How do hang gliding and paragliding differ?


New Member
Although the two adventure sports look similar in many aspects, they have notable differences as well. To help you better understand it, I will provide nuanced details that will show how different both the sports are from each other.

The difference in Equipment: It is one of the most obvious differences between the two sports. While the equipment used in hang gliding has a solid bar that is triangular in shape and connected to the wings. To fly, you must hold on to that bar and launch yourself in the sky. The wings have a rigid, solid frame and the whole structure is a basic one. Due to this, its assembling, disassembling and transportation are relatively easier.
Paragliding has a more parachute-like structure, but certainly stronger than the regular parachute. Also, the wings have a round shape at the corners and more cords are present in it.

The difference in flying position:
The positions in which flyers board the gliders vary in both sports. In hang gliding, you need to hold on to the solid bar that is attached to the wings. Because of the structure, you need to be in a Superman-like position.
In paragliding, you are seated in an upright position. Hence the position in paragliding is more comfortable and relaxing as compared to hang gliding.

The difference in controlling the flight: Flying position plays a vital role in the way flyer controls the flight. As in hang gliding, the flyer is in a Superman-like position, they need to shift their body weight to change the direction or course of the flight.

In paragliding, cords are attached to the wings and just by pulling them the flyer can take control of the flight direction. As the cords are connected to the wings, pulling them gently change the shape of the wings and the wind takes care of the rest.

In addition to the above differences, speed, glide ratio, and sink rates also differ in both sports. Equipment and flying positions majorly contribute to it. Hang gliding has relatively high speed compared to paragliding.


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