Paraglider for Freestyle


I have been flying for 7 years with a en-B, Hook 5. I have started doing some acro tricks (SAT, Heli, Mistys, Wing-overs, Asymmetrical Spiral...) and now I'd like to go to a more acro glider, i.e. Freestyle.

I'd like to know which gliders are on the market, and the level of expertise required to fly them. I weight 80kg (only me - no equip.), what area the wing should have as to not be too dynamic?


Marcelo Boson.

Latest Comments

WoodysGamertag's picture

I fly the Xenus. I'm a beginner acro pilot who is pretty good with the dynamic stuff (wingovers, SATs, tumbles, etc.) and pretty new at most of the negative stuff (helis, spin overs, misty flips, etc.)

I probably have about 100 hours on my xenus, 300 stalls, etc.

I like it, mostly. It's great at wingovers, SATs, tumbles, etc. I do find that compared to my octane, it shoots a lot. You have to check that surge.

If you go for a spinover and instead do a poorly timed wingover by not pulling enough brake, it's a big event.

Also, I had to modify the brake pulleys to get it to do a SAT -> Spin -> Heli. It just takes so much travel that if you take enough wraps to get past SAT, you can't give back enough brake to inflate the heli.

Again, I'm not a pro. Maybe other people can chime in on what's normal. I just find the octane 2 to be more mild. When the guys around here say that a mild wing is good for learning, I'm starting to see why.

jabaker's picture

I'm in a similar boat. Would like to hear more from people who have experience doing maneuvers on the Xenus, Xstyle, and E-gravity. I'm currently leaning towards E-Gravity from everything I've heard, but I haven't heard a whole lot from pilots with direct experience with these wings.

hannes3787's picture

i fly rhe xstyle now 6montz and befor i tryed the octan 2 . i like the gradient so much more , its not so agressive but have super dynamik as well

Paraglidingpixie's picture

I weigh 56kg before gear and have the freestyle 3 20m and just recently got the gradient xstyle 20m. I weigh quite a bit less than you so hard to say much as the wing loading and dynamics be different at 80kg+. My fiance has flown it and weighs your weight and says it's a perfect intro acro glider. How well will it do for your weight thermalling and staying up in certain conditions I am not sure. But for me I get as high as pilots on full size paragliders. It doesn't have as much performance and speed as the freestyle 3 20m but I wanted less dymanics and a more mellow biting glider to fill in some gaps but still be heavy on the wing loading. The xstyle is exactly as Theo describes it on the website. It is a perfect step back from the freestyle 3. It truly feels like I downsized on an EnB. Most of the heavier pilots here down size enB to get the dymanics and learn acro but us small pilots have a harder time sizing down. Luckily that's starting to change. :)

The freestyle 3 in the 20m or 22m at my weight I feel it flies like an EnC and will require pilot input in situations. It's really precise and a ton of fun though. You just think about a wingover and its there. Small brake inputs do a lot, weight shifts do a lot.

Hopefully you can find a few demos or friends to let you test fly some different styles of wings and find what will fit you, your goals and your fight site.

Laroth's picture

From my own experience it is easier to handle an Emilie or Blackout than an FS3,
the FS3 is a very good Wing that can do everything (except being safe) and
should be used by a Pilot for Manovers he feels comfortable with and not so much for learning new tricks.

I started flying an FS3-20 about 3months after getting my license and switched to an Emilie half a year later
and it was way easier to handle.

But i can only recommend both Wings if you can train over water exspecially on the beginning
(and i mean some time not just a couple of flights), if you train on your own and over ground,
better grab an entry FS Wing (FreeStyle3 and F-Gravity are not easy)


Fabian's picture

I found the switch from an EN-B to a freestyle wing (20m2) big, but the switch from the freestyle wing to an acro wing (Emilie, 20m2) was almost comparable.
Switching from an EN-B to an acro wing seems like a very bad idea to me!

Kimsmile's picture

In my opinion, the most important first step is to progress on an EN-B glider as far as your patience goes (helico!). After that, you don't need an entry freestyle glider anymore. If you really master helico on an EN-B, then you can easily progress to a real freestyle or acro glider.

On your stage of progression, I would care most about (projected) wing loading. The different wings and brands are different in handling and style, but wing loading and dynamic behaviour are linked.

I would also recommend the Gradient Freestyle, but definitely in size 22. You have to be precise on the Freestyle. The higher the wing loading, the harder it is to control (in negative manouvres). If you also want to thermal with the wing, I would even recommend the size 24 (with a total weight of around 100kg). I fly the FS3 in size 22 and would say that it's sweet spot is just below 95Kg.

The other option would be to go straight to an Acro wing (also in size 22 or 24) like an Emilie or a Blackout (one of the safer acro wings).

Fabian's picture

Hi Tinoco,

I used to fly a Niviuk hook3 for 3 years, did mainly wingovers and SATs on it and then decided to get a freestyle wing. My weight is also around 80 kilo.

I bought a Gradient Freestyle 2 20m2 and have to say it was a big change. It was a lot faster, more dynamic, more direct and reacted a lot harder to weight shift so in the beginning i wasn't too confident with the wing. After 15-20 flights I started to get used to it and absolutely loved that wing.
I would definitely recommend it to you, but maybe in 22m2 so you don't have the same shock as i had in the beginning :-)

Ray's picture

Did anyone fly the Xenus, X Style or E-Gravity and can say something about it? I found some information about the Xenus (reviews and so on), but hardly about the other two (besides the information from the manufacturers).

WoodysGamertag's picture

I'm just a beginner acro pilot so I don't want to weigh in on the pros and cons. I've leave that to the guys easily doing helis across multiple wings. However, I do know the list of starter gliders.

Ozone Octane 2
Icaro Xenus
Niviuk E-Gravity
Gradient XStyle
U-Turn Redout

That's what comes to mind when I think, "First acro/freestyle" glider. If I missed any hopefully the forum will add it.