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Experience the Thrill of Paragliding: A Beginner's Guide

What's the Best Way to Get Into Paragliding?

Are you ready to soar through the sky and feel the euphoria of flight? Paragliding is an exciting adventure sport that can help you gain a new perspective on life. In this guide, we'll show you how to get started in paragliding, from taking a tandem flight to purchasing the proper equipment and joining a certified flight school.


About the Author

paragliding in southern california

My name is Jordan and I'm an Advanced Paragliding Tandem Pilot certified through the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. I also run a flight school with several hundred students. I know a thing or two about what this region has to offer and after several thousand tandems without even one incident, I can assure you that this sport can be safe and an unforgettable experience when you choose the right instructor to fly with.


Take a Tandem Flight

If you're new to paragliding, taking a tandem flight is an excellent way to experience the thrill of flying without committing to becoming a pilot. During a tandem flight, you'll fly with a certified flight instructor who will guide you through the experience. You may even have the opportunity to take the controls and fly the glider yourself if the conditions are safe. Most tandem flights last from a few minutes to a few hours, providing a good taste of what it's like to fly a paraglider.


Of course you don't have to take a tandem flight first. In fact, most students don't! The majority know for a fact that they want to pursue this incredible opportunity no matter what so they simply begin their training as soon as possible. Whether you need a little more convincing or not, you always have the option to fly with an experience instructor before committing to any training.


Get Ready to Invest in Proper Gear and Training

students learning to paraglide

Proper gear and training are essential for your safety as a paraglider pilot. Quality flight lessons and trustworthy flight equipment are critical for your success as a beginner pilot. The cost of investing in new gear and proper training can be steep, with prices typically ranging from $5,000 to $7,000 but this is still less than the cost of a new dirt bike. As a new pilot, you should be getting new gear that is the safest available.


Cutting corners by purchasing used gear from strangers on the internet will likely put your safety at risk. It just isn't worth it. Investing in a new glider and harness can facilitate a much easier learning curve and provide increased safety. Don't skimp on the gear - it's ultimately your well-being and shouldn't be a compromise!


Don't buy any gear before you begin training! Only a certified instructor should be making this decision with you after evaluating your skills in learning to handle a wing and then speaking with you about your future goals in paragliding. Any reputable flight school will have equipment for students to begin their training so there is no rush to purchase flight gear now.


Join a Certified and Insured Flight School

In paragliding, good judgment and pilot attitude are critical to your success. Spending time with an experienced and responsive instructor is key to building confidence and making thoughtful decisions. A school with a great flight training program and thoughtful instruction will produce great pilots who make safe and thoughtful decisions. It really is self-evident. People who skimp on training are putting themselves at risk. It's easy to spot the pilot who is unsure, unpracticed, and under-educated. You don't want to be one of those nervous train wrecks on the launch.

using a paraglider on the ground

Proper training means proper coaching. The essential feedback loop is a process that can only be achieved through a coach or instructor. Evaluations and feedback from experienced pilots are critical to ensuring adequate and safe techniques, form, and practices. This is what makes you the best and safest pilot you can be.


Paragliding is an exciting and exhilarating sport that can give you a sense of freedom that is hard to find anywhere else. With a tandem flight, a certified and insured flight school, and proper gear, you can experience the thrill of flying through the air with ease. Remember, always prioritize your safety and invest in quality equipment and training. Happy flying!

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