Paragliding vs. Skydiving and Parachuting (Which One Is Most Dangerous)

Paragliding uses a lightweight paraglider that enables you to soar through the wind for hours and cover vast distances. In skydiving, you reach a height of up to 14,000 feet (4,270 meters) and jump from the aircraft for free fall. Parachuting, similar to skydiving, is jumping from a plane and activating a parachute to help you descend to the ground safely.
Paragliding vs. Skydiving and Parachuting

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Paragliding, skydiving, and parachuting are generally safe. However they are considered extreme sports; hence, they possess a certain degree of risk. If you look at the statistics, paragliding has a 0.00074% fatality rate compared to skydiving with 0.00034%.

Is Skydiving and Paragliding the Same Thing?

The answer is no. Skydiving and paragliding are two different, distinguished sports. Although both are in the category of extreme sports and involve being airborne, they have many differences and follow distinct rules. Skydiving requires jumping on an aircraft and using a parachute to land on the ground safely. Paragliding entails a lot of free-flying.

Notably, despite their difference, both paragliding and skydiving are well-loved by many. It is two of the most popular aerial sports in the world. What you choose to do first will depend on your preference.

Is Skydiving Similar to Paragliding?

There are many significant differences between skydiving and paragliding. However, believe it or not, they share a common nature. They both bring the fascinating and awe-inspiring experience of being airborne and seeing the glorious creation from a bird’s eye view. Here is an overview of their similarities.

Similarities Between Skydiving and Paragliding:

  1. Environment: Both skydiving and paragliding embrace nature at its finest. The view is always astounding. The wind is your friend and it provides a spiritual experience as if you are one with the world.
  2. Adrenaline: These sports offer the rush of adrenaline that skydiving and paragliding enthusiasts love and crave. It is why so many want to go back and do it professionally.
  3. Flying: Skydiving and paragliding may have different goals in terms of staying airborne, but both of these let you experience flying in their own way.
  4. Safety: Both skydiving and paragliding prioritize safety at all times. The gears used may be different, but their design ensures that the risk of danger is low.
  5. Health benefits: Skydiving and paragliding provide health benefits to your physical and mental well-being. It helps reduce stress, shifts your mind to a more positive perspective, and helps with core and upper body strength.

Skydiving and paragliding are two completely different sports but share a love for nature and flying. They both offer positive benefits and give a rush of adrenaline. It is no wonder that they are well-loved sports despite their many distinctions.

What Is the Difference Between Paragliding and Skydiving?

The disparity between skydiving and paragliding is significant. So when you’re deciding which aerial sport to try first, consider the differences and what you think caters to your preference. Read through the list below to see how skydiving and paragliding are different.

Difference Between Skydiving and Paragliding:

  1. Up vs. Down: The goal of paragliding is to go up using thermal columns. On the other hand, the aim of skydiving is to get safely on the ground as possible.
  2. Gear: Skydiving requires a harness and a parachute, while paragliding requires a paraglider to keep it airborne.
  3. Training: Skydiving and paragliding are different sports. Hence, require specific training. For instance, the instruction for skydiving is mainly to land on the ground safely. In contrast, paragliding training is so you can stay airborne for a period of time.
  4. Education: Skydiving and paragliding both require knowledge of aerodynamics. Compared to skydiving, though, it is necessary to have an intimate knowledge of weather conditions in paragliding.
  5. Weather: The weather considerations are much simpler in skydiving compared to paragliding. However, in paragliding, you are more exposed to differentiating weather conditions, which impact your safety. It’s why an extensive review of weather science in paragliding school is paramount.
  6. Flying vs. Free Fall: You use a paraglider to fly and stay airborne in paragliding. In skydiving, you’ll jump from a plane to free fall for a few seconds, then use a parachute to bring you to the ground.
  7. Parachute Reserve: Parachute reserves are different in both of these sports. For instance, if the first parachute used in skydiving doesn’t work, an automatic device will launch the reserve parachute for you. However, it is much more complicated in paragliding where it is manually deployed.
  8. Harness: The harness used in paragliding is comfortable and is like an armchair. The safety harness is similar to full-body climbing and may be uncomfortable in skydiving.
  9. Individual vs. Team Performance: Paragliding is popular to be a solo sport. Skydiving, on the other hand, is often performed in groups.
  10. Additional Requirements: You will need an aircraft for skydiving before doing a free fall. You won’t need this in paragliding, but hiking a mountain is necessary before flying.

Although skydiving and paragliding are different, they are both notable aerial sports for a reason. They both offer an incredible experience, either through a free fall or flying like a bird for hours.

What Is the Greatest Distinction of Skydiving From Paragliding?

Perhaps the most prominent distinction between skydiving and paragliding is their goal. Although both provide an experience of being above the ground, the end goal is different. For instance, the aim of skydiving enthusiasts is to jump on a plane for free fall and land on the ground using a parachute.

The goal of paragliding is to remain airborne for hours. They also cover vast distances. Paragliding enthusiasts have substantial knowledge of the weather conditions, and their safety relies heavily on their decision-making.

