Paraglidig? Anything like Paragliding?

Yes! See the definition for paraglidig below. Did you know what will happen if you search the Web for the word paragliding, but miss out a letter? Chances are you will find information on other little-known variations of the sport.

But the most authoritative information can be found right here. Oh yes. Out of the goodness of my heart towards the paragliding community, I have put together the following glossary of terms.

Paraglidig. Pronounced para-glid-ig.
Practiced in a single, almost inaccessible deep craggy valley in central Switzerland. It's incredible, considering the tiny size of this land, but there exists a group of pilots who have had no contact with the outside paragliding world for 18 years. The guy who started the club had a chance meeting with an Englishman who was one of the first to use the term paragliding.

The Swiss guy went back to his hamlet in the valley, having purchased the Englishman's second wing. They didn't actually talk much, and the one time the word paragliding was mentioned, the Swiss guy mis-heard it as paraglidig. Over the years, copies of that original paraglider, plus its harness, were made and the valley fliers have all known it as paraglidig ever since.

They just do sled-rides in their paraglids, blissfully unaware of the major developments that have unfolded since then. Let alone the fact that the rest of their countrymen refer to it as parapente!

Paraglidng. Pronounced para-glid-nig.
A variation of paraglidig, used by some of the older Swiss valley pilots.

Paragilding Pronounced para-gilding.
Nepal is well known as a fantastic destination for high-altitude paragliding expeditions. What is not so well known is the paragilding activities in a small Indian township just across the border. These people have observed the foreigners in their paragliders for many years now, and have integrated the sport into their intricate metallic-thread craftmanship.

I've never seen one, but apparently the gilded paraglider paperweights are exquisite. One day they will be worth much more than the gold thread used in their fabrication. Traditional gold patterning woven into the silk canopies and, wait for it, silver thread for the lines and risers. A little guy with a turban is the pilot, carved from a hard dark wood of some kind.

Before you rush off to India to buy one, be aware of a small inconvenience. You actually need to buy a small electric fan as well, to keep the paraglider inflated. Otherwise it just looks like someone dropped a rather expensive hanky on your desk.

Paratgliding. Pronounced parrot-gliding.
And it actually means parrot-gliding! Practiced in the upper reaches of the Amazon River in South America, the local Indians have for many generations carefully stuffed dead jungle parrots and stretched out their wings with reeds. It developed in isolation, much like paraglidig.

The paratgliders are skillfully trimmed and tossed off cleared slopes, to then float gently down to the valley below. The aim is to land the paratglider in a 'nest' represented by a circle scratched into the soil. Boys are introduced to the practice from the age of 9 or so, and it's been passed down from father to son for centuries. So it pre-dates paragliding as a sport by a huge margin. Fascinating.

In its early days the sport was known by an indigenous name. Paratgliding is pidgin English of course, mimicking the English parrot-gliding which was used by explorers and missionaries in the 19th century.

Paragtliding. Pronounced parrot-gliding.
A common miss-spelling of Paratgliding. Mainly by dyslexic people in the Amazon Basin who get the 't' and the 'g' round the wrong way. Surprisingly, some of the Swiss paraglidig community have heard of paratgliding and given it a try, using local bird species.

Pargliding. Pronounced par-gliding.
It is said that this form of paragliding competition was initiated by a golfing fanatic. The idea is to paraglide cross-country, being followed by a tow-team, in light to moderate thermal conditions. Nine landing zones are positioned in a triangle. One landing zone on each corner, with 2 more along each side. Try it on paper, it's nine.

The total distance is 900 km (558 miles) so it takes several days flying to complete the comp. If a pilot lands short, he has to get a tow and mark it up as another flight. If he fails to land inside the 2 m (6.6 feet) diameter landing circle, he also has to take another tow and try again, which counts as another flight.

The landing zones are not spaced equally, and weather conditions vary too, so some are par-1 while others might be par-4. See the similarity with golf? Scoring is exactly like golf, in fact I have heard that the score cards are just like the ones used at those mini-golf places.

Paragiding. Pronounced para-guiding.
Another term for R/C, or Radio Controlled paragliding. These large model paragliders are guided through their maneuvers via a radio transmitter. Often seen at coastal slope-soaring sites, on the weekends. The younger guys just prefer the more common term r/c paragliding.

Kits for these models are not exactly commonplace as yet, so these guys have to scrounge around for materials and advertise each other's designs on the Web.

It's not unknown for paragliding and paragiding to be combined, as I realized when I saw a tandem in a thermal, with the 'passenger' holding a transmitter. Can you believe it, he was sniffing out the best parts of the thermal with a model paraglider! Not as good as using a trained bird of prey I guess, but heck, not too bad either!

Paraglidin Pronounced para-glide-in.
Hey Mon, wanna go paraglidin? Put on de head-phones Mon an listen to de reggae bee-ut, wit da wind whislin tru da lines.. Overheard just down the street from the entrance to a Reggae club in London, a couple of years ago.

Paraliding Pronounced par-RAL-a-ding.
Actually nothing to do with paragliding at all. Paraliding is an archaic (old-fashioned) English word meaning 'to ring many times, in a musical phrase'. In the mid 18th century for example, the town crier with his bell would paraliding at least twice while walking from his house through to the village square.

Paragliing Pronounced para-gling.
My researchers tell me that in some parts of south-east Asia this is a localized form of the word paragliding. The same people also refer to a paraglider as a paragly. Pronounced 'para-gl-eye'. Sort of similar to the paraglidig guys actually, how they found another name for the paraglider itself too.

Paraglding Pronounced para-gliding.
A common mis-spelling of paragliding, that's all. Seems like some typists in a hurry just miss the 'i'.

Pragliding Pronounced para-gliding.
You guessed it. Another mis-spelling of paraglidig. I mean paragliding.. what's the matter with the 'n' on this keyboard :-/ So many people just miss that 'a' after the 'p'.


Have your say about this site! Or about this page in particular.

Return to Intriguing Paragliding Tales from Paraglidig...

All the way back to Home Page