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By handydonutholes
#402156
Hello,

I have been taking lessons and am saving to buy a used hang glider. I have about $2,500 saved now, and will have enough by March to purchase a hang glider. I was hoping to spend between $3,500-$4,000 for everything used. I just got an offer today to buy:
-Wills Wing 195 Falcon 4
-Woody Valley Flex 2 Harness (Fits me)
-250 Lara Parachute
-Charly No Limit Helmet

All the equipment only has been used about twice, so it is like new. The price is $5,000. Is this a deal I should jump on? Or just wait it out to find another deal for $4,000? Thank you!
User avatar
By remmoore
#402157
It depends on how important it is to you to buy "new" equipment. Used Falcon 195's in good condition are readily available - a quick look at the Classified section on this website shows there are at least a couple for sale. Ebay is also a pretty good resource. I've seen them for $1800 quite frequently. You may expect to pay less than $1000 for a good used harness, with pretty good selection available. The LARA 250 chute is worth around $350 used. The Insider helmet might be worth a couple hundred, but it's a POS in my opinion, and you shouldn't risk your head/brain on such a helmet. Better helmets will cost the same.

So, breaking up the package and selectively purchasing the individual items could cost you about $3000 or less. Granted, the glider and harness aren't going to be like-new, but still in good condition. Unless it's been actually used/abused, a used chute should be just as good as new. That means you may have the cash right now (or close to it) to get your equipment.

I've been flying for over 25 years, and I've always purchased used gliders in good condition. They're out there in a wide variety, so you may want to look around. Same thing for harnesses. I won't bother listing the one here, or EBay, but here's some links to my other favorite website classifieds for HG gear:
http://ozreport.com/freeClassifieds.php
http://shga.com/forum/phpBB2/viewforum. ... 9d968f6ae8
http://www.crestlinesoaring.org/forum/5
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/sonomaw ... r-sale-f4/
http://wingsofrogallo.org/board/viewfor ... d699fc5166

Many of these are West Coast sellers (you didn't say where you're from) but there are others around the continent. Quickly scanning them, I saw they all had at least some of what you're looking for. Feel free to make up you own mind about which way to go regarding your purchases, but you should at least be aware of your options...

RM
User avatar
By DMarley
#402159
Handy...
$5000 is a bit steep. An F4 is a great ship, but so is an F3 that you will find for a lot less, perhaps. Or some other F4.

The Lara 250 is kinda small for you AND the glider, unless you don't mind coming down at break-neck speed and possibly breaking your legs and/or pelvis on landing. Competitors like them because they are more compact and light-weight compared to a 'chute that will bring you down at a slower rate. And heck, they're pros (nearly), they can handle it.
The rating for the Lara 250 is a maximum of 250 lbs. That includes weights of the glider, the harness, and the mortal body. Lara parachutes can be confusing for the new pilot but many pilots purchase them because they are the lightest on the market, or so it may seem to someone that hasn't weighed their own personal worth and all-up flying weight. I'd want something more adequate like a 330 through 440 in something like a Quantum, but that's just my opinion and mortality talking.
If you're big enough for an F195, then you are probably around 200 lbs, add at least 19 lbs for a pod harness, and say 57 lbs for the glider and bag. That's at around 276 lbs or more. The Lara 250 is maxed at 250 lbs and will give approximately a 18.5 ft/s descent at that payload, approximately equivalent to jumping off a 5.5 ft tall ladder and landing on the ground below..... and don't expect to land on your feet. Add 26 lbs more of mortal mass, and that equivalent jump from the ladder becomes about 6.5 ft tall. Now add rough, uneven ground and colliding butt-first with Earth, and the ouch-factor increases exponentially.
But then, you're not flying a paraglider, so the odds of you ever needing the parachute are quite remote for boating around the uncrowded friendly skies on an F195. Are they crowded and nice-n-active? Eh, your chances of throwing laundry just increased a little bit.
An HES Quantum 440, or something else of that approximate size would give you a better chance at walking away from the scene without help.

Helmet.... Rem has his own choice of helmet. He REALLY likes it, and it appears he dislikes everything else. A Charley Insider has done fine for me and countless other pilots. Though if Rem's choice (Kali I believe) is as good as the advertisements say, then it would be a shame not to look into one, as long as it fits well. No visor included or available, though, sorry. Visors are really nice in cold weather. Goggles work too I've been told. Really cold air up my nose for any length of time gives me brain-freeze and is otherwise uncomfortable. It helps to be somewhat comfortable when making quick, high-level decisions for hopefully hours on end.

Make damn sure the harness allows you plenty of wiggle room (transverse AND longitudinal) without being too sloppy. You may want to fly in cold weather (again?!?)... with hiking boots. A friend of mine doesn't fly in the cold because is harness is comfortably snug in Summer clothes, tight in the Autumn and early Spring, and impossible with any cooler temps. He misses a lot of nice days.

Literally HANG in the prospective harness for at LEAST a half hour before you pay. Longer if you can. If you feel ANY hot spots (rubbing, poking, scratching), figure them out or pass before you make a big mistake. Make sure ALL the stitching is in excellent condition. Can you easily rotate your body into a mostly upright position while hanging? This is quite important for newer pilots. If it takes A LOT of effort, either figure it out to perfect satisfaction before the money flies, or pass.

