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Since the 1970s, numerous paragliding records have been set. Whether in terms of distance, altitude or flight time, paragliders have achieved mind-boggling figures. Adrénaline Parapente brings them to you.

Types of paragliding records

In paragliding, there are many official records which are supervised, monitored and controlled. These include records for distance, altitude, flight time, etc. Each record is assessed by a team of volunteer validators. To find out how a paraglider flies, an automatic validation tool has been set up to process a large proportion of the flights. As for the others, they are processed by the volunteers according to their availability.

The distance record

The distance record for paragliding was broken by Sébastien Kayrouz on 19 June 2021. He flew 612 km in a straight-line flight in Texas. The flight was made at a speed of 60 km/h and at an altitude of between 1000 and 2000 metres. By way of comparison, the French distance record is held by Frédéric Delbos, who reached 417 km on 12 May 2019.

The altitude record

The paragliding altitude record is held by Antoine Girard, who flew over Broak Peak at an altitude of 8407 metres. This beats the altitude he reached five years earlier by 250 metres and François Ragolski's record of 8225 metres by 182 metres.

An unofficial record was set by Ewa Wisnierska on 14 February 2007. The German paraglider reached a mind-boggling height of 9946 m, almost the cruising altitude of an airliner! In fact, she was caught up in bad weather conditions that swept her into a rising column of air. Having lost consciousness for 40 minutes, the paraglider recovered her senses to land as best she could. Miraculously, she escaped without serious injury.

The flight time record

The record for the longest flight is also held by Sébastien Kayrouz. It was achieved on 19 June 2021 during the flight that enabled him to break the record for the longest distance covered by paraglider. To achieve this, Sébastien Kayrouz took off from a winch near the town of Del Rio and spent 11 hours in the air. He landed near Amarillo in Texas, 612 km from his starting point.

Other notable records

Other notable records include that of paraglider Yael Margelisch, who broke the women's world record on 12 October 2019. She became the first woman to break the 500 km barrier by flying 552.82 km.

Noah Locatelli, an 18-year-old paraglider pilot, broke the Mont-Bouquet distance record by covering 186 km with his paraglider on Thursday 3 June 2021.

Finally, on 1 September 2011, Mary Allen Hardison became the oldest person to fly a paraglider. The American was 101 years old at the time of the flight.

The impact of technological advances on paragliding records

Technological advances in paragliding have largely contributed to the setting of new records. While the record holders are undoubtedly professionals who have mastered the different types of paragliding, they are greatly helped by the new equipment available.

In recent years, paragliders have evolved thanks to improved internal structures and the use of new, lighter and stronger materials. As well as wings, harnesses have also undergone significant improvements. The frames are now more stable, more precise and more ergonomic.


Many paragliding records have been broken in recent years. Whether they are records for distance, flight time or altitude, they demonstrate the progression of human performance. It is highly likely that new records will be set in the years to come, as numerous technological advances are being made in the field of paragliding.

paragliding records
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