Carabiners GPS Harness Helmet Parachute Radio Variometer Wing
Launching and landing are always done into wind. Pilots control speed and direction through shifting their weight, using hand brakes and manipulating the speed bar. Landing involves lining up for an approach into wind, and just before touching down, flaring the wing to minimize vertical speed. Pilots should always be conscious of where they are flying, as some areas carry restrictions.
Paragliding is an individual sport where participants fly a lightweight, foot-launched aircraft that resembles a parachute. The pilot sits in a harness and steers the craft by pulling on cords that slightly change the shape of the craft. Paragliding is the recreational and competitive pursuit of flying a wind-powered aircraft. Pilots sit in a harness attached to a wing, and control speed and direction using a series advanced controls. Paragliding should only be learned from certified schools, where experienced teachers can provide necessary training and technique.
The idea of a pilot being able to launch a glider over the edge of a cliff came about in the early 1950's. This idea led to a number of engineers developing parachutes that could be towed and steered by air currents. Steady advances in technology have led to improved performance and greater ease for pilots. The first world championships were held in Austria in 1989.