LOVE my Niviuk Hook!
by Dan Bruce
(Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA)
I'm a proud Hook owner, with the following info:
2006 Niviuk Hook, Medium size (Orange color scheme)
I weigh 180 lbs
Fly with a Woody Valley Express harness, and reserve (not sure of weight - perhaps 25 lbs or so)
Total flights: 175
Total airtime: 55.42 hours
Different flying days: 48
Sites flown: 10
Most of my flying time has been at the Point of the Mountain, Utah, USA ... ridge soaring.
The last 20 or so hours of my flying has been thermal flying, and closer to mid-day when things are a little rougher and you get tossed around a little bit more. I've been wanting to see how the Hook handles it when things are a little rougher (as well as if I can handle it!)
I've been totally impressed with this wing. Many of my friends I fly with are taking small closures, wing tip folds, and have to control surging quite a bit. The Hook seems to always stay stable above me, and the times I've experienced pitch oscillations and any surging has been when I really shouldn't have been flying - in very punchy, small thermals combined with 15-20 mph head winds.
I get questioned every once in a while as to if I'm light under the wing, since I tend to always be on top of the gaggle of pilots when flying. I think it's just the wing, because I'm actually near the upper end of the Medium weight range when I'm all suited up.
The Hook paraglider responds very quickly to inputs from me, and turns on a dime as far as I'm concerned. I do 'mini' wing-overs, small spirals, lots of big ears and speed bar when I get the chances, and never have a problem coming out of maneuvers. The big ears do stay folded most of the time when I release my lines, but come out easily with a little pump of the brakes.
I don't have a lot of experience with very many other wings, so my insights are obviously limited, but I do fly with a bunch of guys and can compare my performance with them and their wings - and the Niviuk Hook is definitely very good in comparison. I hope to fly a Nova Mentor in the near future to see how much better it is. I have a feeling that a novice pilot like myself with low hours and flights might not appreciate the differences.
Guess I'll just have to suffer through it and see.