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The paraglider is one of the most important components of the equipment needed for this extreme sport. It is essential for optimal piloting of the paraglider. What is the purpose of this equipment and what are the different types of gliders that exist? Paragliding Meribel tells you everything about the paragliding wing.

What equipment is needed for paragliding?

In order to paraglide, you must have the right equipment for this sport. Your first paragliding pack should consist of :

  • a glider, also called a paraglider wing,
  • a harness,
  • a reserve parachute.

Connecting elements are also required to make a paragliding flight. For example, you will need to complete your paragliding pack with quick links, carabiners or risers. There is also other equipment that complements the paragliding pack. Although they are not compulsory, this equipment (helmets, goggles, etc.) can be useful. They allow you to optimise the comfort and safety of the paraglider during the flight.

Paragliding equipment: how important is the glider?

The sail is the largest component of a paraglider. Shaped like an aircraft wing in its profile, the paraglider wing is the element that generates the lift of the aircraft (paraglider). The paraglider wing is made of a lightweight fabric that is strong enough to ensure safety and performance during flight. Most often, the fabric of the glider undergoes specific treatments to increase the resistance of the paraglider to UV rays and tears. The paraglider is made up of different parts, namely

  • the bottom surface (lower part of the wing),
  • the top surface (upper part of the wing),
  • the cells,
  • the leading edge (the front of the wing),
  • the trailing edge (the back of the wing),

The air rushes into the cells and the opening of the leading edge allows the canopy to fill. Once the paraglider is fully inflated, it takes on the shape of an aircraft wing and will generate the lift of the aircraft, so that it can glide.

How to choose a paraglider?

There are several models of paraglider. To determine which glider will suit you best, you should consider your level of flying and your discipline.

Choosing a paraglider according to your flying ability

In paragliding, there are different categories or approvals of wings. Paragliders are classified from A to D. The level of piloting skills of the paraglider pilot will have a considerable influence on the category of glider to choose. If you are a beginner, you should look for A rated paragliders, as they are more permissive. Pilots with a little more experience can opt for a paraglider that has a B rating.

The higher the C and D ratings, the better the performance of the gliders. C and D class paragliders are therefore reserved for experienced pilots with a good level of piloting skills. It is imperative to choose a paraglider that corresponds to your level of paragliding experience. You will not enjoy flying if you choose a paraglider that is too good for your level, and it may even be dangerous for you. Moreover, during the first paragliding flights that we offer, we use very high quality gliders to fly in pairs and in all conditions.

Choosing a paraglider according to the discipline

In paragliding, there are several disciplines and the type of flight to be performed can also influence the choice of your glider style.

The local flight takes place in a fairly small area called a 'jar'. This allows you to stay close to the take-off site. This simple flight is a good way to train. Cross country flying is one of the best known paragliding practices. More suitable for pilots with some experience, cross country flying allows you to cover a long distance in paragliding by going from mountain to mountain.

The most spectacular discipline is aerobatics, where the objective is to perform beautiful figures. Soaring is the practice of flying with the wind, skimming closely over the ground. It requires great precision from the pilot and allows him to stay fairly close to the take-off zone.

Rando flying, a more recent discipline, the latest in paragliding activities, requires the use of a "light" or even ultra-light wing. The race to lighten up led manufacturers to invent a wing called "mono surface", without cells! The principle of the aeroplane wing is respected via the leading edge, but the whole wing is made of only one layer of fabric, which is lighter.

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