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Paragliding in Southern California: Schools, Training, and Equipment Guide

I. Introduction

  • Definition of paragliding

  • Benefits and excitement of paragliding

II. Paragliding Flight Schools

  • The importance of choosing a reputable paragliding school

  • Overview of paragliding schools and courses in Southern California

  • Tips for selecting the best paragliding school for your needs

  • Best time of year to begin flight training

III. Paragliding Equipment and Brands

  • The critical role of paragliding equipment in safety and performance

  • Overview of essential gear for paragliding

  • Examples of popular paraglider brands and models

  • Recommendations for harnesses, helmets, reserve parachutes, and GPS devices

IV. Paragliding Safety

  • Understanding the risks of paragliding

  • The importance of proper training and certification

  • Ensuring equipment is in good condition and appropriate for weather and skill level

  • Checking weather conditions and forecasts before flying

V. Frequently Asked Questions in Paragliding

  • Cost of paragliding school in San Bernardino, California

  • Duration and factors that affect learning paragliding

  • Advantages of online lessons for paragliding training

  • Cost of paragliding tandem flights in San Bernardino, California

  • Paragliding vs Skydiving

  • Risks involved with Paragliding

  • Whether a pilot license is required for paragliding

  • Maximum/Minimum weight for paragliding

  • Experience required to go Paragliding

  • Feeling of Paragliding

  • Paragliding vs Driving a Car

  • What is a collapse?


What Do You Need to Know About Paragliding?

Paragliding is a thrilling sport that involves flying a lightweight, free-flying glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. It's an exhilarating way to experience the freedom of flight while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. In this article, we will discuss paragliding schools, training courses, and classes available in San Bernardino, California. This is the best flying site for anyone in the Southern California region because of it's great weather and unique terrain features. It's well worth the drive to begin your training at this world-class flying site.

We'll also cover some top paragliding equipment and brands, as well as answer a few questions regarding paragliding safety. Additionally, we will answer some frequently asked questions about paragliding, such as the cost and length of time it takes to learn, the minimum weight for paragliding, and whether a pilot license is required. So, let's dive in and explore the exciting world of paragliding!

Paragliding Flight Schools Near Me: The Best Options for You!

San Bernardino, California is an excellent location for paragliding enthusiasts, as it is home to several reputable paragliding schools and courses.

About the Author:

My name is Jordan and I run Fly With Jordan Paragliding Lessons and Tandems, so I know a few things about quality instruction. I've done several thousand tandem flights and have seen the best and the worst of paragliding instruction. My commitment is to set a new standard for people like you who are entering this amazing sport so that we can maintain an excellent safety record and continue this activity at these world-famous flying sites long into the future. The school you choose to begin your journey matters a lot.

It's always a good idea to research and compare different schools before choosing one to be sure that you find the best fit for your needs and preferences. Most schools offer a wide range of paragliding classes, courses, and equipment rentals but some are have higher caliber training programs and online material for students to explore at their convenience.

Some schools to consider:

A few other options that I would recommend for you to check out are Torrey Pines Gliderport in San Diego and the flight training options at Soboba located in San Jacinto. I've worked at these sites in the past and can say that under the right instruction, they make great places to learn how to Paraglide as well.

When looking into potential training programs, be sure to ask about the school's safety record and read through customer reviews to ensure that you're getting the safest, high-quality experience available in your area.

Best time of year to start training

The winter is a great time to start learning to fly because on good days, there is less turbulence in the middle of the day. However, these good days may not be every day of the week.

In Spring time the season is starting to turn on. There is good lift but not yet daily flying opportunities.

In Summertime there is daily flying which is great for learning progression but this area can often be quite hot and the air is usually bumpy in the middle of the day. Most pilots will wait until the late afternoon and fly until sunset.

In Fall, the temps are cooling down and the flying is great but sometimes we see the North winds which do not work well for this region of Southern California.

Paragliding Equipment and Brands

BGD and Gin are Great Brands Leading the Industry

Paragliding equipment is an essential part of the sport, and having the right gear is crucial to your safety and performance. The most critical piece of equipment is the paraglider, which comes in various sizes and shapes. Some popular brands in the paragliding industry include Bruce Goldsmith Design (BGD), Gin, and Advance. The BGD Echo2, BGD Epic2, and BGD Magic are just a few examples of high-quality paragliders produced by BGD. In addition to the paraglider, a good harness is also essential. The Gin Verso3 harness and Gingo Airlite4 harness are both popular choices among paragliding enthusiasts. Other important gear includes a helmet, reserve parachute, and GPS device.

