Paragliding Tips for Take Off

You’re ready for take off, but wait! There are some paragliding tips every pilot should know before their feet leave the ground. While there’s no way you should be taking your glider out without having these take off tips embedded into your brain, sometimes a little refresher is needed.

However, if any of these paragliding tips and pilot secrets come to you as a surprise, it’s time for you to check back in for some paragliding lessons. Otherwise, let’s start soaring.

 

 

The Ideal Implementation

Paragliding tips, pilot secrets, paragliding lessons

Think like a torpedo; act like a torpedo; be a torpedo. The ideal take off consists of your hands back, glider inflated directly above your head with your body ready to be lifted up and forwards. It’s somewhat similar to that of a torpedo, as you lean into your paragiding harness with a slight bend at your hips. Your hands don’t have to be at your side, and some pilots prefer to have them raised at chest level, but the perfect launch is all about the lean.

That means that you’re not running into the wind and jumping off a cliff. Instead, the launch has a lot to do with the positioning of your body. You had to lean slightly so you can maintain constant and gradual speed during take off. Your head should be help up, looking forward instead of looking down at the ground, which is a pilot skill that can take some time getting used to.

 

Now, it’s time for some pilot secrets for take off.

 

Use Your Body Instead of Brakes

As an amateur paraglider, you’ll be tempted to use your brakes whenever you feel a pull. However, as you progress through your paragliding lessons and perfect your skills, you’ll quickly learn how to use your body and shoulders to make minor corrections as needed during take off. This is one of the best paragliding tips to have, as using your brakes excessively during launch can interrupt the airflow, making it more difficult to get your feet off the ground.

Paragliding tips, pilot secrets, paragliding lessons

Move Under the Wing, Not Away From It

The main thing you need to remember when taking off is that your glider must be directly above you to ensure a smooth lift. When using your body to maneuverer with the wind, it’s crucial that you move under the wind and not away from it, as this will cause the glider to be slightly behind or in front of you. This will result in a jolty, less-controlled launch, which is never ideal. So, keep your body centered under your wing at all times.

 

Say No To Distractions

It takes a lot of self awareness when launching your paraglider. You need to be aware of your body at all times, your wings position, how the air is flowing, and so much more. There’s a lot that you have to pay attention to, all at the same time, and even the smallest of distractions can throw your launch into a tailspin. So, don’t only practice your paragliding skills and execute these paragliding tips, but don’t forget to exercise your brain as well. Yoga and meditation classes can be excellent for getting your brain and body working together, while also teaching you to free your mind of distractions.

 

The pilot secrets and paragliding tips don’t end there, but these are some unique take off tips that can help you become the paraglider you want to be. To perfect or increase your pilot skills, join some new paragliding lessons and remember to practise!

 

Paragliding Launch Tips to Get Your Feet Off the Ground

 

Think twice before your feet leave the ground. The paragliding launch is vital to having a safe flight. It may sound confusing at first – after all, how does the process on ground affect your in-flight experience – but don’t be fooled. The most important steps happen before your feet even leave the ground. So, minimize your chances of having an accident by following proper paragliding launching techniques you should have perfect within your paragliding lessons.

 

Be Like a Pilot, Not Like a Bunny

Paragliding launch, paraglider, glider, launch, technique

Envision yourself as a pilot of an aircraft. Often, new paragliders pilots hop into their launch, and this is poor technique. Your paragliding launch should be similar to an airplane taking off. There’s no hopping, bouncing or skipping. It should be a smooth, gradual lift off. Doing the opposite can cause your paraglider to be ahead or behind you, which increases your risk of a launching accident. Your wing always needs to be directly above you for a proper launch. So act like a pilot, not like a bunny because doing the latter will only cause problems.

 

Let the Uprising Airflow Give you a Lift

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When you’re paragliding, you never want to rush into your launch. You just have to move into the rising airflow. However, to pull off this proper paragliding launch technique, your glider has to be directly overhead. If it’s behind you or even a little ahead, the lift-off will be bumpy and dangerous with the possibility of no lift at all. Ground handling is a critical part that you learn to perfect throughout your paragliding lessons.

 

Flow Don’t Pull

Paragliding launch, paraglider, glider, launch, technique

With the prior mentioned, proper paragliding launching technique requires you to take off directly into the wind. Remember, your launch should be like an airplane taking off; flowing down the runway at a smooth, gradual increase of the speed. Not being in full control and, for example: being pulled from your launch, can result in higher stress level, which could be detrimental to your entire paragliding experience. So, go with the flow in full control of the process; never let it pull.

