Buying Used Paragliders

This page and most of the pages linked from it are all about how to buy used paragliders and associated equipment. After all, it's your life we're talking about here. And making sure you get the most enjoyment out of the sport is important too.

After going on a big Web search, I put together this collection of advice from all over the place.

For example, well-established paragliding organizations, clubs and experienced instructors. All these guys had 'been there done that' with purchasing paragliders.

Much of the info overlapped, as you would expect.

No sources contradicted each other, so you can trust the info on second hand paragliders presented here.

If you are currently looking for DHV 1 or LTF 1 paragliders in particular, why not bookmark this page. All the 'good advice' has been distilled from a large number of sources for you, just grab a cuppa and read on..

General Points

First, a few general things about buying second hand paragliders. Schools are keen that you learn to fly first. There are a number of perfectly valid reasons for this. The main one is that, until you start learning, you don't really know what wing will really suit you.

It takes a while for an instructor to get to know you a bit and observe your learning curve. Your strengths, weaknesses and skill level will influence what sort of used paragliders your instructor might recommend. Also relevant is where you aim to go in the sport.

On that last point, if you are ambitious, you need to bear in mind that the performance difference between learner-level canopies and so-called 'high performance' ones is not as wide as it used to be.

Also, if you are starting from scratch, you will take quite some time to really extract the most from even an entry-level paraglider. So don't feel that you will waste your money by buying a paraglider with a humble DHV-1 rating!

One expert summarized the advantages of making the right choice of used paragliders quite neatly. He said the canopy will be 'easy to trust, resell, repair, and enjoy'. That would tend to exclude anything really old and cheap! ;-)

I've sorted most of the info into a handful of mini-articles. There should be something of interest for you here. After a brief note on prices, you might like to check out the ins and outs of buying used canopies. That is, the wing itself. But of course there's a bunch of other stuff to consider too, like a harness or paragliding boots.

And don't forget to have a glance at the disadvantages of buying used paragliding gear! There's much to be said for getting into this sport with new gear, as you'll find out. An old paraglider for sale might not turn out to be a bargain.


Finally, a word about inspections. I have mentioned it before, but here are some specifics.

If you are buying a paraglider that has seen more than 2 years of frequent flying, or that has logged more than 200 hours of air-time, get it inspected. BEFORE you buy.

Paraglider canopies don't stay new forever!

For U.S. citizens, here are some reputable places to get a paraglider inspected: The Soaring Center, Yates Gear, Super Fly, Rising Air.

An annual inspection is a great idea to ensure you are never compromising on performance or safety. Your local school should be able to point you to the nearest facility that can do a good job of inspecting used paragliders.

Paraglider in flight
Photo courtesy of Don DeBold.


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