Wings Come in Different Sizes
The size of the wing you fly will depend on what your “Takeoff Weight” is. Your Takeoff Weight is the weight of everything that you will have with you fly. This includes your clothes, harness, wing, flight instruments, helmet, reserve parachute, water, and anything else you might be carrying in your harness when you fly. Your Takeoff Weight is something that you should always know, like your birthday. Another important point is that you should know your takeoff weight in kilograms (kgs), because that is how all paragliding manufacturers disclose the Takeoff Weight range of their gliders. Use the following formula to calculate your Takeoff Weight:
(Pilot’s Body Weight in lb + Gear Weight in lb) / 2.2 = Takeoff Weight in kilograms
The easiest way to determine gear weight is to step on a scale with your paragliding backpack loaded with all of the gear you will fly with, and subtract your body weight. On average, a pilot’s gear (including their wing) weighs around 35 to 45 pounds, but gear can get as light as 20-25 pounds.
Once you have determined your takeoff weight in kilograms, you will need to refer to a wing’s takeoff weight range to determine what wing size is best for you. It is optimal to select a wing in which your weight will be in the top half of the weight range, and we feel the sweet spot is 75% of wing loading. So, if a wing’s takeoff weight range is 90kg to 110kg, the ideal pilot’s takeoff weight for that wing is between 100kg and 110kg, with the sweet spot being 105kg. A pilot’s takeoff weight under 100kg will want to go with a wing with lower weight range.
Fortunately for our students and customers, Eagle Paragliding imports a variety of premium paragliding brands. The takeoff weight ranges of these brands are staggered, so we can offer a wider variety of weight considerations. To see a list of the wings that are offered by Eagle Paragliding, visit the Eagle Paragliding Shop.