The paraglider kit fits in a 40 pound backpack that can be checked on airplanes as
regular luggage. So they are extremely convenient to take anywhere you want to fly.
A paragliding wing is a ram air canopy with an open leading edge and a sewn trailing edge.
Each cell has a cell wall with holes so air can move horizontally to keep the whole wing pressurized.
We call this cross-port ventilation. About 1100 feet of kevlar line connects the glider to the harness.
Each line has a breaking strength of 300-400 pounds.
The lines are attached to bits of webbing we call risers, which include steering toggles or “brakes.”
The risers connect to the harness with self-locking carabiners. The harness is very comfortable
and allows the pilot to lean or “weight shift” to make efficient and coordinated turns. The harness
has foam protection for harder landings. It has a large pocket to carry the storage bag and
extra equipment. It also has a round parachute that can be deployed by pulling and throwing the red handle.
The parachute is designed for fast opening at slow speeds. The main paraglider remains attached,
but is disabled after the parachute is thrown. Directional control is generally not designed into the reserve
parachute because most deployments occur low to the terrain right before landing.
Pilots also carry instruments like a Vario, which is an incredibly accurate altimeter which beeps at
increasing speed the stronger the lift is experienced. It will display your rate of climb and records max
climb rates and max altitude gains for review after flight. GPS units are carried to indicate
ground speed, current glide ratio, and distance travelled. 2 meter hand held Hamm radios are
used to communicate with fellow pilots and ground chase crews.
We also carry safety equipment like tree saws, flashlights, a compass, extra batteries,
a first aid kit, extra food and water, and don’t forget the toilet paper.
© Circling Hawk Paragliding • Santa Barbara, California • Bo Criss • 805-403-5848 • Bo@CirclingHawk.com