Simple Paraglider Repairs
Putting a hole in your paraglider can be frustrating, but need not be expensive. Making the repair is quite straight forward and can be done with a few easy to obtain items. For the purposes of this article we will assume a small quarter sized tear. Very large tears, or tears on seams or near lines may need to be professionally sewn as they may compromise the integrity of the wing.
Things You Will Need
Rip-stop Nylon repair material (from paraglider dealers, kite shops, marine supply stores, etc)
Clean the Damaged Area
It is important to thoroughly clean the area of repair. This will ensure that the repair will last. Using fresh water and a soft sponge gently clean the area around the tear. Remove any dirt or debris within 3-4 inches of all sides of the tear. Do not use any detergent for this cleaning as it may degrade the wing fabric. After cleaning, finish up with a very light application of rubbing alcohol.
Cut Two Repair Patches
Take the rip-stop fabric material and cut two patches to cover the damaged area. The patches should be cut large enough to extend several inches past the tear on all sides. It is recommended to cut the patches in the shape of rectangles, rounding off the corners. Furthermore, cut one of the two patches slightly larger than the other. This will help increase the strength of the repair.
Apply the Patches
Find a large flat surface to lay out your wing and apply the
patches. Two patches are required as the
repair will be made on both the top and bottom of the torn fabric. You can start with whichever side is more
convenient to work on. Put the larger patch on the bottom side to minimize the appearance of the repair. Smooth out the repair area as much as
possible, bringing the torn fabric neatly together. Remove the backing from one of the patches
and apply the sticky side to the repair area, working the patch from one side
to the other. For a neat job, take care
to smooth out air bubbles in the patch fabric. Repeat the process on the other side.
Your repair is now complete. With a minimum of time and materials other small tears in your wing can be repaired in the same way. This process can also be applied to hang glider wings, kites, boat sails, etc. Best of all, your wing can be flown immediately after patching, so you won't be losing any air time!