Gin Zulu Review March 2014

by Scott
(Colorado, USA)

I'm a fairly new P2, with about 50 flights now, little over half of those with the Zulu. I've had two pretty large collapses. I think in general, I was flying too often, too deep in the brakes.

The first collapse was in very strong conditions which I shouldn't have flown. I got spun 180 very shortly after takeoff and was heading back into the hill towards big trees but the wind came back totally on its own (hands up!) and with enough time to safely turn back out.

The second collapse was on a fairly strong day but again, I think I just wasn't doing a great job with the active piloting and allowed the wing to lose pressure. This second collapse was very short, although I literally free fell and my feet went above my head for a moment. Again, hands up. This time no course change, and full and automatic recovery very quickly.

I went on to have my best flight ever that day catching 3 or 4 major thermals and riding at least one to cloudbase (my first!). I'm flying the M size Zulu at near the top of the weight range.

A few impressions...

1. The Zulu provides plenty of feedback - maybe too much for me? Probably better than not enough!
2. Very easy to launch, despite riser arrangement requiring pulling up all "A"'s and sometimes tips coming up a little early. Important for this reason to lay out the wing in a nice arc before pulling it up.
3. Speed/performance doesn't seem to be lacking in my experience thus far.

After these collapses, I have lost some confidence in general. I've been poring over all the more current designs in hopes of finding a decidedly safer wing and I just don't see any great evidence that updating will get me any great increase in safety. It seems the Zulu still stands up to all that has been written about it out there, and it's still a very good all around wing for the 1-2 cert rating it has.

Final notes: I've yet to pull big ears on this wing, B-stall either, and very little speed-bar usage. When I have used bar, I've had no issues at all, but I want more experience to really judge.

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