Older News

A collection of even older news stories from the Wings & Waves archives...

17 November 2006: NZ Nationals

From left: W&W instructor Jeff Ripley (2), Peter Elliot (3) and W&W's Reuben Muir (1)

Reuben and Jeff both won a Navman GPS Navigation system for their cars. Very cool.

NZ Nationals 2006 in Rotorua

2 good tasks and then a lot of November weather. A great success for Wings & Waves pilots and instructors: Reuben first, Jeff second!

The first 2 days of the competition, the weather was good and nice tasks were run.

Friday, we flew from the Paeroas by Rotorua... read a report here and see more pictures

Here are a few statistics, which make us proud:

  • Winner of the competition
  • First 3 places go to W&W Gin gliders
  • Both NZ National tasks won by our Wings & Waves instructors
  • all W&W instructors among the top 10
  • best DHV 2 glider
  • best DHV 1-2 glider
  • a large number of participants at the Nationals were ex-W&W students

It seems that our instructors are still as passionate about flying as they were when they started paragliding; for some that is as long ago as the late 1980's.

1 Reuben Muir (W&W) Gin Boomerang Sport
2 Jeff Ripley Gin Boomerang Sport
3 Peter Elliot Gin Zoom Race
4 Kat West Nova Tatoo
5 Evan Lamberton Gin Zoom Race
6 Thomas Rold Airwave Magic FR
7 Harmony Gaw Airwave Magic 4
8 Eva Walton-Keim Gin Zoom Race
9 Grant Middendorf Gin Boomerang 4
10 Abe Laguna Ozone Mantra

NEW PG 2 theory course -
PG 2 before Xmas

A solid theory background helps become a better pilot faster.
If you need to brush up on your theory lesson, or if you are getting in paragliding, join our theory classes.

One group of pilots jus passed their PG2 exams and we are starting a new theory course straight away.
The first session will be

Tuesday, 21 November 2006
6.30pm at our loft in Bayswater.

During the lessons, we cover all relevant theory of equipment and maintanance, aerodynamics, weather, flying in lift, pilot skills, speed to fly, extreme manoeuvres / descent techniques. You will also have the opportunity to ask all the questions you need answered and learn with people of similar experience level.

Join up!

9 November 2006: 2 things to do in strong winds and the NZ Nationals

PG pilots' kite surfing special

Get into the sport which perfectly compliments paragliding: When it is too windy to fly, go kite surfing. When there is no wind to kite surf, go paragliding!

It is windy outside, the perfect time to learn to kite surf!

The theory is, that PG pilots should have an easier time with the kite than other people. If you can wake board or snowboard as well, you have even less to battle with.

Hoping this is true and hoping for an easy time teaching, we are offering 2 free one-on-one lessons with every new kite package, even with the specials. Or, two PG2 pilots for $200 (usually $360), midweek lessons during the month of November. Sorry, we can't do these on the weekend.

Speed Flying

Some companies are developing a new generation of speedglider which is intended to be more user-friendly than the current ones and more accessible to a wider range of pilots.

The current speed gliders are either very simple gliders which require strong lift to stay up or are scaled down paragliders which can end up extremely radical in their turning and extreme manoeuvre behaviour, so much so that even the "experts" prefer not to fly them in even slightly turbulent conditions. Most European experts recommend these gliders to professional pilots only and point out that for good reasons they will never get DHV certification. Mike Küng was quoted as warning that "you just don't want to know what happens should you ever get a collapse".

U-turn (who Mike Küng is currently working with) developed an effective AFS-System (Automatic Flight Stabilisation). Also the wing loading on the small gliders is very high. These two factors make collapses unlikely. Still, paragliders flown in un-suitable conditions or over-steered, are never 100% safe from collapses. The energy and speed of the high wing loading and the short lines can make the consequences of a collapse dramatic and un-manageable.

The new generation gliders will be about 16 sqm and more user-friendly. We will have one here as soon as it is available and check them out carefully to find out what and who they are suitable for; feel welcome to try this before you end up buying something scary.

The other option are the cool little speed gliders by Gin: Easy to fly, very safe even in strong conditions, usuable with skis in winter - they are a real hoot. The Nano 2007 is coming out soon. Try that - we have some here now!

Or go kite boarding - a pedigree high wind sport.

Reuben and Jeff on a roll

2 successful tasks have been flown at the NZ Nationals before the weather packed in.

Wings & Waves' Reuben Muir is leading the table at the 2006/2007 NZ Nationals, closely followed by Wings & Waves instructor Jeff Ripley in place 2. While Jeff won the first task of the competition, Reuben won the second. These two have a nice lead on the rest of the field. Both are flying GIN Boomerang Sports.

Third is currently Peter Elliot. W&W instructor Evan Lamberton is 5th at present, Eva 8th. All three are on Gin Zoom Races.

Cross fingers for another valid task or two to make it a valid Championship! The competition is due to finish on Saturday, 11 November.

23 October 2006: courses and lots of harnesses

Courses and trips 2006 / 2007

We have up-dated the list of our scheduled course and trips. Please make sure to put your name down asap, so that yo won't miss out and we can finalise the details of the courses.

Paragliding is a continuous process of learning, gathering experience and improving your technique. While you learn lots by clocking up airtime and buddy flying, a well structured course accelerates the process of your learning considerably. We carefully put in front of you all the information which is most helpful at your stage of flying and your level of experience.

And there is the social aspect; what better holiday to have than with a nice group of pilots, in a wonderful location with a great flying site and lots of other things to do, too!?!

Each of our courses has a fixed ratio of pilots to instructors; this ensures that each pilot gets the maximum benefit out of the course. We have got an exceptional team of instructors available, including the most experienced instructors in NZ, past NZ Champions and the NZ record holder.

We measure the success of the courses by the smile on the pilots' face at the end of the course, how their flying has improved and whether they come back for more courses; that reminds me of Malcolm, who just siged up for the 3rd trip to Bright in Australia with Wings & Waves!

October 2006

24 October - PG 2 theory for new pilots. W&W loft in Bayswater. 6.30pm. Sign up now.

28 October 2 November - intense 4-5 day XC Course as a great preparation for the Nationals. Sign up now.

November 2006

3-11 November - NZ Nationals in the Waikato area. Ask for more info

18-19 November - Thermalling / XC Course. Intense instructions for thermalling and XC flying with theory, in-flight instructions and group XC flying. Sign up now.

December 2006

9-10 December - Thermalling / XC Course. Intense instructions for thermalling and XC flying with theory, in-flight instructions and group XC flying. Sign up now.

February 2007

3-9 February - Thermalling / XC Course / Australia holiday in Bright This is one of our favourite trips which we have done 4 times over the last few year. See more info below. Sign up now.

Which is the world's best harness?

This is the widest variety of harnesses New Zealand has ever seen. I used the opportunity of my last trip to Europe to visit all important harness manufacturers and chose the best models of each of them.
Check out which one suits you!

The best harness is the one that fits you well and suits your flying style.

We imported the pick of the bunch from each company. Several shipments later, we now have a huge variety of harnesses in stock: Kortel, SupAir, Swing / Woody Valley, Gin. We cover the entire range of harnesses from beginner and intermediate to comp harnesses, light weight, acro and speedflying.

Once you test-sit different harnesses one after the other, you will quickly realise how different the construction, the sizing and configuration of the different manufacturers are.

Having all the brands in one shop, you can take your time, sit in all of them and compare which one suits you best!

Most out-standing is the new Kortel Kamasutra 2. Since we started importing Kortel a few years ago, they have been the best selling harness among the more experienced pilots.

We only started stocking Kortel, because I had tried one in France one summer when swapping gear with a French pilot to test fly his glider.

Once on a Kortel I decided that this was what I was going to fly from now on, even though they seemed a bit expensive to compete in NZ. I misjudged how much some NZ pilots know what is good; they are a huge success in NZ.

While I mainly look at the comfort, performance, adjustments and functionality in flight, Reuben looks at harness from an expert pilot and manufacturer's point of view. The Kamasutra allows you to sit up or be reclined and supports each sitting or lying positing perfectly, due to a unique way of the back and seat moving separately. The way Kortel has rebuilt the Kamasutra 2 is just mind boggling. This is as close at it gets to the perfect recreational XC harness.

The Kortel Kuik is the niftiest little harness I have ever seen: minimalistic and still with perfect back support. No provision for reserves.

SupAir's Altix is also going to be a good seller: A simple, light and small packing harness with airbag protection.

The Swing Connect Light is an elegant light weight harnesses with combined airbag and foam protection and low packing volume which has become very popular. An adaptation of the Woody Valley Peak.

