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 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 the 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 than 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.
Niviuk puts different risers on the Kode P. Thin and light ones on the 16 and 18 and thicker ones for the bigger sizes that need to be beginner friendly. The thicker risers also have a separate A-riser to take in the ears. The bigger 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 the same 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. The D10 fabric is also airtight forever and a day. 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.
The Kode P doesn’t tend to overshoot, not even in strong conditions. It comes up and stops from itself. The 16 do, can come up a little fast sometimes. Since the Kode P has noticeably more aspect ratio than a Double skin or Bantam, it’s a little harder to control and launch in stronger winds. Therefore the Kode P takes off very early, you need to run less than with a Bantam / Doubleskin and it also doesn’t dive as much after take off.
We think performance is not that important for this kind of wing, but it does glide better than it’s 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. The Kode P also thermals really well, we enjoy flying thermals with it. Even the smaller sizes thermal surprisingly well. Compared to a Doubleskin it climbs better to.
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 kilogram on your missions. Niviuk uses a completely different profile than most other hike and fly wings have. There is a lot of weight on the A-Lines, you can tell when taking in the ears. Maybe this profile is what makes it so stable in turbulences. We feel it has a very solid leading edge, that makes you feel safe in turbulences.
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)
- Ask us for an offer. It’s way cheaper than a Pi 3:-)