Paragliding Reserve Parachutes

A reserve parachute is something every paragliding pilot will need, but hopefully never have to use. It’s a safety precaution for paraglider malfunctions. Paragliding is a recreational sport that is undeniably adrenaline rushing and invigorating. It can also be dangerous, which is why you need to prepare yourself with a reliable reserve parachute. A reserve parachute is something every paragliding pilot will need, but hopefully never have to use. This piece of equipment is a safety precaution if your main parachute malfunctions. Prioritize your safety because, in some cases, it could save your life. Though a reserve parachute’s functionality is the same, it is not a very straightforward investment.

Types of Reserves

There are numerous different types of reserve parachutes, and choosing the right one for yourself is essential. Keep in mind that all styles work, but not all operate similarly. Choose one that fits your piloting style and can offer you the best safety precautions based on that.

  • Pull-Down Apex – This one is decently sized and gets you a good descent. It is also the most affordable design option on the market. The downside is it is heavier and there is no steering, making you prone to landing oscillations.
  • Cruciform – This is mid-price range, square, and more compact. You can expect increased pendular stability and lift generation. This is ideal for unplanned deployment, but if you are doing SIV, you will need more landing space.
  • Pentagon – This one has a five-sided shape and is self-stabilizing. You can experience pendular impulse towards corners, excellent stability, and can eliminate unwelcome oscillations.
  • Square-Round – The SQR style is fast opening, great at channeling air for outstanding stability, and is light. The features offer pilots easy deployment due to its simplified operations. However, it is more expensive, which is something to consider when investing.
  • Rogallo – Many avid gliders advocate for Rogallo reserve. They deploy high enough, and the pilot can control where they land. It offers the best decent rate and is steerable. Though desired, it is expensive and tends to be more challenging to pack. It may be better suited for experienced pilots.

Do paragliders have reserve parachutes?

Having a reserve parachute is required for all paragliders to pack in their harness before they fly. This is to ensure that the paraglider can safely land in case a problem occurs with the paraglider during flight. In case of an emergency, there will be two handles to assist the skydiver. The first handle is to cut away the paraglider, and the second handle is to deploy the reserve parachute.

How to open a reserve parachute?

Knowing how to properly open the reserve is one of the essential skills every skydiver must know. After cutting away the malfunctioning paraglider you will want to locate the metal handle for the reserve parachute which is on the left side of the harness on your chest. After pulling the reserve parachute it will fill up with air adding more drag resistance keeping you safe.

Do Not Risk It

A reserve parachute can sound like an unnecessary cost burden. However, if you are in a life-threatening position well above the ground, you will be glad you have one. Equipment can fail, and a reserve parachute is a cornerstone to preventing injury or death. Every flight you partake in will hopefully be successful, but being prepared for the worst is a smart move.

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