The Gin Gingo is huge in comfort and low in price. The Genie III is a well thought through harness in true Gin style; perfectly adjusted to pilots' needs.

These are some examples of the harnesses we offer. Sometimes choice can be overwhelming. We have all basis covered for every pilots' needs and the expertise to help you choose the ideal one for you.

Once you found the perfect harness, you will guard it with your life.

6 October 2006: this weekend and Aussie trip

Instructor and Tandem Seminar

Since most North Island instructors and tandem pilots are on our seminar this weekend, no lessons or tandem rides will be available this Saturday and Sunday - sorry!

If you would like to join the seminar to learn something about tandem flying or teaching, ring me!

Eva 021-727013

XC course in Bright, Australia

3-9 February 2006
Training course and holiday with top instructors in one of the most beautiful places to fly!

Even after 18 years of travelling the world paragliding, Bright is one of our favourite places: wonderful mountainous landspace, great thermals, a wonderful town to stay in, good food and wine. We have been there many times both for many courses and competitions, so that we know the area well. Even on non-flyable days, there is lots to do and see in the area, from mountain biking to horse riding, water holes and vine yard visits.

This course is designed for PG 2 and 3 pilots who would like to further their thermalling, XC and even competition skills.

Grant Middendorf (NZ record holder, NZ XC champs winner etc), Eva and Evan will be running the course. Instructor to pilot ratio will be kept low, in order to best cater for your level of flying and instruction.

The course price dependent on number o f course participants, but somewhere near NZ$800-950 for coaching, accommodation and transport during the course.

Sign up now to secure your place on the course!

Another great flying weekend at the Paeroas. Besides lots of free flying, we ran another thermalling course last weekend for low airtime pilots. Get into it and sign up either for free flying days or for thermal or XC!

28 September 2006: WOF and more dates!

WOF date for Auckland Paragliders

We are making our loft in Bayswater available to all club members to get a new WOF for their equipment

To have a current WOF is a CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) rule, but more importantly a WOF day is a great opportunity to check that your equipment is in good order and ready for a new season of flying. You will definitely need a new WOF in order to participate in any coming competitions. You are also likely to catch up with other Auckland pilots who you may not have seen since the winter months' hibernation. The WOF is free of charge on the dates listed.

  • Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 9 am - 8 pm
  • Thursday, 5 October 2006, 6 pm - 8 pm
Please contact us on 09-446 0020 or 021-727 013 or email and book a time. Directions to get to the loft are on our web page.

Pilots from areas other than Auckland are welcome, too.

Reuben Muir
Club Safety Officer

At the Wings & Waves loft, we are equipped with complete PG service and sailmaking facilities, including all machines to manufacture and repair gliders, lines and harnesses. In addition, we purchased equipment to accurately measure line strength and we will have the NZHGPA porosity meter available.

All this is only helpful with Reuben's extensive expertise of 20 years of sailmaking, plus having worked with and learnt from European PG manufacturers. As a result, we can make, repair or build any harness or glider in Bayswater. We have even made entire gliders before - just to see if we can do it. (And they flew well.)

Jeff Ripley and John Walton first and second on NZ Cross Country table

A good start to the season for the Wings & Waves Pilots
Wings & Waves instructor Jeff Ripley is currently first on the NZ XC Championship table with 85.6 km flown. John Walton is second. Both fly their new Boomerang Sports, which seem to be going very well. Besides the fact that the performance is great, in true GIN style, the glider is an absolute pleasure to fly.

The current standing of the XC table shows that the Auckland area offers a lot of flyable days, the local pilots are keen and the sites have potential. The problem is that Jeff and Co simply run out of land and hit the coast line on their flights. North of Auckland, the island is rather slim: 29 km from Moirs Hills to the furthest point on the East coast. This has been the limiting factor for many flights, not running out of lift, bombing out or anything like this. Only very few days of the year provide weather conditions which allow to fly along the island and to go further.

That is why we would expect some much longer flights in other areas of NZ at some stage during the season. The middle of the North Island and most of the South Island are a lot wider and easier just because you don't keep hitting the coast. Also, some flying sites like the Kaimais offer a long ridge facing the sun, which offers an obvious XC route with good chances to find lift.

If teaching, business and family life allow, we will certainly try to fly those sites as well this season. Join us!

More dates and events

This calendar will be up-dated regularly, so please watch the news page or get in touch.

September 2006

9 September 2006 - Party. Was great - thanks to all for coming. If you missed it, join us next year.

16 September 2006 - W&W Open day. Free tandems for friends of W&W customers. 3 or 4 pilots will fly as many tandems as they can. First in, fist served. Sign up now!

19 September 2006 - PG 2 theory for new pilots. W&W loft in Bayswater. 6.30pm. Sign up now.

26 September 2006 - PG 2 theory for new pilots. W&W loft in Bayswater. 6.30pm. Sign up now.

30 September and 1 October - Thermal Course. Get thermalling this summer! Last year's courses were a huge success for the participants and well worth it. Sign up now. BOOKED out - book for next one!

October 2006

3 October - PG 2 theory for new pilots. W&W loft in Bayswater. 6.30pm. Sign up now.

4-5 October - WOF days for all Auckland PG pilots and their gear. Sign up now.

7-8 October - Instructor and Tandem Course for all new and rated NZHGPA instructors and tandem pilots. Sign up now.

10 October - PG 2 theory for new pilots. W&W loft in Bayswater. 6.30pm. Sign up now.

17 October - PG 2 theory for new pilots. W&W loft in Bayswater. 6.30pm. Sign up now.

28 October 2 November - XC Course as a great preparation for the Nationals. Sign up now.

November 2006

3-11 November - NZ Nationals in the Waikato area. Ask for more info

18-19 November - Thermalling / XC Course. Intense instructions for thermalling and XC flying with theory, in-flight instructions and group XC flying. Sign up now.

December 2006

9-10 December - Thermalling / XC Course. Intense instructions for thermalling and XC flying with theory, in-flight instructions and group XC flying. Sign up now.

30 August 2006: PARTY 9 September 2006!

Wings & Waves Season Start!!

Motivated like never before, we are going into a new PG Season. Here are some dates and events to mark in the calendar. clearly, the PG season is well on its way - lets get going, sign up! More dates are to come.

September 2006

9 September 2006 - Party. See invitation below!

16 September 2006 - W&W Open day. Free tandems for friends of W&W customers. 3 or 4 pilots will fly as many tandems as they can. First in, fist served. Sign up now!

30 September and 1 October - Thermal Course. Get thermalling this summer! Last year's courses were a huge success for the participants and well worth it. Sign up now.

October 2006

7-8 October - Instructor and Tandem Course for all new and rated NZHGPA instructors and tandem pilots. Sign up now.

28 October 2 November - XC Course as a great preparation for the Nationals. Sign up now.

Eva low by Workworth. (Evan enjoyed taking the picture from above....)

Evan's feet at Moirs last week

Great flights from Moirs

"This glider is rediculously easy to thermal!" The words from the man who did his firt XC fllight on his new Boomerang Sport

This shall only be the first of many XC flights this year. Jeff Ripley and John Walton a wonderful flight from Moirs to Leigh, where they simply ran out of land. Rumours go that Ken Jackson did a similar flight on his Boom Sport last week. A few days later they did 30 km heading North. This is going to be a great XC summer! Join us; put your name and phone number on the list to go XC flying when the weather is right! Low airtime pilots are welcome; drivers are most popular and get a beer at the pub...

19 June 2006: Specials on demo gliders and new season's plans

Spelcials on Demo gliders

With winter approaching and less flying happening, we are keen to move on some demo and stock gliders.

In June, July and August only the very dedicated pilots and learners brave the cold and the mud and fly. Hence, we are keen to sell off some demo gliders. We rather sell some gliders a bit cheaper than usual than having them sit here during the winter doing nothing. This is a good oportunity for a serious bargain on usually much more expensive gear.

We are also offering 12% off on our August delivery glider. Orders must be placed by 15 July 2006 and deposit paid.

Demo and 2005 / 2006 stock, for instance:

Gin Zulu S 2 flight - as new usually $4,900
make an offer
Gin Zulu M 12 flights usually $4,900
$1,000 off
Swing Arcus 4 0 flights $500 off

There are also several SupAir harnesses available with 25% discounts.

W&W New Season's plans

We are going to Europe and making
plans for the new season

First things first: Our annual W&W Party will be in August this year; a "Beginning of the Season Party", rather than the usual "End of Season Party". We thought that is a very positive way to start the new season.

From August onwards, we will offer regular, free to all W&W Fly-ins; informal flying weekends with weather briefings, site briefings and the chance to go flying, thermalling and XC flying with other pilots and to learn lots.

