Paragliders are like film. Remember that? They like it cool, dry and dark.
Care is sweetly simple–keep them reasonably clean, don’t stuff or fold tightly, and get them inspected periodically. The paraglider is more important than the motor in that it’s failure would be far more than an inconvenience. But they’re so simple that failures are almost unheard of with a few exciting exceptions.
Of course there’s more to care, line stretching, repairs, pulleys, and mylar reinforcement care to name a few.
A question came up that was never addressed in the book about the effects of freezing on paraglider lines. Instructor Steve Mayer of Paragliders.com skis and flies. And he flies with skis which puts paragliders and freezing conditions together a lot. The question asked whether lines lose strength if they freeze. He responded:
Not as long at they stay dry. The only weakness can come from wet or icy lines—as the ice crystals melt and re-freeze they can cause elongation and shrinkage and even act as daggers to cut the fibers. SO, if it is freezing and wet out, let the lines dry in a warm area before flying again.
I have an old “winter wing” that i used to fly in wet, winter crap and would have the lines freeze in the trunk of my car. I did this freeze/thaw for a winter, when I tested the lines on our line breaking machine, where they should have broken at around 200 lbs (3 year old wing), some broke at 40 lbs, some at 200, I had never seen this much variation in breaking strength, normally it is fairly uniform so I assume some lines had ice crystals that weakened them and some got “lucky” and were fine.
Moral of the story? KEEP EVERYTHING DRY, and if it gets wet, let it air dry.