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.

Novice Program

The P2 program is valid for one calendar year, so that you can learn at your own pace. All flights are done with the latest equipment. You will be under radio supervision at all times when flying, and to make it safer and easier we’ll use the winch.

The P2 Program is designed to teach you the skills necessary to inflate, ground handle and control your glider, and eventually fly solo without direct instructor supervision (with certain limitations).

It’s a fun and safe path to progressively become an accomplished novice pilot.

The cost of the P2 program is $1695, and includes:

» 10 full days of instruction or until signed off as a Novice pilot (P2) – whichever comes first.
The students have one full calendar year to complete the 10 days
— Some students take less than 10 days to be signed off as a novice pilot.
— Some students who are really committed and have an easy schedule manage to finish their certification in a few weeks
— some students going trough the intensive program can finish their certification in a week (7 days in a row) if the weather cooperate.

» Use of all necessary equipment (glider, harness, helmet, and radios).

You need to bring:

» Hiking boots, light gloves, sunglasses, long pants, a long sleeved shirt, and water.

» Students that require additional beyond 10 days to become certified can purchase training sessions at a cost of $95/ half day.

» Please note that you will need to join the the Mt. Brace Flight Park at your expense as well as the USHPA..

You can learn more about becoming a pilot here:

The Evolution of Paragliding

Many people know what paragliding is, but it might take some time to get past the “cousins” of this sport that include hang gliding and parasailing before the sport of paragliding is really understood. Once a person understands that paragliding is much like being attached to a kite that they control, the concept is much easier to grasp. However, many people wonder how this sport in particular came to be.

It’s easy to imagine that someone that loved flying kites thought how fun it would be to be “attached” to the kite, but it’s much more likely that this sport was developed through a few different channels.
They say it has a French connection
It might be up for debate where paragliding started, but the bottom line is that this sport really started to “boom” in the French Alps during the 1980’s. Is this where it started? That’s not entirely clear, but it is known that this sport did become very popular in France at this time.

At any rate, it’s likely that many different athletes were developing their paragliding techniques at the same time. So the exact birth of this sport as we know it today might be a bit foggy.

Influences from all around the world
You probably know that paragliding takes its influences from all around the world. It’s a little like hang gliding, it’s a little like parachuting and you use similar principals when paragliding as you might if you were flying a kite. The desire for man to feel like a bird is undoubtedly behind the birth of paragliding, but it isn’t credited to just one or two people like hang gliding can be.

For instance, in 1958 when Gertrude and Francis Rogallo were working for NASA, they invented the Rogallo wing. This was developed for recovery. Rogallo is also known for innovative development of paragliders and hang gliders that were more rudimentary.

It is thought that the first paraglider as we know it today was invented by David Barish in 1965 while he was also working for NASA. At that time, he called his invention a “sail wing” and took his first flights in New York.

It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that three French parachutists named Andre Bohn, Gerard Bosson and Jean-Claude Betemps began running to launch their paragliders. In fact, the practice caught on and that’s why it is often said that France is the “birthplace” of paragliding as we know it today.

Paragliding the sport and the equipment that is used today has undoubtedly evolved. It’s become safer, easier and more fun to do. Paragliding has also become a science, with the study of thermals (or the air currents), and how a paraglider can use them.

If you’re interested in learning to paraglide, the first step is to find a good instructor or school and take the time to learn all you can about it. While paragliding is safer than many extreme sports, it’s important to learn all you can and get started with an experienced instructor so you can enjoy the sport at your pace.

Introduction Day

The introduction day is specially designed to provide you with the basic skills to enjoy kiting your glider, make your first few flights on the training hill, and help you get a good feel for the sport.

The introduction day costs $235 and includes:

» Use of all necessary equipment (glider, harness, helmet, and radios).

» Your U.S.H.P.A. 30 day membership.

You need to bring:

» Hiking boots, light gloves, sunglasses, long pants, a long sleeved shirt, and water.

» Please note that there is an additional $10 fee for the use of the facilities The Mt Brace Flight Park.

Tip: Because, on the introduction day, you will likely be making your first few flights on the training hill in warm weather, make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks.


Maneuvers Training

A great way to improve your flying skills and obtain a better understanding of your glider’s behavior is to participate in a maneuver clinic. You can discover basic and/or advanced maneuvers in a safe environment with an experienced maneuver clinic instructor. Fill out this form to make a reservation.

Tandem Lessons

Looking for someone experienced to accompany you on one or more of your flights? If so, tandems are for you!

An Instructional Tandem Flight is a very efficient way to learn to paraglide, or merely just experience the joys of paragliding while an experienced instructor handles the details of flying. You sit comfortably in your harness in front of the instructor, who flies the tandem glider. And, if you wish, and conditions permit, you can then learn to maneuver the glider under the instructor’s supervision.

Paragliding tandem flights  has helped tourists view the epic splendor of the Catskills mountain ranges, experiencing the cold and novelty in the atmosphere. The beautiful green forest and bright sunshine give you the invigorating sensation of flying like a bird, void of stress and anxiety.

Tandem flying involves a pilot flying with a passenger. Both have separate harnesses that are attached to each other and to the wing. They are built for comfort and safety, and they feel like an armchair in flight. Once launched the passenger just sits back, relaxes and takes in the epic scenery.

You can ask your pilot to do all the hard work for you and snap off a round of quality pictures & high definition movies with a GoPro camera. All our pilots use GoPro Hero4cameras and, if proper conditions apply,  a minimum of 30 photos and 1 movie  will be recorded so you can remember this amazing experience for a lifetime!

All of our pilots have over THOUSANDS of flight of experience who are licensed  instructors from USHPA.


Please do not forget to wear proper shoes and clothing that is appropriate for the sky!!

The cost of a tandem lesson is $165.