Before the Nationals in November, we are offering thermalling and XC courses to sharpen every one up on their thermalling skills. Hopefully, Middy (NZ record holder Grant Middendorf) will be able to teach the top pilots a few tricks about competition flying.

Australia trips are planned also.

In the meantime, I am going to Europe to get some sun and some flying in the Alps. A few Kiwis are meeting up in one of my favourite places in France. I will try to have a look at the European Champs as well. More importantly, I will be visiting manufactures, test fly, find out what is new in teaching, gliders, flying etc so that I can report back to you in August. If you are after any particular info or gear, plase let me know and I will find out for you. It is soooo easy when I am over there.

9 June 2006: Flight of the Year Winner, Boom Sport News, winter clothing

Grant Middendorf:
Winner flight of the year!

142 km from the Snow Farm near Cadrona to somewhere near Tekapo, with record altitudes, strong thermals and some rough patches.

For a long time, the votes were all very even. To make it worse, most voters commented on how hard it was to decide between e.g. the daring fllight by Tim Percival, Bryan's landing near the summit, Jeff's keen flight to the Island - the flight of (possible) no return, Ken's beautiful Coast to Coast. In the end, most of you could not look passed a NZ record, something we don't see very often. Congratulations to Middy! On his return from Fiji, he can choose one of the fabulous pieces of Gin Clothing: Fleece Jackets, Puffer Jackets, Soft Shell etc. Great stuff - that's what is warming me through winter.

Middy certainly seems to be on a winning streak. We wish him he best for the coming season and will be proud to continue to support his flying.

The winning 3 were

Middy NZ record flight 43%
Tim Percial Wanaka to the base of Mount Cook 19%
Ken Jackson Coast to Coast 19%

Winner of the spot price for the 5th vote is Mike Duckett! He can pick a shirt, a wooly hat, Gin hat or similar from the shop. Mike is an Auckland PG 2 pilot who did his course some years ago, the cheerful smiley, friendly man - you may have met him before.

Thanks for voting, I really enjoyed reading people's thought on the flights!

Next time, please again send in details of any flight you would like to nominate, regardless of where in NZ, who, which glider, when etc! Everybody seems to be very interested to read about your flights.

Gin Mountain Jacket - click for more info

This could be Middy's prize: Gin released an outstanding collection of specialised outdoor gear. We have the "mountain jacket" and the "primaloft" jacket here now and love them.

Initially I did not order many because I had the impression that they were a bit expensive for NZ, but after having a look in the shops for similar quality and material jackets, I realised that they are cheap. The rugged mountain jacket for instance is a high tech, water proof, wind proof jacket with taped seems and zippers, perfectly designed for extreme sports. They look really good due to the slightly fitted shape and colour and design. Find out more detailed info. Or come and have a look at mine! (XL is out of stock right now) NZ$395

to Gin Boomerang Sport page

CrossCountry Mag test confirms the impression we got:

Boom Sport - top of its class!

The new DHV 2-3 wings were tested by CrossCountry Magazine in their latest issue

Since we got the first Boomerang Sports, we have been hanging out for good weather to fly them. Since thermalling on Easter, we had some coastal flying in Auckland and Middy thermalled in Queenstown. The more we see of the Boomerang sport, the more we are impressed: solid canopy, such agile and fun handling, most noticeably huge control over the canopy. After very good feedback from the competitions in Manilla, now the Cross Country test pilots are also as impressed as everybody else.

As Bob Drury puts it: "...Anyone looking for a high level XC wing would be foolish to not try this wing out."

"The easy handling and great dynamics of the glider make it's feel hard to beat in this class."

Marcus King:" This is the glider that won my heart. Fantastic..... and I didn't want to give it back."

The article was not nearly as complementary about all gliders. Read some of the article in this PDF (672KB) or this JPEG(160KB); since this is the brand new CrossCountry mag, we cannot publish the entire article.

The full article on the Boom Sport, the Magic 4 and the Tycoon is in the latest issue of CrossCountry Magazine.

Read the full report on all 3 gliders and much more in CrossCountry issue 105. This issue also features great info on competition flying, new glider design, and as always, wonderful photographs. This is the best PG and HG magazine in my opinion! You can buy a subscription through us or onlineor single issues in our shop.

16 May 2006: Time to vote, XC champs and some pictures

Your VOTES, please!

We set out to find the "Flight of the Year" earlier this year and since the season seems pretty much over, now we need your vote to determine the winner!

The winner will receive a valuable piece of PG clothing or a discount voucher for his / her next glider. Below are the finalists.

This is not only about distance! I suggest to consider other important factors and thoughts, such as

  • "I would never do that" (i.e. Tim's flight through the most remote areas of NZ's South Island)
  • pilot skill required (e.g. Middy's NZ record)
  • great views / great pictures
  • "god, that was lucky" (Jeff's boat ride back from some island)
  • "has not been done before" (Ken's Coast to Coast flight)
  • entertainment factor (i.e. landing at a nudist colony far away from civilisation and being invited to stay over night...)

Here are some flights, I like a lot:

VOTE now! There is a spot prize for the 5th person sending their vote.

Middy (Gin Boomerang 4) - Winner of XC Championships and NZ record holder

Ken Jackson (Gin Zoom, now Boomerang Sport!) - flew the only North Island site record this season!

NZ XC Champs

Congratulations, Middy won with a
record result:
3 (!) 100+ km flights in one season

In the XC Champs, the pilot's 3 best XC flights of the season are added up towards the end result. While there has been the odd 100+ km flight in the past, Middy's result with 3 such huge flights and 379km all up is the highest we ever had! This result includes the new NZ record of 142 km.

There were other 100+ km flights in NZ flying history, a total of 16 in 11 years: The first one was the NZ record (106km) by Stu Karstens in 1995 (!) from Inwoods Lookout near Nelson, which was broken a couple of months later by Shaun Gilbert with 112km from Te Mata Peak. The next ones were 4 years later; a new NZ record by Angus Tapper with sensational 130km from Coronet to somewhere near Haast Pass. Tim Percival, Angus and Middy seem to be the only ones who managed 3 such big flights in NZ, with Middy being the only one doing it within 1 season.

While the South Island flights set record after record with huge flights this season, the North Island Champs were the smallest for a long time, with less pilots entering, less flights and less distance. The highlight was probably Ken Jackson's 5 Fingers flight: Congratulations to Ken Jackson for the only North Island site record this season! Everyone else stayed below site records, no 100km flight, not even a 60 km flight, or 50km like in previous years. What happened?? Well, the Hawkes Bay pilots were very quiet (and that's where Shaun Gilbert had previously flown NZ records), many of the top 10 pilots of last year did not enter the competition this year: Middy won the North Island last year and moved to the South Island, others were busy teaching (Reuben, Evan, Eva, Jeff) and did not enter.

Let's do better next season! To encourange XC fligths on the North Island, Wings & Wavs will set a prize for the best North Island flight. The NZ Nationals will be at the Paeroas, which will get our top pilots to fly up here and demonstrate what can be done.

click to view more pictures
photo by Craig Payne – click to see more pictures

Paeroas again!

A bunch of local pilots are keen to venture down to the Paeoras for a sunny weekend.

John, Ken, Reuben and others want to fly their new Boomerang Sports. On the next sunny weekend, they are planning to head down. Join them if you are keen for a casual weekend flying, email your cell phone number if you would like to come along!

Don't forget to bring warm clothing!


4 days of flying in a row

A big bunch of pilots enjoyed a great weekend flying and socialising at the Paeroas: It's a beautiful great hill, a wide open valley and regularly good flying. But not every day was easy this time: Nil wind and even a slight tail wind made it hard to launch on the first day and put those off who were not sure about their launching (or running) skills or were worried about looking slightly foolish should they trip into the low scrub in front. Those who dared to take off had very good flights in thermals which got smoother during the day. Provided it is not dangerous (other than to the ego), taking a chance is often worth it!

The other days were blessed with a gentle breeze up the slope and good flying conditions. Even the Sunday, which started with low cloud and drizzle, cleared up and offered good flying. Quite a few pilots thermalled for the first time, gained some serious height and even got to cloudbase. Check here for some more pictures!

10 April 2006: Get going!

Easter Weather looks good!

A reminder to get organised and sign up
to get info where to fly and where to meet

Like most years, we are planning to go away flying for the long weekend. Checking the weather for the weekend today, it looks very promising. If you put your name on the list of keen people, we will email and text you information on Thursday, regarding where and when you can meet us. Don't forget to bring cold weather flying gear!