 

Fly Fully Loaded

Paragliding launch, paraglider, glider, launch, technique

A major component of proper paragliding launch technique is to have your glider fully loaded. Anything short of that can make your entire take off quite unpredictable, as it can cause deflation close to the ground. A loaded wing is also faster and reacts better to the input you give with the brakes, so it’s easier to control. Learning to optimize using your weight in the harness while running will instantly minimize your risk of paragliding launching accidents.

Now, if any of these come to you as a surprise, it’s time to sign up or re-do a paragliding lesson. These launching techniques should be infused into your brain before you even consider taking a flight.

Your First Day as a Learner or a Flyer

Whether it’s your first day training to become a paraglider, or your first day taking flight, it’s undeniably an exciting moment! And with excitement tends to come some nerves, so let us take care of that for you. Knowing what to expect on the first day can be all you need to feel confident as you head towards this new adventure that is going to let you see the world in a whole new way.

The First Day of Training

We can tell you what not to expect on the first day of paragliding training, and that is to not expect to jump in a harness and take off. There is a lot of training required before you are able to take flight, and even more before you’re able to paraglide independently.

The good news is that the training portion of paragliding is fun! It’s not like sitting in class, studying about stuff you’ll probably never use in the real world. Instead, you’re learning the essential skills and steps needed to take this new hobby of yours to all new heights.

Whether you’re starting with your very first Paragliding Introductory Lesson or are heading onto a new set of training, the only things you need to bring include:

  1. Hiking Boots
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Light Gloves
  4. Long Pants
  5. Long Sleeve Shirt
  6. Water and Snacks

The First Day Flying

Expect to feel an adrenaline rush like you never have before. The first day flying a paraglide will be with a supervisor. It takes several lessons and extensive training before you can fly independently. So you will be strapped into a harness alongside your instructor.

Your paraglider will first inflate first on the ground before taking flight. You won’t be leaping off the side of a cliff or anything of that sort. Launch is a meticulous task, so although you’ll be extremely anxious to get going, patience is required.

All flying equipment is provided, but you will have to register at the flying site, which may come with additional (minimal) fees. Other than that, all you need is the following:

  1. Hiking Boots
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Light Gloves
  4. Long Pants
  5. Long Sleeve Shirt
  6. Water and Snacks

And of course, definitely don’t forget to attach your Go-Pro!

Your Checklist to Avoiding Paragliding Accidents

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From the beginning of time, you’re told accidents happen. If you trip and fall, “accidents happen.” If you make a mistake in a sport, “accidents happen.” If you knock items off of a store’s shelf, “accidents happen.” But the reality is, accidents don’t have to happen and many of life’s common accidents are easily avoidable.
That’s also not that not all accidents are harmless! This is especially true when it comes to paragliding. When you’re hundreds of feet in the air, a simple mistake can be detrimental to your safety. More importantly, paragliding is a safe sport if you’ve completed your pilot and paragliding lessons, and executed your vital skill set and knowledge during flight. So, no – accidents don’t just happen.
To ensure a safe, exciting, adrenaline-rushing experience when you’re flying high in the sky, go through this checklist before launching. While the tips and skills to safe paragliding are significantly more elaborate than this list, a little self-assessment with 10 steps can go a long way.

1. Dedicate your full attention during your pre-flight check

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re getting ready to launch. After all, you’re incredibly excited and just want to get your feet off the ground. However, being absent minded during your pre-flight check is a big “don’t” of paragliding. So, dedicate your full attention during this time.

2. Have a pre-flight routine you’re confident with

You know what you have to do prior to launching, but you should also have a pre-flight sequence that you’re confident and comfortable with. As long as you get all of your pre-flight checks done, the sequence in which you do them doesn’t really matter in which order – for the most part anyway.

3. Learn to analyze and understand your mistakes

No one in this world is perfect, and mistakes are a part of every day life. However, when it comes to paragliding, you want to have as little mistakes as possible, which is why this checklist is so important. However, if you do make a mistake, don’t get down on yourself. The best paragliders in the world know how to analyze, understand and learn from their mistakes so they don’t happen again.

4. Be aware of the weather conditions

The weather plays a huge role in your paragliding experience. In many ways, it controls your flight. So, never underestimate the power of the weather or how quickly it can change. Always be aware of the current and forecasted weather for the rest of the day. The weather channel may be calling for thunderstorms in the middle of the night, but a change in wind can bring those storm clouds rolling in in an instant. So, be aware at all times.

5. Become a cloud expert

With the prior mentioned, it’s highly recommended to be familiar with the elements of the sky. Clouds can tell you a lot about the kind of weather that’s rolling in. Since you can see for miles during flight, you want to be able to recognize unpredictable weather before it rolls in. So, take a blast to the past, and learn about the clouds! It could save your flight and life one day.

