When choosing your paragliding equipment, it is important to consider the certification level of the glider. Weight range and flying style should also be taken into account to make an informed decision on which wings, harnesses and rescue parachutes will suit you best. Brand preference can also play a role. Also consider second-hand paragliding equipment to save money. Adrenaline Parapente explains the important elements to take into account when choosing equipment.
The level of certification to choose your paragliding equipment
When purchasing paragliding equipment, it is important to consider the level of certification. This is an indication of how well the equipment meets safety standards. It also tells you how durable the equipment is and how well it will perform in different conditions. Equipment certified by a reputable organisation is more likely to meet your needs and provide a safe and enjoyable flying experience.
To obtain certification, paragliders undergo various tests.
Testing the gliders in flight
It is important to evaluate the behaviour of paragliders under different conditions. After a flight test, the glider is given a score according to its performance. The most accessible gliders (beginners) are certified "A". This certification is granted after a series of tests in calm conditions.
The next level is "B". To obtain this grade, the glider must pass additional tests in more difficult conditions.
The glider is then graded "C" if it meets even higher requirements. The highest certification is "D" (competitors). This grade is only awarded to the best performing gliders.
The paraglider load test
The load test is the most important safety assessment for a paraglider. This test checks the strength of the glider. It is attached to a machine that applies a force greater than the weight of the heaviest person who could fly the glider. If the equipment can withstand this force, it is certified.
Choosing your paragliding equipment: other important factors
The total weight in flight (TWA), your flying style, the weather and your budget will also be important in choosing your paragliding equipment.
The weight range when choosing
Another important criterion to consider when choosing your paragliding equipment is the weight range. This is the amount of weight that the equipment can safely carry. This weight, known as the GVW, includes your own weight, the weight of your harness and reserve parachute, and your safety equipment. To find the right size, consult the manufacturer's size chart.
Your style of paragliding
If you are a beginner or casual pilot, you will want to choose a glider that is easy to fly and forgiving. If you are an experienced pilot who likes to push your limits, however, you will need a high performance wing that can handle more aggressive flying.
The weather conditions you will be flying in
When choosing your paragliding equipment, you should consider the weather conditions in which you will be flying. If you live in an area with strong winds, you will need a glider that can handle strong winds. On the other hand, if you are launching from a mountain in an area where the conditions are calm, you may want to choose a wing that is less robust and lighter.
Your budget for paragliding
Of course, your budget will also be a factor in your choice of equipment. There is a wide range of prices for paragliding equipment, so you need to decide how much you are willing to spend. Remember that the most expensive equipment is usually made from better quality materials. Choose a branded glider, harness and safety parachute to increase safety in flight.
How to find good second-hand paragliding equipment?
If you are looking for second-hand paragliding equipment, you can check out the classified ads and online forums specialising in the sport. You can also find good deals on new equipment from online retailers.
When buying second-hand wings, harnesses, parachutes and other equipment, be sure to inspect them carefully. Check the glider, but also the parachute and harness carefully. Make sure that all parts are in good condition and that they are not damaged. Also be sure to ask the seller for the history of the equipment and how it has been maintained, as well as a test certificate from approved workshops.
Take into account the criteria listed above to make sure that the equipment is certified and corresponds to the PTV and your flying style.
photo credit : @the_fox_alpinist