Email your your contact details now or call!

Day 2006 postponed

New date: Sunday, 23 April 2006

Due to bad weather we had to cancel last weekend's PAMOC day and the BBQ (see info in previous news item). That will not put us off . We will keep the current bookings and will stay in touch with you for the weekend after Easter.

If you would like to add someone to the list email us your contact details now or call! These days are always great fun for all involved and a great opportunity to show your friends what flying paragliders is all about.

Gin Boomerang Sport - even more than we hoped for!

Wings & Waves got showered in new toys
and invites you to join us trying them out!

In Light Blue: Well, that is something special all together - Gin Boomerang Sport! Take Reuben's reaction: He has tried such a huge number of gliders in his 18 years of paragliding all around the world, years of comp gliders, most of the popular serial gliders and many protos, but I have not seen him as happy and impressed with a glider ever before! This is the most complete glider we have ever tried: Perfect light launch behaviour, perfect light handling, responsive and easy to control in a way that it is unusual. From 20 years in sailmaking and working with paragliders he was also impressed with the workmanship as well as the numerous clever new details and design features which make the glider so innovative.

On the first flight on the Boomerang Sport, I flew the best wing overs I ever managed, steeper, more control, with more energy through out the manoeuvre, and this magical ability to turn the glider easily on top of the wing over. This is totally addictive. While the majority of pilots will always be happiest on DHV 1-2 and DHV 2 gliders - for very good reasons - those pilots who have the experience and can handle it, love the short brake travel of DHV2-3 gliders (which the DHV2 testing will never allow) and the added agility and speed of such a pedigree machine. The added performance is appreciated by the comp pilots who will see the difference mainly on long glides into the wind, maybe even accelerated glides, which is where most serial gliders miss out in comparison to the comp gliders. Not so the Boomerang Sport! (Read the Manilla reports!).

We all had trouble top landing at a spot where we have done this for years, because the glider sinks a lot less in turns and comes out with more climb than any of us expected.

The speed is fantastic and fun, the glide has been commented on as soon as the first one was flying in Manilla in the Pre Worlds. "...flying the Boomerang, Avax etc, we cannot outfly the Boom Sport and the real hit is, the same goes for flights into the wind! ... The Boom Sport is clearly superior to the Tycoon."

In real live situations consistently show his performance gliders to outfly most others.

click to see GIN Boomerang Sport page

Email for an opportunity to test fly the Boomerang Sport!

In orange: The latest in Speed flying / skiing, a special design to use with skis racing down snowy slopes at high speed, leaving the ground only on the steep parts. The purpose of this glider results in a totally different design: Fast, low glide angle to follow slopes, super simple, short lines for fast roll and turn. (Still, some places you can see some very very old design parachutes still being used for paragliding.) We raced down grassy hills, laughing our heads off, making fools of ourselves and wishing we had skis on to handle the seriously dangerous speed. We can't wait to try them on the snow with skis!! See the article in the latest Cross Country magazine.

go to Gin NANO page

How is that for a contrast?!? Two of the latest designs, made for totally different purposes and hence different like night and day.

this is where you can often run out of steam... but

now you can turn it easily on top of the wing over!

21 March 2006: Push-A-Mate off the Cliff and Grant Middendorf's latest coup

Day 2006

Saturday, 8 April 2006 - Get your mates out there!

It is a Wings & Waves tradition, to offer special flying days, low on cost and high on fun: Bring your friends and family. Motivate especially those who always sounded interested in flying and those who never seemed to understand why you are so keen on flying - and push them off the cliff!

We will have a fun day flying with beginner training, lots of tandems and a BBQ on the beach afterwards. Prices are 50% off usual prices to all current and ex Wings & Waves pilots.

Register your friends now!

Wings & Waves proudly sponsors Middy -
Gin Boomerang 4, Kortel Kanibal harness,
Brauniger IQ Compeo instrument.

link to Gin Boomerang IV pagelink to Kortel Kanibal harness page

Wings & Waves - matching great pilots with just the right gear to allow them to fly their very best.

Winning Task 5 at Pre-Worlds

Grant Middendorf finished the Pre-World Championships in style

Imagine this: A 126 km competition task, 139 pilots, many of the best in the World on launch - and you get to goal first.... Any pilot who ever flew competitions may know or dream of what it feels like to get to goal. Getting there first, would just the biggest buzz. To achieve this on a competition as big as the Pre-Worlds makes it even more special.

On Task 5 at the recent Pre-Worlds in Manilla in Australia, Grant launched about half an hour after the lead gaggle. His flight obviously went very well and he caught up with the gaggle about half way through the course. In the later part of the task, he dared to go ahead by himself. Risky, but it payed off: He managed to get into goal, arriving first, 3 minutes ahead of the second pilot!!

He had the fastest time around the course and the highest average speed of 30.82 km/h. No NZ pilot has ever won a task in the Worlds or the Pre-Worlds before. This is an outstanding achievement.

Middy finished 21 overall, which is a fantastic result. Day 4 did not go nearly as well as all the other tasks. But you get that!


Besides this, the competition was yet again won by a pilot on a GIN Boomerang 4, Arnand Sercher from France. The Team trophy also went to GIN (Gin & Tonic Team from France).

The full result lists are on this web page.

17 March 2006: FLYING this weekend

Flying this weekend!!

The weather looks good, so let's go

At this stage the forecasts predicts light winds in the middle of the Island, as we are going to sit in the middle of a High. That sounds good for the Paeroas.

While Reuben is teaching in Auckland, we are taking a group South for a thermalling course. Pack your camping gear and be ready to leave early in the morning!

If you want to join us, please ring me on 021-727 013!

3 March 2006: Boomerang Sport in Competition

Wings & Waves
Flight of the Year Competiton!

Inspired by recent flight reports, we would like to put up a prize for the "Flight of the Year"

This is not only about distance! I suggest to consider other important factors and thoughts, such as

  • "I would never do that" (i.e. Tim's flight through the most remote areas of NZ's South Island)
  • pilot skill required (e.g. Middy's NZ record)
  • great views / great pictures
  • "god, that was lucky" (Jeff's boat ride back from some island)
  • "has not been done before" (Ken's Coast to Coast flight)
  • entertainment factor (i.e. landing at a nudist colony far away from civilisation and being invited to stay over night...)

Here are some flights, I like a lot:

Submit flights now! Preferrably with a short comment, pictures and / or track logs. By the end of the season, I will ask everyone to vote! How about a Gin Jacket or some funky Gin clothing as a prize?!

click for larger picture

click go to the Gin Boom Sport page

"Faster than the ZOOM R and almost similar to BOOM 4 at trim. Glide is much better than the ZOOM R. Glide at trim like Boomerang 4. Agility is improved. Behaves almost like the ZOOM R on frontal and assymetric collapses."

"The Boom Sport is clearly superior to the Tycoon; flying the Boomerang, Avax etc, we cannot outfly the Boom Sport and the real hit is, the same goes for flights into the wind! ... "

We hasten to say, we don't know the German pilot who wrote the latter comment; we just found it entertaining. (check PG Forum page)

link to Gin Boomerang Sport page

First feedback from those who are watching or flying the Gin Boomerang Sport in the Competitions in Australia - VERY interesting!

The first Boomerang Sport gliders have been delivered to pilots who are flying in the competitions in Manilla. The PG forum shows some comments, which are very positive.

Gin is another brand which does not quote glide ratios, because such data is unreliable, only reflects still-air performance, changes with wing loading and is mis-quoted too often. Direct comparisons in realistic situations are more relevant. Check out the pilot's comments on the PG forum!

The Boomerang Sport M has passed DHV 2-3 and the first gliders should arrive in NZ mid March! Early orders will get special / demo prices.

28 February 2006: Crossing the North Island

VFR theory and TEST night

TONIGHT, 7pm, at our Bayswater Loft

If you need to do your VFR for your PG2 rating or any other rating or if you need to sit any other test, please contact us and come in tonight! For all those, sitting the VFR test, please print out the VFR papers and the VFR test before hand and read them!

click for more details and larger pictures

Coast to Coast
on the North Island

Ken Jackson flew from the Kaipara Harbour to Tawharanui on the East Coast!

How cool is this flight: Take off at 5 Fingers at the Kaipara Harbour and fly straight across the North Island until you run out of land at the other end; 39+km of hard work and the most amazing views and 4000 ft above the East Coast. Check out the pilot's comments and stunning pictures!

Clocking up airtime in Manilla

Thermalling and XC course with Reuben and Grant Middendorf in Australia

A week of flying every day, thermalling under instructions, with Reuben and / or Middy talking you into thermals - This is one way of making this next step from PG2 pilot to thermalling and XC pilot!

