ENa Paragliders – Beginners Paragliders
Paraglider Certification – What is ENa?:
A paraglider with ENa certification is designed to be the easiest wing to fly for complete beginners upwards. All beginners paragliders will be ENa with the exception of some low-level ENb wings.
How much experience do I need to fly ENa?:
Absolutely none apart from the obvious basic training. ENa paragliders are designed to be flown by all pilots from complete beginners up. Paragliders for beginners need to be as easy as possible for someone new to the sport.
What is the level of passive security?:
Basically the highest level possible in the sport of paragliding. It is designed so that in a situation of instability, the pilot will need to do very little other than raising their hands and the wing will for most parts sort itself out. If the glider was to say take a deflation, the correction would be almost instantaneous with no input from the pilot being required. The easiest and safest of all the paragliding certification grades.
How easy is ENa to launch?:
As easy as it gets to help beginners and pilots with low airtime hours. Beginners paragliders designed to be as easy as possible with the fast rising and overshooting that can occur in the higher EN categories. A paraglider for beginners will also be designed to have a high level of pitch and roll stability making the launching and ground handling phase as easy as possible.
How does an ENa wing handle?:
A few years ago, beginners paragliders were very stodgy things to fly but this has now changed. New ENa gliders now display sweet handling characteristics that a beginner can grow into without the demands on the pilot being too great. Controls on an ENa glider will be fairly dampened together with long brake line travel that will protect the beginner from accidental heavy control inputs. Even so, the response can safely be increased if needed just by taking a simple wrap of the brake lines. High sensitivity comes with performance paragliders but this would be avoided with paragliders for beginners.
How good is the performance?:
Up until fairly recently, if you were to buy an ENa paraglider, you would be looking at upgrading sometime in the near future as you quickly outgrew the wing. Those days it can be said are well and truly gone. The new designs are now capable of glide angles (L/D’s) of 9 and above and pilots are now achieving cross country flights of over 100k. Some instructors are now saying that unless you are capable of flying over 100kms then the wing probably isn’t holding you back! Unfortunately, history is obscuring just how good these gliders now are from the beginners that are demanding low-level ENb wings, as they believe that ENa isn’t good enough for them. This is a pity as a lot of great designs are still being overlooked. In the early days of your new sport, quite frankly, you can do with all the help from your glider you can get. ENa beginners paragliders are easily capable of cross country flight in the right hands and conditions.
Is this category for me?:
Even though ENa is designed with the complete beginner in mind, the gliders are suitable for any pilot; even someone with a lot of experience looking to chill out and just enjoy the flight and views without ever having to think about the wing above their heads. If you want to fly cross country, they can do that as well.
As always, it is encouraged that you ask a question if you need clarification on anything that is written above using the form at the bottom of the page. If something is puzzling you, it is guaranteed that you will not be on your own. By putting your questions on this page, other pilots will also be able to learn.
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Here to Help
I have been involved in paragliding full time since the very beginning of the sport in the UK. I have been instructing full time since 1993 until 2017 and available to help you with advice whenever needed. Helping paragliding pilots new or old, is my way of putting back into the sport which has given me such incredible experiences all over the world and I want you to be able to share in that. If you need any help, just write in the chat box found on this site and I’ll get back to you either immediately or when I’m back in the office.
Good Flying! Paul Williams