Review : How to make a good deal when buying an used paraglider

Paratroc has written an item in the webzine Free.aero about how to buy your second-hand paragliding equipment. Here are the mains ideas.
 
When buying a second-hand equipment, we often focus first on the budget. But THE good deal is above all « not making a mistake ».
Here are the essential elements that you have to consider to make a good deal.
 
PARAGLIDER
 
CATEGORY OF THE PARAGLIDER
Choose the right category for you (EN A – B – C – D) :
- what is honestly the category of wing (and undercategory) that corresponds to your level
- read and compare certification reports and ask advices
 
It is not abvious to compare : some EN B are near EN A, others are like EN C.
A good parameter to compare is the Aspect ratio  of the paraglider : a paraglider with higher aspect ratio is always more demanding.
Aspect ratio is the span compared to the surface. Calculation is (span² / surface in m²) ,
i.e. : (12x12)/28m² = 5,14 .
 
Pilot vs aspect ratio
4,5 – 5,1 = young or occasional pilot (less than 20 flights per year)
5,1 – 5,5 = autonomous and regular pilot (40-50h per year), flights around take-off and landing, small XC flights
5,5 – 6 = autonomous  and regular pilot with good experience in thermal (minimum 200 flights) and willing to fly more XC
6 or more = experience pilot with real ambitions for XC flights, very frequent pilot (more than 70h per year)
 
TOTAL WEIGHT IN FLIGHT (TWF)
Remember that the total weight in flight includes all that is in flight : paraglider, harness, reserve, pilote, clothes,...
You have to consider 15 à 20 kg above your naked weight. Choose to be at the top of the weight range if you want a dynamic behaviour, in the middle for a quiter behaviour and for a better sink rate in small conditions.
 
CONDITION OF THE PARAGLIDER
for a used paraglider, the usual visual check can help making a first idea : dirty or clean, risers and lines …
But the only real way is reading the fresh control report that should mention the porosity measures, the strength of the lines + check of the length of the lines. This is the one and only way to be shure that the paraglider is in good condition !
 
PRICES
the price of an used wing depends on the condition, the category (EN C looses fasten value), how ols is the glider + supply and demand
see also our online rating for used paraglider
 
The good deal is to find the good wing for you at the good price, not to be in danger because you wanted to same 100€.
 
Catégorie/prix EN A EN B EN B+ EN C EN D
Price new 2700-3500 3000-3800 3400-4200 4000-4600 5000
demo wings, few flights with visual check and porosity test 1800-2500 2500-3000 2400-2900 3000-3400 2800-3600
nice recent second-hand wings 1600-1900 1700-2000 1300-1800 1800-2500 1000-1600
older models in good condition with check 1000-1500 1300-1700 1000-1600 1000-1700 800-1200
Buying a paraglider less than 1000€ also means that you will not sell it anymore after 2-3 years.
If you buy at 1500-2000, you will sell it 1000 or more after 2-3 years.
 
Be carreful at « the deal of the century », there are some cheaters !
 
HARNESSES
The pleisure in flight comes from how you feel in your harness. We advice to invest in a good harness that you will keep longer than your first wing.
Prices for new harnesses are between 600 and 900€.
There are some used around 300-350€, with carabiners and handle for reserve.
 
RESERVES
the most important criteria are M² (or max weight recommanded by manufacturer) and the price you want to pay.
There are new reserve at less than 400€, the lightest ones are around 800€.
The lighter, the more expensive !
Good deals in second-hand are 250-350€
 
A reserve can last decades !
 
An used reserve always has to be deployed and repacked before you put it in the harness.
Paratroc always repacks all reserves sold in the shop and prefers to install it in the pilot's reserve.
 
Feel free to call us for an advice.
 
 Michel - Founder of Paratroc