle wings.
When you want to do Misty, MacTwist and Helico it can be nice to have a freestyle wing (because sometimes they stall easier). But at this point you're ususally quite advanced so can you can also think of using a quite big acro-wing.
So if I had to do it all over again, I'd choose a low B which can do nice SAT (and is not too bad in stall) and learn with this especially Spiral, Cravats, WO, Asy Spiral, SAT/Full stall, AsySAT ...then I'd go to Parachutal, Helico, Misty, Tumbling, Here you could use a freestyle wing..But on my list there's Rhytmic and Tumbling (to Infinite) so I'd take an acro wing for this step.

But there're many ways to be happy, ...Somewhere here's also a thread with acro training suggestions...
For any more details


KrisH's picture

Hey acromarmot, I'm curious if you would elaborate on your freestyle wing experience, and advice on when to move up. I've trained on a low B to get completely comfortable with [dynamic] full stalls/tail slide, WO, Asy Spiral, sat, some looping, and helicos (though they are very inconsistent and often ugly). I haven't done misty flips/mactwist since I'm still working on helico consistency, and I'm finding that my glider is very damped to make high WO pretty difficult. I picked up a Freestyle3 to start progressing into Asy Sat and help make the dynamic tricks easier, but haven't had a chance to fly it yet. Would love to hear your perspective. I could still try mistys and mactwist on my old glider if it would be too much to learn those on the FS3.

_mihai's picture

Thank you for your advise :)

acromarmot's picture

Hi Mihai,

sounds like a reasonable program. I'd go with spiral, fullstall, WO & SAT, SAT-with-Cravat,...
In this case I wouldn't recommend a freestyle wing. First because of the behaviour (they can be nasty, agressive), second because these manouevres you learn more precisly on a low B. In WO, SAT, asy spiral, loop you need exact timing with a low B because the wing doesn't have so much speed/rot. energy as a freestyle wing would have.

Consider using an low B which you'd fly at the very top of the weight range or little/ quite overloaded. The overloading would give speed/energy thus handling fun while you still have to train the basics
pretty accurate. Some of these low B don't like stalls that much, others cannot do a nice SAT. Some of them are great even for helico etc. ...But there're people out there who can tell you these details to every wing.

Just my thoughts on this as I took the freestyle wing too early.

_mihai's picture

For SIV I have used a MacPara Eden5.... this glider is a to say... dampened, easy going enB....
On SIV I have done entire program and after that I have continued with wing overs, SAT, full stall, spiral.

Short term plan: master full stall, wing overs, SAT, spiral.... based of the output of this I will decide what & when to do next. :)

acromarmot's picture

Hi Mihai,

what did you do in the SIV and what is your plan to start acro with (which manoeuvre(s) do you plan to learn this season/next?)

Depending on the two answers you might consider keeping your current wing (what is it btw?) or change to a suitable A/B wing. A freestyle wing is not necessarily the best option to start acro with an some of them are quite tricky picks...

Fly safe,