A paraglider is an aircraft that packs into a rucksack allowing you walk up a hill, unpack and float up in the air, using nothing more than the air currents to climb up to the the clouds. Or to get technical, it’s a foot-launched, ram-air, aerofoil canopy, designed to be flown and landed with no other energy inputs other than the wind, gravity and a little muscle power.
It’s made of a super-strong, lightweight nylon fabric that inflates to create a stable wing above your head. A paraglider descends at around 200ft per minute. However, if the air is rising faster than the glider is going down (as often happens) the glider will gain height.
Flights of many hours and long distances are perfectly possible, and record-breaking flights in the UK are around 200km. Paragliders are designed for soaring flight unlike parachutes which are designed to descend.