Q. What is paragliding?
A. Paragliding is the
closest humans can get to the feeling of flying like a bird. It is a fun, safe way to experience flight in its simplest form.
You simply lay out a wing on a hillside or mountain, inflate it over your head like a kite, run a few steps and before you
know it you've stepped off into the sky! Once in the air, a pilot is able to maintain and even gain altitude using lifting
air currents and thermals. Landing a paraglider is extremely easy. A pilot simply steers it into the landing area, and glides
down for a very gentle touch down back on to earth.
Q. Is Paragliding for me?
A. Just about anyone can learn to paraglide. Training classes are not very strenuous, and it doesn't take any
unusual strength or skill to learn to fly (the most physical part of training is walking up the hill for another flight!).
In fact it requires about the same effort as you need to learn driving or cycling. But the pleasure of flying is to be experienced
to be believed.
People of both sexes and all ages can take up
the sport. All you need is a good pair of high ankle boots, We'll supply the rest. You don't have to be super-fit but you
probably won't enjoy it if you are really unfit. There will be a fair amount of walking uphill and ground-handling calls for
some exertion especially in the early days.
Q. What exactly is a paraglider?
A. Paragliders are an advanced evolutionary aircraft that can go places and do things unlike any other
vehicle. The equipment is non - rigid fabric construction. High-performance fabrics coupled with a growing comprehension of
our micro-metrology have permitted the development of our incredible sport. The entire paragliding set (wing, harness, helmet)
up weighs less than twenty kilos and easily fits into a backpack.
Q. How does it fly?
A. Paraglider's are aircraft which fly by the same aerodynamic principles that keep Boeings in the sky. However,
unlike Boeings, paragliders are delightfully slow aircraft, with a very small speed range. You can inflate it in nil wind,
stabilize it overhead with a touch of the brakes, launch it at a steady trot, and yet it will also fly forward in quite a
strong breeze. It turns with a gentle pull on a single handle, or will fly straight, with a little more than an occasional
shift of your shoulders. It is far easier to handle a paraglider in the air than on the ground.
Q. Is there an age limit?
A. There is no age limit, but it's important to have the maturity to respect the hazards. Participant ages range
from students in their teens to seasoned pilots in their 70's. The bulk of the active pilots seem to be a little under 30
through a bit over 50.
Q. Paragliding - is it scary?
A. A question most people ask, and the
answer has to be "NO". Floating gently under your canopy you feel totally at ease, knowing that you have more or less complete
control over where you are going. It is a gentle adventure, once airborne the experience can be serene, quiet and peaceful.
There is an element of potential risk involved, but if you are prepared to learn paragliding properly, stick to the rules,
respect the elements and understand your own limitations the risk involved is very small indeed.