The wing itself is known as a Speed Glider, Speed Wing, or Speed Flyer. It has similar material to a paraglider (with a ripstopnylon fabric wing, treated with a polyurethane or silicon coating, Kevlar or Dyneema lines protected by an outer sheath, andMylar reinforcement on the cell openings at the leading edge). However, the speed wing is only about half the size of an average paraglider (see the table below). The wings small size and unique design give it a much smaller glide ratio making it more suitable to fly close to the slope. The smaller size also allows the wing to be flown in windier environments, and minimizes weight for hiking. The speed glider flies at speeds of 20 to 90 mph versus a paraglider's 12 to 50 mph.
It also shares characteristics with a ram-air parachute. It differs, however, because it is much lighter, more maneuverable, doesn't have a pilot chute or slider, and is not suitable for arresting free falls. The pilot can use a standing harness similar to those worn with a parachute, a strap-like sitting harness, or a protectively padded, seated harness (identical to those used with a paraglider). The speed flyer has adjustable trims on the rear riser, and sometimes the front riser. These allow the pilot to adjust the line lengths and pick the wing angle of attack best suited for the hill steepness and wind conditions.
Speed flying and Speed riding requires different wing sizes because of the different glide angles, and launch techniques. Speed flying requires a larger, slower wing for foot launches (between 13 and 18 square metres), while Speed riding involves a faster, smaller, ski-launched wing (between 8 and 14 square metres). This allows the pilot to periodically touch down and speed ride the slope on skis or a snowboard.