The weight of a paraglider should not be overlooked when flying. If you are too heavy or too light, this will affect the handling and speed of the glider. The same weight will affect your position in the weight range for which the glider is approved. In order to enjoy safe flights, Adrenaline Paragliding tells you everything about the weight of a paraglider.
What determines the weight of a paraglider?
Different elements are taken into account when determining the weight of a paraglider. Firstly, you have the centrepiece, the wing which is important to choose well. After the canopy comes the harness. Another element that should not be overlooked is the reserve parachute. This provides additional safety during paragliding.
Apart from that, you have equipment like helmet, gloves, vario and bag. Each of these can influence the flying conditions of a paraglider.
The weight of the material in general
A typical solo paraglider weighs between 3.5 and 5 kg. To this must be added the load of the harness and reserve parachute, which varies between 5 and 8 kg. If it's an introductory flight, the weight of the tandem should be taken into account. Then you have to consider the weight of the pilot's harness, but also that of the passenger.
The weight of the reserve parachute should not be forgotten. In this case, the total weight can vary between 16 and 18 kg. Standard equipment usually weighs between 15 and 20 kg. A light equipment weighs between 10 and 15 kg and an ultralight equipment weighs between 5 and 10 kg.
Lightweight sails: a trend towards lighter weight
When it comes to paragliding, the trend is towards lightness. For this reason, wing manufacturers are working on "light" versions. A light wing is more fun to fly. About ten years ago, paragliders used to use the expression "flying with an iron". This was used to describe the capabilities of the gliders.
Nowadays, wings allow you to fly 10 times further.
How to calculate the total weight of a paraglider?
To determine the TWF (Total Flight Weight) of a paraglider, there are two methods. The first is to add up the weight of the various components. This is your weight, the weight of your clothes, what you have in your pockets and your flying accessories. To this you should add the wing loading, the weight of the reserve parachute and the weight of the harness.
The second method is much more accurate. It consists of getting on a scale with your bag shortly before take-off. The exact weight of your TWF will then be displayed on the scale.
What is the ideal weight for a paraglider?
For safety reasons, it is important to set a minimum and maximum weight when flying a paraglider. A tandem paraglider is designed to carry a weight of 230 kg. Therefore, the weight limit for a passenger is 110 kg. However, this rule may vary depending on the instructor, the flight conditions and the fitness of the individual.
Knowing the TWF of a paraglider is essential for a safe flight. With this information, the pilot is able to anticipate the behaviour of the glider in a flight situation. To get more advice before your first paragliding flight, contact Adrenaline Parapente.