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.