Category Archives for Paragliding general questions

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

Paragliding launch, paraglider, glider, launch, technique

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.

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

Column 1

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!

Let’s Get You Flying at the Paragliding Introduction Day

Let’s Get You Flying at the Paragliding Introduction Day

You finally decided to take that leap of adrenaline and fly across the skies into a new hobby that will provide you with a lifetime of memories. Congratulations! We are just as excited to have you choose our Paragliding School as your ultimate guide to teaching you how to conquer the mind-blowing activity of paragliding. We know that your heart is sailing with adventure and ready to take flight, so let’s quit the chit chat and get to the good stuff of paragliding!

What is Paragliding?

You’ve likely seen it before in the sky – it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s a paraglider! You may even know the basics of paragliding, but it is important to know exactly what this astonishing activity is all about before heading off to your Introduction Day. This is an outdoor sport that allows you to explore the world in a way that only birds get to. It’s a pure rush and extremely safe, with the proper training which of course, you will be receiving on Introduction Day and throughout all the other classes of your choice. Paragliding is similar to flying a kite, only you’re sitting below the kite instead of steering it from the ground. The wind currents act somewhat like the ‘engine’ of the glider and you basically soar through the sky, enjoying the sights.

Your First Paragliding Class

We offer a huge range of different training programs to ensure that your desires are met fully – and even more importantly, to keep your paragliding experience furthering. However, before you advance on to flying on your own or becoming an expert under the sail, you certainly need a bit of an introduction to this adrenaline-pumping action. This is where you will get all the basics that you need, including equipment. The slow and steady approach within the training will provide you with a thorough look into what paragliding is all about, and if you decide that it just isn’t for you, this is the perfect time and place to discover that. However, we are absolutely convinced that you will be ecstatic with the full day of outdoor fun, and can’t wait to provide you with the thrill of flying. During the Introduction Day training class, you will also learn the basic skills to kitting your glider, how the air currents is the secret to flying, and you will even make your very first flight… from the training hill, of course.

Prepare For Your First Paragliding Class

The first thing you need to do to prepare for your first paragraph class is to get exciting! This is an experience of a lifetime, and you certainly want to enjoy it to the fullest. So, get a well night’s rest and a delicious and nutritious breakfast in before packing up your bag. Some things you definitely don’t want to forget at home include your; hiking boots, light gloves, water and snacks. Depending on the weather, you may also want to add in your sunglasses, a long sleeve shirt and some long pants just to ensure your comfort. Other than that, you’re ready to go. Let’s Go Paragliding will provide you with all necessary equipment such as the glider itself, harness, helmet and radios. You just have to bring yourself and your excitement – and a couple of other things, as mentioned.

Award Winning Instruction

Benoit Bruneau named 2010 Paragliding Instructor of the year.

Instructor of the year.

Every year, the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association elects a US instructor to receive this award. In 2010, Benoit Bruneau, owner and head instructor of Let’s Go Paragliding, LLC, received this honor:

Benoit Bruneau is the founder of and head instructor at Let’s Go Paragliding; he has been teaching the sport since 1999 and is certified by the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (as well as the Canadian and French equivalents). An experienced paragliding instructor and highly qualified outdoors-man, Benoit is just the person to help you experience the joys of paragliding.

• Certified advanced paragliding instructor (in the U.S.A., France and Canada).

• Certified paragliding tow technician.

• Certified white water kayaking instructor and rafting instructor.

• Certified caving instructor.

• Certified canyonning instructor.


“I have always found it exhilarating to help people discover new ways to enjoy life and forget the stresses of daily living through outdoor activity. In particular, paragliding allows us to not only achieve an understanding and respect for our environment, but also to achieve the ultimate dream: the ability to fly!”

How to become a paraglider pilot.

Paragliding is a well regulated sport; it functions under the USHPA- United States Hand Gliding and Paragliding Association. USHPA certifies pilots by rating them according to their skill and expertise in the sport of Paragliding. It rates pilots from P0 to P5 in the order of student, beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Master Pilots.

Pilots generally start their journey as a beginner with a P0 certificate and make their way through the different levels and reach the P5 level by mastering the art of Paragliding.

