How to Learn to Paraglide
If you’re learning to paraglide or would like to learn to paraglide, then good on you! It’s a great hobby/sport/form of flight. It’s adventurous, yet somewhat relaxing and it leads you to spend time in some of the world’s most beautiful locations.
Decide if You Really Want to Paraglide
If you’re deciding whether paragliding is something you want to learn, it’s a good idea to try it in its most non-committal form. This is a tandem paragliding flight. Unless you have some good connections with a highly experienced pilot with a tandem paragliding harness, your first taste at paragliding will probably be tandem paragliding through a tourism operator.
You’ll get a good view of the experience of taking off, being in flight and landing. You won’t have the responsibility of controlling the paraglider and you won’t know the full thought process and decision making a pilot makes. But if you’re not focussed on the amazing view you’ll be able to watch and see what a pilot does. It’s a good opportunity to ask what your pilot is doing and how they fly to the conditions.
Most people enjoy these experiences, but how many act on this enjoyment and take up paragliding? Realistically not many – when most go home they go back to their regular lives. Ask yourself – when you return home do you still have a strong urge to learn to paraglide? Do you wish that on your tandem flight that you were in control and not just a passenger?
If you said “yes” to both of these questions, this is when you should act on this feeling, enroll in a training course and commit to learning to paraglide. Most countries and popular paragliding locations have providers who offer training courses, particularly mountain or coastal locations. In comparison to other forms of human flight such as skydiving, the barriers to entry are low. Some courses can be conducted in as little as 8 days, where you are then free to fly by yourself.
Where not against these quick courses, as long as they’re taken with the intention of them being the first step in learning to paraglide. The advantage is that they teach you the basics and get you up in the air quickly. The downsides is that you are unlikely to experience flight in a number of conditions. Soaring, thermals, flying over water, flying in mountainous regions, flying in wind, flying when there is a lack of thermal activity, the list goes on. There are many conditions which require different skills. You could also experience changing conditions while you’re in the air – you need to know how to use your equipment and knowledge and make smart decisions while in the air.
It’s a good idea after your training to continue flying with some experienced paragliders. They can help recommend places to fly in your local area which are suitable for your ability. They are also good to fly with when flying in new conditions.
Many countries have paragliding clubs and associations where you can meet experienced pilots who are willing to offer advice. These include the USHPA in the United States, SAFA in Australia, and the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association in the United Kingdom.
It’s also a good idea to learn about meteorology. Learn about different clouds and their effects on thermals. Learn to prepare for your flight even before you’ve taken off. A sound knowledge of the best weather for paragliding will enable you to not only enjoy paragliding more, it’ll keep you safe so you actually can paraglide more!
Purchase Your First Paraglider
There are similarities in purchasing your first paraglider and your first car. If your first car was a Ferrari, you’d probably end up in a crash! If you purchase a paraglider wing that’s designed for speed, you’ll probably struggle to control it and be at a high risk of crashing.
There is temptation for those with a bit of money, to purchase a really good wing now and not need to buy again for many years. It’s recommended that beginner pilots start of with an EN Rating A rated paraglider wing. These are easiest to control and to regain control when it’s lost. It can be tempting to purchase a fancy intermediate level wing so you don’t need to upgrade as early, but really you’re putting yourself at risk and reducing your enjoyment.
One area you shouldn’t scrimp on is safety and equipment, make sure you get a radio, sat nav and reserve parachute.
Paragliding Licenses & Memberships
In most countries paragliding is considered a ‘self regulated sport’ with no licence required for solo flying. However, some clubs and associations may ask to see some form of certification stating that you have undertaken training before you can join.
Some paragliding launch areas will request all pilots have national accreditation (e.g. USHPA, SAFA, British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association etc) as well as the local club membership members or purchase a visiting membership. This is to ensure that pilots have adequate levels of skill to fly and manage the hazards at that site and not put themselves or others in danger. There’s no need to feel down about this or not want to take advice from other paraglider pilots, the paragliding community is a friendly and welcoming place. Meet new people, paraglide in new locations, challenge yourself in different conditions and enjoy!
You are also required to abide by the laws in your country regarding restricted airspaces such as flight paths, airports and military bases. Pilots should also avoid flying too low over buildings, roads, powerlines and schools.
Can you make a living from paragliding?
Who has not dreamed about transforming their hobby into a real job? Sometimes it might seem difficult, and if you are a paragliding lover, you must be wondering right now: can you make a living from paragliding? In Overfly we will solve all your doubts.
