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What is paragliding?

Sports tips

What is paragliding?

By Team Decathlon-Paragliding, May 22, 2020.

Paragliding is an outdoor activity, classified as a free flight activity. Often confused with the parachute, this sport is practiced as a hobby, as a performance sport or in competition, many records exist and are constantly pushed back. Find out now why this sport is so interesting to its practitioners.

The different practices of paragliding

paragliding takeoff in Annecy

Let's start with a very classic definition of Wikipedia, "paragliding is an aircraft derived from the parachute, allowing the practice of free flight". Simply put, it is a device that allows you to fly. There are many paragliding practices and many ways to fly: recreational paragliding, ultralight paragliding (for mountaineering), paragliding of acrobatics, paragliding of cross competition (long distance), precision paraglider, etc. It is generally made up of a large sail, a harness (called the seat) and lines (these are the ropes that connect the harness to the sail).

What is the difference between paragliding and parachute?

paragliding in Refuge de Varan in Passy

You've probably heard many people talk about "skydiving" and "paragliding". However, paragliding is very different from the parachute. In parachute, it's free fall, fast and intense, you jump into the air, you open the parachute and you land, while in paragliding, you don't jump, you take off from the ground, you fly and you hike in the air and you land smoothly. This path is made thanks to the gloom of the wings that continue to improve with the technical advances and the thermal ancestry of the air that "carry" the sail.

Breathtaking world records

landscape of Mont Blanc

In paragliding you can fly long, far and high! Besides, there are many records in paragliding. This is the case of the Swiss Yael Margelisch who broke the women's world record for the longest paragliding flight, she stayed in the air for 10 hours and 20 minutes to cover the distance of 448 kilometers in the region of Caico, northeast of Brazil. Frenchman Antoine Girard holds the record for paragliding altitude, flying at an altitude of 8157 meters above Broak Peak between China and Pakistan.

A rewarding sport...

paragliding in Samoens

Paragliding requires skills in meteorology, aerology, thermodynamics and flight mechanics. It allows you to discover and progress in many areas. Moreover, if you want to know more, there are many training materials on the website of the French Free Flight Federation (FFVL), you will find some [via this link] (https://efvl.ffvl.fr/supports_peda_ecoles).

... and engaging

paragliding in Lake Annecy

As for skiing, mountaineering, mountain biking, sailing, climbing, canyoning, diving, kite surfing, etc. paragliding presents risks that should not be overlooked. In order for the pleasure of flying to be complete, it is essential to train solidly and equip yourself properly to apprehend this risk. Remember that when you are in the air you will be the only pilot to make the decisions that will make you able to land safely. Paragliding therefore requires a serious physical and mental commitment. For these reasons, we will always advise you to turn to a paragliding school to introduce you to and teach you this discipline.

Don't hesitate to subscribe to [our Instagram account] (https://www.instagram.com/paraglidingdecathlon) to discover the world of paragliding and follow our adventures. @paraglidingdecathlon

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