Paragliding Safety

Paragliding can be a risky sport, and it's essential to prioritize safety at all times. The most critical aspect of paragliding safety is proper training. It's crucial to take a certified paragliding training course before attempting to fly solo. Additionally, always make sure that your equipment is in good condition and that you are using the correct gear for your skill level and the current weather conditions. Paragliding in unfavorable weather conditions can be dangerous, so it's essential to check the forecast before heading out.

Paraglider training in San Bernardino
Learning to Kite a Paraglider

Frequently Asked Questions in Paragliding

How much does it cost to go to paragliding school?

The cost of paragliding school can vary depending on the location, course duration, and the level of instruction offered. In San Bernardino, California, the cost of a full paragliding training course can range from $2,500 to $3,500. This cost typically includes the use of paragliding equipment, such as the glider, harness, helmet, and reserve parachute, for the first few flights of your training period.

Some schools may also offer package deals that include unlimited lessons and equipment discounts. It's important to do some research on the different paragliding schools and courses available in your area to find the one with an excellent safety record and that best fits your budget and needs. Unlimited Lessons ensure that you receive all of the coaching you require and eliminates the ongoing fees to go from P1 to P4 rating.

How long does it take to learn paragliding?

Learning paragliding can vary depending on individual progress, dedication, seasonal weather, and the course curriculum. However, a typical paragliding course usually gets your flying from the training hill in just a couple of days. The duration can will be affected by factors such as weather conditions, student skill level, and the your dedication to follow through with the training process. One of the biggest variables is the ability of the student to attend consecutive training sessions and build momentum. It's important to note that learning paragliding requires not just the classroom lessons, but also the practical experience of flying and handling a paraglider in different conditions.

Online Lessons are a convenient and efficient way of improving a students learning curve. The best paragliding schools use this resource at every opportunity and it's a benchmark of a highly organize flight training program.

How much does a paragliding tandem cost?

The cost of a paragliding tandem can vary depending on the location and the duration of the flight. In San Bernardino, California, the cost of a paragliding tandem flight typically ranges from $150 to $250. The cost usually includes the use of the paragliding equipment, such as the glider, harness, helmet, and reserve parachute, as well as the guidance of a certified instructor. Some companies may also offer additional packages that include video or photo footage of your flight or transportation to the launch site.

It's important to note that the cost can also be affected by the season and the time of day, with peak times during the summer months and weekends. It's recommended to do some research on the different paragliding companies and compare prices to find the one that best fits your budget and needs.

Is paragliding hard to learn?

Learning to paraglide can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Like any new skill, it takes time, effort, and practice to become proficient at paragliding. However, with the right instruction and dedication, it is definitely possible to become a skilled paraglider pilot in just a few weeks. The difficulty level of learning paragliding can vary depending on the individual's natural ability, physical fitness, and level of determination.

One of the most important factors in learning paragliding is finding a reputable paragliding school or instructor who can provide proper training and guidance. A good paragliding school will offer a comprehensive online training program that covers everything from the basic principles of flight to advanced techniques and safety procedures.

While paragliding may seem daunting at first, with practice and experience, it can become an enjoyable and thrilling activity. With the right mindset, anyone can learn to paraglide and experience the freedom and excitement of flying like a bird.

Is paragliding harder than skydiving?

Comparing paragliding and skydiving is difficult as they are two different activities with different skill sets and challenges.

Skydiving involves jumping out of an airplane at a high altitude and freefalling for a period of time before deploying a parachute to land safely on the ground. It requires a lot of nerve, as well as the ability to handle the intense adrenaline rush that comes with falling from great heights.

Paragliding, on the other hand, involves launching off a hill or mountain with a fabric wing and gliding through the air using thermals and wind currents. It requires a certain level of physical fitness, as well as the ability to understand and work with the wind and weather conditions to stay airborne.

Both activities have their own unique challenges and risks, but paragliding is generally considered to be less extreme and more accessible to the average person than skydiving. While skydiving may be more intense and require less training, paragliding can provide a greater sense of freedom and the opportunity to explore the beauty of the natural world from a unique perspective. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and the individual's willingness to take on the challenges of each activity.

Is paragliding high risk?

Paragliding, like any adventure sport, does come with some inherent risks. However, with proper training, equipment, and adherence to safety guidelines, the risks can be significantly reduced. It is important to choose a reputable paragliding school and instructor, and to always fly within your own limits and skill level. By following the rules and taking all necessary precautions, paragliding can be a safe and enjoyable activity.

Do you need a pilot license to fly a paraglider?

In the United States, you do not need a pilot's license to fly a paraglider. However, you will need to receive proper training from a certified instructor before you can fly solo. The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) is the governing body for paragliding in the United States, and they provide training and certification for paragliding instructors and pilots. It is important to receive proper training and certification in order to fly safely and legally.

