UP Guru – first impressions

I had an opportunity to fly at paragliding world cup in Argentina an UP Guru, a (CCC) Civl Competition Class glider. There is not many better options to fly. We had a good mixture of conditions from extremely weak to very windy with strong thermals. So here are some impressions after 15 hours. I flew in Advance Lightness 2 harness ballasted to 95-98 kg, the Guru S/M is for a range 90-105 kg.

Take off of a 7,6 aspect ratio glider need some skill. The few outer cells are sometimes stuck but it is very easy to repair, I had to be sharp when wind was blowing as tip is easily took off and creates a big mess if not managed quickly.

The handling is very similar to Meru, brakes are similar length. The biggest difference is that while thermalling, I often need to use the outside brake to prevent small collapse of outside side of glider. It is very soon automatic for me but I believe a newbie on this glider would do a cascade very soon. The amount of active input is multiple times higher than on Meru.

The feeling is more intense than Meru, at beginning little annoying, but at least in Tucuman/Loma Bola no problem for me.

The performance is great. The top speed is high but somewhat sinky, still useful in strong headwind or sink. Half speed has great glide and speed similar to Meru top speed, three two thirds of speedbar seems the best, a pity L2 speedbar is only two step. I often saw 70 km/h on my gps. The performance on trim in calm air is same as Enzo 3… difference 10m after loooong glide is not to make a different assumption.

I got two significant asymmetric collapses. One very soon on first flight while thermalling and I assume it was just lack of active pilotage. It was swingy as Guru reacts fast for both brake and change of weight shift, and it does not reopen without help. The second was in the strongest day, calm as puppy, maintained direction, just needed to help to reopen.

Twice I was in top 10, once in super weak conditions, second time in stable conditions with strong headwind. Both these tasks were with no pilot in goal. I do not feel flown Guru enough to make any assumptions but definitely my performance was finally not limited by the glider.

In summary, for FAI1 class competitions it is much better than Meru. However the safety+comfort vs. performance is on Meru’s side, and ordinary pilot who is not flying a big competition has no big reason to upgrade. Unless you need very small size, which for Meru does not exist.

Videos from competition:




2 thoughts on “UP Guru – first impressions”

  1. Hi Petr,

    how much more demanding would you put the Guru over the Meru on a scale of 10…?

    1. For me, if Guru is 10, Meru is 6-7, Trango 5-6, Summit 4, than -1 with each cat.

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