The 3 best paraglider folding techniques you need to know
At Overfly Tenerife, we want to provide you the best information about paragliding — such as the best paragliding sites or the best paragliding launch techniques. Today, we are going to talk about the best paraglider folding techniques.
If you are interested in paragliding, we are quite sure that you will be interested in paraglider folding techniques. It doesn’t really matter if you are an expert or if you are practicing paragliding for the first time — this information is going to be useful for any of you who want to live the paragliding experience!
3 paraglider folding techniques
There are many paraglider folding techniques — a lot of different methods to pack up your paraglider wing. So, down below we are going to talk about the ones that we consider the best paraglider folding techniques.
The concertina-packing bag is the quickest paraglider folding technique and the best way to pack and store your paraglider wing. It is very important to bear in mind that the way you pack and store your paraglider directly affects its longevity and its performance. This means that a careless packing of your paraglider wing could crumple and damage the internal reinforcements of the wing.
It doesn’t matter if you use mylar*, nylon or any other similar element — these elements are crucial in forming the clean leading-edge profile that your glider needs to retain maximum performance.
*Mylar “a form of polyester resin used to make heat-resistant plastic films and sheets”
Concertina folding your wing is the most efficient and the surest way to protect the integrity of your leading edge, but this can be an annoying and time-consuming task. Moreover, it is difficult to handle on your own and almost impossible if there is a strong wind.
The XCertina IV is the quickest and the easiest solution to this problem. As we have said, it is quicker than the conventional packing system and it helps to retain the performance of your wing over time. Furthermore, as we have said it is the easiest paraglider folding technique if there is a strong wind, and what’s more, it is the simplest and quickest way to unpack and get ready to fly.
- This paraglider folding technique has been updated, taking into account the new technology in paraglider wing design and the feedback from paragliding pilots.
- Now, it has a longer mesh and velcro sleeve which holds the leading edge together to give a more comfortable and secure packing system.
- The upper surface is completely made of mesh too, so it allows the wing to breathe more easily.
- It also has a special pocket to store your risers in order to keep the whole package neat and tidy.
- Moreover, it has a two-way zip too, so you decide which way to close the bag.
- Finally, there is a compression strap attached to the bag in order to keep everything together.
This paraglider folding technique is the best way to conserve the performance and the characteristics of your glider. It comes in two different sizes:
- S (2.5m). It is used for competition, Acro and EN D wings – weight 527g.
- L (3m). This is for EN A, B and C wings – weight 623g.
- If you don’t know the size of your paraglider wing, you just have to measure the chord at the centre of the wing to work out the right size for you.
This paraglider folding technique is frequently used the vast majority of times by paragliding pilots because it is super-light and super-simple. So, in spite of concertina bags are extremely useful — especially for competition gliders and gliders with lots of reinforcing — we want to show you a method that you can use if you don’t want to buy a concertina bag or just in case you haven’t got it with you at that time.
This is a simple paraglider folding technique that keeps the leading edge protected and well compressed. You just have to pull out the centre of your paraglider wing and lay it out flat. Then, clip the brakes on and leave a metre of line off the trailing edge.
While you keep the lines on top of the glider, you have to do a little S fold along the trailing edge, bringing it in towards the centre. You have to do this on both sides while you are folding it over, three or four cells at a time.
That is just a hard fold which gets the tail of the glider neatened up — you have to fold it over and squash the air out of it, working towards the leading edge. Then bring your paragliding harness forward and put it on top of the folded portion of the glider.
You can do this next with a strap, nevertheless — you can do it even lighter and got rid of the strap. Coming around to the front, if you pull on the cells the paragliding harness is pinning the back edge, so you can get a nice bit of tension. You can also do your leading edge concertina folds — as you would normally do for a concertina bag — by gathering the nose cones. If you have got that little bit of weight on the glider, that will help you getting them lined up nice and tight.