What Is Safer – Paragliding or Skydiving?

Skydiving shows to be a safer aerial sport than paragliding, looking at the statistics. However, recognize that there are factors involved, and one notable similarity is human error. For instance, you need to display logical and sharp decision skills if there is a failure in one of your equipment. You must be confident in your knowledge and in your decision to ensure safety.

Paragliding and skydiving are both extreme sports and entail risks with them. Therefore, any novice or expert paragliding and skydiving enthusiasts know that their safety is their priority and must follow all procedures correctly.

Paragliding vs. Skydiving Deaths

If you look at the statistics, there is a 0.00742% fatality rate in paragliding, whereas there is a 0.00039% fatality rate in skydiving. It shows that there are more fatal injuries in paragliding compared to skydiving. The most common reason is that paragliding pilots stay airborne.They may encounter a distinct change in weather conditions which could affect their safety.

Interestingly, the fatality rate of paragliding and skydiving is considerably lower when compared to driving. For example, in 2019, the fatality rate of people driving cars in the United States in 15.8%.

Is Skydiving or Paragliding More Fun?

Deciding which sport is more fun will considerably depend on your preference. These are both different sports, but both of them offer the adrenaline rush any paragliding or skydiving enthusiasts could ever ask for. What makes skydiving fun is experiencing free fall. On the other hand, paragliding is fun if you enjoy immersing yourself in nature and covering vast distances.

Both sports offer exciting advantages. They also provide astounding benefits to your health. They make you more cognitively agile and more aware of your surroundings. Deciding which is more fun is up to you!

Which Is Better – Paragliding or Skydiving?

Paragliding and skydiving are both sports in their own right. If you fancy staying airborne and covering vast distances for a long time (up to 3 hours), then you can consider paragliding. On the other hand, if you favor experiencing free fall for up to 60 seconds and then immerse yourself in the glory of the view while on a parachute down to the ground, then skydiving would be your best choice.

Despite their distinct difference, they both offer an exciting experience that is once in a lifetime. Paragliding and skydiving are incredible sports that you can try and won’t regret.

Should I Skydive or Paraglide?

There are positive advantages to both skydiving and paragliding. If you are still undecided about which one to try first, check the main distinction in both sports below to help you decide.


  1. You will ride a plane that will take you up to 14,000 feet (4,270 meters) above the ground.
  2. With a harness with you, you jump on the plane for free fall.
  3. The free fall for skydiving is 14,000 feet (4,270 meters) around 60 seconds.
  4. Your speed in free fall is around 120mph (193kph).
  5. You open your parachute around 4,500AGL. The sequence of opening the parachute is slow enough that you don’t experience whiplash.
  6. Tandem skydiving is the best option for first-timers.


  1. The paraglider is inflatable and is ultralight to carry to the mountain.
  2. You will need to hike and gain a certain altitude.
  3. Once you meet the right weather conditions, you can prepare yourself for takeoff.
  4. You will run towards the edge of the mountain and let the wind take you.
  5. You can control the speed and the direction of your paraglider. As a result, you can go to a higher altitude and cover longer distances.
  6. Tandem paragliding is the best option for first-timers.

If you fancy the free fall experience, you may want to go skydiving. In contrast, if you like flying, paragliding is a better option. Whatever you choose, it will be an unforgettable experience and will definitely be one for the books.

Where Should I Skydive?

If you are thinking of skydiving, there are many sites in the United States and around the world that offer tandem skydiving for first-timers. Here are some of the best places to try this extreme sport out.

Best skydiving sites around the world:

  1. Mount Everest, Nepal: This place is the best diving spot for those looking to experience soaring over the highest peak in the world.
  2. Waialua, USA: Located on Hawaii’s North Shore, this place is one of the best places to skydive because of its magnificent views.
  3. Palm Jumeirah, Dubai UAE: This place hosted many skydiving competitions. You will have a fantastic view of the Persian Gulf and the whole of Dubai.
  4. Victoria Falls, South Africa: Skydive and immerse yourself in the glorious Victoria Waterfalls.
  5. Key West, USA: One of the best places to skydive, with the view of the Florida Reefs, Florida Keys, and the Gulf of Mexico.
  6. Fox Glacier, New Zealand: This country is arguably one of the best diving spots around the world. Skydive and marvel at the beauty of the Southern Alps and the Tasman sea.
  7. Interlaken, Switzerland: It is one of the most affordable places to go skydiving, where you get to enjoy the view of the Swiss Alps.
  8. Great Barrier Reef, Australia: Not only will you see the Great Barrier Reef above, but also a magnificent view of the wet tropics of Queensland.
  9. Snohomish, USA: One of the best skydiving spots, with a view of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker in the Cascade Mountain Range.
  10. Denarau Island, Fiji: Also one of the best skydiving spots, with a clear view of the tropical island.

There are many beautiful skydiving spots around the world. With the magnificent view and the thrill of skydiving, you will have one of the best experiences of your life.

