Hang-gliding and Paragliding –Try Both and Feel the Difference


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Hang-gliding and paragliding are two most popular flight sports and favourite outdoor activity for the tourists because both of them provides the opportunity to experience the thrill of flying high in the air with an expert pilot. This tandem flight is has become key attraction in the elevated Himalayan lands of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Darjeeling.

Obviously these flight sports that we here about have some basic differences among them like in flight technique, structure, speed etc. Most of the random tourists have very little idea about these differences that define the different excitement of each sport. While some things about hang gliding give it plus points, others work for paragliding to stand with high rank. So here are some differences briefly discussed about those checkpoints that you should consider before choosing one of them as your favourite. And if you want to decide that after experiencing both, who in the earth is stopping you? Go on.


A hang glider consists of a V-shaped fabric aerofoil stretched over a metal frame. The pilot holds onto a bar and his/her body is suspended from a harness below.

A parachute-like canopy and wide in shape, paraglide is more or less different in shape and form. The pilot’s body is attached to it by a harness during flight.

Glider’s Position:

While hang-gliding, the pilot mostly keeps the head ahead holding the rod and lay straight in a cocoon-like harness bag.

During a paraglide flight, the pilot is in a seated position in a chair-like harness.


Both gliding maintain an almost same minimum speed of 25 km/h or 15 km/h, although wind speed plays different role to determine gliding speed.

While it comes to maximum speed hang-gliders comparatively have higher than the other. Go for it if you are seeking to experience high speed flying in the open air.

Paragliding is a matter of lower speed. If you want to enjoy soaring like a open-winged bird in the high blue sky, this sport is just your thing.


You need more strength to perform the techniques of hang gliding than paragliding. The pilot has to move and change direction of the glider by shifting the body weight, as the body is strapped into the craft. If your core strength is not enough, it might be tiring in longer flight, although not a big deal in shorter ones.

In terms of physical demand, it is easier to control the paraglide than to get wrangled to a hang glider. The pilot has to change the pitch and direction by changing the wing’s shape to interact with the wind and by gently pulling the cords that are connecting the body to the canopy.


While flying in a hang-glider, you will get better visibility of the landscape below.

A greater view of the scenery ahead of you is offered in a paraglide flight.


Hang-glider can be manually turned left and right as well as climb up or dive down.

Paraglide mostly cannot be taken up and down manually. But you easily turn it left and right.


When you are landing hang-glide, you have to be very careful about the technique. A little mistake can result into serious injury.

On the other hand, landing a paraglide is much easier. You just have to step on the ground on time.


Because of the metal structure, hang-glide not so easy to carry somewhere.

Paraglide lacks that issue. It is easily to transport anywhere or assemble.