Nowadays, there are almost infinite models and brands to choose from, so finding the most suitable paraglider for you can be a real challenge. Today at Overfly Tenerife we want to explain how to choose the right paraglider. We will try to explain the whole process by considering several aspects that will probably affect your choice and will help you choose the paraglider of your dreams.
If you are interested in other topics related to paragliding, you must take a look at other posts of our blog. For example:
- Which are the parts of a paraglider? Everything you need to know!
- Paragliding History ➞ Let’s take a look over the origins of this aerial sport
- Thermalling techniques: How to thermal your paraglider better
Now, let’s see how to choose the right paraglider!
How to choose the right paraglider
Now, we are going to explain how to choose the right paraglider for you. We are explaining which are the factors that you must bear in mind before buying a paraglider, such as your type of flying, the size, the handling and so on. So, are you ready? Then, off we go!
What type of flying do you practice?
How much time can you put aside to fly? This is the first question you must do yourself before choosing a paraglider. Is paragliding your lifestyle? Do you work flexi hours? Can you only fly at the weekends? Do you have a family life to juggle? Or maybe just one paragliding holiday a year?
Whether you are giving up work and travelling the world, then you may consider a low-end En B wing. If you also practice different sports like kite surfing or sailing then you may feel more comfortable using a similar wing.
If you are only getting occasional weekends out flying and the odd holiday, then take your time and get a good En A. Most modern En A gliders to provide all the performance that you need to fly in thermals. Moreover, they give a higher level of security when you go abroad and you could find yourself in taking off at the wrong time of day or in worst conditions than you thought!
Every new paraglider has been benefitted from the advances in new technology over the last 3 years. As a result, En A gliders are nowadays more agile and so much faster than they used to.
Size of the paraglider
There are different wings intended to be flown at different places and which are thought for weight ranges. Nevertheless, there is an easy rule just aimed to be at least in the middle or towards the top end of your glider weight wise. So the question is — how do I work my weight glider size?
We strongly recommend you to add yourself extra clothes apart from the reserve parachute, the reserve harness, and the helmet. That will give you an idea of the weight that you can apply to size later. Remember that some manufacturers vary greatly their sizes, so you better check it before buying it.
Lightweight paraglider options
These often shape up into two different styles —light and semi lightweight paragliders. All standard wings tend to weight around 6 kilos for a medium-size, while a semi lightweight will offer 1-2 kilos less, and a lightweight wing maybe 2.5 kilos less.
You must remember that these kinds of wings lose weight by a change of line type and thinner materials. The light glider needs some patience and respect as it will tear if it is pulled out of a bush — meanwhile, a full-fat wing won’t even notice that you are dragging it around.
Micro lines are great but they snarl up easily. Furthermore, they are really irritating when you get them caught in long crops or thistles.
Make the right choice of the risers
Are you getting a lightweight wing for the first time? Then, as a first glider, the id considers that you must go for slim risers as opposed the under light string option as they will play with your uncertainty when you go flying until you have got used to them.
Handling — the most important part when you are choosing a paraglider
In conclusion, lightweight paragliders are a great option in flight, due to they can offer nice handling, a light touch. Nevertheless, some can be a little more busy or chatty in thermic air as they pitch about a little more.
On the one hand, the best and most noticeable thing about flying a semi lightweight is that it is easier to launch them forward in light or nil winds. This is because there is less weight while you are sitting on the ground. But on the other hand, these types of paragliders prove to be a bit more undulating and unstable in stronger winds, since they seem to lift up a little easier.
If you don’t put the ground handling time into it when you buy one they will be a right chore when you want to go flying in soarable winds.
It is not necessary to say that with a well-chosen lightweight glider, a lightweight harness and a reserve parachute you can round your kit weight down to sub ten kilos. Sometimes getting a lighter weight harness can be enough to bring your kit weight down to nearer ten kilos if we don’t add the cons mentioned previously.
Getting the right advice about how to choose the right paraglider
You should be able to ask your instructor if he or she knows details about what you want to buy. They will probably do, so they can give you advice and make some suggestions, especially when it comes to the size of the paraglider.
In the same way, if you have trusted your safety, in other words, your own life to your instructors, you can also trust them when it comes to buying your paragliding equipment. As well as, they can help you to make the right choice about if you should buy a new paraglider or a second hand one.
We hope that you have enjoyed this post about how to choose the right paraglider and that we have helped you (at least a bit) to make a good decision. If you need more information or if you are interested in our paragliding tandem flights, you can feel free to ask! Don’t hesitate to contact us any time through our web page or giving us a call at our phone number (+34) 648 228 518. Our team is waiting for you in the south of Tenerife!
We want to fly with you; we want to be your wings.