What is the difference between skydiving and paragliding?


For lovers of heights and adventure, there are many options of interesting sports. However, each one has its own characteristics, so knowing them well helps us to choose according to our preferences. In this post we will explore the difference between skydiving and paragliding.


Although they may seem similar, skydiving and paragliding have many differences. Knowing those enables us to enjoy each sport in a more comfortable way according to our personal tastes.

From iJump, as great lovers and professionals of skydiving, we have prepared this post with all the key points of both sports to clear up any doubts that may arise.

Ready to find out the difference between skydiving and paragliding? Read on!

What is paragliding?

Paragliding is a sport that allows you to glide and fly through the sky, enjoying the landscapes and privileged views that can be seen from the heights. 

Although when you skydive you also fly and glide through the sky, paragliding tends to be a bit calmer and less exhilarating than the thrills that skydiving allows you to experience.

With the paraglider it is possible to fly and land standing up without the need for wheels. The canopy is wing-shaped and is attached to lines with rings/toggles that allow you to control the direction of the flight.

The only rigid structure of the glider is the seat in which the person who is flying is placed and which is connected to the canopy with different lines.

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Paragliding modalities

As in skydiving, there are different types of paragliding. Here are some of them in detail:

Aerobatic flying: professional pilots perform acrobatics and highly technical manoeuvres.
Powered flight: an engine is used and depending on the type of engine, it will allow take-off on foot or seated on a tricycle or wheeled trolley.
Free style: basic acrobatics, free flight and hill flying are combined.
Tandem: when you want to try paragliding for the first time or fly in pairs, this is the type that is practised.
Speed flying: this type consists of flying close to the ground at high speeds.
Speed riding: descending on skis on the snow, while flying with a paraglider.
Cross country: the aim is to cover long distances by taking advantage of the thermal air currents.

What is skydiving?

Skydiving, on the other hand, is a sport with more intense emotions and a lot of adrenaline, as it consists of free falling for a few seconds from a great height before opening the parachute and starting to glide. It is, without a doubt, our favourite sport and it becomes the favourite thing to do for more and more people who dare to live a unique experience when they try it for the first time.

A major difference between skydiving and paragliding is that skydiving requires jumping from a platform at a high altitude (usually an aeroplane, hot air balloon, etc.), while paragliding only requires being on a high surface, gathering momentum and having the right weather conditions.

Therefore, it could be said that the basic difference between parachuting and paragliding is that skydiving focuses on the combination of free fall and canopy flying while paragliding focuses on the flight. The parachute is designed to open at terminal velocity in freefall and to descend in controlled manner at all times.

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One of the great advantages of skydiving over paragliding is that paragliding depends entirely on weather conditions and terrain to be able to fly. Skydiving, on the other hand, can be practised safely even in weather conditions that would not be suitable for paragliding.

In any case, both are fun experiences that can help you release adrenaline and have a great time. In addition, in both cases a second safety parachute is carried to avoid any kind of unforeseen eventuality.

Types of skydiving

Skydiving also has several types, each of them with different particularities. If you want to learn more about it, we encourage you to visit our post about the different modalities of skydiving that exist.

Here is a brief summary of some of the most outstanding modalities, although there are
many more:
Tandem: this is the type of jumping that is done in pairs and, as with paragliding, is ideal for beginners.
Free fly: jumpers perform pirouettes, formations and acrobatics in the air.
Relative work: in this modality, a group of jumpers perform formations and figures in the air.

Live an amazing experience with iJump

We hope you had an interesting read and that you gained a better understanding of the difference between skydiving and paragliding.

If after reading this post you feel like living a great adventure and experiencing a unique sensation, we invite you to take the plunge with iJump. Contact us and discover all the jumps we have available for you: marriage proposal jump, bachelor/bachelorette jump, birthday jump, tandem jump… Book your jump today

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