Skywalk ARAK (Paraglider Review)


we had some lovely conditions actually
quite varied conditions in Tenerife. scratchy high-pressure days and
a bit of cliff soaring and then really good thermic conditions as well.
so we had some really good fun playing around. the Arak I
think felt very good. Skywalk pitch it as being between their Tequila
5 and their Chili 4 and it really does feel like a true mid B, so it really does
give you nice easy handling. the fun factor is still there but you do feel
like you’ve got the performance as well. I think I could notice
the climb, a good climb rate, good sink rate and so yeah, thermaling
well. I was often chasing Carlo who’s flying a C rated wing so did notice a
difference when you go on glide on that but definitely it was similar to other B level
gliders. I was able to have a good glide [Carlo] you seemed to be performing really well I had not so much opportunity to do ground
handling in Tenerife but I have here [Carlo] not a good place for ground handling A lot of dust! we had a bit of play since we’ve come back to try and de-dust and I got a very good opportunity there to do quite a lot of ground
handling with it as well and that was the little bit that I was
missing, to feel what’s it like on the ground, to pop it up and
down and put it on its side, run around after it. That was very
easy, the launching. I found the launching very easy and in Tenerife I
did a couple of forward launches the majority were reverse
launches. In the forward launch it was just ‘okay, all good, let’s go!’ very easy [Carlo] and then how was it in thermals?agile handling? yeah it climbs it does climb well and the thermaling is very easy. I found
that I could get quite a nice bank on the glider without it feeling like it
was really sort of digging in so it felt like it had energy it felt like it had a
good flow I felt like I could turn it quite tightly to stay in the punchy
little thermals that we had on some days and equally boat around quite nicely
as well doing nice big wide and floaty turns so yeah I think the thermaling was
good and noticeably I was able to climb very well. [Carlo] what sort of brake pressure is it? it’s not light so I could certainly feel the pressure of it. it’s not heavy. It’s quite a positive feeling but I’d say on more on
the heavier side than the lighter side. I wouldn’t say it was too
too heavy but I did I could notice the pressure with it so that’s sort of firm.
[Carlo] direct handling? yeah it’s got more of a direct feeling. it’s not a glider that gives you a lot of feedback so if you’re somebody who wants
a little bit more of a reassuring feel it’s got a comfortable feel it does give
you good feedback but it’s not chatty it’s not busy. [Carlo] at one point we got
quite high yeah and we were breaking through the inversion you can tell the
wind was coming strongly over the back so it was a good test but the glider seemed to be behaving really well keeping nice and stable and it
had that nice reassuring feel I didn’t ever sort of have to feel like ooh okay what’s the wing doing? it was
quite a nice nice feeling certainly when you’re a bit rusty in winter conditions
(what we’ve had in the UK) less flying going on so flying a glider like
that it’s ideal for somebody who’s wanting
that reassuring feel but still wants to have the performance might be stepping
up from a safe B it would be a nice progression on for somebody who’s
been on the Tequila 5 who wants a little bit more from their glider but
doesn’t want to step up fully to the high B Chili 4 [Carlo] and did you get to use the speed bar
very much? [Nancy] I did particularly as we got the long glides out while we were also trying to do a bit of filming as well. I was
able to use a speed bar. I was flying it with the Advance Lightness 3 and it
certainly felt very light and easy and gave a noticeable progression as well so
when you put the speed bar on you actually feel like you’ve made a difference and you’re getting somewhere. I don’t actually know what the
difference is … [Carlo] it’s about 10 kilometers an hour or something like that The Skywalk Jetflaps (you can
see Carlo’s hands poking through) This is for improved braking when
you’re coming into land and actually it does give a very nice smooth flare when
you’re landing. It does suit you if you’re somebody that has a little bit of ‘brake creep’ … so you’re coming in to land and
you’re sort of bringing the brakes down and down to feel like you’re slowing yourself down, it does help with that it helps
with somebody who does that because you’re coming in and you’ve just got
a nice soft progression as you come in and then it just slows the whole
stall down. did you find the same thing? [Carlo] Yeah it’s interesting it’s
hard to be completely sure. you do feel like just that last bit of the brake
you’ve just got a little bit more brake that you can use.
it just slows down just a little bit more and then the stall just seems a
little smoother with the Jetflaps. but it’s hard to be sure whether it’s really doing that. but it does seem to be very good.
for me it’s just a little something that makes a bit of a difference. and it
doesn’t seem to be a problem when you’re flying in stronger winds to then stall
it down to get the glider down, it still comes down. I had a landing, it wasn’t
a strong wind but it was a stronger wind than we had had on other days and I felt
like I had to give the glider a bit more of a full stall down to really
get the glider down but it came down and responded well. it was the
punch to the ground, the glider responded and stalled nicely
so that’s good. [Carlo] did you try big ears? [Nancy] Yes they were lovely they just slotted in, lovely ears they were! they popped in and they are just that nice stable ear that comes in with no flapping about and material being messy. [Carlo] big ears without the flap. [Nancy] yes they needed a little bit of a pump to clear. really easy
