Best Weather Conditions for Paragliding

Paragliding is a highly weather dependent form of flight. It’s critical for beginner pilots to learn what the best weather conditions are for paragliding and make sure they are fully aware of what weather conditions are too dangerous to fly in.

This is what dangerous weather conditions can mean for paragliding pilots:

  • Failure to achieve and retain sufficient lift
  • Lose of control
  • Unable to fly in the planned direction
  • Unable to land in the planned landing zone, or unable to land safely anywhere

Here are some key weather conditions to look out for before and during your paragliding flight. This article will give you an overview of the key areas to look out for and consider. Enjoy and safe paragliding to you all!

Paragliding & Clouds

Excellent paragliding weather conditions don’t need to be sunny, soaring sites will work in cloudy days – air is forced above and pilots use this updraft. If it’s clear sky, cloudy or overcast you can still paraglide. In overcast skies there will be less thermals but you can still paraglide safely.

Thermic conditions are created when the sun heats the air and creates cumulus cloud.

If you plan on going cross country paragliding, your ideal weather conditions are lots of white, puffy, cumulus clouds. This means that a cold front has just passed, approximately about 12 hours prior.

Cumulus clouds form at the top of thermals. Think of these as columns of rising air, with clouds sitting at the top of the columns. Ideally you want to use these thermals to circle your way up to the top.

Because of the colder weather, thermals are less common during winter. You may find it more difficult to achieve high altitudes or paraglide cross country. However don’t let this put you off any form of paragliding. Many people paraglide in places such as the Tirol region in Austria in winter, where the mountains are covered in snow. Just watch out for wind and don’t actually paraglide in snow – this is dangerous and will reduce your control of your wing.

Paragliding Wind Speed & How It Affects You

best weather for paragliding

Ideal wind between 2 and 15mph, wind speed above 18mph (29km/h) isn’t suitable for paragliding. If you have beginner/intermediate experience you may wish to avoid winds exceeding 12mph (20km/h). While wind can be helpful, it is possible to launch a paraglider without wind. The speed the pilot generates by running combined with the pilot’s weight and the paraglider wing is sufficient.

Wind speed and strength is tested by an anemometer, make sure you fly with one of these. It’s a good idea to test wind strength before paragliding This will help you to determine how to approach launching and landing, and if you should postpone your flight.

  • 1 m/s or 3.6 km/h – Very calm conditions, you’ll need a forward launch with lots of running and effort on your part to launch
  • 1 – 3 m/s or 3.6 – 10.8 km/h – Forward and reverse launch possible, a decent amount of running or good reverse launch skills needed
  • 4 – 6 m/s or 14.4 – 21.6 km/h – Moderate wind strength, reverse launch or a front launch with a small amount of running
  • 7 – 10 m/s or 25.2 – 36 km/h – Wind strength is getting strong. Only very experienced pilots should consider launching. Reverse launch is the best option. Highly susceptible to turbulence and being blown backwards after launching.

It’s also important to monitor if wind is constant or changing. You don’t want to launch in decent conditions, only to find that the wind strength has increased and now it’s difficult to land safely. Test wind speed across a two minute period. If wind speed changes more than 2 m/s in this two minute period, it’s gusty. You risk the possibility of being flown backwards, turbulence and difficulty in landing.

Wind gradient is the change in wind strength and direction with height, and is another dimension pilots must consider before launching. This hazard occurs when low moving air is slowed by friction with the ground, causing pilots to notice an increase of wind as they reach height. This can cause pilots to be blown backwards as they begin to increase in height not long after launch. Wind gradient can also suprise pilots by causing an increase of ground speed just before they land.

Turbulence

In good flying conditions, the airflow is isolated and moves slowly within its layer. This is known as laminar flow. When airflow speed increases to a certain point, airflow can become turbulent. Turbulence is when air particles move in chaotic, random directions. Winds above 5-6 m/s can often be turbulent.

Only experienced pilots should paraglide in light turbulence and no-one should paraglide in moderate to heavy turbulence. Paragliding in turbulence is hazardous because without the smooth laminar airflow, the wing can easily stall, spin, collapse or suddenly drop or sink. Imagine trying to land safely with this going on!

Turbulence can also be caused by large solid objects, this is known as mechanical turbulence. Large objects which block wind can create a turbulent zone. Fortunately this type of turbulence is often easier to predict and avoid.

