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Kiting and Ground Handling
No one, not even the top paragliding pilots, started out gifted in this sport. It takes a lot of practice, cultivated knowledge, and really getting in tune with both the forward and reverse launching techniques. But before taking off, one element to paragliding that you should be confident in is your kiting and ground handling. Knowing how to navigate your paraglider, inflate your wings properly, and learning what to do in all kinds of situations is a fundamental key to having a safe flight.
If you are new to paragliding, or simply want to improve your performance, then here are some essential practicing tips that can really transform your paragliding understanding, control, and skill.
Understand Your Wing
First and foremost, you need to have a good understanding of your wings so you can improve your responses. You need to know how they will react in different wind conditions, how predictable (or not) they are, and how to accommodate their make-up so you can fly smoothly. Try finding an open field and experiment with your paragliding wings. Work on making your handling smooth to have smooth reactions, and don’t be afraid to move around to really get a feel for it.
Practice inflating Your Wing from The Ground
Since kitting your wing is much harder to do on the ground than while in the air, practicing in this scenario will drastically improve your flying abilities, motor skills, safety, and confidence. Practice inflating and keep the wing over your head as long as you can. You can also try doing tiny flights to start out with, such a little hill in an open field. In addition, work on collapsing your wing safely, so you can get a good grasp on how to land in strong winds.
Relax Your Body
The tips above are all catalysts for you feeling more relaxed about flying. After all, the more comfortable you get, the more at ease you will feel. But even with this reality, still be aware of your body and muscle tension while practicing. So, be conscious of your stiffness and muscle tension. Stiff muscles can block your ability to control and manage your paraglider, and it is vital to get rid of that so you can learn how to work in intense situations without tightening up. In general, relaxing will bring you much more enjoyment from the experience and make you a safer pilot overall.
If you are still not comfortable with practicing on your own, or the paraglider you have is not exactly beginner-friendly, consider investing in the Roadrunner. This is an extremely easy, forgiving, and valuable paraglider to optimize ground handling training. With this, you can work on perfecting your skills in both high and light wind conditions, and leverage the predictability so you can focus on enhancing your progression. Looking for another great paraglider for ground handling? Check out the BGD Seed!
Whether you decide to stick with your current paraglider or upgrade to a ground handling friendly one, follow the tips above to really nail down motor skills, and prioritize your safety. Even if you start to get frustrated or are struggling, stick with it. Over time the concept will click, and you will eventually become a person who has the perfect launch and control.