The Fury is the speed-riding wing for experienced to expert pilots from LEVEL WINGS, a new brand created by François Bon. The speed-riding pioneer and renowned designer, to whom we already owe the wings that have helped define speed-riding: first with Gin, The Nano, The Fluid, and then with NEO, The S-Ride and X-Ride.
Francois has been producing designs for nearly 20 years, first at Flying Planet, Aerodyne, Gin and then Neo. He is still speed-riding, speed-flying and paragliding daily. So it is exciting that François Bon has started his own brand LEVEL WINGS to give free rein to his creativity and to present us wings that are successful and uncompromising, which fit perfectly into to the practice.
Introducing for speed-riding, The “Fizz”, wing for beginners to solid intermediate pilots available in sizes 8.5, 10, 11.5, 13, 14.3, 15.6 m2.
Then comes The “Fury”, a wing for accomplished pilots, experts and competitors.
Feel the “Fury” in sizes 8,9,10 and 12 m2
For the speedflying and mini-wing range, the “Flame”, available in sizes 9, 11, 13, 16 and 19 m2. To complete the range, a versatile reversible harness, The ‘Fusion”that seamlessly adapts from speedriding to comfortable long flights, with speed bar and harness.
We had the chance to meet François Bon in Val d’Isère during the www.skiandfly.com Speed Riding World Meet. He asks, “are you ready for the Fury?” and so we tested the “Fury” in sizes 9 and 10.
The weight is the first thing we figure out when taking in hand the speed-bag (very well designed, carabiner and draw string, fast and simple.), the wing itself is very light!
The quality is also here, François Bon entrusted the manufacture of LEVEL WINGS to the Aerodynamics workshop, in Sri-Lanka, which manufactures in particular “Hannes Papesh” and “BGD”, famous for the quality and superb of their products.
The Fury’s 3-strand risers are simple but clean, long and narrow black webbing that are not unlike those of the Fluid. Clearly intended for precise riser control. A colour code differentiates the front (red) from the back (blue).
The brake controls also looks like the Fluid and X-Ride’s. They are ergonomic, equipped with a wrist cuff and ball (smaller than on the X-Ride) and connected to the risers by an magnet, but which is not too strong and will release the handles when required.
The original setting of the brake controls is quite long, you could comfortably shorten them a little, because even if the contact is finally direct enough, the travel is long and you must be able to keep line tension when on skis.
An elastic strap connects the handles to the base of the risers to avoid twists of the controls and ease location, this is easily removed if you prefer.
The trims are about ten centimetres long and are placed low enough to allow them to be adjusted while keeping control, and preventing the wing from overtaking. The large travel at the controls means that they rarely need to be manipulated during the run.
The lines are fully unsheathed and in dyneema from Liros, which has a tighter braiding and more strands than most conventional dyneema lines, which limits shrinkage and fraying.
The line cone/length is very short and very reactive on the roll axis.
The wing is made of Dominico 30D fabric, known for its light weight and very low porosity, for the lower and upper surface. The internal reinforcements and diagonals are made of Porcher Skytex 40HF fabric, renowned for its high resistance to deformation.
A clever design that offers a good weight/robustness compromise and allows to have a light wing that floats above on skis, but resistant to the wear associated with speed-riding.
The 3.6 aspect ratio makes the wing efficient but it’s reasonable.
The number of cells (26) is rather important as on the majority of the modern powerful wings, but without exaggeration.
The leading edge is profiled by flexible rushes/stiffeners that you’re not afraid to bend when stowing your wing.
The internal design of the wing seems innovative and very intricately designed, to maintain a stable profile and keeping the wing light, but we don’t know more because we can’t enter the mind of the designer, there are manufacturing secrets!
The ‘Fusion’ reversible harness is smartly designed to be used well in speed-riding and in speedflying or paragliding. It has all the accessories and features ideal for every practice.
Check it out here : http://www.speedfly.org/levelwings/fusion/
The inflation is rather classic, the wing inflates well but requires a little speed to rise well above the head, especially on smooth slopes. On steep slopes, the climb is obviously faster, and as with many wings, it must be checked with the brakes without delay or it will overtake.
If you start mid-trims or open-trims, it will be necessary to hold it to the brakes and raise your hands gradually, as you gain speed.
The take off comes up when you want it, by using the brake controls. It will obviously need a little speed, but if you have to take off quickly, you can count on a good handling by using good contact with the brakes.
Hands up, the speed is enormous! and the dive leaves you nailed to the ground, delaying the takeover to the maximum, even with closed trim.
In flight, the Fury seems to have a good glide by braking enough, or pulling a little on the back risers. Not having our usual landmarks, it was difficult to be precise on this measure, but we are in any case sure that the glide is largely sufficient for most speed-riding spots, and that not many speed wings have more glide.
Piloting is ultra-precise, whether on the roll axis, where it is extremely reactive, or on the input of the dive/glide, which is easily and precisely managed thanks to the large travel of the brake controls, which are quite firm.