Weather Conditions Where You Shouldn’t Paraglide

Strong Winds – as mentioned earlier, if wind speeds are above 18mph (29km/h), or above a level that you’re comfortable flying in, or if the wind speed is increasing towards this speed, it’s a good idea to to avoid paragliding.

Orographic Cloud – can form around a hillside and create an area with no visibility, which could result in you flying into objects. Ideally pilots should always fly when they’ve got full visual meteorological conditions. Orographic clouds can also cause rain.

Lenticular Clouds and Foehn Winds – occurs when air goes up a hill and drops down the other side, heating it. This causes some areas to be windy while others are calm

Rain – Paragliding in the rain is extremely dangerous. Rain is one of the most common and easy to predict paragliding hazards. Older paraglider wings are not waterproof and will absorb the rain. This makes the wing heavier and difficult to manoeuvre. Newer wings won’t absorb the wind however rain will still affect the ability of air to smoothly travel across the surface of the wing. You’ll probably get away with a few raindrops, but any proper rain will make paragliding extremely dangerous.

Cumulonimbus (Storm Clouds) – can cause very strong updrafts and downdrafts of up to 200mph. Even planes go well out of their way to avoid them! These clouds often combine other dangers such as heavy rain, strong winds, sudden powerful lifts and lightning

We hope this has helped you to identify the best weather for paragliding and avoid some nasty situations. Read the following article if you’d like to learn more on paragliding safety. Enjoy!

What is thermic conditirions pertaining to paragliding

The 3 most common thermalling mistakes

… and how to thermal better

Round and round “Beep Beep Beep” The sweet tones of the vario? Or was that my heart pounding?

Some thermals can feel so sweet, so beautiful, so welcome (and nothing quite beats “the low save”). But, early on in your flying career, and quite often, a few years down the line, some thermals can scare the “beep, beep, beepy, beep” out of you!

Thermalling with LOTS of pilots!!

My Story

Early in my own flying career, like most pilots, I had a few of those rock-and-roll experiences just to get the idea: “So that’s what a thermal feels like!!” Was I supposed to enjoy that?” “I’m supposed to turn in them. ”

With more experience and with a growing hunger to actually travel – to go XC, it began to dawn on me that I might have to start riding these fountains if I was ever to go anywhere. And I really wanted to go somewhere, to travel the skies, to go XC.

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And so the adventure began!

In my quest to travel XC I knew I would need to don the mental armour required to do thermic battle. “Knowledge and skill will dispel fear”, I told myself

Whilst many flights fade in my mind, I can still very clearly remember my first bash at thermalling. Unusually perhaps, it also happened to result in my first ever cross country flight. I managed a not-too-shabby 20km in the French Alps, all by turning in the occasional beep (if I really had to). Mostly, I tried to stay low. Any higher than the absolute minimum required to scuttle off to the next thermic ride seemed totally unnecessary: being high also seemed down-right scary.

The most important skill to master for XC flying is the ability to climb faster and higher

In hindsight, I’m pretty sure there must have been quite a lot of lift about as I plotted a course along the sunny Alpine rock faces around Annecy. Landing less than an hour later (adding an extra 200 meters as I unintentionally overflew the landing field), I started to believe that I had now pretty much mastered the black art of cross country paragliding. Suddenly everything seemed possible.

It took me a couple more XC experiences (and bomb outs) for me to realize that I’d only just begun to scratch the surface of this black art.

Fast forward a decade or so, and now from honing my own skills through big distance XC flying and the highest level of competition flying I’ve discovered some of “the secrets”. Guiding thousands of budding XC pilots through mountain and flat land landscapes over the years has also helped no-end. I get to see pilots hone their skills and grow in confidence, break personal bests and revel in adventure after adventure.

I get to see what works, and what doesn’t.

There are many many ways in which we can all improve our thermalling skills and perhaps that’s part of the draw – the challenge to improve. It really is an art.

Here are the top three most common mistakes pilots make when thermalling – and what to do about it

NUMBER 1: Not turning in lift

Passion Paragliding Happy

It might sound almost too basic to be true, but it’s probably the number one reason I see pilots fail to climb or fail to climb quickly. Somehow many pilots feel they have to know the size of the thermal, the shape, and where the edges are before they can turn and exploit the lift.

Does your curiosity have you flying over the edge?