See What It Takes With Our New Paragliding Video

 

You can check the Let’s Go Paragliding videos collection, but this video gives a good overview of what we offer.  Everyone dreams of being able to fly at least once in their lifetime, but very few realize that you can fly. You just need to take some paragliding lessons. However, if this adrenaline-rushing sport has you feeling a little intimidated, and you’re not sure what to expect, let this paragliding video give you a good look at some of the class activities.

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From the Ground

The first paragliding classes start on the training hill. However, it doesn’t take long before you’re able to get your feet off the ground and make launch. Of course, you won’t be flying to all kinds of altitudes, but you will get a feeling for paragliding and the entire launching process. This paragliding video also shows you some excellent techniques of doing just that.

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Being Towed

There’s always the option of being towed within your paragliding lessons. These are typically incorporated when you’ve perfected your launch and understand some paragliding techniques, but don’t have the experienced needed to experience higher mountain flying. Being towed is an exciting milestone within your paragliding training because you get an authentic feeling of flying. I allow you to make more flights in a day, creating a routine, and setting up good reflexes. You’re up in the sky, controlling your wing all on your own (under radio supervision).This paragliding video shows you how fun this portion of your paragliding training is.

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Taking Flight

Now, we know you’re eager to get off the tow and set your soaring aspirations to all new heights. Everyone is! But you will only be able to do so once you pass several levels of paragliding lessons, and have perfected the necessary skills to paragliding. However, watching this video can be the ultimate way to keep you motivated throughout your training, while also reminding you of the end goal. Plus, the scenery is astonishing. You just can’t go wrong.

As you increase your paragliding experience, you will quickly see that every level of paragliding is fun. You learn new things every day, and it just gets better as you hike up the ladder to achieving your desired pilot license.

Are you ready? Head on over to Let’s Go Paragliding and sign up for some lessons! You don’t have just to sit at home and watch other people paragliding and the beautiful sights they see. You can achieve it too!

5 Epic Paragliding Videos to Check Out

As an avid paragliding enthusiast, you probably love checking out other people’s adventures. Even if you have yet to soar the sky in a paraglide, you just can’t deny how awesome it must be to literally fly. Paragliding videos are an excellent way to take a look at this adrenaline-rushing sport, and there’s no denying that you’ll want to sign up for our paragliding lessons after checking the following videos out. Here are our top picks for epic paragliding videos.

 

Flying in Florida

This paragliding video is from our own collection, and it’s definitely a must-see. The sun began to set during flight, and it’s truly a stunning view that very few people get to see. The landscape is just incredible.

 

A New Perspective


We really like this video from EasyGliderful because it shows a unique perspective to paragliding. Instead of viewing the flight as if you were in the flying-seat, you get to see what it looks like if you were up there in the sky, paragliding with someone else. This is a really cool video and will certainly entice your paragliding aspirations.

 

Start to Finish


This paragliding video from Luu is an excellent one to check out if you want to see the entire paragliding process. The video shows the paraglider’s hiking to their spot, taking flight and soaring the skies.

Mount Brace on 4th of July


This is another clip from the Let’s Go Paragliding video collection, and it’s stunning. Take a look and you’ll see both photos and video from a soaring height that is just memorizing to watch.

GoPro Production


This paragliding video from GoPro is really well put together and it’s absolutely mesmerizing. The paragliders take a hot air balloon before leaping off. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t standard paragliding procedures. Usually, the wing is completely inflated before taking flight, but it looks like these paragliders got a little innovative.

 

You’re definitely ready to take some paragliding lessons now, aren’t you? Let’s Go Paragliding is a highly reputable school that can give you all the high quality training you need to become a successful and safe paraglider. The trainer was even voted the United States Instructor of the Year in 2010. So, you can train easy knowing that you’re learning from one of the best in the industry!

We also have plenty more paragliding videos available on our Let’s Go Paragliding Youtube account. It’s a channel that’s definitely worth subscribing to! Here’s to many more flights (or even your first flight) in your near future!

 

The Altitude and Comfort of Strike Competition Paragliding Harness

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If you’ve been waiting to take your paragliding height and comfort to entirely new levels, you definitely need to check out the revolutionary Hike & Fly Competition paragliding harness. It’s the perfect paragliding equipment for the days when you’re doing exactly what the name reads – hiking and flying, but it gets much more elaborate than that. So, it’s time get excited and learn why this new paragliding harness is being talked about across the industry.

