Skywalk Mint Review – Our opinion
We were very surprised of the Mint! It’s very agile, has a very intuitive handling and feels very solid on Bar. The brake pressure is rather hard, especially lower down, but you don’t need much travel to turn. It has a lot of roll, specially on Bar, but it’s easy to control with the B-handles. The pressures on the B’s are very light. You don’t need much force to pull. When you fly on full bar, the B1 and B2 lines are a tiny bit slack, only B3 has some tension left, that’s make it a little roll-instable. But it also means you can steer it really nicely on the B-handles while flying on bar. You can do wingovers and spirals easily with the B-handles while pushing bar. (be aware that this are potentially very risky maneuvers) It doesn’t go on rails like the Photon. But it is as stable on bar as the Photon, we really like this high stability of the Mint. The Photon looses it’s high stability quit a bit when you pull the brakes, the Mint is still surprisingly stable when you fly on brakes. Flying on brakes removes the reflex of the airfoils, thats why you loose some stability.
It has a nice feedback, you can feel it well and stop it well with the brakes or the B’s. The Mint has a very good brake authority, you have the full control over the wing with very little brake travel. It’s exactly the opposite from the Photon in this case, which needs long brake inputs. We really like this sensation of flying with short brake travel! It also warns you before it want’s to collapse and leaves you time to react like an Ozone. Like all Skywalks it’s not pulling forward much, it tends to pitches back when entering lift. It feels like it does „yaw“ a bit in turbulence as well. It really feels a bit difference in turbulence like others. It’s not bad or dangerous, you just have to get used to.
We think the Mint is a great wing if you are stepping up from the B class. It doesn’t feel like a wing with aspect ratio 6.4, it feels more compact. It’s surprisingly easy to fly! In normal thermals you don’t have to fly very active. The leading edge is very solid and hardly ever gets soft. Only in rough air you start feeling oh i have to catch it sometimes. If you do get slack lines or a real collapse, you can feel the reflex of the airfoil; The leading edge always wants to pull up, it’s amazing how it works. Small collapses reopen in a bang, you will be surprised how quick it inflates again. Once you are used to the comfort and stability of the Mint, you will find it hard going back on another wing that is not as solid.
The brake travel you need to fly is very short, your hands always stay up high. But the stallpoint is also quite high. In calm air it gets very hard and you can feel the stall really well. When you enter strong lift or fall into the downwind, the stallpoint moves up even higher and one needs to be carefull to not spin it accidentally there.
The performance is very good, but it can’t quite keep up with the Photon or the Artik in glide, speed and climb. But it’s very close and in a range where the harness model and the size of the wing makes as much difference. We think the Mint has the best ratio from performance to pilot demand. There is no other such accessible 2-liner with this much performance. Plus it feels very safe and reassuring even in bumpy conditions!
If you are afraid it might feel like a Cayenne 6 or Spice; Don’t worry, it’s not an adapted Cayenne. It’s a completely different wing. It’s genes come from the X-Alps 5. If you look up, they look very similar.
Interesting is its choice of lines: The top lines are unsheathed dyneema, which are very thin and help reduce line drag. Since it’s only the very top, it shouldn’t loose trim because of this too quickly. All other 2-Liners only have Kevlar lines apart from the brake lines. And it’s the first Skywalk wing that comes without the ugly wholes in the back:-)
One thing that is different from all others: The brakes are only attached to the trailing edge on the wingtips. Towards the center they are moved forward and they have a raff-system. We think this is to increase the brake pressure towards the stall point, to have a more clear stall point.
What we like about the Mint
- very collapse stable
- very easy to fly
- very agile, very nice to thermal
- feels very solid
- very accurate feedback
- only short brake travel needed
- very good brake authority
- rather light pressure on the B’s
Good to know
- No Nitinol rods, you need to pack it neatly
- One needs to be carefull to not spin it in high AoA situations
Tech specs and marketing text