Most sporting enthusiasts and hobbyists don’t consider paragliding to be a feasible hobby as they assume that it costs too much to get started. If you’re not keen on purchasing a paraglider and taking to the skies for this same reason, then it’s high time that you get some realistic paraglider cost estimates. Following is some information that will help give you a better idea about the proper setup and rig costs.
Paragliding Total Costs
Paragliders are the simplest and cheapest aircraft in the world. A complete set of gear costs around $3000 to $6000, while training for a basic paragliding license, which enables an individual to fly without a tandem pilot, amounts to around $1000.
Once you have the proper training and gear, paragliding essentially becomes free. No additional costs are required to continue the sport. There are no fuel expenses, no flights to reach skydiving altitude, and no storage costs as the equipment easily fits inside a closet. While you might have to travel and explore far-flung sites, paragliding still remains one of the most cost-effective sports in the world.
Costs of Paragliders and Equipment
As is the case with almost everything else, the cost of a paraglider depends on the type you’re planning to purchase, the amount of time you’re going to use it for, and your knowledge and experience with the sport.
Furthermore, you may very well know that there are several other things you’ll need other than the paraglider. This consists of the safety gear, the equipment, and all the accessories that will ensure a better paragliding experience. It’s advisable to compare different brands and choose only good-quality equipment, as these are the same materials that will make paragliding a safer and more gratifying experience.
How Much Does a Paraglider Cost?
The cost of a paraglider depends on the brand as well as the design and size of the model itself. A majority of high-quality beginner paragliders come with a $2800 price tag, but their prices can go up to approximately $4000, while average mid-range gliders cost around $3500.
Following is a list of some of the equipment you’ll need, along with their price:
Each harness is different. Some of them are designed with extra straps for individuals to place their feet while flying, while some have different shapes and allow you to sit in a more reclined position. Make sure you choose one that accommodates you and best suits your needs. The cheapest harnesses cost around $600, while the most expensive ones won’t cost more than $2500.
The helmet is a basic piece of equipment for paragliding. It’s essential that you select one that feels comfortable and protects your face from every possible angle, as you never know how you’ll hit the ground. Quality helmets cost around $300 to $400, but the price varies according to the brand.
Footwear and Gloves
This may be surprising, but you need special boots to fly. The landing delivers a huge blow to your feet, and it can be very easy for you to twist your ankle. Pick up some comfortable boots or shoes that will protect and cover your feet. They can cost around $350 to $500.
Your hands can suffer from the fluctuating weather conditions as well. You’ll need a quality pair of gloves to protect your hands from natural elements and any potential injuries. You can easily get second-hand gloves at a low price, but if you prefer new gloves, you’ll need to spend around $50 for a decent, basic pair.
A variometer is mostly used by skilled paragliders, but it can be incredibly useful for you as well. Its price starts from $100 but can go as high as $2400.
One of the most important items needed for paragliding, a basic GPS, costs around $100, but the price of more professional ones can be as high as $500. They are available in several different models, so make sure you choose one that’s easy for you to use.
It’s highly recommended to have a reserve parachute when you go paragliding. A new reserve parachute can cost anywhere between $600 and $1300. However, it’s important to remember that the cost will increase as the quality and brand becomes better.
A lot of pilots carry all their essential items in a paragliding rucksack. It’s important that you choose a unit that’s weather-resistant and durable. Make sure it comfortably conforms to your body as well. The price of a new paragliding rucksack starts from $120 and goes up to $240.
Courses and Lessons
A lot of people wonder whether they need formal or official paragliding training before they take to the skies. Strictly speaking, you don’t need a license to paraglide, but lessons are a requirement for pilots. The USHPA states that paragliders should have a minimal level of skill and proficiency in order to take off from regulated sites.
The amount of money you spend on lessons and training depends on how much time you take to learn and fully grasp the paragliding techniques and procedures taught to you.
There are two courses offered, a P1 basic course and a P2 intermediate course. The P1 course is for learning the fundamentals, costs around $1100, and takes an average of 5 days to complete. Meanwhile, the P2 course is a full training course, which costs around $2400 and takes an average of 11 to 13 days to complete.
Training lessons are also not that expensive, and they’ll help you paraglide with the help and advice of an expert. Each lesson’s cost depends on the instructor and school, but the average price of one lesson is approximately $150.
Most people take around 10 to 15 lessons to learn all the techniques and skills of paragliding. Some people are ready in far fewer lessons, while some take more. Ultimately, the time taken depends on the individual.
While safety is of the utmost importance, maintenance is about much more than just guaranteeing it. Maintenance also includes ensuring your equipment’s longevity and durability and making sure that your paraglider looks bright and good at all times.
It’s important to remember that the actual wing of a paraglider can get damaged. If the damage or tear is less than 10cm long, then you can easily repair it with paragliding wing tape. If the damage is more serious, then you’ll have to replace the glider, which can cost a lot of money. However, with proper maintenance, you can avoid wear and tear.
If you want to ensure your safety, then it’s advisable to replace damaged and worn items. However, this means that you’ll have to pay a hefty sum for new equipment. The best way to avoid this expense is to continuously carry out preventative care. Some tips you can follow include:
- Fold and repack the canopy properly after every flight: Make sure you lay the canopy on its back with not a single line under it. If you want to keep all scuffing and dirt to a minimum, then you should place all the lines on the top.
- Don’t leave the glider out in the sun: If you leave your glider outside, then it can get damaged from the sun’s UV light.
- Avoid smoking near the canopy: Don’t smoke or try to dry the canopy faster with heat. If it gets wet, air the glider out until it’s dry to prevent mildew and mold growth.
- Never clean the canopy with chemicals: Don’t use chemicals as they can weaken the fabric.
- Don’t forget post-flight and pre-flight checks: These ensure that the harness or canopy are not damaged during or in between flights.
Other Costs to Consider
You can think of all ongoing paragliding costs as a part of the primary cost of the glider itself. However, there are some other additional costs you should think about, such as insurance and storage costs if you don’t want to keep the glider at home.
You should also consider the travel costs as you’ll need to go to new, far-flung sites to paraglide from. This expense will ultimately depend on where you’re going to travel. Similarly, the insurance costs will also depend on how often you glide, where you glide, and what type of glider you have.
Tips to Reduce Your Spending
If you want to save some money, then you can purchase a second-hand paraglider. You can also rent the gear during your first week. Many paragliding schools offer gear rental, and most students opt for this option when they’re getting started. This is because the risk of landing in a tree or bush is significantly higher in the first week. But make sure you remember that rental fees add up pretty quickly.
The best way to save money is to have your own gear from the very beginning. It’s advisable to purchase a second-hand beginner glider in good condition and properly maintain it. When you’re ready for proper paragliding, you can resell your first glider and get an upgrade.
Complete kits that are in good condition start from around $500 to $1000 and might even come with electronics and a helmet. However, you’ll get bulky, heavy, and old equipment at this price. The real bargains are in the $1000-$2000 range, with some gliders almost as good as new available at less than half the retail price. However, you’ll have to search a lot and be ready to act as soon as you find a good deal.
Along with searching online, you can also look for second-hand gear in paragliding shops and schools. These schools and shops are a bit more costly, but they inspect all gear thoroughly and are able to give you sound advice as well.