Only USHPA Certified Instructors may issue Paragliding ratings P1 through P4 and these rating are required to fly at popular flying sites like Andy Jackson Airpark, Marshall, and Crestline.

How heavy is too heavy for paragliding?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the weight limit for paragliding can vary depending on a number of factors including the equipment being used, wind conditions, and the skill level of the pilot. However, as a general rule, most paragliding equipment has a weight limit of around 120-130 kg (265-285 lbs). It is important

to consult with a certified instructor and follow the manufacturer's recommendations for weight limits when paragliding. Additionally, pilots who are near or above the weight limit may need to adjust their equipment accordingly.

What is the minimum weight for paragliding?

There is no strict minimum weight requirement for paragliding, as the glider can be flown by pilots of a wide range of body types and sizes. However, it is important for pilots to be able to comfortably carry and control the weight of their equipment, which typically includes a harness, a paraglider wing, and other necessary gear. Additionally, pilots who are very lightweight may need to adjust their equipment type to account for their lower weight and potentially more limited control over larger gliders. Ultimately, it is important for pilots of all sizes to receive proper training and instruction before attempting to fly a paraglider and a certified instructor can help point you in the right direction when it comes to flying equipment.

Can you paraglide without experience?

While it is possible to go for a tandem paragliding flight with a certified instructor without any prior experience, it is not recommended to attempt solo paragliding without proper training and certification. Paragliding involves a degree of risk that must be managed properly, and pilots need to have a thorough understanding of the equipment, weather conditions, and other important factors in order to fly safely.

Additionally, many countries have strict regulations and licensing requirements for paragliding, and attempting to fly without proper certification can result in legal consequences as well as serious injury or even death. If you are interested

in paragliding, it is important to seek out a reputable paragliding school or instructor and receive proper training before attempting to fly on your own.

Does paragliding feel like falling?

paragliding compared to skydiving
Flying is a Floating Sensation

Paragliding does not feel like falling. In fact, it can feel quite the opposite, as if you are floating on air. Paragliding involves taking off from a launch point, such as a hill or mountain, and using the natural currents of air to stay aloft. It is not a free fall like skydiving or base jumping. Instead, paragliding is more like soaring, as you use thermals and other air currents to gain altitude and stay in the air. The feeling of flying is often described as peaceful and serene, with the wind rushing past you and the scenery stretching out below.

Is paragliding safer than driving?

It's difficult to compare the safety of paragliding and driving, as they are two very different activities that present different risks. According to statistics, driving is generally considered more dangerous than paragliding. However, paragliding does involve certain risks and requires proper training, equipment, and weather conditions to ensure safety. As with any adventure sport, it is important to take necessary precautions and follow safety guidelines to minimize risks.

Why do paragliders collapse?

Paragliders can collapse due to a variety of reasons, including turbulence, pilot error, and equipment failure. Turbulence can cause the wing to collapse or become unstable, particularly in conditions such as strong winds or thermals. Pilot error, such as sudden or incorrect weight shifting, can also lead to a collapse. Equipment failure can occur due to a variety of factors, such as worn or damaged lines, fabric, or hardware. It's important for paragliders to have regular equipment inspections and to pay close attention to weather conditions and their own technique to minimize the risk of a collapse. In the event of a collapse, proper training and quick, decisive action can help a pilot recover and regain control of their wing.

If you exercise good judgement and are well educated about this activity then you will never deal with a collapse situation. Collapses happen when pilots push the edges of appropriate flying conditions and mavuevers.

What We Learned About this Amazing Sport

In this article, we have discussed various aspects of paragliding, including the cost of paragliding school, the duration of training, the cost of a tandem flight, the difficulty level of learning paragliding, and the safety concerns related to this sport.

Additionally, we mentioned the popular brands of paragliding equipment, such as BGD Echo2, BGD Epic2, BDG Magic, Gin Verso3 harness, and Gingo Airlite4.

Paragliding can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience, but it is important to learn from a reputable school with proper training and equipment. While there are risks involved, with the right training and safety precautions, paragliding can be a safe and enjoyable activity. If you are interested in trying paragliding, we encourage you to research and select a reliable paragliding school that can provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to enjoy this unique and thrilling sport.

You can come visit our site if you want to see what the best mountain site in North America has to offer it's students and pilots. I love showing dreamers what can become their reality in just a few lessons.

Most people have one area in their life where they do not compromise on quality and this should be one of them. Flight Training is serious business and with the right school, it can be safe and fun at the same time!

If you're in or close to Orange County, Corona, Los Angeles, Redlands, Ontario, San Bernardino, or Riverside and would like to visit us then we invite you to come check us out! Give a call or email and we will show you the site and training program ❤️


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