Have a mentor yet?! GET ONE before purchasing anything! Be sure to join a club as well, or at the very least let your presence and desire be known to the local pilots. Be sure you can call your mentor(s) on the phone as a 'life-line' if they can't be physically with you for helping judge equipment that you may purchase. Get their opinions on specific craft and equipment as well. Especially if they have seen your flying skills.
Tip: mentors are exactly like eyes with 20/20 vision. It's best to have more than one. For multiple reasons.

Anyway, I would attempt to talk the seller down a lot in price, or pass and find a better deal. They're out there!

Just relaying my experience, but it all really boils down to lame opinions.

Good skill to you.
User avatar
By DMarley
#402160
I had the opportunity to fly an F4 195 last year (dacron sails), and if I didn't know any better, I would have sworn I was flying my F3 195. Though, it did feel slightly different, but in a good way. Perhaps it was that cool aero-frame that made it feel slightly different.
Did I say I love my F3 195? Yeah. I do. An F4 would be fine.
Every ship can be tuned to be either a bit stiff or a bit loose. No different for the F4 I believe.
User avatar
By red
#402162
handydonutholes wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:50 pm
Hello,
I have been taking lessons and am saving to buy a used hang glider. I have about $2,500 saved now, and will have enough by March to purchase a hang glider. I was hoping to spend between $3,500-$4,000 for everything used. I just got an offer today to buy:
-Wills Wing 195 Falcon 4
-Woody Valley Flex 2 Harness (Fits me)
-250 Lara Parachute
-Charly No Limit Helmet
All the equipment only has been used about twice, so it is like new. The price is $5,000. Is this a deal I should jump on? Or just wait it out to find another deal for $4,000? Thank you!
Handy,

A lot depends on where you are located, how much you weigh, and the motivation of the seller. In a hard winter, prices usually get lower. In places where you can fly all year 'round, there will not be any "winter" prices. You want your weight to be about in the middle of the 195 weight range (175~275 pounds, hook-in weight). As for the total asking price, it comes out to new prices on everything, but with a (nice) free harness, and a throwaway (far away!!) helmet. To say a harness fits, you would need to hang in it for at least an hour in the shop. Any place that the harness bites you after an hour in the shop, it will bite the same way after an hour in the air. You really can't tell about a harness, in just 20 minutes of hang time in the shop. See my web page, linked below, for more.

Avoid gliders with black, brown or blue leading edges. Nobody would see you coming.

It's mostly very good gear (forget that stinkin' helmet!), at tall prices. If the seller can meet you somewhere between your $3500 and the asking $5000, I'd call it fair, if you can swing that much cash. See if there are any extras that can come with the deal, such as wheels, manuals, bar mitts, extra bags, tie-downs, spare hardware, et c. You will still need a decent helmet, though. Offer to leave the Charly with the seller. 8)

Newly minted pilots can be rough on the equipment, even with wheels. I would generally advise getting a somewhat older glider at first, because the first little scrapes or marks on the glider would hurt less. If you just gotta have this one, then I'd say you should invest in an extra lesson or two, to better preserve your nice gear. Prices for that will be a trade-off, so if money gets in the way, at least find yourself a few good mentors for a while. Fly the easy sites only, and only in the nicest conditions. Be prepared to bag it on any particular day, if any aspect of the adventure becomes questionable. Your glider will thank you. :)

If you buy this deal, we will want to see some pix. :thumbsup:
By handydonutholes
#402163
Thanks everyone for the advice! There is a lot I did not consider before, like laying in the hammock for that long to test it out. I appreciate the comments on the helmet and parachute. I will do a lot more research into equipment. I do have mentors at my school that are great and can help me buy the right equipment. I need to reach out to them more. I think it is wise to buy a used one knowing I might ding it up a bit. I am here in Houston, TX. There are some used hang gliders for sale around, but not as many as out west. I am 6 ft 2 and weigh 185 if that helps with what kind of hang glider you might see fit. I will be checking out those websites and hope to buy one by March. I will post pictures on here!
User avatar
By remmoore
#402166
DMarley wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:53 pm
Helmet.... Rem has his own choice of helmet. He REALLY likes it, and it appears he dislikes everything else. A Charley Insider has done fine for me and countless other pilots. Though if Rem's choice (Kali I believe) is as good as the advertisements say, then it would be a shame not to look into one, as long as it fits well. No visor included or available, though, sorry. Visors are really nice in cold weather.
So I'm not disagreeing with your other comments - only clarifying my feelings about the Insider. ALL EN-966 helmets are crap, IMO, not just the Insider. There are many better options, and not just Kali helmets. Based on what I know about Kali DOT helmets, though, I think they're among the very best options for HG pilots. BTW, there IS a face shield for the Kali Shiva - I use it every flight.

Handy - as a beginner pilot, please make an educated decision regarding your helmet purchase. Don't just assume that helmets supposedly made for HG are your best option. Your most valuable asset (your brain) is also the most difficult to repair. It deserves to be well-protected, and EN-966 helmets are just glorified skid-lids.

RM
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