Everything is possible if you are willing to take the risk and work hard for it. Paragliding has that tiny spark of adrenaline that makes your life shine brighter so, why not letting that become your full-time job? Is it possible? How can you do it?
Keep reading to discover it!
Can you actually make a living from paragliding?
Yes, you can! Just like with anything else, you can go on and try to make a living out of paragliding. But before you go ahead and make the leap, there are a couple of things you should know to do it correctly. There are many ways to earn money paragliding.
How to earn money with paragliding
How can you make a living from paragliding? There are three different ways to do so, or at least, we know three different ways that we know you could try.
Become an instructor and work for a big company
The first option you should consider is working as an instructor and teaching other people how to fly. This is a very attractive option because you will be able to transmit your passion for paragliding to others who also want to learn.
You can contact a paragliding company that will hire you as instructor and it will be way easier. You will save a lot of money and it is a great way to start getting some experience and earning a good reputation.
Start your own business an offer tandem flights
If you are an adventurer and you ‘d like to do it on your own, maybe you could start your own paragliding business and offer paragliding experiences to anyone who is willing to try. You will have much more freedom than working with a big company and you will decide how to manage everything.
The only inconvenience about it is that there is a lot of competition between paragliding business, so if there is one near you, you might want to reconsider moving to another place of finding other alternatives.
Also, you have to remember that the money your business will earn will depend on how flyable the days are and on how many people contact you.
You can make a living from paragliding with individual flying
Like many other sports, it is possible to make a living from paragliding by individual flying. However, this one is one of the most difficult ways to earn money paragliding and only few people are able to make it.
You can start competing and making a name inside the paragliding world to get the attention of some brands. This option is very difficult to make because paragliding is not as popular as other sports, but if you want to try, we encourage you to try it!
Have you found what you were looking for? Are you looking forward to make a living from paragliding? We hope that this post has been helpful for you and that it encouraged you to go on and try to earn money with paragliding.
If you liked this post, we recommend you visiting the other articles we have about paragliding in our blog, you will love them! Here there are some of them:
- Can I Paraglide Alone? → How to start paragliding
- How to choose the right paraglider ➞ Tips to make the right choice
- How to become a paraglider tandem pilot ➞ Everything you need to know!
See you folks! And remember that you can call us if you have questions or you need more information about paragliding in Tenerife.
Is Paragliding hard to learn? – 3 Interesting tips to start learning paragliding for beginners
OUTDOORFIZZ Golf is a website for the average golfer. We aren’t pros but are huge fans of the game. We created this category in outdoorfizz.com to test out different products and find the best gear and tips for the average weekend Gamer.
Is Paragliding hard to Learn?
It doesn’t matter what you want to fly; flight training is exciting, physically demanding, and mentally taxing. Flying can be challenging because it requires learning a new skill set, vocabulary, and muscle memory—but the reward is well worth the effort! Enjoying yourself while learning is the most important aspect of beginning any learning endeavour.
Having said that, flying can be a simple and relatively simple process.
Ground handling, on the other hand, is something that takes up a significant amount of time.
The next thing you should concentrate on is making good landing approaches and learning how to flare for the current weather. Today’s paragliding equipment is extremely durable, and the vast majority of those who are injured do so as a result of their own negligence.
The sport of paragliding is easier to learn if you are flying in light winds and smooth conditions. Hang gliders are orders of magnitude safer than parachutes if you want to fly in winds greater than 10mph and midday thermal conditions. However, they are more difficult to launch and land in light winds.
Is it dangerous to learn paragliding -Statistically
From a statistical standpoint, it is not dangerous at any time. Even with that being said, do you believe that every accident is entered into a global database?
In the United States, the USPHA, the national organisation that issues paragliding licences, is in charge of keeping track of accidents.
According to statistics, riding a motorcycle or skiing is more dangerous than driving a car. However, I should point out that almost every pilot I’ve known over the years has been involved in some sort of accident.
Some of them occur for the most insignificant and stupid of reasons.
The question arises as to how you can make flying a safe experience for yourself. As you learn to fly, you must first learn the rules of the game. If you follow those rules, you can be assured that things will become safer. I have some additional guidelines.
- Don’t fly alone, especially at a new site.
- If feel off that day (tired, dehydrated or hungover) don’t fly.
- Check the weather, Check the weather.
- Read books, watch videos and take additional training. A SIV course in addition to a your national licensing.
