Introduction to Ultralight Aviation

How To Start Paragliding - These 3 Tips

The most interesting part of any hobby


Remember when you were young and how you started having different hobbies? What was the most unique moment at all? I say, buying the tools and equipment!

As a kid, I still remember the first book and the first stamp album I bought. Buying the perfect training suit could have been more important to me than working out!




Paragliding is no exception. When you decide that you are ready to buy your own gear rather than using the trainer's, then you should bare in mind some tips.

Tip #1: Focus on the basics


Although a scene of a group of people practicing paragliding might give an impression that there is much to purchase in order to be up in the air, yet this is far from being true.

As a beginner, you only need what we call the 'basic paragliding gear' to get started.
This includes:

  1. A canopy or wing: there are several models varying in shape and quality. My opinion? The wing is worth the biggest share in your budget simply because it's the main part that will make you fly! An average wing may cost you from $2500 to $4000 and usually comes with a nice backpack. Also asking your trainer for an advice about the most recent and affordable models for beginners will help you to make a better decision.

  2. A harness: This is worth the second biggest share as it concerns your own comfort. Basically, harnesses differ in their padding and thus in their weight. For a beginner who won't ride for too long, I suggest you get a light harness that you can easily carry and be carried on! You can find a good deal for less than $400. You can also get a more luxurious harness with more padding, pockets and other accessories.

  3. A helmet: you don't need to dress 'sporty' to paraglide. You can do it in your casual outfit considering that it will be a bit more chilly up there. But you must wear a protective helmet just in case. You can find good and safe helmets in stores starting from $20. You can use a usual helmet, but try to look for those specially designed for air sports.


Tip #2: Get the accessories one by one


No matter how enthusiastic you are at the beginning, beware of the accessories shopping frenzy! You won't like to end up spending $500 on stuff that you might not use at all even after a long practice of paragliding.

Don't let the sales guy persuade you that you need this or that, try it yourself first and you will define what you need step by step.

Still, you can get some cheap accessories that will always be useful for paragliding and for life in general such as a compass (or recently a GPS) and a hook knife in case of emergency.

Tip #3: Be economical, but not cheap!


Fighting the temptations of accessories is good, but jeopardizing your safety for a lower price is definitely not! Ask for a recommendation from a friend or a trainer concerning the store(s) to shop at and stay away from used gears as they are never guaranteed.

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