What is a Paraglider?
A paraglider is a foot-launched, ram-air, aerofoil canopy, designed to be flown and landed with no other energy requirements than the wind, gravity and the pilot's muscle power.

What are the main component parts of a Paraglider?
A canopy (the actual "wing"), risers (the cords by which the pilot is suspended below the canopy) and a harness. In addition, the brake cords provide speed and directional control and karabiners are used to connect the risers and the harness together.

Is a Paraglider the same thing as a parachute?
No. A Paraglider is similar to a modern, steerable skydiving canopy, but different in several important ways. The Paraglider is a foot-launched device, so there is no "drogue" 'chute or "slider", and the construction is generally much lighter, as it doesn't have to withstand the sudden shock of opening at high velocities. The Paraglider usually has more cells and thinner risers than a parachute.

What is the difference between a Hang glider and a Paraglider?
A Hang glider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. The Paraglider canopy shape is maintained only by air pressure and the pilot is suspended in a sitting or supine position. The Hang glider has a "cleaner" aerodynamic profile and generally is capable of flying at much higher speeds than a Paraglider.

Why would anyone want to fly a Paraglider when they could fly a Hang glider?
A Paraglider folds down into a package the size of a largish knapsack and can be carried easily. Conversely, a Hang glider needs a vehicle with a roof-rack for transportation to and from the flying site, as well as appreciable time to set-up and strip-down. It's also somewhat easier to learn to fly a Paraglider.

How much does a Paraglider cost?
This varies between makers, models, countries and phases of the moon, but a middle of the range canopy and harness will normally cost somewhere in the region of $4000 to $5000.

How long does a Paraglider last?
General wear and tear (especially the latter) and deterioration from exposure to ultra-violet usually limit the useful lifetime of a canopy to somewhere in the region of four years. This obviously depends strongly on use.