Phi TENOR light paraglider review


I think this glider is fantastic, I
think it’s absolutely brilliant! it’s so easy to fly, lightweight really easy
launch forward or reverse in all different conditions. It’s definitely easier
to launch than quite a few high B gliders. it’s got such amazing
performance it’s so easy to fly. it climbs and handles so nicely. it’s
brilliant, I really love it! I’ve been really enjoying flying it this week I
didn’t want to get off it actually I’ve chosen to carry on flying it. when you’re flying in a place like
Colombia where it’s pretty punchy at times and it’s really strong and
rough I’ve been really glad that I’m flying on the TENOR light feeling very
happy and comfortable and then when I needed performance and I’m thinking oh
I’ve got a long glide to the next place or it’s really light and scratchy
I haven’t then thought aww no, I’m on this poor performing
glider. I felt really happy with the performance. it feels like the
performance is as good as to be honest to me it feels like the performance is as
good as any other high B’s which is pretty impressive — but with less pilot
demand. and that little that low aspect ratio really means you can crank the
glider around. there’s been some really punchy little cores sometimes and I’ve
been able to whip the glider around and just core up in it and because the
handling is so light it’s effortless as well, I haven’t been getting
tired at all. so it’s really fun, really enjoyable; absolutely loving it. pilots are looking for a glider that has
really great performance but they don’t want the pilot demands of a high B
glider, then this, the TENOR and the TENOR LIGHT are a great options to look for.
with the TENOR light you have a lovely lightweight package which is great for
carrying up the hill and brilliant for hike and fly adventures. It’s also
quite dynamic, the handling is like a little sports car,
you’re just zipping about the sky having really good fun, just going wheehee over there
and you go through some bumps and you think bo-bo-bo-bum it’s like
you just bounce over the bumps in your little sports car. fantastic, great fun,
really sporty little glider that’s fantastic for cross-country flying, great
for hike and fly, soaring on the hill, playing around on the dunes, for
everything, it is a very all-around fantastic glider. for a mid B glider it gives a really
nice amount of feedback. It doesn’t give as much feedback as some of the high B
gliders but that’s more reassuring less demanding and you haven’t got so
much overloading your senses, but at the same time it does talk to you it’s
not all dampened like some of the low B gliders tend to be quite dampened, which is very reassuring for pilots who want that but the TENOR is
definitely a little bit more lively it’s got a little bit more spice to it yeah
it’s got more energy as well so for thermaling, if you hit a core and go
into it you can immediately bank up and core around in the thermal which is
great where some of the gliders they’re a bit more dampened you tend to you have
to wait for the glider to come forward again and then you can can crank it
around. and then when you’re in mincey mincey mincey kind of stuff you’re mincing
about and you just slow the glider down a bit and then you just turn more with
weight shift and then it’s very efficient, still turning nice and
efficient, so I didn’t find that I was dropping out of the sky when there was
very mincey stuff around I wasn’t losing out. so it’s very good like that:
it climbs really well on the light stuff and really well in the strong
stuff too. I really like these risers because they’re very stable instead of
pulleys you have little ceramic rings for the speed system they seem to work very
nicely yeah there’s a connection system so that when you’re accelerating it
accelerates the A’s and the B’s differently to be more efficient for
more performance. The TENOR light comes with two different types of risers: you
can have the standard risers with maillons or the lightweight risers with soft links.
if I just pull this down you’ll see they’re soft links which are looped and
attached on and they have these nice sheaths, that’s nice bit of sheathing
here which covers them up. it’s actually very nicely and neatly done. i must
confess i generally prefer maillons to the soft links maybe it’s just because
I’m old and old fashioned! the one thing that I found missing on these risers is
that they they don’t have a split A’s with a soft link version it
doesn’t come with split A’s. I fed that back to Hannes at PHI and they’re considering making a a lightweight riser with with the split A’s as well. [Nancy] so how did you find using the big ears without having the split A’s? [Carlo] what it means is that you have to reach quite high you have to sit forward in your seat and
reach quite high especially as the risers are actually a relatively long.
so for me with my long monkey arms I have no problem I can
reach them, sit forward and reach up and get the A and pull in the big ears, but definitely it’s a little more fiddly like that. I would prefer to
have split A’s but of course this is all about lightweight minimalism. a nice thing about the TENOR light, because there’s only two A’s, you actually
pull quite good-sized big ears. they’re pretty big big ears just with a one line
so that’s quite good, they’re very effective. they flap around a little bit
but not too much and they’re very effective and stable. one of the reasons
that the TENOR and the TENOR light are supposed to have such good performance
is there are very few lines so only two A’s they have two
B’s (this is the Stabilo) and two C’s. so very few lines! the brakes are
attached just to a little bit of velcro which is I guess the most lightweight
option. I personally found they just kept coming off. it was very easy to
knock them off and so I’d prefer something else. I personally prefer
magnets but I guess for lightweight they might have a little clip or something
like that. they’re quite slimline brakes and they
don’t have a lot of big stiffening in them they just have this little rod in
here. during flight I kept wondering if they might come out but they didn’t yet,
they haven’t actually come out yet. you can push them in if they did.
they easy to replace but actually I found them really fine to fly with and
part of the reason is that I found the handling of the TENOR light the brakes
are very light so you don’t need a really soft padded brake handle for it. so on this trip I think I’ve done almost
