To make the best choice for your paragliding equipment, it is very important to know the type of practice you will have (simple flight on site, rando flight, ...), the frequency of your flights and your budget. Your Freedom instructors are there to guide you in a clear-sighted way and to propose you the most adapted equipment.
Remember also that you will one day sell your first paragliding equipment, this is an important criterion to take into account in your purchasing strategy.
An important question! How do you choose your paragliding equipment at the beginning and how much does it cost?
Which paraglider should I choose to start with?
In order to choose the right paraglider, there are several important criteria to take into account:
- Your paragliding level, which will influence the category of glider: In paragliding, there are different categories of gliders or glider approvals (En-A, En-B, En-C, En-D and mini gliders). The more advanced you are, the more powerful the wing, the greater its aspect ratio (the square of the surface area divided by the wingspan) and therefore it requires a high level of precise piloting. As a beginner, you should choose a glider with an En-A rating and a flat aspect ratio of less than 5.3; to start with a suitable paraglider. It is useless, dangerous and you will not enjoy flying a wing that is too powerful for you!
- Your TWF (Total Weight in Flight): The TWF is the sum of your weight and that of your equipment (harness, glider, reserve, clothes, water bottle, car key, wallet, ...). As you can see, it is your weight and really everything you take with you to fly! You should know that on average you need to add about 15kg of equipment to your weight. Each glider has a weight range defined by the manufacturer in relation to the surface of the wing and its characteristics. Each surface depends on the brand and the year, so you should always check each time! So, to choose your wing correctly, you must not only be in the range of the wing, but also be well positioned in it. Example: A wing with a TWF range of 75-95kg would be suitable for a pilot weighing between 60-80kg (if you take 15kg of equipment). The range is quite large and you should be aware that the wing will not have the same reaction if you are at the bottom of the range (for a 60kg pilot) or at the top (80kg pilot). If you are at the lower end of the range, the wing will be slower, more damped and with a lower sink rate. Being at the lower end of the range may be ideal for a pilot who is more relaxed or prefers to fly in calmer conditions. On the other hand, if you are at the high end of the TWF range, the wing will be faster, sharper, with a higher sink rate. Being at the higher end of the range is ideal for a more 'spirited' pilot looking to fly in slightly stronger conditions.
- The brand, model and age of the glider: The third criterion for choosing a glider is the model (i.e. the brand and age). The latest models from the major brands such as Niviuk, Advance, Sky Paragliders, ... are necessarily the best choice, and you can't go wrong. Also, the newer the model, the easier it will be to resell your glider later on. But this does not mean that older models are not suitable. Don't hesitate to ask us for advice if you have any questions about the model.
- The condition of the glider: Another very important criterion! The sail should be in good condition and you should be confident in it if it is a used sail. Always ask for an overhaul report before buying second hand equipment, otherwise you run the risk of buying equipment that will not last long. At Freedom Parapente, we also have a workshop for overhauling, checking and repairing paragliders, the only one in the Auvergne region. You can bring your glider directly to our workshop in Laschamps or send it to us by post.
- One last very, very important criterion: It must have a beautiful colour that makes you fall in love with it!
How much does a glider cost?
The price of a wing will therefore vary according to all the criteria seen before. It is necessary to count :
- Between 700 and 1100€ for a second hand wing that still flies safely but is a bit obsolete and difficult to resell.
- Between 1100 and 1700€ for a used wing that is less worn, more recent and still resaleable.
- Between 1700 and 2500€ for a used wing in very good condition of a current model.
- More than 2500€ for a brand new paraglider
Find in our shop all our new or second-hand paragliders.
How to choose a paragliding harness to start with?
As with any paragliding equipment, you have different criteria to define on your side to choose your beginner paragliding harness.
- Your practice: As with gliding, your type of practice will influence the type of harness you choose for your beginners. To begin with, you don't have many different types of paragliding practice. It is mainly a question of whether you prefer to progress with simple flights on site and therefore have a more comfortable harness with more safety; or rather rando flights, where lightness and size will be the main criteria of choice.
- Your size: Of course, size is an important criterion for choosing a harness (and paragliding equipment in general). Having a paragliding harness that is the right size allows you to be more comfortable in your harness and to fly, but above all, to have maximum safety. A properly sized harness is one where the height of the backrest fits the size of the pilot's back perfectly. The width of the seat should be adapted to the pilot's body size and pelvis width and the depth of the seat should be adapted to the length of the legs. A gantry test is the best way to check the correct size of the harness. It also allows you to adjust the harness from behind.
- Passive safety: The most important element for a harness to start with is its passive safety, which will help to absorb the low falls that can sometimes happen, especially on landing, and will protect the back and vertebrae. There are two types of back protectors: the foam one which is more solid but protects a little less than the second solution; the airbag which will protect more, is lighter (as it is only an empty bag which will inflate in the air) but which can be damaged more easily.
What is the price of a paragliding harness?
Depending on the different criteria, the prices of the harnesses will vary. It is important to know that the harness is a material that you can keep for a long time, if your size does not vary too much and you keep the same practice in paragliding. Prices vary:
- Between 150 and 300€ for a second hand harness.
- Between 300 and 500€ for a simple, efficient and often a bit heavy second hand one.
- Between 500 and 800€ for a good second hand or simple new one.
- More than 800€ for the new harness of your dreams!
Find all our new and used paragliding harnesses in our shop.
How to choose your first rescue parachute?
The rescue parachute should bring you back to the ground as slowly as possible in case of a problem and not be too heavy in your harness. This is the most important criterion, and it's simply what we ask of a rescue parachute... You should therefore first look to be within the TWF range defined by the manufacturer. Being at the bottom of the range is better for safety. Then, you must also look at the stability and the fall rate which will influence the fall speed!
Lightness can also be a criterion for some. Indeed, there are light rescue parachutes (around 1.1kg for small TWF ranges) and others rather standard. As a beginner, the difference in weight between the different types of parachute will not have much impact on your practice.
How much does it cost?
Rescue parachutes vary in price according to these main criteria:
- From 150 to 300€ for a second hand rescue parachute less than 10 years old, whose stability and fall rate will be poor.
- From 300 to 500€ for a quality second hand or some new models.
- More than 500€ for a new rescue parachute with the best safety and lightness.
Find in our shop all our new or second hand rescue parachutes.
Finally, what is the price of a complete paragliding equipment?
In total, you should therefore expect to pay between 1500€ for complete used paragliding equipment and 4200€ for new equipment.
At Freedom, we offer complete beginner packs, almost new, at quite attractive prices, around 3000€.
If you have any questions or need advice, please contact us by email, phone or come to our office in Laschamps.
Now you know more about how to choose your paragliding equipment. To find the equipment of your dreams, visit our online paragliding shop where you will find all our available products or come directly to Freedom where we also have a shop on site with many new and used products and people who can advise you directly.
We will never try to push you to buy equipment from us, but unfortunately our team will not be able to advise you and will not be held responsible for equipment outside of Freedom Parapente or for new equipment of the brands we offer.