 

The Hiking Benefit

Climbing to a high elevation to take flight can be a difficult task if you don’t have the proper paragliding gear. With a heavy harness, you’ll be out of breath well before the flight takes your breath away. This is why it’s a huge benefit to have a lightweight harness when you have to do a bit of hiking first.

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The Strike Hike & Fly Competition harness isn’t just lightweight though – it’s super lightweight. The medium and large sizes weight approximately 2,140g with all the accessories bundled in. If you were to remove the seat plate and back protection, it would be a mere 1,460g. So, needless to say, hiking to the peak to set flight in the sky is incredibly easy with this paragliding harness.

 

The Comfort Benefit26153825890_3cf12ec172_k

If the lightweight elements weren’t enough to get you completely hooked on this paragliding harness, the comfort certainly will. The Strike Hike & Fly competition harness was designed with you in mind. You just step-through into the split-leg design and you’re ready. The seat plate is removable, and all of the straps are adjustable to ensure your comfort for a flight duration of your choice. It’s so comfortable; you might not ever want to come down. But as you already know, as an avid paraglider, deciding to bring a flight to an end is always a tough decision to make!

 

The Flying Benefit

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The Strike Hike & Fly Competition Harness sets you up in an upright position. You sit partially reclined, and can truly just sit back and enjoy your adventure through the clouds. If you’re not a fan of having your feet dangling, like to feel more secured with a harness that surrounds you, or simply want to kick your feet up and fly, this is definitely a paragliding harness worth checking out. You’ll feel incredibly comfortable, relaxed and connected to the wing as you take your paragliding aspirations to new heights.

Of course, your safety is first in mind with this paragliding harness as well. It’s EN certified, and has an LFT certification being processed.

 

Shop all of your needs at Paragliding Equipment, and if you have any questions – just ask the paragliding pros at Let’s Go Paragliding. You’ve got the questions and we’ve got the answers.

 

 

 

A beautiful day going paragliding with buddies

The season started with great vibes. We already have novice pilots making mountain flights and soars with our local friends, the vultures.

That day from the video we managed to hike twice to the top of Mount Brace and do two beautiful flights.

When all the elements are present—the sun is here but not too hot, the wind is blowing in the right direction at the right intensity, a group of friends is around to share the hike and flight—those kinds of days are just worth all the effort and investment we've made to get there.


Of course becoming a paragliding pilot and being able to enjoy that kind of day requires a bit of time and effort as in any sport. You don't go on double black–diamond ski runs on your first day. That wouldn't be a smart move.

Paragliding is similar; it takes some time on a training hill with an instructor to master basic skills to control the paraglider in a different kind of air (turbulent or laminar), and velocity (from 0 to 15+ mph).

When your launching technique is under control, landing into the wind softly is another skill to master.

When your ground skills, take off, and landing are controlled, then comes the big picture—the big playground. It's similar to learning scuba diving in a swimming pool and then being ready to jump out into the big ocean.


At Mount Brace, even after your Novice certification, you will fly under the supervision of an "Observer" (a more advanced pilot) who will act like a big brother, helping you make the right choices depending on the weather conditions.

It also takes time to see the big picture, understand the wind, the turbulences, reading the clouds, and riding thermals. So having somebody more experienced to guide you through the process is a must for a long and safe pilot life.


But once you get there, then the kind of days that look like the one in the video are rewards that make all the previous efforts worth it when you take into account the experience you get in return.

Paragliding books and DVD

The paragliding community evolved a lot and we have access to great books and DVD made by professionals from the sport.

When you become a paraglider pilot it is very important to understand how the wing is flying and how it is affected by the surroundings. Also, since we are evolving in a constantly changing environment 

Art-Of-Paragliding-Book

Art-Of-Paragliding-Book by Dennis Pagen

The Art of Paragliding by Dennis Pagen

This is a reference book and a well-known paragliding manual around the world. It explains in detail step-by-step training method with the latest techniques based on  the USHGA training program. Whether you are discovering paragliding or already flying but get  deeper knowledge and polish your skills, this book is sure to provide a goldmine of information.


understanding the sky

Probably the best desription of micrometeorology of air masses and clouds necessary for efficent soaring flight

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Understanding the sky by Dennis Pagen

A pilot needs to understand the ways of the sky to fly successfully and safely.

A guide  for Balloonist, Rc Modelers, Parachutists, Hang Glider, Paraglider, and Sailplane Pilots. 

Paragliding or paramotoring (PPG) ?

Paramotor-New_York

Either ppg or paragliding, flying over Mount Brace in New York is an amazing adenture.

I hear this question all the time: Should I fly a paraglider or the one with the motor (PPG or paramotoring)?

