How to Purchase Equipment

Hang Gliding Equipment
Technical Bulletin A very large number of gliders produced by Wills Wing during the last ten years, (Falcons, XCs, Ultra Sports, Eagles, Condors, U2s, Sport2s), requires an upgrade of the crossbar center hinge pin specified in the technical bulletin The upgrade requires a few small parts - a bolt, a nut and four washers, but it has to be done right. We will provide these parts at no charge. Please contact me as soon as possible to get your glider worked on.

Congratulations!! You have reached the point in your instruction or budget that is allowing you to purchase the gear that will allow to fly like a bird! Let me assure you - OHGS will match or beat any competitors price for new equipment.

But, first some caveats. Purchasing hang gliding equipment is not quite the same as going out to the mall, plunking down your credit card, and walking out the door with bags. First of all, you must be qualified to use the equipment you are about to purchase. The hang gliding culture has agreed that equipment in the hands of people that don't how to use it, can kill you and be detrimental to the sport (the FAA is watching).

Second, it is to your benefit to purchase the appropriate equipment for your skill level, local flying conditions, and budget. There is a progression of increasingly advanced equipment as your skill level, flying goals, and budget escalates. However, sometimes it is better to buy "new" at first and then later get the used-equipment "deals". Casting far and wide for comprehensive pre-owned equipment deals can be very frustating at times, since you will have very particular needs in terms of sizes, fits, skill level. Also, shipping and travel costs are expensive or buying equipment unseen can be stressful. Many novices, since they have little experience in the limitations of equipment, make expensive mistakes. Purchasing new equipment with advice of your instructor engenders a trust in the equipment that enhances confidence. Remember, you can always resell your first new glider at least 50% of the original cost. You will probably fly it for at least two years. The major rule is:

Skipping steps in either instruction or equipment progression because of over-confidence or excessive frugality can be very expensive in terms of slower learning and retarded confidence at best, and broken aluminuim or medical bills at worst.

However, if a pilot sees the tight interaction between skill level/experience and appropriate equipment (without succumbing to real great deal on a older advanced glider), then you will have all the risk managment factors going for you in your hang gliding career. Afterall, we do want all the safety developments of hang gliding going for us, don't we?

So, how do I choose equipment

GW Meadows has written a good article on how to assess a used hang glider. The article can be read here. However, what isn't stressed in the article are the kinds of equipment and what glider to purchase in the context of your instruction. That information follows. There will also be suggested equipment packages for the progressing student. Not only does this relieve the burden of searching far and wide on a timetable dictated by the used market supply, but it also supports your local instructor who will better appreciate your business. It also allows you to stay on your instructional timetable - an important schedule that is weather dependent.

Glider Data Harness Information Accessory Information Equipment Packages