My transition from a ‘three liner’ to a ‘two liner’ D (6.95 aspect ratio) paraglider, with focus on comp flying.
I hope this article is useful to paragliding pilots thinking of flying a two liner paraglider for the first time, while also providing some helpful tips for experienced two liner competition pilots. I couldn’t find much information on the web so I asked a few seasoned two liner pilots for advice. This advice made my transition smoother. Thanks everyone.
Pilot 1: Top 5 Australian XC Competition Pilot
- The wing is more solid on bar. Always fly with at least 50% bar when gliding. The maximum speed to glide is at around 75% bar. You can use pulley to pulley if you know you will reach something. Make sure you are 100% sure as you will sink quicker.
- If you use a three step speed bar then set it up to so the first step is 50%, second is 80% and the third overlap the pulleys.
- Fly with 20% when taking photos, eating, stretching etc. The wing will be more solid and less inclined to collapse.
- You can clear a cravat by pulling the brake on the affected side in one long pump, bringing it closely to a spin then releasing.
Pilot 2: Top New Zealand XC Competition Pilot
- Take it easy to start with.
- Don’t use brakes and bar at the same time.
- Learn to use the B toggles first and then add bar.
- To achieve maximum efficiency turn a bit flatter and wider than you may be used to.
- Put your hands up and let the wing sniff for thermals and lifty lines.
- There is no substitute for spending time under the wing.
- First 20 hours is critical but it will take 50 to really get to understand it.
- Be sure to give yourself plenty of space on landing and setup early. It will glide more than you expect.
- If your GR reaches 3 or 4 then snake left or right to look for better line.
Pilot 3: Top 5 Australian XC Competition Pilot
- When launching make sure the wing is horseshoed and pull up the centre As to bring it up.
- To achieve trim speed on full bar you can pull down the B lines so the A and B maillons are even. This can be useful when slowing down in lift when gliding on bar.
- Watch this – Ozone test pilot Russell Ogden discusses all things paragliding
Pilot 4: Australian Squad Pilot
- Less input, don’t overfly the wing.
Pilot 5: Cool Experienced Pilot
- In the beginning if you are nervous remind yourself it is a certificated D wing.
Pilot 6: Top 3 Australian XC Competition Pilot
- Slow down with Bs while on bar if you get into bubbles or lifty lines.
- Get at least 300 hours before you consider moving up to a CCC.
Pilot 7: Top 10 Australian XC Competition Pilot
- If you are sinking on glide, and on the course line, then deviate from the course line by 20 degrees, upwind. Go upwind because you can quickly go downwind to catch up with the other pilots.
- Thermaling: If you are in rough air then search upwind for a thermal. If the day is +3m/s and you go through 1 and it is smooth then ignore it and glide straight through. The +3m/s will be rough, ignore the smooth stuff.
- Hand out glide meter. Hand out straight an arm’s length with palm facing towards you with thumb pointing up towards the sky. Place your pointer finger on the horizon. Where your little finger is that’s approximately where you will make it to on glide. Check after 30s, if this changes for the worse then you won’t make it and need to slow down.
Pilot 8: Top 10 Australian XC Competition Pilot
- When you are approaching a turn point cylinder you can disengage the bar and turn with the Bs. This is an efficient way to turn. You will lose less speed this way.
Pilot 9: Xalps Pilot
- Increased performance improves your safety margin (except when landing). Also I think it’s safer in rough air IF given all the right inputs (or, more accurately, not given the wrong inputs as the most important thing is to let it fly).
Some awesome pilot
- Don’t spiral if you don’t need to as you will put the wing out of trim. Use the anti-G if you want to get down quickly.
Some Helpful Two Liner Web Resources
Background information on my transition
In January 2019 I decided to take the next step in performance and move to a two liner paraglider. The plan was to fly it in two Australian comps and use it as my ‘Australian wing’. Was I ready? I felt I was. I had a few interesting looks when asked which wing I was flying previously (lightweight high B). I felt like I was prepared mentally as I had spent many hours flying committing lines in Bir, India. In Bir I wanted the passive safety of a three liner because throwing my reserve was going to end up in a world of pain. I needed all my faculties and I didn’t like the idea of being overloaded mentally. Before the Mentor I flew a Skywalk Cayenne 5 for 200 hours. I had been actively piloting with the C lines for around 300 hours with the idea it would help me to transition to a two liner where I would spend a lot of time steering with the B lines.
I chose the Flow XCRacer as my first two liner. This was based on personal research which included chatting with many pilots about its behaviour. I had also spent a year monitoring its performance and knew it would be a competitive competition wing.
My first flight was quite scary as it was on a very hot, very lumpy and bumpy Manilla day. Having a nice coastal flight in laminar conditions would probably have been a smarter option but hey, I am still here. In hindsight it ended up being a very good intro – what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, right? The following day was mellower and I felt more connected to the wing after a nice 4 hour flight. I am amazed by its performance and feel it has increased my flying canvass by around a third. It will be fun to see how I go when I snag an epic day on it.
Plan is still fly a high B or mid C in the BIG mountains as I see no reason to compromise safety, where performance doesn’t really matter in that environment.
Warning and disclaimer – Paragliding is a hazardous sport with the potential for fatal accidents. Care has been taken to provide as accurate information as possible. The editors take no responsibility for any inaccurate information or problems that may occur from the use of this information.