You have to push some of the air out of the glider and step over the wing, so you will be facing the leading edge with the paraglider wing between your legs. Then, you have to use your feet to trap the paraglider wing and that will give you a nice tensioned section at the front of the glider. This way all the nose cones are still nicely folded in the front. While you pull the glider forward, you have to bend it around to the left and fold it against itself.
This works better on those paraglider wings that have short reinforcing rods in the leading edge. If your paraglider wing has a very long reinforcing, you may want to start the fold just after the end of the reinforcing. Another option is to make the tight fold and then stuff your flying jacket into the centre of the fold — this way you will give it a wider arc.
Using your feet, you can pinch that again to tidy it up slightly just by folding the loose glider fabric inwards, before pulling it forward and creating another fold in the same direction. The result is that all the nose cones are lined up in the centre — you have to keep your hand against them in order to make sure that they don’t move.
Next, you have to lift the whole thing slightly off the ground and trap the paraglider wing between your legs again, ready for putting it into the bag. Try to keep the bag lined up with the nose cones, so when you push the air out, you are keeping a nice fold.
You are going to have one little piece left over — don’t worry, it is just the tail of the glider. What you have to do is folding it over the top, down on the outside of the bag. This shouldn’t be a problem unless you have lots of long trailing edge reinforcing. It is usually only the leading edge that is critical to fold neatly.
If you put the bag on in the right direction, it will be safe to sit on the glider, squash the air out, and if you have an advance compressbag, it will allow you to get the packed shape much tidier. When it is all nicely packed away, it is ready to go into the backpack.
Le Tube is a paraglider folding technique inspired by the concertina folding method. This paraglider folding technique gently compresses the canopy automatically when you are packing. It works releasing air from the cells and maintaining the paraglider wing flat and compact.
This intelligent packing bag has two exclusive things which guarantee its success. The first one is that the opening — which is a hoop at one end — acts as a sort of funnel to feed in the leading edge. The second one is that this packing bag is made of a carefully selected choice of materials.
Among those unique materials, you will find elasticated neoprene, which has been used to facilitate the glider smoothly sliding inside the bag as it is fed through the opening. It gently compresses the canopy while it releases the air simultaneously — and that will be all! There you are a lightweight, supple and breathable storage bag for your glider.
Le Tube is a folding storage bag without straps or zippers for storing your wing. This paraglider folding technique is especially suitable for those paraglider wings with a rigid leading edge because of its opening. As we have said, it uses a hoop to facilitate the introduction of the leading edge into the bag in just a few seconds.
As the underside of Le Tube is made with elastic lycra, the remainder of the bag easily slides over the rest of the glider in one swift movement keeping your paraglider neatly folded and tucked away. This paraglider folding technique makes that packing up your glider is an easy matter, even if you are in windy conditions or on a bumpy area.
Due to the lycra panel, the paraglider will always be able to breath — even when it is stored for long periods of time without being used. The lycra panel on the underside acts as a compression bag too, so your paraglider wing will automatically stay in place if the bag is folded or laid flat.
And, if you want to get the glider out of the bag, you just have to undo the chord and hold up one of the ends. Then, shake it gently and your paraglider wing will slide out. But the question now is how to pack your paraglider wing using this paraglider folding technique.
Now, we are going to focus on the preparation of the paraglider. A few concertina folds will be enough to slip the hoop over the leading edge, holding it in place while you get as much air as possible out from the rest of the paraglider. You will get this air out by pushing upwards from the trailing edge to the hoop, flattening the paraglider as you go.
The advantages of this paraglider folding technique are numerous. Apart from being compact and lightweight, it protects the leading edge too. The leading edge is protected by storing it flat without the use of clips, zips or straps found on other folding bags, which are supposed to deform the batons.
We hope that you have enjoyed our post about the 3 best paraglider folding techniques and that it has been useful for your paragliding practice. You know that if you have any doubt or if you need any further information you can contact us at any time — we will be waiting here to fly with you!