The ratings are issued to reflect the completion of certain tasks by the students which are witnessed and observed by officials and licensed instructors. The ratings are also meant to regulate the pilot to fly in only such sites which are meant for his level of expertise as flying sites are labeled according to the approximate skill level required to fly there safely.

The tasks that the pilot has to go do may require keen attention to detail and very high precision. A good amount of training in these has been always beneficial. That is why it is advisable for wannabe pilots to enroll in a Paragliding school.

The Process of becoming a Pilot:

Student and Beginner certificate P0-P1:

Student P0 Pilot: This pilot has the basic knowledge required to understand and accept the risks of flying as a tandem passenger on a Paraglider.

Beginner P1 pilot:

A Beginner pilot has the knowledge and basic skills necessary to fly and practice under direct instructor supervision and within significant operating limitations.

The pilot understands the USHPA Paragliding rating systems and recommended operating limitations.

Students enrolled with us generally start off their training with the Introduction Day. This program is designed for those students who wish to get a feel for the sport and in the process learn the basic skills and kiting by making their first flight on the training hill.

This program also serves as a way to remove any doubt and hesitation in the mind of the students about Paragliding and in a way persuades them to take up training for acquiring the P2 pilot certificate. Once the students are convinced to take up the training program and enrolls for the P2 program, he is giving the P0 and P1 certificates together by the instructor.

Novice P2 certificate:

The P2 pilot is all that a P1 pilot is with a good judgment and has a level of maturity commensurate with the rating. Pilots must demonstrate Beginner level skills and knowledge before obtaining the Novice rating.

To acquire the P2 certificate the pilot has to complete few witnessed tasks with a minimum of 8 hours of ground school theory. The pilot should have learnt basics about the forecasting the weather, basics in launching, Understanding danger signs, landing and site orientation etc.

Once the pilot finishes the P2 program he will have the necessary skills to inflate, ground handle and control the glider. P2 certificate also lets the pilot to fly solo with glider under certain restrictions.

Intermediate P3 pilot:

The pilot has the knowledge and skills to fly most sites in mild to moderate soaring conditions, and to judge when the site and conditions are within the pilot’s skill, knowledge, and experience level.

To receive the P3 certificate the pilot should have logged in a minimum of 30 flying days, at least 90 flights and also a minimum of 20 hours of solo airtime. The P3 pilot shows exceptional abilities of flying with sound knowledge in Airspeed control, turbulence, collapse and recoveries.

The detailed report for the requirements to become an Intermediate pilot is given in the USHPA website.

Advanced Pilot P4:

The pilot has the knowledge and skills to fly technically demanding sites in strong soaring conditions, and to judge when the site and conditions are within the pilot’s skill, knowledge, and experience level.

The pilot understands the USHPA Paragliding rating system and recommended operating limitations, and the FARs and other flying rules applicable to his/her flying. To get the Advanced pilot certificate the pilot should have had a minimum of 250 flights, with a minimum of 80 flights, days, must have flown in all the 5 P3 flying sites 5 times each.

The P4 pilot will display elite skills and expertise in the art of flying as given in the report by USHPA.

Master pilot P5:

For pilots who wish to further diversify their skills in the sport of Paragliding, and to recognize the achievement of the expert skilled pilot who has experience beyond the Advanced level, there is a designation of Master Pilot.

No site will be designated as requiring Master skills. The pilot will fly using good judgment and have a level of maturity commensurate with the rating. The P5 pilot will display exceptional skills and expertise in the art of flying as given in the report by USHPA.

For most recreational and occasional flyers, being an Intermediate Pilot or even a Novice pilot will be sufficient to fly at most flight parks. As mentioned above, it is always advisable to enroll for Paragliding training to hone your skills.

At Letsgoparagliding, we nurture the hidden talents in all of our students. Come fly with us!

What we offer

Before you decide that you want any kind of paragliding lessons, you want to know who your instructors are. You want to know that they are good at what they do and that you’re going to be safe and learn as much as possible.

We get this and that’s why at LetsGoParagliding, we provide many different training programs to meet your needs. You can enjoy an introduction day that will give you the basics of your equipment and let you get started on your first little flight. This is where you’ll decide if you want to pursue paragliding or not. It’s a full day of fun, excitement and outdoor activity. When you get in the air though, don’t be surprised at the thrill you feel.

