Learning To Paraglide
“Torpedo, torpedo, torpedo!” No, I wasn’t under attack at sea I was reminding myself to lean forward, drive with my legs, and apply just slight pressure to the wing as I ran towards the edge of the hillside to complete a smooth take off on my first official free flight. Despite the nervousness you will encounter believe me when I say there is nothing more satisfying than your fist taste of flight when paragliding.
What a different sensation from paramotoring! While both types of flight are similar in terms of fundamental mechanics the gracefulness of the control inputs and silence of the air around you while paragliding can almost be surreal. This short sled ride, a term used by pilots for descent flights that happen from a hillside or mountain without any lift, was my ticket into more flying opportunities.
To learn how to paraglide you need to take lessons from a registered instructor as the US hang gliding and paragliding association governs most sites. This is to ensure pilots are not going to put themselves at a dangerous launch location above their skill level rating. Seeking qualified instruction will teach you more than how to launch and land but the more important aspects of inflight emergencies and micrometeorology.
This information shared by a competent instructor can drastically reduce the learning curve you will be going through as a new pilot.
Believe it or not flying is rather easy, if you can get the wing overhead you can launch a paraglider. With that said, there have been many injuries and fatalities by people buying used equipment and trying to start the sport on their own.
Other causes of injury are when a pilot’s attitude outgrows their aptitude and they choose to fly in conditions that may not be safe or are out of their ability.
Be smart, take your time getting up to speed. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.