One step for each foot? Seb Ospina flies 150 hours with the new Bullet
This Italian-made, ergonomically-designed speedbar system has quickly made its way into the competition scene, winning fans along the way. I flew with it all last year, having been given one to try by Bullet designer Marco Busetta in Colombia in January.
One of the main problems for many pilots of all levels when they apply speedbar is that it can be difficult to keep both sides even. This can quickly become inefficient and sometimes even dangerous, particularly on high-end gliders.
The Bullet uses a system of steps arranged in a zig-zag. The first step is for the right foot, the second for the left foot, and last step for both feet. You can just turn it around if you like to use the left foot first.
Thanks to this system the Bullet offers a lot of precision and evenly distributed bar input. This takes a load off the pilot’s mind, especially when going for glide in the coffin position when you need that extra control, or in turbulent air when you need to combine speedbar and rear risers. The more you use it, the more you forget about conventional speed systems.
Construction is simple, light and sturdy and will hopefully last for a long time. The only problem I found was that it can become slippery when wet.
Installing it is easy so long as you make sure the bungees at the bottom of the pod are not tangled up.
In conclusion the Bullet has the potential to become a cross-country pilot’s essential piece of kit. It will be interesting to see what other kinds of new developments from other manufacturers come from it.
In a world where everything needs to be optimised, the Bullet certainly goes in the right direction.
What Bullet say: “Using it is as easy as walking! Just push the steps in line with your legs. The result is a perfect, symmetrical action on the speed system”
Who is it for? XC and competition
Models: Standard, XL and Light
Price: From €69
Available from paragliding dealers and xcmag.com/shop
Originally reviewed in Cross Country Magazine Issue 197 Feb / March 2019