Introduction to Ultralight Airplanes

Paragliders for Sale - a Buyer's Guide

I hope that you run into this article just before you go shopping for your new paraglider! For being a relatively expensive sport, paragliding needs some good and handy tips to buy the gear you need.

Noticed the "you need" part? This is the first thing that you have to put in mind, you do NOT need each piece of equipment that you see on stores. As any beginner in any sport, you just need something that is affordable, nice-looking and of course safe.
For Sale

Photo by sake028 at Flickr

Here are a couple of WH-questions that might help you make a better decision:

Where do they sell paragliders?

As anything else, you can find them in sport stores and in e-stores. Usually when you get your license and decide to buy your own gear instead of the school's you ask your instructor for the nearest recommended place to shop.

Why not get a cheaper used gear?

Well, the problem with any used thing is the 'extent' of such usage. For instance, a harness could be used for more than 6 months but is still in good condition as the user was delicate with it or did not use it so frequently during this period. The same deal includes a helmet that was used for the same 6 months, but the seller also used it for another hobby (let us say biking) which left it with some cracks!

So you can not usually guarantee the condition of a used gear or for how long it will last. Note that the normal Ultraviolet rays of sunshine cause some damage to a brand new gear within 2 years in average.

When to decide to buy a new gear?

For a beginner, definitely after getting your license. You do not want to spend your money on something that you might not be able to use at the first place. Not to mention that during the training program you are allowed to use the school's gear. This will help you decide which brand to use... or not to use!

How to choose a paraglider?

Again, it depends on a sole factor called YOU and your priorities. Asking your instructor to choose you a paraglider set that suits your level (whether as a beginner or higher) will help you the most. Another thing is, if your instructor is up to date, he could give you a 'shop timing' advice; sort of "wait till February, there will be a new model released specially designed for beginners".

But in general, make sure that whatever the brand you are getting you:

  1. Are comfortable with it (the helmet fits well, the harness is comfortable...etc.)

  2. Get a warranty for it.

  3. See it live, not on the internet or the classified (things are not always as they seem there, specially with a good marketer!).

In some stores you can make the seller try the gear in front of you, but you should be really lucky to find such a generous seller.
The average cost for a beginner's set will be about $3000. So make sure you are licensed and passionate about the sport before you spend that much money on it!

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