Any one cannot accurately tell when paragliding was started; some consider David Barish as the first person who used paragliding in 1963. This is also not sure because people used to do sky driving from small hills. At the end of 70's people in eastern Montana formed a group of sky drivers which was revealed from the photos and videos taken at that time.
Some people in French Alps used small ram-air canopies to have a better and secure dive from the mountain crest. The weight of these parachutes was only eight pounds and it used to fly at a speed of just 20 m/h. It tends to loose a height of three feet for the increase in every foot. Soon modifications were made in order to increase the speed and distance covering. It was done where there is more air.
A number of designs were developed to improve the performance of paragliding. The different techniques that were used were by means of non-porous fabric, escalating the wingspan, and changing the shape and spruce of the airfoil. It provided advanced performance but also had inherent problems in adapting new skills and techniques accordingly. The designs appreciated by the paragliders were manufactured in large numbers to meet the demands of people who started paragliding.
It became so popular that it was regarded as a sport in Europe in 1986. Europe, Asia and US has developed a wide range of equipments in which the producers put these things for a multiple test in order to ensure the pilots safety. In US many types of equipment were created that were safe and sound but it lacked from the performance of European designs. In the earlier 90's few designs came that concentrated on easy handling features for paragliders and easily flyable by anyone. A standardized procedure was formed to certify paragliders in France and Europe which stands as a standard for producers of the world.
The expansion of wings has led to emergence of two sports parachuting (sky diving) and paragliding. If we view from a distance the wings of both look similar but they are totally different in their features. They require special pilot skills and techniques to drive it. Paragliding has more speed, improved gliding performance and more aerodynamic effectiveness. The process of handling it can be easily learnt with proper follow through procedures.