So you've been told you need a paraglider hook knife, in case worst comes to worst and you end up getting dragged across the ground in strong wind, or find yourself swinging from a tree.
Another rare but scary situation would be if the release failed during a winch tow. Yes, it's a good idea to carry one while flying, and within easy reach of course!
Pilots tend to either buy a bunch of cheap ones or just one really good one that never corrodes in the sea air.
One last scenario, you'll need a paraglider hook knife if there is any chance of a water landing. Have a think about it!
Here's some specific advice on how to carry a hook knife with you, from the people who make the Jack the Ripper paraglider hook knife.
'Hook knives can be sewn to the paraglider harness, mounted on a front ballast bag or front mount reserve container, or stowed in a radio harness. There is a belt loop as well to attach to your harness strap or pants'.
Forget about searching the Net any further, since as usual, I've done it all for you :-) You'll find quite a few references to woodworking, harvesting and gutting tools, which won't give you much change out of $30. Wooden handles, deeply curved blades, company's been in business for over 100 years rah rah rah. Laminated carbon steel, three layers, blah blah. Forget them, they might be nice, good quality tools but certainly not the most suitable thing to cut your lines or risers in a hurry! See below for the right kind of hook knives.
As I explain on nearly every page that quotes prices, they are just a guide here. So here they are, some actual hook knives. In order of price, with unknown price one first. Oh by the way, I round up any price ending in a '9', so you don't get a false impression like the advertisers want you to ;-)
There's a company called Mobility Lab which produces a hook knife for commercial use. It's a heavy-duty all-metal knife which makes short work of webbing, parachute lines or ropes. Comes with a replacement metal blade. Not explicitly designed as a paraglider hook knife, but worth checking out.
Square One claims to be the largest manufacturer of hook knives on the planet. They have released their 4 Inch Plastic Hook Knife for $7.
There's a paraglider hook knife called the Dakine Hook Knife featuring a guillotine-like blade. Quite cheap, at around $10, or less if it's on sale.
Seems like the British Parachuting Association distributes a hook knife. It comes with a black cordura pouch, and a white knife strap. Price is £6.50.
The Little Ripper Hook Knife is an inexpensive little plastic knife from the same company that produces the Jack the Ripper Hook Knife, described next. It's 11.4 cm (4.5 inches) long, with a protected blade like any paraglider hook knife. It comes with a pouch which can be sewn onto your harness or hooked on clothing. Priced around $10.00.
An interesting one now, the Carbon Black Captain Knife. Just like the Captain Hook Knife described further down, but made with Carbon Fiber. Priced at $13, but quantity discounts are available. Also, $1 less per unit if purchased without the pouch.
Another good quality paraglider hook knife to look out for is the Jack the Ripper Hook Knife. It costs $20. Some details:
For the same price, $20, you could have a look at MoJo's Hook Knife
For $25 or there-abouts, you can be the proud owner of a Pro-Design Hook Knife. They come with a sheath and a lanyard, that's about all I know.
Somebody out there is selling the JackKnife, for $30. It's a paraglider hook knife with case, but there's not much info floating around for this one either.
The Captain Hook Knife is advertised as Heavy Duty. Aaaarrrr arrr me hearties. Do you remember seeing a Captain Hook pantomime as a kid? This paraglider hook knife has a double-blade design, they form an acute V shape where the cutting occurs. Priced at $30 last I saw, it's not cheap. Sometimes on sale for a few dollars less though.
This last one's a bit special. From Benchmade, it's described as a Rescue Hook Knife, worth $30 except when offered on sale for a few dollars less. It's full title is the Model 5 Rescue Hook Knife. But it will double as a paraglider hook knife, no problem.