Skywalk Tequila4 Paraglider Review


Welcome to our paraglider review of the Skywalk
Tequila 4. The Tequila4 is supposed to span the gap between
Skywalk’s Mescal4 and their Chili3 with which it shares some features like the profile,
skin tension and the C-wire reinforcing. It’s a true 3-liner and according to the designer
Alex Höllwarth, it also inherits the outstanding climb rate of the Chili3. But is it ‘the right choice for talented
beginners’ that Skywalk claims it to be? The Flybubble team put the wing through its
paces. On the ground it pops up easily without using
the A risers in all but the lightest conditions, showing the benefit of the rigid foils in
the leading edge. Normal launches are easy and measured. The wing pulls slightly forward
when overhead, needing a gentle touch of brakes. In strong conditions the wing want to launch
itself, so pin it down with the back risers.>>GREG: And launches? Seems to be really
easy?>>SIMON: Oh it’s really easy. A piece of
cake. Yup. Effortless>>CARLO: I think if you pull it up a bit hard,
it might come up a little quick, um, so you’ve got to just, you don’t need to pull it up
hard at all, just a light impulse and it just floats up really easily.>>NANCY: Launch, very easy. Yeah, I had a
good play on lifting it up, and … nice and simple. Landing speed is comfortably slow, but take
care to avoid stalling the wing by using excessive brakes, a habit you might have acquired on
other Skywalk models which favoured long brake travel. This is due to the redesign of the brake position.
Alex Höllwarth explained that they had some complaints about the handling of the Chili3
so they raised the position of the brake pulley and made the riser is a little bit longer.
The Tequila4 has a better brake position, the handling feels more agile and direct and
the brake travel feels shorter compared to Chili3 and Tequila3. We could reach the stall point on the Tequila4
without wraps at 60-65cm (brakes at our hips). Brake pressure became moderate to high, and
there was fair warning before the stall which seemed to happen at a relatively low speed.
It’s useful to be able to stall the wing on landing in a strong wind without having
to take wraps! The brakes have a small Velcro adjustment
tab which allows you to reduce the size of the brake loop. Turning behaviour is surprisingly good. It’s
very nimble, I was easily getting 360 thermaling turns under 12 seconds. It responds to the
first touch of brake, but be careful – alternating brake input can quickly lead to big pitch
or roll. Because of this I’d suggest that the Tequila4 is too responsive to be used
for training, where the Mescal4 is the perfect choice. It is easy to induce big pitch movements,
but it settles quickly if left alone. This makes it lots of fun to fly>>GREG: felt like it would have front tucked
but it doesn’t. First pitch, and it’s back to normal. Whoohoo! Pretty good but also means that the passive safety is
high. The wing absorbs the rough edges of the air currents and leaves you with the feeling
of rolling over big plastic bubbles – you get a rounded bump as you encounter turbulence
and enough feedback that you can tell which way to turn. Because of its forgiving nature
I was comfortable leaving the wing to fly on its own while I fiddled with instruments
and camera gear. Recovery from a 50% collapse caused less than
90 degrees of turn, a mild pitch and little height loss. It’s a very safe wing that
received A ratings in most of its EN tests. Big ears were easy to induce with the split
A, producing a reasonable descent rate. Carlo had no problems on the medium. I found the
ears on the small fighting to reinflate when accelerated. Even with larger ears there is
no tendency to deep stall. The speedbar was easy to operate and the wing
felt solid throughout the range. It accelerated more than 10km/h which is average for a modern
EN B wing. In smooth soaring conditions with identical
wing loadings, the Tequila4 M (pilot in a standard harness) was almost matched in performance
with the Chili3 S (pilot in pod harness), which is very impressive. The Chili3 crept
slowly forwards and upwards over a period of time. Fully accelerated the Chili3 has
a higher top speed and glide but the Tequila4 was still close.>>NANCY: Groundhandles beautifully, is very
responsive. Light, light handling>>SIMON: Top of the stack, above an Enzo,
yes. Um, climbed past the Carrera (lovely). Yeah, it’s very nice, handles very nicely,
quite firm when you get down here, but that’s to be expected.>>NANCY I’m lighter on the the wing, but
I still feel like I had good response from the wing, and yeah, it still turned beautifully
even though I was lightly loaded.>>CARLO Really nice, the handling I felt
quite sort of light to moderate brakes>>NANCY: Very sweet! It’s like a sweet
chilli.>>GREG: Skywalk Tequila 4. Very nice rounded
glider quite smooth in the air tends to smoothen out the bumps a little bit, so if you imagine
the bumps as being sharp jagged rocks it makes them into rounded bowling balls. You can feel
what’s going on, you get a little bit of a bump, but it’s not that hard sharp feeling
of too much direct input and feedback For an ‘easy B’, it’s actually got a
very responsive turn, you put the brake in, you go around, I was getting sort of under
15 seconds on my 360s and it’s doing that while keeping the glider flat. And quite a
bit of energy and quite responsive. Having said that you’ve got to be a little
bit careful, if you’re an insensitive pilot or not quite ready for this sort of glider
if you put in a right turn and then a left turn at the wrong time you’re going to find
the wing building up energy and I was able to do wingovers super easy. So if you’re wanting to do kind of acro
and messing around with the wing, this is the one. It’s not for everybody coming out of the
paragliding school, it’s for the students that have got a little bit more ability. Pitches: it has got quite a bit of energy
there, if you come on to the brakes and release, in the second cycle, it’s way forward and
it feels like it’s going to front tuck but it was very impressive it went quite far forward
… and didn’t go. So it’s got a lot of resistance to collapsing forward, before it
will actually tuck. I’m very happy with the change they have
made, Skywalk have made to their brake rigging, it’s shorter, it’s direct. Previous Skywalks
tended to have too much brake travel, and I’ve always had to have a wrap, which is
frustrating on long cold cross-countries, your fingers start losing circulation. On
this one, no need for wrapping … you just grab the brake, you put the brake next to
your ear, you’re thermaling, that’s perfect.

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