Spectating at the European Paragliding Championships in Serbia in 2014. Photo: Martin Scheel

One Careful Owner: quick guide to small-ad speak

Friday 5 March, 2021

What does ‘Nearly new’ really mean? What do any of those well-worn phrases in the classified ads mean? Here’s a handy guide to help translate fact from fiction ;).

‘About 50 hours’
At least 200 hours

‘Fair condition’
About 10 years old


‘Less than eight hours’
Scared the hell out of me

Been in the loft for three years

I cleaned most of the dirt off with bleach

‘Includes glider check certificate’
I’ve been busy in Photoshop

‘Reluctant sale’
Getting married

‘Ideal first wing’
Old, ragged out and won’t go up

‘This is an XC machine’
Old, ragged out and porous

‘Awesome handling’
Turns like an oil tanker

‘No SIV or acro’
Four weeks acro training in Organya

‘Always concertina packed’
Never concertina packed a glider in my life

‘Reserve as new’
It’s yellow and I know it because I’ve seen it

‘Price negotiable’
Taking a punt

‘A few small tape repairs’
Landed backwards through hedge

Professionally serviced’
I tied the risers to a tree and pulled

‘Great first pod harness’
Ripped, uncomfortable and weighs 12kg

‘Superficial scratch on visor’
Took a life-saving whack in a tree landing

‘Two minor repairs on top surface’
Dragged to hell across rocks on take-off

‘Always stored inside’
Lives in a glider tube outside

‘Wills Wing Ozone Delta 3 going cheap’
Scam artist

‘Beautiful 180-degree views’
Of the restaurant bins next door

‘Five minutes from launch’
You can catch a cab to take-off over there

‘Readvertised at lower price!’
I was insanely optimistic

‘No time wasters’
Overpriced and dangerous

‘Flies well but old technology’
I wouldn’t even take it out on the dunes

‘Original flying suit with full length zipper’
Need to sell it after my XC Pee incident

Old paragliders

‘Flies well but old technology’ / I wouldn’t even take it out on the dunes

‘No damage, never wet’
Search “Valle splashdown” on YouTube

‘360 flying days a year!’
It never stops howling from the east

‘One of the best big-XC sites in the Alps’
It’s green for a reason you know

‘Exploratory 10-day guided flying adventure’
We’d like you to pay for our holiday and we’ve never been there either

‘Bought new, too small, never flown’
Handles like a dog, you have it

‘Happy with my old instrument’
Bought this online after drinking – no idea how it works

‘No scuffs, marks or rips’
Never landed on my feet

‘Superb opportunity for a beginner’
And while you’re at it, would you like some double-glazing and loft insulation?

‘Perfect for the ambitious new comp pilot’
To be honest new EN Bs glide better

‘Regularly serviced’
Never serviced

‘Three lines professionally replaced’
I managed to pull most of the glider out of the tree

‘Forgiving characteristics’

‘Very little flown due to family commitments’
I have been threatened with divorce

‘Selling because I need the space’
They were serious – I’m living in my car

‘Unwanted competition prize’
I’m better than you

‘Easily connects via USB’
You will be dead before you get this to talk to your Mac

‘Only flown from grassy launches’
Red dust from two Australian seasons is embedded in every stitch

‘Selling due to lack of use’
8lb 3oz, mum doing well

With apologies to all the real ads on

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