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New Years Resolution: Learn to Paraglide

New Year = New Me, and maybe the new you wants to learn how to Paraglide! Paragliding is an awe-inspiring adventure sport that allows you to experience the freedom of flight. In this guide, we’ll take you through the essential steps to get started with paragliding, ensuring a safe and exciting introduction to this incredible sport!

Find a Reputable Paragliding School

Before you can take to the skies, it’s crucial to receive proper training from a certified paragliding school. These schools provide comprehensive instruction on equipment, safety, meteorology, and flying techniques. Look for schools with experienced instructors and positive reviews from past students. You can find a list of all reputable schools in the US on the USHPA (United State Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association website) here.

Learn About the Gear

Paragliding involves more than just strapping yourself into a wing and jumping off a hill. You’ll need to understand the essential equipment:

  • Paraglider Wing

This is your primary tool for flight. It consists of a wing and lines. Select a beginner-friendly wing to start with. Do you need some tips for choosing your paraglider? Read our blog post about it here.

  • Harness

This is where you’ll be seated during your flight. Comfort and safety are crucial when choosing a harness. Read here for some tips on purchasing the proper harness.

  • Reserve Parachute

This is your last resort in case of an emergency. Make sure it’s in good condition and properly packed. Not sure how to properly pack your reserve parachute? Read about it here.

If you want to learn more about which gear is best for beginners, and how much it costs, check out our The Cost of Paragliding blog post!

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Understand the Weather

Weather conditions play a significant role in paragliding. You should learn to read weather forecasts, understand wind patterns, and recognize signs of changing weather. Avoid flying in turbulent or gusty conditions, especially as a beginner. We have a great book suggestion for understanding the weather. You can purchase it here.

Master Ground Handling

Ground handling is the art of controlling your paraglider on the ground. You’ll learn how to inflate, control, and maneuver the wing while on the ground. This skill is essential for a safe takeoff and landing. We suggest the Ozone Road Runner as a perfect tool to master ground handling. View all of our ground-handling products here.

Take Tandem Flights

Before you take your first solo flight, consider going on tandem flights with experienced pilots. This will give you a feel for what paragliding is like and allow you to observe and learn from a seasoned pilot.

Start with Short Flights on Training Hills

Your first few flights should be short flights from smaller hills to build your confidence and experience. Gradually progress to higher and more extended flights as you gain competence. Remember, a training hill is not only for learning at the beginner stage. Even professionals love to play with their wings on a good training hill. So keep practicing as much as possible your ground skills.

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Focus on Safety

Paragliding is an adventure sport, and like any other, it involves inherent risks. Prioritize safety by following the guidelines and safety procedures you’ve learned in your training. Regularly inspect your equipment and ensure it’s in good working order. Read more about paragliding safety here.

Join a Paragliding Community

Paragliding communities and clubs can provide invaluable support and guidance for beginners. Connect with fellow paragliders, attend events, and learn from experienced pilots. They can offer insights, recommendations, and even flying buddies.

Keep Learning

Paragliding is a continuous learning process. Even after you’ve completed your initial training, consider advancing to more advanced courses and certifications. Staying current with the latest techniques and technology will enhance your flying experience. (Ie. XC flight courses or Maneuver training)

Embrace the Adventure

Paragliding is not just a sport; it’s a lifestyle. Embrace the adventure, savor the thrill, and appreciate the beauty of the world from a unique perspective.

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Getting started with paragliding is an exciting and fulfilling journey. It offers a sense of freedom and adventure like no other sport. Just remember, safety should always be your top priority. By following proper training, staying informed, and maintaining a deep respect for the sport, you’ll soon be soaring high with the eagles, experiencing the world from a whole new vantage point.

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