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The Main Dangers of Paragliding:
Most of Paraglide accidents are mainly due to Pilot error
Yes, there are things like freak accidents in anything we do, but 99% of paragliding accidents are because of pilot error. Errors like:
- Not checking your equipment
- Not minding the weather conditions
- Not following the rules
- Not doing what you’ve been taught
- Not listening to your instructor
- Not listening to more experienced pilots
- Not listening to yourself
- Not using common sense
- Not minding your environment
- Being over-confident
- Becoming impatient
All the pilots I knew personally who died in Paragliding accidents Most of them died because they were flying in weather conditions they were not supposed to fly in.
Some pilots I knew who got injured during Paragliding accidents, got injured because they didn’t listen to their instructors.
Is paragliding safe to learn ?
Statistically, about 1 in 1,000 registered paraglider pilots die while paragliding each year ( source ).
However, many accidents are not reported, so the danger may be greater.
The big question I ask myself is whether the deaths are random, or whether I can be above average.
- Poor judgment about weather – strong wind, unstable air such as thermals or rotor
- Poor judgment about your abilities – flying when tired, flying very “active” air or an advanced wing without the skills to reinflate the glider if it collapses, not being able to land in small landing zones or to kite well on windy launches
- Errors while launching – not preventing collapses, not noticing knots in the lines (kravats)
- Errors while flying – turning into a ridge, miscalculating altitude, miscalculating horizontal wind, pulling the wrong lines, braking too much and stalling the glider, not checking the glider when it surges forwards, using speed bar in turbulent air
- Not taking care of gear – broken lines, holes in glider, old reserve parachute that doesn’t open
- Other pilots’ errors – a person flies into you or pushes you into a ridge
- Health incident while flying, such as a heart attack or blacking out
This all probably sounds pretty scary, but you’ll notice that the people who wrote answers to your question are all pilots…So why do we do it?
Because for us, the rewards outweigh the risks.
Flying is the most freeing experience I’ve ever had, challenges me to be a stronger person each day, comes with an amazing community, and can be breathtakingly beautiful.
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Every action we take carries some risk, and we take precautions to reduce those risks as much as is reasonably possible.
Make sure you have good equipment and that you take good care of it.
Get your training from a reputable instructor, and take advantage of the opportunities to learn from those around you.
Some people demonstrate what not to do, and we can learn from their mistakes as well.
Practice. A good understanding of ground handling is essential. It is critical to get outside on a regular basis. SIV courses are extremely beneficial.
Learn about the weather and the physics of flight in this lesson plan. It is critical for our safety that we understand the how and why of what we do, as well as what to expect when we are in the air. If there is something you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Recognize your own limitations and follow your instincts. It is acceptable to choose not to fly for any reason or for no reason at all.
Top tips to help you get into the world of paragliding
Buy the Right Equipment
The wrong equipment can put people off the sport very quickly. Drill your instructors for advice and listen to it – they’ll be able to steer you towards the right kit for you.
As a minimum, you will need a paraglider, harness, a reserve and a helmet that meets the EN966 standard. A complete kit can cost around $3,000 new, or less than $1,500 second hand.
If you’re buying second hand, make sure to ask if the kit has a recent service record, which indicates airworthiness. The right kit can be the difference between a long flying career or never wanting to get the paraglider out of the bag again.
Join the local Flying club
You’ll be able to safely fly within a club environment once you’ve qualified through a local school’s Club Pilot course. Of course, this implies that you’ll need to join a club.
This is most likely the one closest to your home or the club in which your paragliding school is involved. Joining a club will allow you to interact with and learn from other pilots.
I joined the Pennine Soaring Club in 2014, and it’s been a fantastic source of information that has greatly aided my development.
Make Like Minded Friends and Fly with them
When you’re fresh out of flight school, it can be very intimidating, so it’s critical that you make friends, whose (hopefully many) years of experience you can absorb to help you progress.
When you first start out, it can be difficult to decide which paragliding site to fly at and on which day. Your friends will be able to get you to the correct location at the correct time.
Attending club nights will put you in touch with local pilots and club coaches who are there to help low-airtime pilots advance.
Paragliding has evolved as a sport over the course of time. The equipment and training methodology have improved the overall safety of the sport;
I would say that it is no longer considered an extreme adventure sport unless you specifically want it to be.
Flight training can be the most forgiving sport if you are cautious and avoid flying in challenging environments and weather conditions.
The dangers of paragliding can be directly associated with pilot error – this can be either of the many factors such as not getting trained properly, not understanding the limitations of wind and weather conditions, not understanding the limitation of equipment or skill level.
Choosing the incorrect equipment, being overconfident, and so on.
I suppose there are inherent dangers when participating in any activity, including paragliding.
Knowledge and skill can help to reduce the dangers, but they cannot completely eliminate them.