Is the Advance XI paraglider too light?

Advance XI. I just had a 40k cross country
on a quite a tricky day actually quite strong climbs but very broken up so
nothing that was a really a nice full circle you don’t have to keep working
and keep moving and shifting and following the core so it was a good test
of the glider. I got up to cloud base once or twice which is 1200 metres or
so up and some long glides lots of working light choppy lift and having
to shift around. That’s cool, yeah, a very nice glider. I mean what can I say these
wings are all fantastic these days they’re so well designed, you know
they are all refined, they all have come through such an evolution over the last
20 years that when you get something like this
and it’s new and it’s come out of a reputable company like Advance you know
all the research has been done: it’s polished, it’s finished, it works very
well. That’s a very clean riser layout for a lightweight wing, nice to have webbing,
the pulleys on the speed bar are nice and big. It’s got this floating line for the big ears, the
line on the outer A just means that when you accelerate the wing there is slightly
less acceleration on the tips. The lines are all unsheathed except for the stabilo the base of this stabilo line and the brake line. A bit of wind now I’m
gonna pull it up slowly and move towards it Gliding around with the other gliders I
mean I think it’s competitive in the high B class it’s very difficult to tell
when you’re flying cross-country because you are up and then the other person’s up
and you’re gliding in differently air. I felt competitive, climb was easy I was
climbing with two other different gliders in the same class I was
climbing with the Supair Step, I had no problem keeping up with the Step and we
were kind of equal so you know that’s another modern high B. I was doing well.
The feeling on the wing: it’s very mellow it feels a lot like the Iota 2, it’s mellow in the turn it’s not instant and not quick and very direct it
is mellow in the turn you’ve got fair amount of brake which you can pull
quite a long brake travel. It’s a moderate amount of pressure, quite a deep position
for thermaling. It’s a little bit tiring but it’s fine. It’s certainly very easy,
there’s nothing hot about it, the turn is very balanced and smooth and you can
tighten it up but you do need a little bit of muscle and kind of you’ve got to
lean into it to get that tighter turn if you want it. Having said that if it’s light
lift and if you want you to just do gentle turns it’s very
delicate and it does respond on a little bit of brake so you can actually float
around with very light inputs and just have a nice time, but when
you’re wanting to sink the wingtip into something and give it a bit of a hook
turn you need quite a lot of brake so there’s quite a lot of travel and you
will be using fairly deep brake position the brakes are quite a long travel and
then there’s lots of protection for the stall point you know you can come down
and hold and hold and hold and you get that high pressure before stall a long
delay and then a very slow smooth kind of entry into the stall so it’s very
very forgiving that way. Yyeah so
I’m just gliding now, I’ve just done some stalls and yeah a very long break travel
lots of resistance to stall a lot of pressure needed and a very gentle entry
into a stall so really good marks for that! Very easy to handle. It’s a real
strong point for the class, absolutely I would say ‘bomb-proof’ stall resistance.
It’s very good and you’re not going to stall it by mistake. Putting in brake
on one side as well the spin is very slow to engage so you don’t have to
worry about it didn’t feel that it was hot in any way when I was flying it was
it’s not like a high high you know super tuned B it’s kind of in the middle of
the of the class it’s very easy very accessible very stable in pitch. I find I
was going out even on bar, it just sits above you. Once or twice when I hit
really grumpy air it did do a bit of a jump ahead but it’s very easy to control and
also it dampens it out but most of the time it’s sitting in a narrow bracket
just above your head and it’s a very easy in thermaling, there’s no need to
manage the forward surge and it’s very calm so gives you a good ride.
Certainly nothing hot about the glider so far it’s just been very easy.
Mellow. The turn is a compact feeling of a low aspect ratio wing, it turns fairly
quickly it’s not super agile and it’s not super energetic it’s more of a
mellow turn but it does get around quite tight because it’s a small little wing
and I found the thermaling pleasant. I was never really having to control energy in
the wing it was just doing its job and going around nicely. I did some big ears,
they do flap around a little bit. They flutter as opposed to some wings that
flap where you’ve got lots of air in the wing tips, these wing tips seem to
deflate like the Iota 2 they actually get rid of the air and they’ll
just flutter a little bit so they shake but they don’t disturb you and they
don’t mess up the stability of the glider at all and when you release them
they slowly come out on their own. They’re quite happy so very easy. I found
it a very simple glider to fly. Of course it’s incredibly light and you
know if anybody’s going to make a light glider with light fabric and super optimized and reduced reinforcing I want it to be Advance. I’m very confident
about their manufacturing and their attention to detail and the little
things that they put in to make sure that even though it’s light it’s still
strong. So I’m very confident that this lightweight product will last you but
you must bear in mind that it’s an ultralight; it’s lighter than you would
normally make a paraglider. So you have to be careful with it you can’t drag it
around on launch in particular you can’t drop it on the leading edge if
you flip it upside down … if you’re still learning your ground handling stay on a
medium weight glider until you’re experienced.
It really stays flying in light stuff it’s quite an advantage when
launching off funny places on your adventures. I’ll try and bring it down to the
ground now, quite a bit of brake on, it’s very light wind. OK it’s falling back and now I’m just gonna
release the brakes and let it fly up. Keeping it close to the ground. No-handed launch … no effort at all. The other thing to also bear in mind, when you go to a
lightweight wing is they seem to have slightly less resistance to collapses
they’re a little bit hotter that way something to do with the reinforcing
being reduced so they reinflate quickly but they also seem to be a
little bit more susceptible to collapse. It’s a little bit hotter that way so you
must be sure that you are ready for a high B class, the XC class, before you
progress on to something like the XI. You mustn’t be on an EN A
and think oh I’m gonna go up to the high B class and this is my first wing.
Being a lightweight as well is giving yourself a little bit more demand. Having
said that the positives of a lightweight wing: super easy to launch.
This wing floats up by itself very easy to keep it overhead and it packs
away to nothing so if you’re traveling and you are doing lots of adventuring you
want to do volbiv flying regularly then this is ideal you know something
that’s got stability it’s easy to fly it’s simple, it’s not going to overwhelm you,
you can go and explore in some places that are maybe pretty hectic and you’ve
got a wing that’s giving you some built in passive safety. Very cool and very reliable simple wing
no fuss and very clean in the air easy to fly. Something for you if you’re
wanting to go on big adventures, do lots of cross-country flying, go exploring and
have a really small pack.

19 thoughts on “Is the Advance XI paraglider too light?

  1. Hey Greg Can you tell me how many hours you think a person should have before they start hike'n'fly? I have only 2 or 3 hrs (a beginner week plus some). I want to go buy a really lightweight harness and wing and just go do it (alps).

  2. Great review Greg! Really liked the written comparisons to their similar wings in the class. Any plans to add the Skywalk Arak and Swift 5 to the review cue and also to compare to the Xi in the future?

  3. Thanks, Greg, your production quality is just getting better and better. Not really an on-point question but would you say that the Geo 5 would collapse easier than the Buzz Z5? Just picking up on your point about collapses towards the end of the video. Thanks again 🙂

  4. Great video and useful insight to this wing. I have been considering this model (hope to give a test fly soon) but I am worried that the weight ranges are not good for me. I currently weigh 71 kg and I’m afraid that if I used for volbiv I might be out of the weight range unless I had a super light harness (supair strike). What do you think? Thanks in advance!

  5. Very nice review! However I notice that recently Flububble's reviews are about (higher) B-level wings and higher. I would very much like to see a Flybubble style review of the newest A-level wings, especially the light weight A-level wings as Skywalk Masala and Niviuk Koyot Plume. Would that be possible once?

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