When Your Paraglider Wing Gets Wet
2010 Dec 02 What to do if your paraglider goes in the water
In May 2010 i recorded an interview with Elisabeth Guerin of
Paratour's glider shop about what happens when your wing gets dunked and
what to do. She's now had lots of experience dealing with wings that
have been dumped into both salt water and fresh so I figured she could
spread some light on the issue.
Her suggestion matches others I've gotten from wing people. If your
paraglider goes in the water pull it out carefully by the
trailing edge, and lay it to dry it in the shade, preferably in warmth,
for a half-hour or so. Then kite it for 10 to 20 minutes and finally fly
it for 30 minutes or so. Lines will naturally tend to shrink which is
detrimental to its flying qualities. Flying will help pull them out to
keep their length better by keeping them loaded.
Flying doesn't load the D's much so it would be wise to do a line
length test after a few days. D-line shrinkage will make the wing
sluggish on inflation. You may need to stretch these lines to bring it
back into specs.
If your wing gets into salt water, that's a much bigger deal.
Rinse it out right away then kite and fly. Elisabeth has seen the
porosity increase dramatically on wings that have been in salt water
without going through a thorough cleansing in fresh water. The thought
is that minute salt crystals abrade the nylon enough to cause the
For those of us who like foot dragging in water, this is something to
think about. Not only do you want to be able to stand up if the motor
quits, but you want to be able to get it falling onto dry ground!
Keeping the wing dry is just below not drowning on the desirometer.