A bunch of pilots just came back from a trip to Manilla in Australia, the site of the next World Championships and site of the Kiwi league competition, which is in progress right now.

We rented a nice house for all course participants, a rental car etc to make it a pleasant stay. (Manilla is not exactly known for its neat accommodation, so this was a really good and even in-expensive option.)

If you missed the Manilla Trip: Join up for the next thermalling / XC course in NZ! One is scheduled for March and we have a couple of spaces left. Book now

Check out the shape of the thermal!

click for larger picture

Simon, Reuben and John keeping an eye on things...

Time for one more evening flight... the guys flew every day, pretty much all day. What else are you there for?

13 February 2006: MISTRAL 4, Speed Flying and theory tests

view Mistral product info page

click for larger picture

Swing Mistral 4 Product info...

more Swing Mistral 4 news...

306 km - the longest flight EVER
on a DHV 1-2 glider

The new Swing Mistral 4 has

Superceeding the successfull Swing Mistral 3, Swing has just introduced the Mistral 4 with a BANG: Never before has such distance been flown on a DHV 1-2 glider.

Traditionally, the performance of Swing gliders has been quite under-rated as their marketing is what I would call more honest than others, but maybe too careful. In Europe, where you have a huge density of gliders and constant comparison, Swing is a huge brand and their gliders sell themselves.

Swing makes a point out of not joining the bragging about apparent "huge glide ratios in still air". Flying the longest flight ever on an intermediate glider shows that the Mistral 4 has a huge performance potential to offer, and suits their style better.

We already had another good example for Swing gliders performance in NZ: Tim Percival recently flew one of the most remarkable PG flights in NZ on his 4 year old Swing Astral 3, flying this little bit further than the 2006 design glider he flew with. His Swing Astral intermediate gliders have also taken him to 4 NZ XC Championships titles (2000, 2001, 2003 & 2005). Many of his flights through remote areas on the South Island are absolutely remarkable.

This performance, coupled with Swing's famously un-complicated and safe behaviour, perfect launch characteristics and fun handling, will make this a great glider for recreational pilots, who want maximum performance, but relaxing, easy flights in all conditons. Couldn't that be the perfect next glider for you?

THEORY Test night - do you have to do any paper work?

Wednesday, 15 Feb 2006, 7pm at our loft in Bayswater

A few people are going to sit their PG 2 theory tests this Wednesday. If there is any paper work, PG 1, PG2, PG3 or VFR test or any part of any test or so you need to sort out, please come in this wednesday. To make sure, I have all the appropriate forms and papers on hand, please contact me in advance.

Speed Flying

Here is a new sport for the speed freaks,
the brave and silly...

Speed flying is the latest craze in Europe, specially France, which is the usually leading with new and in crazy ideas.

It is a combination of downhill skiing and paragliding or parachuting, allowing you to go right over the edges of each ski slope. It is fast, looks like heaps of fun and should not really too hard for a PG pilot who can ski all right.

"Experienced pilots with a small chute will reach speeds of 100km/h, less experienced pilots with larger chutes will do 35-70km/h." That could loose you your Ruapehu season pass, I would guess...

We have a great DVD on Speed Skiing, which you are welcome to view / borrow / copy.

Gin is right into it and develped the perfect, simple, fast glider for it.

What do you think?

Read more about Speed Skiing and DOWNLOAD video...

click for larger picture

9 February 2006: Pakiri

Pakiri Site Access Closed

In short: There is no road access at present!
It is NOT all public land!
You can only walk up from the beach over the
Tuaman land, until further notice.

As published earlier, the ARC is in the process of establishing a public park at Pakiri Beach, which could be a fantastic site for us again. The park won't be officially opened for some time. We are in contact with ARC in order to establish car acecss for us. A site meeting is being scheduled.

Unfortunately, a group of PG pilots recently entered into a discussion with the land owners at Pakiri, with whom the ARC is discussing access rights for us and other park users. They did not respect the land owners rights and told them that they knew the land was now publically owned and they had the right of access. These pilots had their facts all wrong and their behaviour was taken as rude and aggressive. This affecting our chances of future access.

Read about the currect situation...

click for larger picture

27 January 2006: Let's go flying!

Long weekend flying!

Thermal Course
and Wings & Waves Fly-In

The weather is looking good for this weekend and we are going out of town. Please contact us if you would like to receive a text message on where we are going and what time to meet. We will decide tomorrow afternoon.

At this stage, we are planning to go to the Paeroas, South of Rotorua. Get you camping and your flying gear ready and join us! Put your name down now! Better still, call us.

Ken's Kaimais flying adventure

Good thermals, long stretches of bush
and NUDITY...

8 December 2005: Australia Feb 2006!

Manilla Thermalling and XC Course

18-24 February 2006
Bookings due 20 December!

This is your chance to get a handle on efficient thermalling and long XC flights; intense coaching, theory, in-flight instructions etc.

We are running this course in Manilla, Australia, during their best flying season. In Manilla the conditions often allow fantastic long flights, where pilots regular set their personal bests, many world records have been flown, where the World Champioships are going to be - a great place to experience thermalling!

We will spend 6 days in Manilla, right before the Kiwi League competion. Daily weather briefings, classes and tasks, hopefully long flights and de-briefs are going to help you to improve your flying. We will concentrate on thermalling skills, fast climbing, how to plan your XC flight, how to find thermals, how to utilise them perfectly, how to connect thermals. You can then stay on for the competition to use your new skills, if you like.

Grant Middendorf, NZ record holder and top NZ competition pilot will be sharing (flying) secrets of success with you - he is going to fly and teach with us in Manilla.

Price for coaching, accommodation, van will be $800-850 depending on numbers. BOOK now! Or the latest by 20 December.

Big thermals, high cloudbase... and all the help you can get to go a long way...
(this isn't actually Manilla on the picture, sorry)

1 December 2005: 3 great flights on one map!

Tim Percival and Bryan Moore
hunting records

124 and 122 km respectively on a breathtaking flight

Check this out: This time 2 pilots flew 120km+ together for most of the way, from Mt Maude in Wanaka to Mount Cook Village. Congratulations to both! Here are some details.

Flying on the ridge when it is busy

On busy days at Kario we recently noticed a bit on confusion - here are some ideas on how to avoid that.

One particular situation happened a couple of times. Click here on the picture to see details.

28 November 2005: new PG 2 courses and more great flights

New PG 2 course starting now

Start now and have most of the summer to fly!

We offer regular theory classes, covering topics such as

  • Weather
  • Aerodynamics
  • Material and equipment
  • Flying in lift - thermals and ridge soaring
  • Extreme manoeuvres and descent techniques
  • VFR - visual flight rules

These lessons give you the theory background to complete the practical flying lessons. While books and videos are available at W&W and you can always ask questions on the hill, class room sessions and discussions using different media, offer the easiest way to make sense out of all there is to learn about paragliding. Ask the questions you want clarified and get more info on what you are most interested in! You end up well prepared for the PG2 theory test and a great paragliding career.

Starting: Tuesday 29 November 2005, 7pm
at our Wings & Waves Loft in Bayswater

The following classes before Xmas are held on Wednesdays, 7pm. The lessons are free to all Wings & Waves students. Contact me if you would like to join.

Rumours of more 120+ km flights

Tim Percival and Bryan Moore flew from Mount Maude via Haast Pass and Broderick Pass to Mount Cook.That must have been an amazing flight with stunning scenery ... and worrying landing options at times!! We will publish details as we get them; hopefully tonight.

15 November 2005: More great South Island fights

Again: 115km by Grant Middendorf

Another great instable day on the
South Island near Wanaka

Yesterday, 14 November 2005, brought more instable, flyable weather to the South Island and a group of 10 pilots launched from the Snow Farm.

While Mark Hardman flew a fantastic 76km (or thereabouts), Grant Middendorf flew another 100+km flight, this time managing 115.6km. Check out the track log. The same day, Harmony Gaw flew a new NZ Woman's record of 69km. Congratulation, Harmony!!

This secures Grant's first place on the XC table, with a very hard to beat 300+km, including two 100km flights. From memory, I am quite sure this is the first time, any NZ pilots ever logged more than one 100+km flight in the country.

"I took this photo last Sunday while flying from Mt Maude Wanaka. Very unstable but not as threatening as the photo suggests. About 12 pilots were flying and all had ample time to land before the cell moved through. Some got wet while packing up."
Regards, Middy.

Click on any of the pics to see larger pictures.

The graphics were produced, using the IGC track log from a Brauniger Compeo instrument, using CompeGPS software to load them on the the satelite picture. Wings & Waves supplies both the hardware and the software. Contact us for more info.