If you’ve decided that you want to learn to fly on your own, we offer programs for this too. We offer packages that work with your schedule and time so you don’t have to feel pressured. At the end of our P2 program, you’re going to be able to fly without direct supervision from your instructor. Of course, you’ll have some limitations – you won’t be an expert yet, but this is a great way to get out and start enjoying nature the way the birds do.

We also offer programs that can help you to get to where you want to be when it comes to your experience level. So, whether you’re happy being a novice or you want to fly all on your own, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

We believe in the sport of paragliding. We know it’s exciting and thrilling, but we also know how things can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Since we feel passionate about paragliding, we want you to feel the same way, which is why we walk with you every step of the way.

What you’ll experience:

  • When you choose to enjoy any kind of lessons with LetsGoParagliding, including the introduction day, you’re going to experience flying. From little starts to getting up on your own, you will see what it’s like to fly the way birds do.
  • You’ll gain more knowledge than you thought possible. This will help you to become knowledgeable enough to fly on your own should you choose to once you’ve completed your lessons.
  • Paragliding is fun and that’s why we love to focus on the fun part of it. You can have fun and be safe and we will show you how every step of the way.

What you won’t find:

  • When you choose to take paragliding lessons with us, you’re not going to be free to fly on your own with no training. We believe in safety first, so you’ll never be left alone to your own devices if you aren’t ready.
  • You won’t find cut rate equipment, or large rental fees for it. We offer great equipment for you to use while you’re taking lessons with us. It’s all in excellent shape and the use is included in the cost of lessons.

If you know that you want to try paragliding, consider LetsGoParagliding for your paragliding experience. You’ll get excellent training and have the experience of a lifetime.

Paragliding – Is It Safe?

One thing that many people who are considering trying paragliding often ask is: “Is it safe?”

The answer might not be as simple as you would like, but it goes something like this:

Paragliding is safe if:

Maybe the best way to explain if paragliding is safe is to start out by saying when it’s safe. For instance, if the weather is stormy and you choose to go out then you’re not practicing safe behavior. This can make the sport unsafe because you’re not only dealing with strong lifts and turbulent air currents, but lightning can put you at serious risk. Even the most foolhardy paragliders usually won’t fly when there is a strong risk of a thunderstorm, but there are other situations that can get a person into trouble.

Paragliding can be safe as long as you make it safe. This means that you should get the proper training to ensure that you know what you’re doing. Some of it comes from experience of course, but much of that experience you should get with a good instructor. Even though you’re flying yourself, your instructor can be by your side to help you should an issue arise.

You’re also going to want to make sure that you have the right safety gear. The gear that you wear isn’t just to make you look cool, or in the eyes of some – ridiculous. It is meant to keep you safe and paragliding is only safe when you wear the right gear.


Paragliding can be unsafe if:

So, it looks like paragliding is pretty safe, doesn’t it? No problem right? Wear your safety gear, don’t fly in storms and you’ll be safe and have fun – or will you? Not so fast. There are some times that paragliding can be really unsafe, so you need to be aware of what these situations are before you assume that everything you do while paragliding will be safe.

For instance, you know you have to wear your safety gear, but do you even really know what gear you need to have? And, what about those lessons that you were planning to take? If you don’t get the right education and know what you’re going to need to be wearing and using to keep you safe, then paragliding quickly goes from safe and fun to unsafe and scary.

Paragliding can also become unsafe if you try to go on a flight that is way out of your league. In other words, if you’re still new at the sport it’s probably not a good idea to head out on your own and go fly in weather conditions you’re not ready for. These things take time: you have to learn about the way the air flows and how you steer your paraglider. When you’re new to the sport, it can be a little confusing. It’s much like learning to ride a bike or drive – it simply takes practice that you need to devote before you start heading out on your own.

Remember, when you’re starting any potentially dangerous sport, the right attitude and education can go a long way toward keeping you safe. Professional extreme sports athletes don’t get there by taking unnecessary risks before they are ready. You have to start slowly to stay safe and a great instructor can help you to get the education and experience you need to have a great time with paragliding. The best first step if you want to get started is to take an introduction day.

What exactly is Paragliding?