about 30 hours on the TENOR light and so I’ve got to know it really well. the
conditions have been very varied, Colombia’s great for that, everything
from light scratchy stuff to some pretty punchy snotty stuff where you
think the air has got out of the wrong side of bed or something, you’ve been
slapped about the sky. The TENOR has been really well
behaved. The TENOR light is a mid B glider like the TENOR but I find it
for that class it’s surprisingly agile and responsive and it gives very
good feedback for that class of glider in fact some pilots say if they’re
moving up from a low B like an ION or a TEQUILA 5 might find that the glider
is more responsive and talks to them more and definitely more agile. when you
fly the TENOR light it’s kind of “ooh”. it’s a bit surprising it’s really quite
light. when I was flying even for five hours I wasn’t getting tired hands or
wrists at all and I’ve been flying with lots of pilots on high B gliders it
seems to be climbing pretty much as well as them. the really surprising
thing about the TENOR light is that it’s pretty quick. because it is very
agile if you just use too much inside brake you can make the glider go a
little bit nose down so it’s important to use a little bit of outside brake
just to keep it nice and flat and then it climbs really well, particularly I
found it’s really good in the little cores. I found myself using third to
half bar on almost every glide just because it’s so efficient and felt
really solid and good and then on gliding into wind or through sink then full
bar and it’s still gliding really well. on full bar the glider does start to
get a little bit light and twitchy so you need to be on it a little bit it’s
not just a solid block and I actually found that the TENOR light
seems like it’s a little bit more twitchy than the standard TENOR maybe
because of the lighter construction. when I asked Hannes about it he mentioned that
it’s also maybe slightly to do with the fact that I’ve got these the light
weight risers, they don’t have split A’s so because of that the tips are
accelerated a little bit more and he says it’s very subtle but it might make
a little difference to that so that was interesting. With lightweight gliders,
they’ve lightened the construction, they’re not quite as stiffened and rigid
as the standard gliders so we tend to find they’re a little bit more
tip tucky but the behavior if you do have a collapse or something like that
(which in some of the Colombian air I did because it’s pretty turbulent) the glider
is just impeccably behaved. it’s kind of tuck and pop out before you know it,
without a big aggressive turn or anything like that. just sort of tuck and
pop and you carry on. this is the medium 21 I think if I’m right the weight is
3.3 kilos which is lovely to carry. it’s very compact also because the
construction is very light the rods are really light they’re very bendy it’s not
really critical it’s not a problem if you scrunch it up it can really cope
with that and then it pops back out, it’s not like some of the gliders they have
really stiff rods and if you look here you don’t have the
rods crossing over each other so there’s no problem with it sort of bending up
and when you have the more defined shark nose then you want
to avoid bending it so this is really forgiving and easy and you can pack it
really compactly so it makes a brilliant little package. we really noticed (Nancy
and I were swapping packs) and even with the same weight harness we’ve really
noticed the difference in weight and size between the two, so it’s lovely. having this level of performance you in a mid B glider pilot
demand with nippy handling and a sports car feeling it’s just brilliant. even in
really light and a bit crosswind I was able to just fluff the glider up give it
a tug and it would just come up in the lightest breeze. It inflates really nicely.
it’s a little slower on the tips so the center tends to inflate first and then
the tips a little bit afterwards. I actually think that’s quite good because
it means the glider tends to come up from the center, rather than the tips
coming up and clapping hands. yeah really easy to launch back in the
UK I flew in some stronger wind and still found it really easy to launch. the
lightweight fabric with all light gliders you have a thing where the
strong wind tends to blow them around and they require a little bit more
management using the rear risers and your brakes carefully moving around the
glider to stop it lifting up and blowing away. but in light conditions
it’s a breeze. I must say I’ve been really impressed with how the the TENOR
light has been performing amongst those gliders and obviously different pilots
fly at different levels but I’m talking about when they’re just
thermaling together and especially gliding I’d expect the mid B
glider flying with a good performing C Class glider like the Artik 4 that I
might be being left behind a bit but not at all, in fact I was managing to pull
away a little bit, if anything, which surprised me although I should have
expected it. with the TENOR it’s the same. they’re amazing, their performance and their glide and especially the speed that
you have is quite surprising for the level of glider. some of the days we had the Pacific wind
coming in and we had some pretty interesting turbulence getting really
chucked and bashed about I saw some pilots getting some very big collapses.
you need to fly actively to stop collapses and to deal with them.
just making little inputs to keep it flying. I was really impressed with how
well the glider held together. the TENOR light is suited to a very wide spectrum
of pilots. it’s not really suitable or ideal as a first or beginner glider,
even for a talented pilot it’s really a second or third glider. it’s for pilots
who are looking for an easy glider without too much pilot demand but
with really great XC performance, who want to do XC, hike and fly and just
normal soaring and they want a nice light compact package. It’s a lightweight
compact super fun little sports car of an XC machine.

16 thoughts on “Phi TENOR light paraglider review

  1. Guiding an XC group gave us a great opportunity to compare performance and get over 30 hours of thermic airtime.

  2. Not sure I like velcro brake stays. Won’t last a month. Agree I also would prefer maillons. The weight saving must be pretty minimal. Great review Carlo.

  3. Пусть плохие времена приходят и уходят. Я наслаждаюсь каждой минутой борьбы.

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