What is the Difference Between Skydiving and Paragliding
Today in our blog we bring you the comparison of two of the most famous extreme sports: paragliding vs skydiving.
We will explore each of them to find out what makes them so different from each other, what they consist of, and much more. Are you ready to surf the sky with us?
Normally, when we are comparing paragliding vs skydiving people tend to confuse them and believe it is almost the same sport. However, even though they seem to involve the same equipment and they look like the same thing, they don’t.
In Overfly we love to spend as much time in the clouds as possible. That is why we want to show you which ones are the main differences between them and what makes them special.
3, 2, 1… let’s go!
Paragliding vs Skydiving: what’s the difference?
Many similitudes unify paragliding and skydiving. They look kind of similar, they both have a canopy and there is a great international community involved in both.
However, once you think about it and you get to learn a bit more about each of them, you get to see that, when comparing Paragliding vs Skydiving, they are unique in their way. Each of them will give you something different.
Freefall vs flying on your own
The first and most obvious difference you will find once you know a bit more about these two is that, once you are in the sky, there is a great disparity between them when it comes to how you move and what you are doing while you are flying.
In skydiving, you are jumping from an aircraft and then you let yourself enjoy the free fall. There is wider freedom of movement since, at that moment, it’s only you, flying. There is no canopy or parachute involved. Parachuting will only take from 2 minutes to 5 out of the whole experience of skydiving.
On the other hand, paragliding is a whole different experience. You do not jump and fall. The purpose of paragliding is to find the right spot (a slope or a hill) that allows you to run and leap to start flying. Here, the paraglider is the main instrument involved and, instead of falling fast to a landing zone, you will flow and learn to find wind currents that will help you to stay afloat.
To sum up, while skydiving has a vertical movement towards the ground, paragliding has a horizontal movement which also tries to go higher up as much as possible.
Paragliding vs skydiving…they do not seem as similar now, right?
What about the equipment? → paragliding vs skydiving
Looking closely at the gear one would use to do paragliding, we would see that it has little to do with the one people use in skydiving. As we have said before, the main goal of each sport is different, so their equipment should be also different.
First, the harness used in paragliding is more comfortable than the one used in skydiving. This is related to the duration of each of the flights and the objective of each sport. In paragliding, the more you stay on air the better, so the gear you are using should be comfortable and protect you from long hours surfing the clouds. However, the harness used in skydiving is not as comfy as the one from paragliding. It could even turn a little painful when you wear it too much time.
Also, the equipment from paragliding is more complex than the one for skydiving. In skydiving, the most important element is the parachute and it all fits perfectly into a backpack that you can carry with you. In paragliding, the equipment is bigger and involves, not only a harness and the wing (which is larger than a parachute) but also much more.
Duration of the activity
There are also some differences in terms of duration and how much you travel during the flight. Since paragliding has a horizontal movement, you will be able to see much more and extensively explore the landscape. Therefore, a flight can last hours and be extended for miles and miles.
On the other hand, in skydiving, the main goal is to enjoy the free fall and it has a vertical movement, so there is not so much displacement during the activity. Your landing zone might be a couple of miles away from where you started but traveling is not the main objective of the sport. Because of this, the whole experience might take you around 10 minutes.
Paragliding vs Skydiving – some final thoughts!
To end with, we would like to add that regarding difficulty, they also differ. Both skydiving and paragliding require some training before you try them for the first time. And, if you are planning on going solo, you will even need to assist a special training. However, paragliding might seem more difficult to master to beginners than skydiving.
But do not lose hope! People who like skydiving end up trying and enjoying paragliding too. It is not so strange since they are, after all, related. Once you know how the sky tastes, you will long for it more and more.
What do you think? Which one do you prefer?
In Overfly we offer our incredible and special paragliding tandem flights to get you started in the sport (or to relive the experience). Check out all our options and find the one you like the most!