Arriba4 hike and fly paraglider from Skywalk

Skywalk ARRIBA4 Lightweight intermediate.

Skywalk have recently released their lightweight, low to mid range EN B Arriba4.

The ARRIBA4 is certified in 5 sizes from XXS to L and in two colour schemes; Mustard or Lind.

UK Airsports flying the Skywalk ARRIBA4 on Carrock in the Lake District
UK Airsports flying the Skywalk ARRIBA4 on Carrock in the Lake District

The ARRIBA4 is the perfect glider for pilots looking for an easy-to-fly wing that still has enough power for relaxed XCs with low weight and small pack volume.

Based on the TEQUILA5, the ARRIBA4 inherits the balanced flying characteristics with particularly easy-to-master performance of it’s sibling in a package that’s a kilo lighter.

Skywalk ARRIBA4

We’ve had some time on our demo now and can say the following about it. While it is quite light and relatively low volume, it’s not in the super light category, at around 4kg the ARRIBA4 is comfortable to take on all but extreme hike and fly trips.

The glider will stand up to a lot of use being made from 38g and 32g material on the top surface. Thinner 27g material is used only on the bottom surface that won’t be subjected to much abrasive wear.

The ARRIBA4 that can be used as an every day glider without the worry of having to take extra care over very delicate and thin materials.

Skywalk ARRIBA4 hike and fly glider

I’ve taken the ARRIBA4 out on a few mini expeditions, as many of our walks to take off in the Lake District can be… Combined with the SKYWALK BREEZE harness and the HIKE 80 rucksack, the whole package weighed in at a very comfortable 8.6kg.

Some of the main differences to it’s predecessor, the ARRIBA3

Very easy – The Arriba4 has improved launch characteristics due to a reduced tendency to overshoot compared to the ARRIBA3.

The glider gives the impression of being very calm during flight. It gives less feedback and doesn’t move around as much as the ARRIBA3. Bank angles are easy to fine-tune and brake-pressure increases are linear and progressive with a marked increase in pressure towards the end of the brake range, giving plenty of warning before you get near the stall point.

The glider responds very quickly to quite small brake inputs, but doesn’t over-react and settles quickly. You can vary the roll quite easily allowing relatively flat efficient turns or banked up quick turns.

Combined with the BREEZE harness, the stable canopy makes the glider very reassuring and thermal flying stress-free, easy and comfortable. Turbulence in the air is well indicated by the canopy, but with a lot of damping for comfort. Pitch and roll are reduced, compared with the ARRIBA3, which gives better climb and glide performance overall but especially in turbulent air.

UK Airsports flying the Skywalk ARRIBA4 on Carrock in the Lake District
UK Airsports flying the Skywalk ARRIBA4 over Carrock Iron Age Fort in the Lake District

Performance potential is easier to achieve because of the glider’s reduced pitch and smoother characteristics in the air, noticeably when using the speed-bar.

Thermalling is also made easier (more friendly) with the reduced pitch and roll tendencies making the glider very easy to control and fun to fly, even in challenging conditions.

While I haven’t done any SIV or serious testing, the impression I felt was that reactions to instability are generally very manageable, inspiring confidence.

Big-ears are easy to apply and don’t tend to flutter as much as the predecessor.

Spiral dives are easy to exit.

Last impression
All in all, a great package for low to mid airtime pilots seeking a capable but reassuring glider. Because it packs down quite small and is pretty light, it’s ideal for moderate hike and fly experiences around the Lake District (or anywhere else in the UK).

I found that the ARRIBA4 is very reassuring and easy to fly.