Australia Trip and Course

XC course in Manila, in the week before the NZ league competition at the same place

This is an intense thermalling course for PG2 and 3 pilots and more so, another fun flying trip. Manilla is one of the most reliable sites in the world, with huge XC potential. The course gives you coaching for 5 days and theory lessons focussed on efficient thermalling, connecting thermals and flying fast.

Coaching, accommodation, a rental van and the Oz membership fee are included in the course. Cost, depending on number of participants, about NZ$850

Bookings and deposits need to be made BEFORE 20 December 2005!! Email me for more info.

7 November 2005: NZ Record Report

Details on the NZ record flight

Full report by W&W pilot Grant Middendorf
map, track log, the day's weather report

Middy offers you all the details on the NZ record flight from Waiorau Snow Farm. A gripping report from start to finish and the extra information which makes it interesting to pilots with XC experience or ambitions.

Since our last up-date, we found out that Middy flew a bit further than he originally thought, and hence, also broke the NZ Hang Gliding record by a few metres, which Ian Clark set many years ago.

Click here for details on his flight.

Wings & Waves sponsors Middy. He is currently flying a Gin Boomerang 4, a Kortel Kanibal harness and a Brauniger Compeo, supplied by W&W. All seems to work well.... Contact him for more info.

Weather Programme on TV!

"Wicked Weather", Episode 1 "Wind"
TV One
Tuesday, 8 November, 9.30 pm
We already watched it on a video tape: This is a great wind and weather programme, which explains basic meteorology very nicely. The first half of the show covers general weather systems and the cause of wind in NZ, including sea breezes, the second half concentrates more on twisters and hurricanes. It also features Eva as a tandem pilot taking the presenter for tandem flight at Muriwai. There are some other pilots on the footage - so you may even spot yourself on TV!!

Congratulations, Derek!

The second task of the Kaimais League needed patience and persistence

On an impossibly stable day, Derek Divers won the second task of the Kaimais league, held at the Paeroas last weekend. While others had long lost their patience (Eva e.g.) and decked, Derek flew to all 3 turn points, got enough height to go over the back - which was the tricky part - and got closer to goal than even the most experienced competition pilot, who had travelled from the South Island with the purpose of showing the North Island and W&W pilots how it is done. I am glad we had Derek to stick up for the North Island pilots...

Derek learnt with W&W some years ago and since dragged his wife, his son and his son's girlfriend into flying. He completed a SIV course with Reuben in Australia and more recently went on a Europe trip for some great flying in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and another SIV in Slovenia with W&W. He flies a Gin Zoom.

Clocking up air time!

Courses and fly-ins are benefiting from
recent good thermalling weather

With the last 4 weekends in a row with flyable weather, it seems that the majority of the North Island pilots and pilots-to-be have been clocking up some great airtime.

Wings & Waves pilots have made the most out of the good weather. During the last few weekend, we saw a big number of pilots seriously advancing their flying skills.

Fist weekend: Thermalling courses. 8 low airtime pilots with 2 instructors managed the big step from soaring and general "bobbing around" when flying, to confident thermalling pilots. Tony Cowley took the biscuit: On his first radioed thermal flight on a rather difficult day on the Paeroas, he first nearly bombed out, only to pull off a low safe near the landing field and thermalling nearly to cloud base. Emily Botje, with a weekend thermal course under her belt, showed up the following weekend - on the fly-in - thermalling to cloud base on her own, as if she had done this for years. From the pilots' success, we are sure, that intensive teaching programme with max 4 pilots to each instructor, and our newly designed course format work a treat.

Next weekend: W&W Fly-in. We counted 26 W&W students or ex-students at the Paeroas for a fun weekend flying and camping. With pilots of all levels of experience around, plus a couple of instructors, pilots learn a lot from each other and it is always a good weekend away! Join in next time!

Following weekend: League comp. As reported above.

Last weekend: Teaching at Kario. With a rainy start to the day, Sunday ended up a perfect teaching day. While one instructors was looking after 4 new pilots, another coached the low airtime PG 2 students. With a low student to instructor ratio, we maximise what pilots get out of the day. That was well worth it; the students had specific tasks set during their day's flying and gained hugely, both in skill and confidence.

The December XC and thermalling course is booked out, but we just scheduled another for 17 December and 28/29 January. Book now!

20 October 2005: Paragliding on TV - FLY-IN Labour Weekend

Labour Weekend Fly-In!

Wings & Waves Fly-In:
Fly at the North Island's nicest sites

At this stage, it looks like the weather is going to clear up by the weekend and produce good thermalling conditions. A bunch of pilots is planning a weekend trip to either the Kaimais, Pukemore, the Paeroas or whereever the weather looks most suitable. Let's go thermalling and cross country flying; spring is often the best time for it as the sun is starting to produce enough heat to create good thermals. Car pool or meet us there, bring your tent or take a motel or even just come down for the day. Just a casual weekend flying!

Get in touch via email or text me on on 021-727 013 if you are keen to join.

We will also offer the usual beginner courses in Auckland.

Paragliding / Middy on TV!

Rumours go that Middy is going on TV1 6pm news tonight after he flew NZ record on Sunday! I better tape it.

17 October 2005: NZ Record????

NZ Record?
141 km by Grant Middendorf!!

link to Gin Boomerang IV pagelink to Kortel Kanibal harness page

We got a call from Middy this afternoon, from Tekapo. He said something like "Eva, the new harness - it works out all right." which was his way of saying, that he just flew the furthest any paraglider ever flew in New Zealand, from somewhere near Cardrona Skifield to Tekapo - 141km through stunning landscape.

Cloudbase was apparently at 3500m, which was enough to freeze the camel back water supply, climbs averaging up to 8m/s.

The harnesses must have had the smaller part in this, the pilot, the glider, the conditions have something to do with it, too. Glider: Gin Boomerang IV, harness: Kortel Kanibal, intrument: Braeuniger Compeo. All supplied and sponsored by Wings & Waves.

Report from Middy, photos and track log with map will be available on this web site asap!

Congratulations, Middy!!

OLC - Online Competion!

I signed us / NZ pilots up with the DHV run OLC, online competion. Starting with the new OLC season - NOW - October 2005, we can up-load our flight, both flights in NZ and overseas and draw NZ results out separately. I also asked to be able to separate North Island and South Island results.

Click on here to download a PDF file with the OLC rules. And here is the link to the OLC web page. We will need another couple of administrators to help with the site. Evan Lamberton and I can do that on the North Island.

Wings & Waves will sponsor prizes for the NZ winners!

The On-Line-Competition gives pilots the opportunity to up-load documentation from their GPS or Compeo or other instruments, of their cross country flights onto a DHV hosted web page. The flights are automatically scored and validated.

The flight logs can then be downloaded and viewed by anyone in the world, so that you can find out, where and when and on which route pilots flew long distance flights. Using some special software, such as CompGPS, you can even have a detailed 3D map with it, so that you can check out everybody's flights in detail.

16 September 2005: new courses, new products, tips on taking flying pictures

New Courses 2005 / 2006

Inland Flying Course: 8-9 October
W&W Fly-In: 24-26 October
Thermalling and XC Course: 3-4 December

Due to popular demand, we scheduled the first thermalling / inland flying and XC courses for the season. These courses are a great way to jump start your inland flying career, especially for those pilots who have so far mainly been flying on the coast. We teach you all the basics of picking the right site and weather for inland flying, reading the site and the conditions, thermal flying techniques and how to climb high and fast. Book in now!

There are more courses to come, along with some exciting overseas trips.

Try this calendar, which updates automatically. Click on "month" view. When you click on any item in the calendar, a window opens with more details. (this is a bit of a trial, let me know if it works for you.)

Lonely pilot at the
World Championships in Brazil

Just some of the new items...

New GIN accessories

FREE Posters have arrived from Gin - pick one up, next time you are in the loft! When you do your WOF for instance. (They are due next week)

Beside that, we have lots of new accessories, such as fast-packing bags, T-shirts, even ladies' T-shirts, new soft spreaders, jackets, fleece jackets, front pouches, bags, new DVDs of the Gin Team flying in Peru etc.

Have a look at our shop or check out the Gin web page. What we don't have on stock, we can get for you quite quickly.

Tips on great flying pictures

New pilots often wonder, how the pros take such great pictures when flying high, from seemingly above the clouds, but yet surely they can't be in or above the cloud and how do they get the so steady?

In Slovenia, several of us put our heads together to find out how to take the best flying pictures.