Before you actually decide to give paragliding a try, you need to know more about what this sport is how you do it and what it’s all about.  When done properly and with the right training, this sport is not only a pure rush, but it’s very safe too.

So, what is it?  When you were a child and would fly a kite, did you ever dream of what it must have been like to be attached to that kite?  That’s kind of what paragliding is.  You get started much the same way as a kite does – by walking or running into the wind.  When you understand the wind currents and how they work, you’ll soon find that your loose fabric becomes a canopy that will lift you into the air.

The secret is flying with the air currents.  You’ll know them as thermals and you’ll learn how to use them.  Before you fly on your own, you will want to go through a thorough introduction day.  This will help you to learn everything you need to know to help you with start flying on your own.

You’ll learn what you need to know and your first flight will be little, but if you don’t get the education you could be risking injury and be putting yourself in unnecessary danger.

The paragliding equipment

So, if you don’t have an engine, what does the equipment consist of?  A chair style harness for starters.  You can lean back, sit comfortably and enjoy the ride.  There are also a right and left brake line, which – when combined with the right amount of weight shift – helps you to steer and will provide all the control you need for a comfortable and safe flight.

The aerofoil is what keeps you afloat.  It’s also referred to as a wing, glider, canopy and it’s most commonly called a paraglider.  This is what helps to lift you into the air.  This material has been designed to capture the air currents and can allow you to soar higher and higher.  It’s soft and flexible, which means greater control for the flyer.  Because it is so flexible, the paraglider is easy to store in your back pack and travel with it.

When you’re starting out, buying your own equipment might not be an option, but most professional schools provide the equipment to get started.

What you should know about paragliding

There is a lot that you need to know about this sport before you decide that you want to try it.  For instance, it’s essential that you find an excellent instructor.  Never attempt paragliding on your own if you haven’t done it before.  You will need to be properly trained before taking off for a solo flight and then you should make sure that you’re flying with someone until you’re familiar with the process.

You should also make sure that you choose to paraglide with an individual or company that has a good, solid safety reputation.  As with all extreme sports, paragliding can be dangerous when the proper safety gear is not used.  You can ensure that you have a great experience by choosing the right individual or company to get you started.

The Many Reasons to Consider Paragliding – And What You Should Know

If you’re considering taking up paragliding, you probably already know what it is. You know that you’re not going to be towed behind a boat or have a motor attached to your butt so you can fly. You might have seen it done or maybe you were lucky enough to enjoy a tandem flight somewhere. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. This is what it feels like to be attached to your kite. There is an amazing freedom, silence and feeling of peace with this sport that you might not be able to experience with any other type of activity.

There are many benefits to paragliding, but if you’re still not convinced then you should know why this sport can change your life – or at least make it more exciting:

Safer than other sports

Yes, you will be in the air and you will have to learn about thermals and how to use them to soar higher and higher, but when you land it’s a gentle glide where you decrease height little by little so you float to the ground rather than plunge. This, combined with what you’ll learn about the sport and controlling the paraglider, helps to make this one of the safer extreme sports out there.

Of course, any sport is only as safe as you make it and nothing can keep you safe like maintaining a respect of the sport and the necessary steps to stay safe. Once you’re up in the air, it’s up to you – so it’s essential that you have a great attitude and respect for what you are actually doing.

Environmentally Friendly

Paragliding is kind to the environment. You don’t use fuel and aren’t changing the landscape in any way, which means that you’re seeing what it’s like to be a bird – without having to use an engine or anything that might disrupt the peace.

What you need to know

There are many different reasons to consider paragliding, but you should also know that to embark on this or any kind of extreme sport without the proper training and safety gear can be very dangerous. Before you decide that you’re going to try paragliding, it is essential that you have the proper training.

There are professional paragliding companies that feature top of the line instructors to help you to learn everything you need to know about this new experience. You’ll learn about the thermals (air currents), how they work and how you can use them. You’ll also learn how to steer your paraglider and what equipment you need to get started.

You can get started finding great instructors and paragliding schools by checking out the USHPAwebsite for an instructor near you, or we at LetsGoParagliding would be happy to help you find a highly rated instructor or school in your area.

If you’re looking for a fun, exciting way to shake your world up a little bit then paragliding might be just what you need.