Unveiled in July 2019, Nova’s Doubleskin is a minimalist hike-and-fly wing. It’s certified EN A and the smallest size weighs a touch over 2kg.
The Doubleskin is available in three sizes: 17, 20 and 23 (these are projected surface areas; the flat areas are 20m², 23m² and 27.5m² respectively). All three sizes are certified EN A, but Nova point out that the characteristics will range from relaxed to dynamic as you increase wing loading. The smallest, 17 size has an extended EN-B weight range (from 55-75kg it’s EN A; from 75-90kg it’s EN B).
The Doubleskin has 33 cells and an aspect ratio of 4.4, but a “complex” internal structure. It’s made from the 26g/m² Dominico 10D on top and bottom surfaces, with 20D on the leading edge. The weights in the specs table below are for the wing with standard 12mm kevlar risers but Nova also offer the Doubleskin with an “ultralight” riser set, which is 60g lighter. Every gram counts!
Short lines means the Doubleskin can be laid out in small spaces, and it has “holding pins”, which look like little golf tees and enable you to pin it to the ground on steep or snowy launches. All the lines are sheathed and colour coded for ease of use and durability.
Nova say the wing has good directional stability and a good glide ratio. They see these things as important safety features – in the mountains the wind might not be doing what you expected it to when you started your hike up. They add that intuitive handling makes this glider a pleasure to fly in thermals.
Despite it’s EN-A certification, Nova say this wing isn’t intended as a school glider:
“The Ultralight Risers require a certain routine in order to avoid riser twists when clipping in and the ultra-light fabric may be more prone to getting damaged during extensive ground-handling sessions”.
The Ibex 4 remains in Nova’s range, and is also a lightweight EN A but it is slightly more robust and Nova say it is better suited to beginners.
The Doubleskin is the first wing to bear Nova’s new colour scheme. Nova say about that:
“After five years of the “old” design, NOVA is going for a new look. The central design element is the sweep, which is inspired by a bird’s wing and which visually emphasises the aspect ratio of the wing.