You probably know what a paragliding tow bridle is, if you found this page through a search engine. Like the one that rhymes with 'bugle'. ;-)
But if you don't, it's simply this... One or two straps of webbing which connects a paraglider pilot to a weak link, which in turn is attached to a towline.
The towline is reeled into a stationary winch or attached to a payout winch on a moving vehicle. The paraglider goes up like a kite until the pilot releases the towline.
The DVD Paraglider Towing - Basic Truck Towing Clinic with Dixon White will help you tow safely, with all its expert advice. Dixon White helps you along to a better understanding of paraglider truck towing. As an USHGA Examiner, and former Instructor of the Year, he knows his stuff.
This DVD features a digital sound track and runs for 28 minutes. It's another DVD produced and directed by Paul Hamilton, of Adventure Productions.
Paraglider design might have moved on since December 2002 when this DVD was made, but the fundamental principles of safe towing are always the same.
An old-style tow bridle is like a Y, since it consists of 2 straps which come together to a central single strap which connects to the weak link. So after release, there is this short loop of material hanging down in front of the pilot.
This arrangement has been used for some time, and it has become clear to paraglider pilots that there are some safety issues!
So the 'split design' has been devised, so that after release, the bridle hangs down as 2 separate straps. Much safer!
Pilots are much happier about 3 factors in particular:
Another paragliding tow bridle with a good reputation is the Critter Split Tow Bridle. It's also known as the Critter Y Tow Bridle. It seems that it has impressed at least one experienced record-holding paraglider pilot.
Not surprisingly really, a small number of paraglider manufacturers make their own tow bridles. These companies make good gear. Here they are, contact me if I've missed anyone out!
There are at least two businesses on the Web which specialize in making a paragliding tow bridle, as well as other stuff related to towing paragliders.
The guys at Tow Me Up make very good bridles.
Also check out Paraglider Tow Bridles before you decide which design might suit you best.
If you are a tow launching paraglider pilot, these two are worth looking up. Particularly if you live in the U.S.