Having flown (usually at top speed) through an area of lift, many pilots fall out the side of the thermal only then to turn back (whilst in the sink on the side of the thermal) to then head back through the lift and out the other side. Each time they turn, they are turning in sink. Sometimes, if the lift is strong enough we might gain some altitude using this technique.

More often than not however, the thermal will leave us behind or worse pinch off to leave us in an even stronger area of sink as we buzz around wondering where the lift went.

Perhaps these type of experiences are a normal part of a pilot’s progression, but the sooner you can master the art of turning in the lift as opposed to turning back for the lift; the better you’ll climb and the higher you’ll climb .

Turning a paraglider means we keep the wing in the same bit of air. Turning back for a thermal in the sink means we can be sinking pretty badly. It might well be worth turning back for, but make sure you grab on to it properly the second time.

When you’re low be satisfied with what you’ve got. Only as you get higher (or it becomes otherwise obvious) should you sniff around for better lift. You’ll only get so many chances to fall out of a thermal before it leaves you behind.

Turn in the lift and you’ll go up. Simple, at least as an idea.

NUMBER 2: Not pushing into wind

Thermals drift with the wind. The stronger parts of the thermals have a stronger vertical vector, so you will almost always find the stronger bit of lift on the upwind side of a thermal. Not only that, but in circling with a thermal it is often likely that you will tend to be pushed out the back of the thermal. This happens because you are always “falling” through the thermal. So, whilst you might be climbing in lift you will still be sinking relative to the air around you. For these two reasons, it’s important to “push” upwind from time to time to find the better lift or even just to stay with the core.

So although I said you shouldn’t necessarily find the thermal edge (especially when low), you should however be inquisitive and you should always be hungry for a faster ride. Usually you’ll find that faster ride by pushing into wind. Not only will being hungry for a faster ride ensure you climb faster, it’s actually even more important than that…

You might be happy enough with a 2m/s climb, but if there are 3m/s cores in the same thermal you should take them – not only to climb faster, but just to stay with the thermal. The weaker parts of the thermal will fizzle out sooner, so finding the stronger bubbles means you can climb higher and will likely stay with the thermal for longer. Think of climbing faster as an added bonus.

Flying with other pilots is the easiest way to understand where those stronger cores are. A group of good pilots will always fly faster together than alone. Being able to see those stronger cores is a huge advantage. If you are alone, use your imagination and try to feel what your glider is telling you. By relaxing we can “feel” more. Most EN-B wings will even pull you towards the better lift.

NUMBER 3: Not turning tight enough

My business, Passion Paragliding runs a lot of SIV & Wing Control Courses. I really prefer to call it a Wing Control Course (or “pilotage”), because the emphasis should, in my opinion, be on controlling the wing. Managing incidents (collapses and so on), is of course very important, but if we as pilots can get good at controlling the wing, we can also get good at avoiding collapses in the first place. It’s interesting to see students on our Wing Control course, often hesitant to turn tightly. They are often quite understandably wary of spinning their wing.

However, the problem of turning too widely can often mean that we fail to hang on to the core and if the thermal is small we can even lose the thermal altogether. The vast majority of pilots turn too wide. They therefore fail to climb quickly or worse, lose the thermal altogether. Turning tighter can be the difference between climbing high and landing.

So how can we turn tightly WITHOUT spinning the wing? The answer is usually to bank the wing up. Use weight shift to roll the wing into the core and if the core is trying to push the wing out, be more aggressive with your weight shift. Throughout the turn you should “stay in touch” on the inside of turn – in contact with the harness, ideally always adjusting your weight shift to keep the wing at a fairly constant angle of bank. If you do that, you won’t need so much inside brake to turn tightly and you’ll be thermalling safely – staying well away from the spin point.

The other way to avoid inadvertently spinning your wing is to be both sensitive to the pressure on the inside control and very aware of the pitching of your wing and loading changes as you turn. If turning tightly, you should always be ready to adjust the amount of inside brake you use in order to avoid spinning your wing. Remember, the spin point – or the amount of brake required to spin a wing will depend on the wing loading. In more turbulent thermals your wing loading can be changing all the time. Perhaps in more turbulent thermals you’d be wise to fly faster, particularly if you lack the sensitivity and awareness to avoid spinning your wing.

There’s one final hint that can help you turn more tightly and that’s releasing the outside brake. Even when thermalling I generally have some outside brake applied. By releasing the outside brake I can speed up my rate of turn. I do this to help bank up the wing and hang onto the core.