We developed this technique, which is the answer to all our questions: Easy, safe, cheap, steady pics, legal (not in the cloud) and great while you can't really do much else. It's amazing what pilots do, when they get bored... Now, that makes you wonder about other pictures you have seen in the past, doesn't it??

6 September 2005: WOFs

WOFs for Auckland PGs

Tuesday, 20 September, 10am - 6pm
Wednesday, 21 September, 3pm - 8pm
Thursday, 22 September, 3pm - 8pm

Like every year, we invite all PG pilots to get a WOF for their gliders in the beginning of the season. This gives you a chance to check out your equipment, learn something about materials and how to look after it and feel confident that all is in good shape, before you throw yourself into strong and bumpy spring thermals.

Having a current WOF for your glider is a requirement in NZ and without you are not allowed to fly. Contrary to the Auckland Club publication, each year all Wings & Waves pilots and most Auckland PG pilots have done this check and I think, most pilots got something out of it. Please book in asap.

As long as you dedicate some of your own time to the WOF checks, we hellp you get your WOF free of charge.

Auckland League Comp this weekend!

Friday, 9 September to Sunday, 11 September

Just a short note to remind everyone that the AKL league comp is THIS coming weekend. The long range forecast (as much as it’s worth for Auckland !) looks promising at this stage. Please check the NZHGPA forum webpage www.nzhgpa.org.nz under the competition section on Thursday evening for details about where and when the registration will happen on Friday morning. Or call Daron on the following numbers ;
Home (09) 525 8055
Cell (021) 762 462
Look forward to seeing you this weekend !

23 August 2005: Ready for the New Season!

Season Start 1. September 2005

After a wonderful break, we are ready to start the new 2005 / 2006 paragliding and kitesurfing season. In Europe, we checked out what's new, up-dated our expertise on the latest teaching techniques, gear, and tanked huge amounts of enthusiasm.

New beginner courses start on the first September weekend. Traditionally, we start with some specials.

Free Tandems

Saturday, 3 September 2005
for friends and family of W&W pilots

First in, first served, so please put your / your friend's name down asap. We will fly as many tandems that day as we can; how far we get, is weather dependent. We will keep Sunday as a reserve day.

We suggest you bring the wife, the kids, a picnic for a fun day out. If I am used to the colder temperatures by then, we could even think about a BBQ at the site. Alternatively, we can have a casual BBQ or dinner at our house. Keep in touch!

Special Price Courses

One-Day intro course $150 (instead of $190)
PG1 course $520 (instead of $570)

This applies if the course is booked and paid before Saturday, 3 September. Please book asap to take advantage of this offer.

just a nice picture...

20 July 2005: Enjoying European Summer!

Italy and Southern France

Just a a quick up-date on what is happening over here: We have been flat out... well, flat out going places, visiting flying sites, suppliers and friends.

The weather has been very good most of the time, with high temperatures of 30+ degrees at times.

The best flying so far has been in Southern France, St Vicent les Fort, but I would say that, because this is my favourite flying area in the entire wide world. I used to fly tandems there and have had such memorable, wonderful flights there over the years. (Even the fact that the odd passenger did not handle the strong thermals well, tainted the experience only slightly.)

We launched at the pretty low launch site by the castle ruin (pic 1) and until about 7pm could thermal up 1400m above launch, where only the sailplanes flew by. Over to the East are the high mountains of the French / Italian boarder.

For next year, we are considering renting a house there and inviting pilots to stay with us. We will also run a couple of courses here. Interested?

My feet at St Vicent les Fort

Towards the French/Italian boarder

I think this is John in the distance (France)

My feet at Lago Maggiore


Lago Maggiore, Nothern Italy, was also great and new to us. The sites tend to be a bit less straight forward, and thunderstorms are kind of likely to be somewhere close by. The local pilots ensured us that this is not a problem as the cells don't seem to move too suddenly. Well, I still had a good portion of respect for them.

We were lucky enough to have 2 local pilots look after us, Gracia and Paolo, who not only showed us the best places to fly, but also the best places for pizza, which is just as important if you are in Italy.

This week, I am going to pick up a bunch of Kiwis at the Frankfurt Airport in our A-Team vehicle (an all black VW Multivan which reminds me of the old TV series) and we will head South into the Mountains of Germany and Austria. The Castle of Neuschwanstein, the fairy tail castle, is on our list of sites to fly, so are some of the top Austrian sites. On the way we will check in with a few more manufactureres and the DHV and then we are off to Slovenia for the SIV course. 12 Kiwis and honorary Kiwis are meeting there. This is going to be great fun! More soon... 

Party 9 May

dont' forget - this Saturday..!


Swing pilot survey

This is the first big survey in the PG industry, I think. So far, many Europeans have participated, but Swing asked us to publish this in order to accumulate some non-European oppinions.

If you take the time to complete the questions, you can win Swing Flying suits - and they would be very nice for the winter...

Click here to start!

20./26. May 2005: ::: ZULU:::

NEW innovative DHV 1-2 by Gin

Pictures of the prototypes have already circulated on the net, speculations have been plentiful. This is the first ever DHV 1-2 glider, designed by probably the two most reputable PG developers in the world - together! While the big personalities of designing work usually strictly on their own and make sure not to share any of their secrets, at GIN, Gin Soek Song - the maker of the world's most successful gliders and comp gliders - and Robert Graham who lead Advance to years of success, combined forces and designed a new glider. That is a world's first (other than the recent GIN Boomerang 4) and the result will be stunning. Already we know that a few brand new design features make it a true step forward.

The gliders combines new innovations with the GIN qualities and philosophie, which those pilots appreciate, who are flying his gliders alread; gliders to let the pilot be comfortable in the air, to make them fly their best. Click here or on the pictures for more info on the Zulu.

I hit "reply" and ordered ZULUs as soon as I received the GIN email announcing that the glider is ready and passed DHV certification. I was not the only one... The first gliders should be in the country within a couple of weeks. If you were remotely thinking about a new intermediate glider sometimes soonish, you should put down your name for test fligths, get in touch. We will keep you posted and contact you as soon as they land in the country.

PG 2 tests, VFR tests evening
Wednesday, 25. May 2005, 7pm at W&W loft

If you need to complete any paperwork, such as your club and NZHGPA membership, PG1, PG2 test, rating forms or VFR test, you can do so next Wednesday, along with a bunch of other people. Next Wednesday, we are offering the opportunity to catch up with any such paperwork. Sort it out before winter sets in!

Please contact us as soon as possible, even if you cannot make it and wish to arrange for another day.

If you need any forms, here are the most important ones:

If you need any other forms, please let me know.
New Posters / Calendars on stock - for FREE
Feel free to pick one up next time you are near Bayswater. This calendar for May-July can help you through the winter! Or you can download a bigger, better version of this for your desk top from the GIN web page. Scroll down for this one.
New W&W Design coming up!
Half hearted at this stage, but it will come...

I have been meaning to up-date our terribly 90ish black look of the web site for ages, but if you have a business, kids and want to go flying at any opportunity, this is not an easy task. That could take several potential flying days...!

Still, while up-dating the news page today, I simply could no longer handle looking at the black westy-look, and did what one really should not do: I just changed this one page, the news page for now. The rest will be done as I find time; hopefully not another 6 years... Feedback is welcome!

21 April 2005: Europe 2005!

Something to put into your diary early:

W&W Party: Saturday, 11 June 2005

Most of you know what this means: keep that date free, get your dancing shoes ready, Dan - don't fortget the blender!, organise the babysitter and so on. Kevin is the DJ this year and we know he is good!

The best thing since sliced bread

Have you had the chance to try one yet? The last person who did, ordered one the same day, so be careful... What impresses most, is how comfortable and how much in control intermediate and advanced pilots feel immediately, as soon as they launch. The Zoom Race offers the same degree of control you get on the Zoom, the stabiliy and safety, with the extra speed of the Race version - perfect. Since this additional speed is achieved only by reducing the drag of the lines, not by retrimming the glider, it translates straight into a much better glide and glide at speed, without any drawback in safety or DHV rating - just what every XC pilot wants. The Zoom Race has a DHV2 rating. The new line material is of much higher quality than previous comp lines, less UV sensitive and hence long lasting and even colour coded like normal lines.

Here is an article from Gleitschirm Mag about it, You can choose between German or Bavarian/German/English.

The Zoom Race is now available in new gorgeous colours. Which colour and size would you like?

Summer 2005 Europe - SIV training

13 - 15 August 2005 SIV training in Slovenia

Eva is travelling to Europe again during the winter months. This gives her a chance to check out all the latest in PG equipment, trends, training and safety issues first hand. Keeping in close contact with some of the best paragliding schools over there, the DHV and the manufacturers is essential to us, gives us a huge advantage and is one of the reasons why can always offer you the latest and best in training, equipment, advise and prices.