The wing is also very responsive in the harness and you really enjoy flying close to the ground with a great feeling of safety, thanks to this precision and an excellent pitch surge.
The pitch surge has always been the strong point of the wings designed by François Bon, and the Fury is no exception to the rule, perhaps the finest yet. Even without much speed gain, the pitch surge is already present and reassuring, but after a maximum speed gain, you feel in “Space Mountain”; when you pull the controls firmly and deeply, you feel catapulted into the sky!
The barrel rolls in the pitch surge are extremely enjoyable and even reassuring, because the wing turns very quickly.
Even under the 10 m2 with a rather low wing load, the barrel is fast. Whether you want to turn fast or smoothly, it is fluid and finishes the roll well, with minimal loss of altitude on exit. Don’t forget to hold your skis together if you are a little rough when rolling.
Under the 9 m2, the barrel is super fast and furious. It will thus be necessary to be fine, precise and not too brutal on a shorter travel, at least before knowing the wing well. We are also less surprised to see Omar Zaiter making barrel rolls into the pitch surge at ground level, once we know the behavior of this Fury. But let’s not forget that Omar is a speed-riding champion!
Flying the Fury is a pure pleasure, which is not necessarily the case with every speed-riding wings.
Get back on the snow, whether on a gentle or steep slope, is very easy with the Fury. The glide angle management and the excellent pitch surge, allow you land back where ever you want. You can lay very short, gently and even up the slope thanks to the pitch surge. Do not hesitate to go to the end of the brake travel to break the glide and reduce the landing distance.
Be careful with the shorter travel on the 9 and 8 than on the 10 and 12. Although all sizes exhibit a very deep stall point.
Once the skis are on the snow, the Fury only wants to go forward and you will only have to gently raise your hands as you accelerate to not let the wing pass over the front.
Constant pitch management is necessary, especially with open trims, but it is what allows the wing to have such a large dive range that can be fully exploited with the controls.
Low speeds are very well tolerated by the Fury and you can really ski extremely slowly even on steep slopes without taking off unintentionally. You shouldn’t hesitate to brake, the wing will tolerate very hard brake even at low speed, and the stall point is difficult to reach. The slightly shorter travel of the 9 makes the stall point closer, but it is also more manoeuvrable in its low-speed direction changes.
In small carves, the wing follows the pilot well and you should not hesitate to put control on the desired side to command him to turn with you on the yaw axis, it will follow you.
The Fury is very manoeuvrable and with a little practice, an experienced pilot can really ski without fear wherever he wishes.
In large carves, the wing is very comfortable and there is no need to insist to place it on the edge. You can really accelerate hard without being carried or bothered by the wing, even when the slope becomes steeper or if the wing is trimmed flat with a low wing load.
The dive is really impressive, and even if you’re skiing very fast, you can brake very brutally on skis without the wing being disturbed, as long as you adopt good control by holding it strongly on the brakes.
De-loading is also very well tolerated by the Fury. No fear, when arriving in front of a small mound or a badly anticipated jump, as long as you remain in active piloting. It’s not a beginner’s wing, so you have to pilot it constantly. But once you know it well, you can handle any situation.
Open or closed trim, the wing keeps a coherent and similar behavior with of course an increased dive with open trim. The more you open the trims, the more the wing wants to dive and the more it will be necessary to manage the pitch by restricting its behaviour with the brake controls. Always remember to avoid raising your hands too abruptly, otherwise you risk seeing it overtake you and could frontal slightly (only during the ground skiing phases of course), even if it re-inflates immediately.
Skiing with the Fury is therefore very pleasant and we feel that it has been designed for pilots who love skiing, as much at low speed in tricky spots as to chase other pilots in large powder fields.
The Fury builds on the strengths of the Fluid and X-Ride, leaving aside most of their shortcomings.
Compared to the Fluid 9.5, the Fury 10 as more dive, a bit better pitch surge ,a bit better glide, better tolerates low speeds, the barrel is better and is even more responsive all round.
Compared to the X-Ride, it has much better glide, better pitch surge, more roll and handling, and better tolerance at low speeds.
The Fury is not a speed flying wing and for this, LEVEL WINGS offers the Flame, even in very small sizes.
Thanks to its pitch surge and its large glide range at the brake controls, it is possible to foot launch the Fury, but only for expert pilots who have a good experience on speed flying with very diving speed riding wings and always remain reasonable with your choice of wing size.
Before attempting to foot launch the Fury, it will be necessary to know it well on skis and think carefully about pitch management to avoid being overtaken by it on a steep take off.
WE LIKE LESS
With his experience as a designer and rider, François Bon does not disappoint us with this Fury. A wing that has everything you want from a speed-riding wing, with true character as a bonus. Just as the Fluid and X-Ride have been references in the field, the Fury is pushing the limits and should quickly become the new refrence for speed-riding wings for experienced to expert pilots.
We can’t wait to see more from LEVEL WINGS.