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Learning to turn tighter in thermals requires good wing control skills. Develop those feelings with care: ground handle often and learn how to control your wing on a wing control course. Do this not only to improve your safety, but also your skills. By being more “at one” with your wing, cranking it round and climbing fast and safely will become intuitive, almost automatic.

Conclusion

If you’re like me, one of the biggest adventures that paragliding has to offer is cross country flying. Thermalling is the number one skill we need to master (or at least get reasonably good at) if we’re to travel the skies with ease. If you’re in lift and it’s big enough, TURN. If you’re in doubt push upwind, to find that thermal again or find the stronger core. Always be hungry for the stronger core and if you can turn tighter onto that core, ride the fontain.

Of course it’s all about practice, but learn to “ride the fountain” and you’ll fly far! You might even learn to love the beep beep beep, at least most of the time.

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What is Paragliding?

What is paragliding? It’s one of the rawest and most pure forms of flight. It involves the use of a paraglider, where the pilot sits in a harness which is suspended by a large, curved fabric wing. There is no engine, pilots launch by running and obtaining lift. The curve in the wing enables a skilled pilot to glide over long distances and to climb to high altitudes. Steering is conducted by pulling handles which are located beside each shoulder.

Paragliding is one of the simplest forms of flight and easiest to get involved in. It’s a popular hobby for those who not only enjoy the skill and thrill of flight, but also enjoy the outdoors and the amazing overhead views obtainable.

However, like other forms of flight, paragliding takes time to learn and master. There are dangers involved and loss of control, sudden weather change, or mishandled equipment can result in death.

man launching a paraglider

What is the History of Paragliding?

Paragliding has a relatively short history, involving many people across the United States and France. Early versions of paragliding were derived from the preexisting parachute, which was round in shape, and designed to descent safely.

The earliest known paragliding was performed by the US military in their parachute landing training. Repeatedly flying soldiers back into the air to jump out of a plane was time consuming. It was less costly, less time consuming and enabled more jumps to be performed in the day if soldiers made their own way into the air through paragliding.

The first recorded history dates back to 1952 where American Domina Jailbert successfully patented a gliding parachute with multi-cells and controls to enable lateral gliding. In 1963, Domina invented and patented the Parafoil. It’s ‘ram-air’ design contains many cells which collect air and once full, enable the pilot to take off. The shape had evolved from a round parachute to a rectangular, slightly curved wing.

Also in the 1960’s David Barish was working with NASA space capsules in the development of a sail wing as a recovery system to bring astronauts back to Earth. He created a rectangular shaped parachute. Barish took this idea to ski resorts throughout the United States, trying to get “slope soaring” to take off. At the time it was simply seen as a way to race down grassy ski slopes in the summer, skimming above the ground. There was no intention to leverage thermals or dynamic wind and glide high in the sky.

In 1961, French engineer Pierre Lemongine also made advancements to help enable the possibility of paragliding. He developed a parachute design which could be towed into the air and steered.

It wasn’t until 1978 when paragliding started to gain momentum. The defining moment was on June 25th, when two French skydivers Jean-Claud Betemps and Andre Bohn ran down the sleep mountain slope of Mont Pertuiset in France and launched into the air. Betemps and Bohn were training for the national skydiving championships in France and couldn’t afford to pay for fuel for a plane to take them up and down the mountains. At the time they were not aware of David Barish’s earlier work on the other side of the world, but asked scientists if their plans were possible, receiving a somewhat cautious “yes”.

Their paragliding was shown in the media, which encouraged others to try the sport and led to Betemps who was first to paraglide on the day, to become known as the inventor of paragliding.

From this moment on the popularity of paragliding steadily grew. In 1979 the first paragliding school was established, with Betemps as an instructor. The first paragliders become available for the public to buy in 1985. The wing fabric was stiffer than that of a parachute and the lines less elastic. This provided greater control and stability for the pilot.

What Components Make Up a Paraglider?

Paragliding Wing

The main part of the paraglider is called the wing. This looks similar to a parachute, however instead of being round, it’s rectangular in shape and curved. These wings have two layers of fabric, usually ripstop polyester or nylon, which are connected by cells. The curved shape of the wing and it’s cells enable it to collect and hold the wind on takeoff and in flight. This is known as the ram-air airfoil design. There are different types of paraglider wings to choose from, depending on the type of turbulence which may be expected, and the speed that the pilot desires.

