Paraglider and Hang Glider Parachutes


Free Flight Enterprises was the first to develop emergency reserve parachutes for hang gliding and paragliding. In the event of a structural failure, mid-air collision, irrecoverable collapse, or a medical emergency, your emergency reserve is your last and best chance to avoid serious injury. Free Flight has been selling emergency reserve parachutes for 34 years, and we believe we have the best products in the industry.

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Our crew at Free Flight has personally tested our parachutes both in free fall and under a hang glider. We drop tested all L.A.R.A. models using payloads of 25% above nominal weight at 90 knots with no damage. These tests verify the exceptional descent rate performance.

The L.A.R.A. 250 was drop tested by the United States military. We gathered data at a rate of five samples per second utilizing a SOMAT data logger with on-board altimeter instrumentation. The average descent rate (corrected to sea level) with a 200-pound payload was only 17.5 feet per second! The US military uses 24 feet per second as a maximum allowable descent rate for emergency reserve parachutes. This low descent rate is comparable to our 24 gore P.D.A. for tandem use.


Our parachutes are available in two different designs – the P.D.A. (pulled down apex) and L.A.R.A. (low aspect annular ratio). The P.D.A. design was the first improvement in hang glider reserves over the older conical parachutes. The P.D.A. has a line connected to the parachute apex that pulls down the apex, flattens the parachute, and increases inflated diameter. This increases drag and reduces the sink rate, which gives performance with a lighter, less expensive chute and a smaller pack volume.

The L.A.R.A. technology takes the concept one-step further, using specially shaped gores (the triangular segments in the parachute canopy) to better control the inflated shape and further enhances the aerodynamic performance of the parachute. A properly designed annular parachute gives the lightest parachute weight and smallest pack volume for a given rate of descent.

There are no structural differences between the Hang gliding “HG” and Para gliding “PG” canopies. You may convert the PG canopy for hang gliding by adding a bridle extension; however, we strongly recommend a paraswivel, which is integral on the HG configuration. Without a paraswivel, a spinning broken hang glider can close the canopy by twisting the bridle and shroud lines.


All hang gliding parachutes are fitted with a 25-foot bridle and a paraswivel connection between the bridle and parachute lines. The 25 foot bridle extends beyond the glider wings so that the deployment bag will reach clear air beyond the glider before the lines are pulled from the deployment bag. This reduces the chance of entanglement with the glider. The paraswivel prevents a spinning or rotating glider from twisting up the parachute lines and closing the canopy during descent.

All paragliding parachutes are fitted with a 4-foot bridle so that the parachute canopy will deploy below the main paraglide canopy. A paraswivel attachment is optional.



  • Available in 3 sizes, 175, 250, and 400.
  • The standard L.A.R.A. has nylon lines and Type XVIII nylon bridle.
  • The "Gold" has Spectra lines and a Kevlar bridle that reduces weight and pack volume.
  • HG configurations include a 25-foot bridle and paraswivel.
  • PG configurations have a 4-foot bridle. A paraswivel is optional.
Models Available:
  • L.A.R.A. 175, HG
  • L.A.R.A. 175 GOLD, HG
  • L.A.R.A. 175, PG
  • L.A.R.A. 175 GOLD, PG
  • L.A.R.A. 250, HG
  • L.A.R.A. 250 GOLD, HG
  • L.A.R.A. 250, PG
  • L.A.R.A. 250 GOLD, PG
  • L.A.R.A. 400 GOLD, HG
  • L.A.R.A. 400 GOLD, PG


  • Available in three sizes, 20, 22, and 24.
  • The P.D.A. has nylon lines and Type XVIII nylon bridle.
  • HG configuration includes a 25-foot bridle and optional paraswivel.
  • PG configuration includes a 4-foot bridle.
Models Available:
  • P.D.A. 20, HG
  • P.D.A. 20, PG
  • P.D.A. 22, HG
  • P.D.A. 22, PG
  • P.D.A. 24, HG
  • P.D.A. 24, PG



The P.D.A. parachute is sold directly through Free Flight Enterprises. Please phone or fax your order to:

(951) 245-1734 phone
(951) 674-8490 fax

The L.A.R.A. parachute is sold exclusively through Wills Wing.

Click here for a Wills Wing dealer near you.


A LARA GOLD 250 parachute saves the life of hang glider pilot, Bill Soderquist, during an aerobatics training exercise. Click here to read the story in Bill's own words.

© Copyright 2012 Free Flight Enterprises