In 2017 I was flying my U2 145 with a tracer pod and often noticed inferior glide even compared to Sport 2's with racing harnesses. In 2018 I flew with a Tenax 4 on the same glider and had an equal or better glide compared to all other gliders I competed against in the sport class, I never had the same issue, not even once. That said the Tenax 4 is heavier than the tracer as well, so it put my wing loading to the upper middle of the range, instead of middle. Still though previously it was significantly worse than now, I'd have lines vibrating and everything back there previously, pulling in just caused me to sink, where now I get some additional flat speed.
I would basically agree, we have topless gliders for that. Though exotic materials and expense I don't think are a driving factor, you can always get pretty good used gliders at much less cost, even beginner gliders new aren't that much really. What would a full carbon S3 be like? What could the weight be gotten down to? Wing momentum could be further reduced, etc.
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