The Gin Airflex is Gin’s entry into the Reflex realm, with full trimmers and an effective speed system. I’ve flown the wing twice, once at Glamis Dunes and again at Beach Blast but only one time with a Speedbar and I didn’t get to make GPS speed measurements.
Gin is known for quality and this is no exception. The risers appear to come from Paramania and it carries the same caveats of control as do most reflex wings regarding brake use while trimmed fast and appropriate speed system use.
27 m² is large for me which affects handling responsiveness–everything feels a bit more sluggish when lightly loaded.
Handling: With trimmers slow handling is average and with trimmers fast, you use the tip steering toggles which are moderately effective. You’re not supposed to use the brakes when trimmed fast and that’s for good reason. I tested brake use both on fast trim and on fast trim with full speedbar since that’s something we do in competition. Don’t. I took the big collapses so you won’t have to. Instead of brakes, when accelerated on these gliders, only use the tip steering.
It’s easy to see why they don’t like brakes while accelerated. Take it out to kite with the trimmers set to fast. Let the glider overfly you slighly and pull some brakes. Video 1 has some great examples of this. But if you keep the wing back, which requires a fair amount of continuous brakes, it does quite nice.
Inflation (-): Pretty much on par with other reflex gliders, especially large ones–that is, a bit sluggish. But set the trimmers to slightly faster than neutral, stay on the A’s until it’s fully overhead and you’re moving, and she launches reliably.
Efficiency (- slow/ – fast): I didn’t get to measure anything but judging from my flare authority gliding in, it’s quite efficient. With the trimmers neutral in it’s a pretty regular glider–you could take it soaring and do pretty well.
Speed (-): I didn’t get to do a speed test but it has a nice, long trimmer range and so should be reflex fast. Same with the speed system which appears to have a long range, on par with other full reflex wings.
Construction (-): Seems very well made, not surprising given Gins long time as a highly respected maker of paragliders. If they’re using Paramania risers then that also attests to high quality.
Certification & Safety (-): Most reflex gliders are not certified due to the tests not adequately measuring their behaviors or the test pilots being unable to deflate them using the standard means.
Overall (-): For anyone wanting to go cross country using the benefits of a reflex wing, this won’t disappoint. It’s not a appropriate for a brand new pilot but a solid PPG 2, who gets some instruction on their nuance, should be good.