This time, we are offering an SIV (extreme manoeuvre) course in Slovenia, which we are running in conjunction with Flugschule Salzburg, one of the most experienced SIv course operators in Europe. (We have been doing courses with them since 1989!)

Launch off an easy launch, accessible by car, in gorgeous scenery and a lovely town to stay in. The course teaches you to induce and recover from all the situations you need or want to know about, gives you confidence in your glider and improves your glider handling significantly, under very professional guidance, in English (or German, if you prefer). The program is individually designed for each pilot. You will also fullfil the requirements for the PG3 rating. Get in touch if that could fit into your travel plans this winter! The course is about 300 Euro = about $550. A couple of local guys are already keen.

After 16 summers in Europe, we know a lot of good spots to fly, so feel free to ask for tips on where to go!

17 March 2005: New PG 2 theory starting next after Easter

New PG 2 theory

Last chance to complete PG2 this season!

We are starting a new PG2 theory class after Easter

Thursday, 31 March 2005, 7.30pm
at our loft in Bayswater

On that day, we can decide on another evening for future theroy session. We will cover all theory to pass the PG2 theory tests and whatever we feel PG2 pilots should know. 6 evenings of about 1-2 hrs will cover topics such as Material / Equipment, Aerodynamics, Weather, Extreme Mannoevres etc. Please sign up now!

2 Kiwis in Goal at the Worlds

Grant Middendorf got to goal on the second taks at the Worlds in Brazil, Harmony a few minutes behind. CONGRATULATIONS to both! That is a fantastic achievement.

The taks was 62.5 km long. Place 1, 2 and 3 and 4 on this second task were pilots on the new Boomerang IV:

  1. Norman Lausch, Boomerang IV
  2. Semi Sayir, Booemrang IV
  3. Thomas Brown, Boomerant IV
  4. Stefan Wyss, Boomerang IV

Full result lists on Task2 as PDF downloads.

15 March 2005: News from the Worlds in Brazil

Riders on the storm

Difficult weather in Brazil make preparation for the Worlds hard

Never look back - Grant racing in front of an approaching
thunderstorm in Valedarez, Brazil.

Hi Eva,
The picture above is of a huge CB chasing me, TO is in the back left, and the village of Valedarez directly behind me. Very spectacular: lightning, thunder, and heavy rain. A small gust front about 20 min after I landed (burnt off 1000m, B-Line Stall good), and 30km later.

Today was the second practicing day with a 50km task but decided not to fly it.

Regards, Middy

The NZ Team arrived in Brazil a few days before the competitions was due to start, with the idea to get some airtime and get used to the conditions and the sites before the competition starts. Middy (Grant Middendorf, NZ's first ranked pilot) hadn't even flown his brand-new Boomerang IV yet. Still, after a mere 40 mins or so, he was sure: This new glider is what he wants to fly. But not much luck to get some airtime up: Rain, than very instable, overdeveloping days reduced flying to a minimum and left it only for the brave.

On the picture, you see how Grand was "steeling" some airtime, racing 30km in front of an approaching thunderstorm.

My recommendation: Don't try this at home!

Newposter / calendar

Looks really good in the flesh. They are on stock in the loft - pick one up for free if you would like one!

Easter Fly-in

Should the weather suit, we are very keen to have a long weekend away: Flying, camping, swimming. A small group of 4 can do a XC course to learn about thermalling, planning a flight and going places. If you would like to book for that, please get in touch to book - 2 places are left at this stage.

Every one else should just come down for a nice long weekend flying. Email me about Easter if you are keen, with your cell phone number, so we can stay in touch!

...you give him ONE day off teaching and that's what he does. Who needs practice?!?!

1 March 2005: Latest in Comp gliders and success for Wings & Waves pilots

Boomerang IV - ready for the World Champs

Yesterday, we received the first Boomerang IV from Gin in NZ! While the production of this Race machine officially only starts later this month, a few selected Competion Pilots around the world had their Boomerang IVs delivered this week, in time for the World Championships in Brazil next week.

Grant Middendorf, NZ's current No 1 ranked pilot, is one of these few. He is flying to Brazil on Friday. In the meantime, we quickly took this high tech piece of art to our local site to check it out. While such glider is only suitable for few pilots, for everyone else, it is still truely impressive to see it's ground breaking design and its technology! Super high aspect ratio as we have not seen it before on any glider, with a totally new profile and a strong curve to it, a new sophisticated riser system and an amazing lack of line. Absolutely beautiful!

If you are in Auckland, come and check it out on Thursday, should it be flyable, before it is off to Brazil!


Wings & Waves pilots flying their hearts out!

Check out the current XC Champs list of the North Island: Wings & Waves pilots are doing well! Seing how our pilots enjoying their flying, improving and doing well gives us a huge kick.

North Island XC Championships 2005 - Feb 2005

1 Grant Middendorf 67.1 37.9 0.0 105.0 W&W - GIN Boomerang III
2 Ken Jackson 38.8 33.6 26.9 99.3 W&W - GIN - W&W Zoom L
3 Eva Keim 38.7 35.2 14.3 88.2 W&W - GIN - W&W Zoom S
4 Hugo Brighouse 24.0 24.0 11.0 59.0 W&W - Windtech Quarx
5 John Fegan 18.2 15.6 15.0 48.8
6 Euan Talbot 16.2 15.8 14.9 46.9
7 Simon Ward 23.5 10.3 10 43.8
8 Evan Lamberton 41.0 0 0 41.0 W&W - Swing Astral 4
9 John Walton 40.3 0 0 40.3 W&W - GIN Nomad L
10 Peter Elliot 19.8 18.2 0 38.0 W&W - GIN Zoom Race M
11 Joe Ward 37.3 0 0 37.3 W&W - GIN Gangster S
12 Daron Brinsdon 25.7 11.0 0 36.7
13 Tony Turner 32.4 0 0 32.4 W&W - GIN Gangster S
14 Dan Robertson 24.9 0 0 24.9 W&W - GIN Gangster M

South Island XC Championships 2005 - as per Feb 2005

1 Tim Percival 90.3 82.7 67.7 240.7 W&W - Swing Astral 3
6 Grant Middendorf 52.9 43.5 22.9 119.3 W&W - GIN Boomerang III

The 10 longest flights on the North Island were done on W&W gliders.
All flights over 30km were done on W&W gliders.
The top pilot on both North and South Island fly W&W gliders.
On the Nationals, Peter Elliot won the price for the most improved pilot on his brand new GIN Zoom Race.
Xen Zambas
won the Wanaka Fun Comp 2005 on his new UP Sherpa2.
NZ's No 1 ranked comp pilot - Grant Middendorf - is sponsored by W&W.

We are not so naive to say, that this is because "the glide ratio of our gliders is much better than the others" or anything like it. Obviously our gliders perform very well, but more importantly, pilots fly them well, they are out there doing the XC flights, because they feel comfortable, they are having fun and success. That's what it is all about.

Getting pilots on the wing that makes them fly their best - that's what the advice and sales at Wings & Waves are all about and that's what the training aims at.

Congratulations and Happy flying!

5. February 2005: New PG2 pilots!

New PG 2 theory courses

Starting: Tuesday, 8th February 2005, 7.30pm
W&W Loft in Bayswater, 4 Sir Peter Blake Pde

The previous group of PG2 pilots has completed their theory lessons before Xmas and we now have a new group of pilots learning or startig to learn. If you are remotely considering a PG1 or 2 course sometimes soon, we invite you to join this series of PG theory lessons!

These classes cover what you need to know about flying at a PG2 level and prepare you for the NZHGPA theory test. 7 evenings cover the following topics, such as Material and Equipment, Basic Aerodynamics of a Paraglider, Weather, Flying in lift - ridge lift and thermals Flying practice and pilot skill, Descent Techniques and Extreme Manoeuvres. Contact me now to sign up!

Inside about thermalling Techniques
Club meeting, Wednesday, 16 February 05

At the next club meeting, Eva will explain the finer art of thermalling techniques, how to spot thermals, core precicely and how to climb efficiently. Come along if you are interested!


Auckland League Competition

Date: 12/13. February 2005
Sites: Moirs, Pukemore, Te Hoe, Bridges
Organiser: Daron Brinsdon 021-762 462

This comp was originally scheduled in September, but had to be cancelled due to the weather. This is the second attempt. Low key competitions like this are a great way to learn more about flying. I hope to see lots of you there. Give me a ring if you are unsure or send me an email.