Which is the right paraglider?

Good question, because in view of the sheer selection of paragliders, harnesses and accessories on the new and second hand market, the search for the new aircraft is not particularly easy. The second-hand market offers various offers with more or less serious content between the many manufacturers in a wide range of different performance classes and variants.

Beginner Screens

So how to find the right paraglider? Which paraglider suits me? Well, especially for beginners, the approach is actually quite simple. Keywords or LTF. The classification of the paragliders into their degree of difficulty is one of the most important features of whether a paraglider is the right one for you. According to LTF (airworthiness requirement), paragliders were identified by numbers according to their classification (1 = Suitable for training up to 3 = experts). According to the European standard (s), this is done via letters from A to D.

Since each glider responds differently to pilot failures and turbulences, each model requires different reactions and interventions by the pilot in order to return to a normal flight condition. The higher the passive safety and the damping behavior, the more error forgiving is the screen and the less the required intervention. Based on a predetermined catalogue of manoeuvres, the paragliding patterns of test pilots are thoroughly checked and then obtained an assessment of their characteristics. For more information on the classifications: Click

The basic rule for the beginner is therefore: the right paraglider always has only the classification LTF 1 or en a!

Exceptions in the old LTF classification exist only in the class 1-2 low, i.e. paragliders, which have only received a score of 1-2 in a few points. For myself, although I am no longer a bloody beginner, only a paraglider according to EN-A is the right one. This has the following reasons: On the one, I have a much more relaxed feeling with such a safe screen and can enjoy more because I do not have to fly actively. On the other, modern entry-level paragliders offer air services that no longer have to hide from intermediates. So for me it makes no sense to exchange higher security for a small performance increase.

Weight Range

The decisive factor for choosing the right paraglider for you is the permissible weight range of the glider, as well as the classification. This means that the respective models are available in different sizes and can therefore also carry more or less weight. A direct correlation exists within a paragliding model between the projected surface area and the pilot weight. With paragliders, you always work with a weight range, so don't panic if you have a little padding over the winter 😉. For example, if your glider is approved from 85kg to 105kg and your Harness Velvet Rescue And all Klimbim around, for example 15kg, you may bring 70kg to 90kg on the scales. So it is always considered the overall package, which hangs as a pendulum under the cloth. The meaning behind the classification of the weight classes is as follows: A higher weight increases the surface load on the paraglider, which makes it faster and more stable, but also decreases. The other way around, a lower surface load leads to a lower sink rate, but also increased risk of rattling by external influences. An under or exceeding of the weight data thus leads to a change in the screen behavior and possibly to a shift of the classification. So who means to take a particularly heavy souvenir from the starting place, don't be surprised if he suddenly flies an en-b screen into the valley, even though en-a is on it... well maybe a little exaggerated, but think about the permissible weight range!

Intermediates

So-called intermediates are paragliders for pilots with a lot of practice and regular flight experience. They are the right paragliders for people who want to ascend from the beginner class and yearn for a little more power and agility. Without compromise, this is unfortunately not to be guaranteed, so that a significantly increased pilot can also be present. So before you take the thought of buying an intermediate, you should realistically see yourself as a safe, experienced pilot, which also has turbulent weather and special flight conditions, no sweat beads on the forehead. If this is not quite true, it is better to fiddle with the beginner screen a little longer. The classification for intermediate screens is en-B and en-C or LTF 2.

Light Equipment

Another point is the planned application area of the paraglider. It is necessary to consider whether the equipment will be used for a longer distance on land or if you are coming to the starting place with a lift aid.

From his own experience, a two-hour ascent with a huge backpack of 20 kilos of mass is not particularly amusing – the focus brought my back to the incandescence and he prescribed me a forced break after the other. Remedy would have brought a lighter equipment in the form of a light glider with a suitable harness.

So anyone who likes to run hike & Fly is better served with such a but usually more expensive solution. But beware – here the handyness on the ground is clearly at the expense of durability and predominantly such equipment has nothing to look for in the fingers of beginners. Because often demanding flight behaviour and wear-prone lines and cloths are not suitable for training or Groundhandling.

High performance

You got it right and you control paragliding in your sleep? Your performance screen of the class LTF 2 or en-C does not make you any more and you have countless flight hours on the hump? Then you can venture into the premier class – if you dare.

An enormous stretching, large spans and high speeds require the pilot to do everything, but also reward with the greatest possible performance development.

Caution, only suitable for highly trained pilots!

Where can I find the right paraglider?

The best way to find your new paraglider would be, of course, an extensive consultation in the specialist shop and best still a test flight. Quite feasible for those whose accounts there are, many others may have to resort to the second-hand market. This offers a lot of choice, but also a lot of rancid equipment at inflated prices. So here is caution, and in many ways. I recommend to look at the merchandise at least personally and to be able to see any hidden errors. It would be best to raise the screen or even a test flight if possible. Even a comparison with the old examination documents often brings light into the dark. Of course, all papers and documents must also be agreed and the seal on the paraglider should be compared. Common sources for the used purchase are in addition to the DHV-second-hand market Also the usual classified ads portals.

What do I have to watch for with the right paraglider?

  • Classification
  • Weight Range
  • Documents: Operating instructions, verification instruction, marking on the device (approval!)
  • State
  • Compatibility with Harness

... and for the aesthetics among us of course the color 😉

Which one is the right paraglider for me? – Summary

The choice of the right paraglider basically depends on two decisive factors. For one, the pilot can be the parameter over which the classification of the screen is chosen. It is preferable to choose something safer than to be overwhelmed by flying and to take an accident risk. On the other hand, as with any other aircraft, the load plays an important role. Thus, the pilot with his equipment should never exceed the permissible weight range of the glider. Last but not least, the sample approval or the marking on the device itself must be checked before it goes to the further selection.