Where Should I Paraglide?

If you decide to experience paragliding for the first time, you are in luck. There are also many sites around the world for paragliding. You will go on tandem paragliding for your first time, and you will decide whether you want to enroll as a pilot from there.

Best paragliding sites around the world:

  1. Queenstown, New Zealand: One of the best paragliding sites for its remarkable views of the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu.
  2. Hautes Alpes, France: This place offers a paragliding school for those who wish to paraglide solo. It is best to visit during the summer season.
  3. Costa Adeje, Spain: The best time to paraglide in this place is around October to May. It provides a beautiful view of the coastline and volcanic landscapes.
  4. Bir Billing, India: One of the best paragliding spots in the world that offers a magnificent view of the Himalayan range.
  5. Ölüdeniz, Turkey: Perfect for all-year-round paragliding. It also offers an astounding view of the blue lagoons from Mount Babadag.
  6. Seiser Alm, Italy: Paraglide over the largest Alpine meadow in Europe. It is one of the best paragliding spots in the world.
  7. Pokhara, Nepal: Paragliding here provides a view of the Annapurna range. It is all year round except in the monsoon season.
  8. Dune du Pyla, France: Great for all-year-round paragliding. It is a perfect spot for experienced paragliders.
  9. Lima, Peru: This place is one of the best paragliding spots in the world. There are many flying routes you can enjoy.
  10. Gudauri, Georgia: Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Caucasus Mountains. It has the most stable weather conditions that make it perfect for paragliding.

There are many sites around the world that offer the paragliding experience. Once you decide that this type of sport is more suitable for you, you can enroll in a paragliding school. Your dream to fly solo is nearly there!

Is Paragliding and Parachuting Same?

Paragliding and parachuting are not the same. For instance, a parachute is relatively small in size compared to a paraglider. A parachute is heavy and made to drop you to the ground safely. In contrast, the design of a paraglider is big enough to allow you to search for a lift and stay flying for long hours.

There is a misconception about paragliding and parachuting because they both use a canopy. It’s important to remember that the canopy/wing is different for these sports and has varying purposes.

What Is the Difference Between Parachuting and Paragliding?

It’s established that parachuting and paragliding are not the same. Parachuting is a sport also known as sky-jumping, where you exit the plane and use a parachute to descend to the ground. Paragliding is a sport that keeps you airborne for long hours and covers vast distances.

Main difference:

  1. Weight: Parachutes are heavier than paragliders. This is because the ultralightweight of a paraglider allows it to glide through the wind, whereas a parachute is heavier.
  2. Size: Paragliders are bigger in size than parachutes. Its broad surface area allows it to catch wind that makes it drift through the wind. The parachute is comparatively smaller, which lets you descend slowly.
  3. Main use. The principal purpose of a parachute is to bring you down to the ground. The goal of a paraglider, on the other hand, is to help you stay airborne.
  4. Fabric: The fabric of a parachute is zero-porosity nylon. In contrast, the fabric of a paraglider is zero-stretch nylon sail-type material.

You will notice that in paragliding, pilots have a reserved parachute with them in case of an emergency. The rate for usage is not high, but parachutes serve as safety equipment to help you descend to the ground safely.

What Is the Difference Between a Powered Paraglider and a Powered Parachute?

A powered paraglider uses a paramotor which the pilot carries on his back to help provide enough thrust to take off. You can use this on the ground, and it helps with the speed while in the air. On the other hand, a powered parachute combines a three- or four-wheeled cart structure with a wing similar to a paramotor.

A powered parachute can take passengers and typically has easier to manage but less efficient wings. You can steer it using your foot. You can’t take passengers in a powered paraglider as it is considerably smaller. The wings are harder to manage, but you have more control.

Is Paragliding Safer Than Parachuting?

There is no clear answer to whether paragliding is safer than parachuting. If you check the statistics, paragliding has a 0.00074% fatality rate. On the other hand, parachuting doesn’t have a well-documented percentage. However, if you use the percentage of skydiving to parachuting, which significantly uses parachutes, the fatality rate is notably lower than paragliding, with a 0.00034.%.

The principal factor is to focus on safety. For example, a common issue faced in parachuting is hitting another while in midair. In paragliding, pilots usually encounter problems with changing weather conditions while airborne. These things are uncontrollable, but both require quick and logical decision-making skills.

Can You Use a Paraglider as a Parachute?

The answer to this question is no. You cannot use a paraglider as a parachute. Remember that the surface area of a paraglider is broader than that of a parachute, meant to drift and glide through the wind for hours. A parachute is heavier and smaller in size, meant to help you descend to the ground safely.

Paraglider enthusiasts wear a reserve parachute in case of an emergency. A paraglider uses the parachute if, for instance, he loses control of the wing or if the canopy shuts down because of changing weather conditions. The percentage of paragliders using a parachute is low, but all professionals and novices have one for safety.

Paragliding, skydiving, and parachuting are all incredible sports that offer an experience of a lifetime. They are generally safe and follow a strict procedure to ensure safety for everyone.