Paragliding and hanggliding are the most popular recreational airsports as they are fun and easily accesilbe to anyone. They both emerged in the last decade as a popular hobby, adventure activity and competitive sport. Rightfully so because they are both awesome bucketlist adventures which you have to enjoy at least once in your life, with the risk of getting addicted to them for life, just like us =)
But what exactly is the difference between paragliding and hanggliding? And which one is more fun, paragliding or hanggliding?
Allow us to enlighten you!
“Paragliding is the recreational adventure sport of flying or soaring from a slope or a cliff using a lightweight, free-flying & foot-launched wing with no rigid primary structure.”
Contrary to what many believe paragliding is not done with a parachute but with a so called paragliding wing. The wing has no rigid structure and can be folded and packed into a backpack. The wing shape of the paraglider is paramount as it gives the paraglider the ability to use updraft winds and thermals to stay in the air for long periods of time.
The pilot, and the passenger, sit upright in a harness suspended below the wing, connected with vertical lines. The wing shape of the paragliding wing is maintained by these suspension lines, While flying the wind fills the wing with air and this pressure together with the aerodynamic forces of the air flowing over the outside of the wing make a paraglider fly.
Steering and controlling the paraglider is done by applying the brakes or weight shifting within the harness.
All in all paragliding is awesome!
“Hanggliding is the sport of launching oneself from a cliff or a steep incline and flying through the air by hanging from a very small aircraft without an engine, consisting of a frame covered in cloth.”
Hanggliding is a spectacular air sport or recreational activity in which a pilot uses a light, non-motorised foot-launched and heavier-than-air aircraft called a hang glider to fly. Hanggliders differ from paragliders in as much that they use a rigid structure for their triangular shaped wing. Most modern hang gliders are made of an aluminium alloy or composite frame covered with synthetic sailcloth to form a wing shaped aircraft. The pilot is attached to the hangglider through a suspended harness attached to the airframe. Steering and controlling the hangglider is achieved by shifting body weight. The hanggliding pilot, and co-pilot, are horizontally suspended underneath the hangglider while facing downwards. This head first, facing downwards position makes hanggliding a highly spectacular and adrenaline rushing activity.
The difference between Paragliding & Hanggliding
The main difference between paragliding and hanggliding is that a paraglider doesn’t use a rigid structure for its wing and a hangglider does.
While paragliding you sit comfortably upright, in what many call the most comfortable seat ever. Hanggliders on the other hand, hang horizontally suspended and face-down underneath the hangglider.
Typically hanggliders fly with a faster horizontal speed than paragliders.
Which is more fun, Paragliding or Hanggliding?
Both paragliding and hanggliding are heaps of fun. Comparing them is comparing apples and oranges. Hanggliding is faster so a bit more of an adrenaline rush while paragliding is better to take in all the amazing views and to enjoy the serenity of a bird’s eye view of the world.
For an ultimate verdict of which one is more fun we suggest you try them both! That would settle the question once and for all.
What are you waiting for?!