comfortable and effective yes, well summarised. [Greg] is it a tequila 4? Is it a Tequila 4? Now there’s an interesting question. I would say, not quite. I
would say it is reminiscent of the tequila 4 in that it’s got
that mid B feeling so the tequila 4 seemed a little bit too agile and a bit
too nice and responsive in its class. which is for more experienced pilots it is lovely but for the pilots who it was
aimed at I always thought this is a little bit too agile. The Arak
is definitely reminiscent of that but it feels like to me, I don’t know
if you agree, but I felt like the Arak turns a little bit flatter it’s
actually a little bit more docile, it’s not quite as playful as the Tequila
4 but definitely reminiscent of the tequila 4.
[Nancy] Those flatter turns were definitely noticeable. it does have that fun feeling and it does have the energy about it. it
certainly it has more energy than Tequila 5. it’s got flavours of the Tequila 4 and has more energy than the 5 and
more feedback than the 5. [Carlo] I think it’s really great that skywalk have brought
out a glider in between the tequila 5 and the Chili 4 I think that’s a
great thing. I think more manufacturers should do that. the B
class has just got too wide and so pilots are often
stuck with this choice of either a low B which can be suitable out of the school or
they then jump up to a high B which can be quite hot. The Arak sits really
nicely between the two that’s Tequila 5 and the Chili 4 and the Cumeo you know
it sort of sits in between those. it felt to me like the Arak was a little bit more
towards the direction of the Tequila 5 They could have made it a bit more playful and a bit more agile
perhaps but some pilots are going to really like that and the
fact that it’s more reassuring and in the middle of the B class it’s a very versatile glider but it
can’t be all things to all pilots I don’t think. [Nancy] it’s nice that it’s a
little bit lighter weight and it is noticeable you can feel the glider on
the ground feeling a little bit lighter and the materials are lighter and it
certainly is quite compact. with the Arak it’s got those soft
rods that you can really squish down and compress so you can make it into a very
small package. skywalk actually deliver the Arak with a
hike backpack which is pretty small so you can see here the 55, this
is the rucksack that came with it [Nancy] this one comes with the exta small in the 55 litre. [Carlo] yeah you can see it’s a pretty small rucksack I mean you need a pretty
compact harness in there but the idea is that the glider can be used for
hike and fly, it can that you’re straight out of the school, for cross-country flying for
just for Wagga, playing around. in that way it’s very versatile. A nice fun
reassuring wing to play around on. so the pilot that’s gonna be super happy
with the Arak is likely to be a pilot stepping up from a high A, so it could be from their first glider and I think they make a nice progression up if
they’re feeling more adventurous so they don’t want to just stay in the safe end
of the B, they want to be moving up the B class, they’re feeling a bit more
adventurous and perhaps they’ve got aspirations, they’re wanting to do
perhaps more hike and fly so they’ve got something a little bit lighter. [Carlo] yeah I
think the Arak is suitable for a very wide spectrum of pilots from
talented beginners who just want a wing for normal recreational flying through to
pilots who want to get into hike and fly but want something that’s durable
it’s not really light fragile construction and then through to pilots
who are in getting into cross-country flying and want something that’s
versatile and that’s got a good performance for climbing and going cross-country so
it’s suited to a pretty wide spectrum of pilots. Quite a few gliders tend
to be either they’re full fat sort of durable, made to last or they’re very
lightweight. so for example one good example of that is the Tenor
from Phi and the Tenor Light so the Arak is a little bit lighter than
the Tenor, the standard Tenor but the Tenor Light is quite a lot
lighter it’s like about a kilo lighter than that but of course a much lighter
construction. so I can see Skywalk have drawn a graph of where
pilots want to be and then boomf! right in the middle of it … I think that’s
the reason you go for the Arak, maybe a little bit of I can’t decide what I want
to get so you get something that’s in the middle of everything. [Nancy] and because you
want something that’s reassuring and comfortable but still giving you the
performance but you’re not having to be totally on it like you would be for a
high B. [Carlo] you have total confidence launching it and flying in turbulent conditions. [Nancy] so I really enjoyed flying the Skywalk Arak: if you want a comfortable reassuring glider that is going to give you great confidence
then choose the Arak.

17 thoughts on “Skywalk ARAK (Paraglider Review)

  1. You're right. Tenerife is an awful place for ground handling…. Hahaha ha. Our flying is superb however. If you're ever over again let me know and we can fly together. Great video guys.

  2. Great review, thanks! The top surface of the glider looks odd (dusty/aged) in most shots (eg 10:46). Is it noticable in reality as well?

  3. Hey guys nice video as always, but I have a question;

    What about wing loading and wing behaviour, did Nancy flew the wing on the top-middle-bottom? any comments on that?

    i am asking because I am considering very seriously to buy the wing but I am a bit uncertain about the size. I am AUW 95 kg and I am not sure whether M or S is better for me… I never understood this certified "extended weight range"…

    again very nice video!

    Cheers

    Vasilis

  4. Does it make sense to change a tequila5 for a Arak ? i'm looking for a better glide and thermal performance.

  5. I also flew the ARAK in our "Touched By Sunshine (The Beauty Of Paragliding)
    " video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDVJxx7eZOY

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