Harness

The pilot sits in a harness that is suspended below the wing. These can vary from a basic harness setup which is little more than a series of straps, to something with significant protection, like a chair. These more advanced harnesses will hold a reserve parachute under the seat which can be quickly deployed by pulling a handle. These harnesses also provide benefits such as protection from cold air in high alpine altitudes, storage and foam or airbag protectors in the event of a failed takeoff or rough landing.

Reserve Parachute

Nowadays most paragliding pilots fly with a reserve. However this should only be used in when the pilot is completely sure they cannot regain control of the paraglider. Opening a reserve presents new risks such as not being able to control where you land, as well as candlesticking (where the main wing and parachute come into contact and twist into each other). In the possible event of candlesticking, many competitive pilots carry two reserves. As a paraglider it’s best to ensure that you have adequate training and can handle difficult conditions or avoid them completely, rather than fly through anything in the knowledge that you have a reserve.

Paraglider Tech (Variometer, GPS, Radio, Compass)

A variometer is important for measuring your vertical speed, as well as other variables such as relative altitude, actual altitude, air temperature and air speed. Most variometers can give you audio warning tones and record data from your flight which can be downloaded to your computer.

Some variometers also contain a GPS, otherwise pilots will use a separate GPS unit. GPS systems are very useful for paragliders as when your a mile above the ground, it’s harder to notice if changing weather conditions are causing you to slow down or drift backwards. Those who fly in high alpine conditions will carry a digital compass incase they fly through cloud, where GPS units are not effective.

Helmet for the Unexpected

Good paragliding helmets are made of kevlar for light weight and strength. Accidents can cause head trauma from any angle, therefore helmets contain full protection to the head. A large faceguard is particularly useful in the event that a launch does not go to plan.

Footwear Suitable for Landing

Believe it or not, the ankle is the most commonly injured part of the body in paragliding. For many people hiking boots will suffice, but regular advanced users will wear a specialist boot with high sides to protect the ankle from trauma. Paragliding boots are also designed not to have external lacing clips as these can snap on your lines.

Flying, controlling and Landing a Paraglider

Launching a Paraglider

There are three main forms of paraglider take off, the forward launch, reverse launch and a towed launch. The forward launch involved the pilots wing being spread out on the ground with the pilot running forward. This is done in an airstream, often on higher ground. Some pilots prefer this as they only have to run forward, and get the thrill of takeoff. However the disadvantage of this is that the wing is behind you, making it harder to check for correct inflation and no tangling of lines.

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In strong winds, particularly at high altitudes, a pilot may choose a reverse launch. Little running from the pilot is required and the pilot can also watch the wing and lines as they leave the ground. However, skill is required to execute this launch successfully, requiring the pilot to hold the brakes, turn to the side and avoid tangling the lines.

A towed launch can involve the aid of a stationary object such as a winch, car or boat. This can make it easier to paraglide from flat ground with little wind.

Controlling the Paraglider

Pilots can increase speed by using the speed bar, which can be controlled using their feet. This is connected through the harness and decreases the wing’s angle of attack. Braking is controlled by two controls, one on each side of the pilot. These are used to adjust speed and a pilot can also use them to manipulate steering by shifting their body weight at the same time.

A skilled pilot can also use lines and risers to control the wing. This can be useful for speeding up the approach to a landing, slowing down if the brakes fail, or for retaining control in sudden changes of wind.

For the most part, the pilot can let the paraglider glide itself. A common mistake by beginners is to spend too much time overcorrecting and braking.

Landing

It’s important that a paraglider landing is well planned and performed gradually. Hitting the brakes hard early in the landing often results in a harder landing and injury. Pilots are taught to resist a poor landing and take their time to land in ideal conditions where possible. Landing with the wind can assist in a smooth landing, landing without wind can require the pilot to exercise some skill and ‘flare’ at the end of the landing. This involves speeding up as you get close to the ground to flare the wing and reduce the chance of a hard impact. Once your close to the ground, legs are down, wing is flared, and your final checks tell you that the ground is safe to land on, you’re then ready to hit the brakes.

If a more rapid landing is necessary, an experienced pilot may be able to perform a spiral dive, b-line stall or big ears landing, depending on the conditions and space available.

What are the Types of Paragliding?

The are different forms of competitive paragliding, to suit those with different interests and abilities. Most fall into three main categories: cross-country flying, aerobic paragliding competitions, and hike and fly paragliding competitions.

