Speedflying has been evolving rapidly over the past several years and we now have options for just about every flying style. With the recent release of the Ozone Rapido we reached out to Cade Palmer of the Ozone R&D team to talk with us about their new offering.
PN: Cade it’s always great to have a chance to talk with you. How many years have you been working with Ozone
Cade: I first started working Ozone in 2007 helping Rob Whittall to test the Bullet GTs.
PN: We are excited to see the Rapido hitting the market. What was your favorite part of the R&D process for this wing?
Cade: This wing was particularly fun to test because it made so many new lines possible. We did some shallow runs that I wouldn’t have even looked at before without a bigger wing. It was really exciting to look down from launch on the 9m and trust that I had the glide.
PN: What type of pilot was the Rapido designed for?
Cade: The wing is designed for intermediate to advanced speed flying pilots. Somebody who already has some time on a speed wing and is comfortable in the air. It is dynamic and requires active piloting in turbulence.
PN: Tell us a couple characteristics of the Rapido that sets it apart from other speed wings on the market.
Cade: It has a very direct and precise brake pressure. The brake range is shorter than the Fazer but powerful. It responds quickly to small inputs, even at lighter wing loadings.
PN: Are there features or characteristics that you would wanted to see added to the Rapido?
Cade: After 2 years of testing it is a pretty refined product. We had lots of time to add everything we could think of.
PN: In your opinion what harness would be the best choice to use with the Rapido to maximize the flying experience.
Cade: The harness I choose for the Rapido depends more on the size of the hike than the wing. The lightweight harnesses like the OZO do a great job flying the wing and are well worth the weight save on long hikes, but my Atak gives me the most control.
PN: Since we are talking about harnesses. How important is harness selection when considering Speed flying and what characteristics do you look for when you are selecting the perfect harness for you?
Cade: I think that choosing the right harness for you is a very important aspect of speed flying. You have to be comfortable to fly your best. Different body types fit different harnesses. Pick the one that fits the best and thats easy to stand up in for launch and landing.
PN: If someone is considering getting into speed flying. What is the best advice you would give them.
Cade: Baby steps. The sport is as safe as you make it. You want to progress in small steps to not get out of your comfort zone and scare yourself or even worse, get hurt. Prior paragliding and skydiving experience can both help and hurt. Keep in mind that speed flying is its own sport and sometimes you have to break as many bad habits as the good ones you carry over from your previous sports. Oh, and you can never, ever kite enough.