Low-End ENb Paragliders
Paraglider Certification – What are low-end ENb Paragliders ?:
It’s the next step up from ENa. The paraglider is still expected to recover on its own from any unexpected departures from flight. But not in such as explosive way as maybe an ENa would. The performance also tends to be slightly better than the class below it. Low-end ENb paragliders are suitable for all pilots from the talented beginner up. Easy to fly and launch with low workload to pilot. Slightly more involved than flying an ENa paraglider but usually with a performance advantage. Manufacturers continue to make quite amazing progress within this category recognising that low-end ENb paragliders are going to be the most popular certification grade with its near-perfect blend of performance and safety.
How much experience do I need to fly low-end ENb paraglider?:
Most low-level ENB paragliders are suitable for a fairly talented beginner upwards. If you have found little difficulty with your training and you would like to access the highest performance paraglider possible as a beginner, this is probably the class for you.
What is the level of passive security?:
Even though this is a class above ENb, passive security is still very high. The paraglider should recover from any issues well within the allowed four seconds required by certification. Still, an ENb paraglider is best flown with a level of interaction from the pilot to keep this calm and under control. This level of interaction is considerably higher than an ENa paraglider and this is the main thing that differentiates the two different classes. Basically, they require more pilot interaction than ENa.
How easy are low-end ENb paragliders to launch?
Pretty simple. Slightly more involved than ENa mostly because the wing is faster requiring the pilot to anticipate what it is going to do, especially in stronger wind speeds.
How does a low-end ENb paraglider handle?:
Low ENb paragliders tend on the whole to be slightly ‘sharper’ than the ENa class. Brake travel is usually slightly shorter resulting in quicker response and a faster turn rate. As the response is faster, the low ENb paraglider is slightly less forgiving of the pilot being heavy handed with the controls compared to ENa.
How good is the performance?:
New low end ENb paragliders have more than enough performance now for most pilots. Cross country flights for these gliders are now in the hundreds of kilometers whilst the pilot is happy with the lower workload compared to the classes above. At the time of writing, the new Nova Phantom has pushed the benchmark for this class to an all-time high. It’s probably not going to be long before most in the class will have a glide angle of 10 or more. This is higher than hang gliders had for many years so its hard to see why most pilots would trade passive security for slightly more performance.
Is this category for me?:
If you are a beginner and the above sounds good to you, it could be a great choice. However, if you are finding the sport difficult enough to learn, sticking to the ENa class may be a better decision for you. If you are already an experienced pilot looking for the most passive security you can get together with the highest performance and very low workload during flight, this is probably exactly what you are looking for.
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.
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