Soaring

Soaring is performed by using wind which is guided up by a large object like a mountain, cliff, ridge or large sand-dune. A constant and suitable level of wind is required to do this. If there’s not enough wind, the paraglider won’t make a clean takeoff. If there is too much wind, the paraglider can be blown back over the slope.

Thermal Flying

Thermal flying leverages the thermals which rise through the air from objects such as rocks which have been warmed in the sun. When pilots find a thermal, they will use a varioaltimeter or fly in a circle, to find the strongest part of the core of the thermal where the air is rising faster.

Cross-Country Flying

Cross-country paragliding involves gliding from one thermal to the next. Paragliders will glide towards land features which could generate thermals or look for cumulus clouds to fly under, as these are usually found at the top of a warm air thermal.

What Does Paragliding Feel Like?

Most people who have tried it will tell you that paragliding feels pretty amazing! Paragliding is flight in it’s rawest, simplest and most pure form. The limited structure and absence of walls and a floor enables you to feel at one with your surroundings. While it’s often lumped in the same category as extreme sports such as skydiving and bungee jumping, it’s actually much more relaxing and appeals to a wide variety of people. Paragliding is definitely not as scary!

If you’re scared of heights, you might still feel comfortable with paragliding. What scares most people about heights is being close to the edge, or jumping off (e.g. jumping off a platform when bungee jumping). Paragliding in this regards, is different. You gently take off and are lifted into the air. And if you’re a first-timer, you’ll probably start with tandem paragliding, where an experienced pilot will take control from takeoff to landing.

Who Does This and Where?

Paragliding has always been a popular pastime in the mountainous regions of Western Europe. There are a number of places in France such as Annecy, Chamonix, Plaine Joux and Dune of Pilat to name a few. Other popular places include Interlaken in Switzerland, Tyrol in Austria, Tuscany in Italy, Oludeniz in Turkey and Algodonales in the south of Spain. At these locations you’ll see experienced paraglider pilots as well as tourism operators offering short tandem paragliding adventures for first-timers.

Other popular paragliding locations around the world include:

However, there are many paragliding enthusiasts who have their own spots where they go to escape the crowds and not only enjoy the thrill of flight, but enjoy the serenity of peacefulness of nature too.

How to get into Paragliding?

It’s a good idea to go on a couple of tandem flights with someone experienced and see if paragliding is something you want to invest your time and money in. If you’re keen on learning to paraglide, most countries and popular paragliding locations have providers who offer training courses. In comparison to other forms of human flight such as skydiving, the barriers to entry are low. Some courses can be conducted in as little as 8 days, where you are then free to fly by yourself.

While we are not against these courses, in such a short timeframe you may not get much experience in the wide range of conditions could be encountered. It’s a good idea after your training to continue flying with some experienced paragliders. They can help recommend places to fly in your local area which are suitable for your ability.

Many countries have paragliding clubs and associations where you can meet experienced pilots who are willing to offer advice.

  • The USHPA in the United States in Australia
  • The British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association in the United Kingdom

It’s also a good idea to brush up on your meteorology knowledge. Learn about different clouds and their effects on thermals.

Restrictions

In most countries paragliding is considered a ‘self regulated sport’ with no licence required for solo flying. However, some clubs and associations may ask to see some form of certification stating that you have undertaken training before you can join.

You are also required to abide by the laws in your country regarding restricted airspaces such as flight paths, airports and military bases. Pilots should also avoid flying too low over buildings and roads.

How to Purchase a Paraglider

If your careful what you’re buying, there’s nothing wrong with buying a used paragliding wing, lines and harness, and navigational equipment. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to bring an experienced friend to view the equipment and check the wing, lines and harness for damage, or buy from someone reputable at your local association.

Two components which are worth purchasing brand new are the reserve parachute and the helmet. You’re life may depend on these at some point, it’s not worth purchasing damaged equipment to save a few dollars.

Paragliding wings are segmented into various EN ratings which act as a guide to help you purchase a paraglider which is suitable for your ability and type of flying you wish to perform. Those new to paragliding will start at the ‘first wings’ class (EN A rating) which are easier to manoeuvre and keep stable. The next level up from this is the ‘progression class which usually gets an EN B rating.

After this there are classes which offer high performance in certain characteristics such as:

Source https://globalparagliding.com/weather-paragliding/

Source https://www.passionparagliding.com/how-to-thermal-better

Source https://globalparagliding.com/what-is-paragliding/

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