Niviuk Kode P Review – Our opinion
Niviuk is already building light wings for many years. Their light wings are the P series. They have all their XC wings in a superlight P version as well. For mountaineering wings they so far only had their famous Skin P single skins, including the tandem Bi Skin. We are not big fans of single skins, since they still have a few known disadvantages. You should not compare normale size wings with single skins for flying characteristics, but if you do it anyway, you can see the difference in weight from the Kode P to the Skin 3 in the size 16 is only 200g.
We like the overall package the Kode P offers. It’s a very well balanced wing in many ways. The Kode P seems a little less play-full then an Advance Pi 3, but much more than a Nova Doubleskin. The Kode P glides and climbs better than those other two wings. The Nova Doubleskin still stays the lightest on the market, but not by much. How did they achieve this? The Kode P has very wide cells, compared to other 2 wings and only diagonals in the center cell, nowhere else. Neither has it mini ribs, nor loops for the brake attachments. This all safes fabric, thus weight. The Kode has more aspect ratio than the other 2 wings. Kode P 4.75, Pi 3 4.5, Doubleskin 4.4. Also the Kode seems to have a very flat arc, this gives it slightly more projected area then other wings have. Normally flatter wings are very roll stable and not fun to fly. Niviuk somehow achieved enough roll with it’s flat arc.
The Kode P is almost completely wrinkle free, this is important for achieving a good glide ratio.
The risers are not crazy light and fiddly. They look more like normal risers, they also weight 240g, the light ones from the Pi 3 140g. Niviuk could have saved some 100 grams with lighter risers, we think it’s great they haven’t. Even the speed-system has a big expensive Ronstan bearing pulley to make it light to push. From size 20 upwards, the risers have a separate riser to take in the ears. Those sizes also come with a more durable and heavier fabric on the leading edge, what will make it last longer specially when training ground handling.
The rods in the leading edge are Nitinol. This is great, it means you can pack it absolutely careless. No need to worry about your rods ever. However we recommend you to always fast pack it (stash it in a fastpack or stuffbag) and only pack it neatly and small if you have to. This will increase the lifespan of any wing a lot! Hard to believe, but true. Ask anyone that makes yearly checks on gliders.
The lines are unsheathed Kevlar, but have no color coding as for example the Pi 3. The advantage of those kevlar lines is their length stability. They hardly stretch or shrink. So this wing won’t need a yearly check or re-trimm ever. The D10 fabric is also airtight forever and a day. But the fabric is known to stretch a bit with time. But you still need to take care of this wing, it’s easy to tear this fabric, when a line gets stuck somewhere. Also you should never smash those wings in windy conditions on the leading edge, it might explode and be non repairable. Plus Nitinol rods are always very thin, so this fabric over the rods on the top skin is the most fragile part of your wing!
Taking off is very easy as with most light gliders. The Kode P fills quickly and rises up with the slightest pull on the risers. No need to pull on the A-Risers. It actually works better for most pilots to hold A and B risers for forward launches. This is also true for many other super-light wings. Try it! 70% of the pilots we see forward launching, pull the A-Lines too hard while inflating their wings. If you hold A and B, you can pull as much as you want, you can have your hands wherever you want, the wing always gets the same tension.
The Kode P doesn’t tend to overshoot, not even in strong conditions. It comes up and stops from itself. This is a very important behavior! Most wings either tend towards hanging or shooting. The Kode P seems to do neither of it, very much like Nova’s Doubleskin.
We think performance is not so important for this kind of wing. It doesn’t really matter that it glides slightly more than competitors. What matters more is that it’s fun to fly and confidence inspiring in turbulent air. We like pitch-stable wings that don’t shoot forward in every little turbulence. The Kode P is pitch-stable and makes you feel comfortable in turbulences. Since it has more aspect ratio than others, the lines are also slightly longer. This helps for being less scared in turbulences. Compared to the Nova Doubleskin, you feel a lot safer when flying in turbulences. The Kode P reacts well to weight shift and brake inputs. Even active flying on the rear risers on speed-bar works well. Doing high wing-overs doesn’t need a lot of brake input.
All sizes except the 16 have a A-Certification, even the 18. That already says a lot. We think long brake travels and a hard stall-point is also very important. The Kode P offers both. The Kode P is easy enough and safe for beginners to learn on. It’s hard to scare yourself when pulling bigger collapses, the Kode P doesn’t bother much when you pull those A-Lines. Safety and comfort are very important on hike and fly wings, if you feel scared you will need to bring a reserve all the time and add over a full kg on your missions.
Thx to the big cells, no diagonals used and the clever internal design, it packs up really, really small. However the rods are longer than on other wings, so to pack it small you need to bend them, which isn’t a problem since the Nitinol will always go back to it’s intended shape.
What we like on the Kode P
- Packs very small
- Fun handling
- Safe and confidence inspiring
- Hard to stall on brakes
- Glides and climbs well
- Slightly cheaper then the competitors
- For a small extra price, really great backpacks available from Niviuk!
Good to know
- Made out of the slippery D10 Silicon coated ripstop
- No snowloops to attach the wing on steeper slopes (you need to build your own and fix on A-Lines if you need them)
- All unsheathed Aramid (kevlar) lines in the same color (brown)
- Ask us for an offer. Good price my friend, only for you;-)