For the uninitiated glider pilot, a paraglider is the 'big duvet cover that they dangle down from' and sometimes gets stuck on your glider when you haven't noticed one in the same thermal as you. They have come on a long way since they were first invented and some of them now have a glide angle in excess of 10:1 (or about the same as a K13 with it's airbrakes open). They are very easy to fly, with controls being a variation on which bits of string you pull and when. Launching can be a pig (see left) and landings can happen automatically in the 4 seconds it can take an uninflated canopy to decide that re-inflating might be a good idea. Undoubtedly the most fun form of aviation but not without it's limitations.
For more information see the host of this site learning to, er, 'fly'