"What is the difference between hang gliding and paragliding?"

"The hang glider has an aluminum frame inside a shaped sail that typically has a pointed nose and a V shape as seen from above or below. The paraglider is essentially a "parachute" wing, has no frame and is fairly elliptical as seen from above or below.

Paragliders are far easier to master than hang gliders. They are somewhat slower, thus both launch and landing speeds are slower and they do not require active piloting to keep them in level flight.

Paragliders are easier to carry and transport.

Hang gliders last longer: a hang glider can easily last more than ten years, a paraglider will rarely last longer than 1000 hours flying time.

A poor landing in a paraglider rarely results in injury or glider damage. A poor landing in a hang glider will often break the uprights or worse.

Hang gliders are easier to launch when conditions are strong - not necessarily a good thing!

Paragliders have a variety of rapid descent techniques available to them and can readily escape changing weather. Hang gliders have no effective rapid descent techniques available so they must rely on out-running any bad weather.

In Summary: For the reasons mentioned above, paragliding has marginalized hang gliding to the point where very few choose to learn hang gliding. However, they do ultimately offer more performance and many paraglider pilots are now cross-training so that they can fly both machines."