Should Back Protection Harnesses be required for PG, Mini, & Speed Wing flying?


Most would not consider flying Paragliders without a harness protection of some type and a reserve. Yet, when Speed / Mini Wing flying, these generally accepted practices over years of learning are generally thrown out the window by many. Some of this is being driven by the what is “cool” factor.

Similar to Helmet use, should Protection Harness use be driven top down by inclusion into site protocols?


This question was just posted to the PG Forum:  

Q: Should Back Protection Harnesses (i.e. with Airbag / Foam) be required standard equipment for Paragliding, Mini Wing and Speed wing flying over bare ground terrain / non-snow / non-ski related flying?


Please take the time to comment on the PG forum.

Well, you started this topic. How about posting "Your" opinion? Unless of course the body of the post says it all? It's only fare that you state your opinion first before stirring up the pot. Honest, this isn't a personal attack.  Just a tuchy subject. Always is when opposing ones will upon another.  When sudgesting that another's activity is too dangerous and should not be tolerated  


I personally think about risk vs reward. Depending upon the activity, my ratio may be far different than many others. It goes both ways. It's all in the eyes of the individual participant.  One may call me crazy, I may call them insane, but unless they were hurting another or breaking exsisting site protocol I would never force them to stop  


But what are we really getting at? Being our brothers Shepard? Telling another what is best for them? Forcing another to do what we think is best for them? Beating the drums to enact another site protocol, another rule, another law?   


Stating the dangers and safety issues of flying without maximum protection or none at all is a great topic. Just like talking about the dangers of top landing. But, talking about site protical mandating such is a whole other ball game.  


I like excess in safety equipment, fly a beginners wing, and launch only in conservative conditions. Plenty of reward there for me. Not much left on the bone for others. Not mad at others that venture much further than my comfort zone. 

 NO.    If you're going to outlaw something, outlaw crashing.  I'll vote for the rule. Then the officers of the club can be responsible for everyone who crashes, because responsibility always rises to the top of the food chain, that's what the title is for. That's why leadership gets paid the big bucks.   You want to outlaw  flying without padding, take responsibility for the failure of your policy by guaranteeing some benefit, no injuries from crashes. If and when someone gets injured in a crash with back protection you forced them to purchase, you can take responsibiliy for the failure of your policy, by reimbursing them for the gear you coerced them into purchasing.

 I fell in love with this sport because it is a symbol, a metaphor of unlitmate freedom, helped along by an image of two crazy french hang glider pilots sitting unstrapped , no helmets, in a bathtub, suspended on a simple trike frame, under a La Mouette Atlas 21m just off launch at St. Hilaire, petty tyrants armed with a list of rules don't add anything attractive for me.

Hangliding and Paragliding is inhearently dangerous! It can cause injury or death!

Why don't you fly what suits you and is comfortable.

Of course, always fly Safe!

Being new to PG I was surprised to learn the harness recommended by my instructor has optional back and side protection sold separately.For a grand worth of harness the protection is another hundred I think with learning it is worth the little extra money and piece of mind. i have seen speed flyers wearing back protectors that they wear before putting the harness on. I wear protection while riding a motorcycle also but there is always a guy in shorts and flip flops riding a motorcycle so to each his own.

Rather have something and not need it than need something and not have it.

I've landed my speed wing at AJX a few times.  I've always just used the Ozone Atac harness.  Considering that these flights have all been under 5 minutes and flown sub 400' AGL I never felt the need for extra protection.  If i were doing barrel roles then I would use extra back protection. If I were using my speed wing as a descent tool from high elevations then I would use a front mount reserve.  Therefore I don't think extra protection should be required for all speedflying.