My answer is very easy: Both!​

Why? Because those 2 activities are totally complementary and I think that doing one without the other is missing half of the big picture.

What about PPG?

Something I hear often when I fly with paraglider pilots is that PPG is noisy, which is true. And because of that, it's difficult to find flying spots in our area. The neighbors can get tired quickly of hearing the noise. It's like having a lawn mower over their house. Hearing that noise repeatedly or for too long can become annoying, and that is really understandable.

So the smart thing to do is to take off and never stay over the same spot more than 10 to 15 minutes. That amazing toy gives you the option to cruise around. Another option is to go fly over no man's land or small airports.

Yo can fin a lot of info on the national association the USPPA

Some of our favorite videos:

- Beach blast video

- Go fast or go home ​video

The Pros:

- If you respectfully fly away from people that are nearby, and know the basics about ultra light regulations and the airspaces, then the PPG is an amazing toy.

- First, if you have a big open field free of obstacles, you can take off in any wind direction, giving you a lot of flying options without having to drive for miles to find a take-off facing the wind.

- Second, since you don't depend on natural lifts like thermals, you can say goodbye to "sled rides" that last 5 minutes. Every time you go, you can quickly log airtime and practice your flying skills, making PPG a fantastic toy to get better at flying in general and log tons of hours of airtime.

- Being able to log in hours of airtime quickly means you can keep your skills sharpened year-round.

- In flat land, if you want to fly free flight you need a winch operation (requiring machinery and a tow operator). But with the motor, all you need is a big open field free of obstacles (of course away from restricted airspaces and with the landowner's approval).

The Cons:

- First, it's recommended to fly in smoother conditions. Flying bumpy thermals is not comfortable with the engine weight on your back, and landing with the engine when the landing zone has thermal active air can be very tricky. So PPG is best early in the morning and late afternoon or evening (at least on thermal days).

- The noise,

- The weight, and

- The storage and maintenance require a garage.

- Traveling: You need a rack on your car or a pick-up truck, so carpooling is limited and traveling by plane is doable but requires some mechanical work since you need to totally disassemble the unit.

- A common mistake we see is that some newcomers feel that, because of the motor, they just need to press the gas and off they go! The reality is that you still need to master your take-off and landing skills. Just pressing the throttle will not get you off the ground.

Usually, with PPG, if you master the ground skills and landing phase, everything is pretty easy, especially in 5 mph steady wind. Everything becomes a lot more technical early in the morning, for example, when the wing is a bit wet, there is no wind, the ground is slippery with a bit of dew on it, etc. In that situation, you need to have a reliable technique for a smooth take-off and landing.

Regular practice is key, but if you invest a little of your time, you will have a blast with it.

What about Paragliding?

You can find a lot of info about paragliding on the USHPA web site

The usual feedback I hear from paramotor pilots, is that in the paragliding world we do a lot of “parawaiting”. That can be true since we rely more on the wind/thermal conditions; sometimes you need to pick your time wisely like a fisherman or a surfer.

I love paragliding. I love the hike to launch, the preparation, the wait on launch and the reading of the local conditions. Since you can't rely on the motor, timing for the take-off is important—looking at the clouds, the birds, the shadows in the valley.

You are really connected with a constantly changing element. Kind of like a wind surfer, for example.

While flying, a paraglider pilot is more tuned to the actual local conditions, constantly looking for signs of lift like a bird of prey. So it's an approach that requires more patience and that's more connected to the elements.

Pros:​

- Slightly cheaper since you don't have the cost of the engine.

- Since they can not rely on the motor, paraglider pilots tend to have a better feeling of the air (i.e. how to optimize their climbing rate in thermal air or their glide to reach a landing zone).

- The equipment is very easy to carry around; it's a backpack, so you can easily travel around the world by plane, car, bus, subway, etc.

- For outdoor people, you can hike and fly.

- ​Easy to go up mountains using gondola and ski lifts at ski resorts.

- Carpooling is an option: You can have 3-4 people with their gear in a regular car/SUV.​

Cons:

- You might have to wait hours upon launch to have a good opportunity to fly.

- Sometimes, when the conditions are different than what the weather report was forecasting, you'll drive to your site, hike to launch and it won't be flyable. It's frustrating but it's part of the game.

- In some situations, you'll drive and hike out only for your flight to last 5 minutes. Bummer, but again, it's part of the game.

All in all, it's flying and doing it with or without a motor has its pros and cons.

As a paraglider pilot, it took me a long time to get over the noise part of PPG but I enjoy all my PPG flights and the hours it provides. And when the wind conditions are good, paragliding gives me this incredible feeling of connection with the elements.

Don't hesitate one bit—if you can, fly both ways!

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