HOW DOES FLIGHT TRAINING GO?
The BEST Learning Curve
Are you interested in becoming a student?
Check out our FAQs here!
Most want to know how long it will take them to progress through training and become a pilot, but there is no short answer to this question.
Are you in the student-mindset?
If you're truly ready to learn something new then the assimilation of new information will come sooner.
Be the student, ready to grow into new territory for your journey ahead. To understand the gear, conditions, and yourself!
In this capacity it matters less how long your training takes, but, more importantly, how deeply you understand these critical topics!
The ability to attend multiple training sessions in a short amount of time goes an incredibly long way!
Just like a dance, language, or musical instrument, proficiency in Kiting comes from repetition. If we can immerse ourselves in this new activity then we retain the lessons of the prior sessions and build muscle memory quickly.
Long gaps in training usually require that the student re-learn much of what was already covered in previous lessons. This is definitely not as good for a proper learning curve.
It's recommended that you dedicate at least one day every two weeks to this activity. More is certainly better!
Don't worry. Everyone has real-life to deal with so if you can't make it to training then you can practice at a local park or beach to stay proficient...
IF you have your own equipment that is!
This is why it's important to get gear early so that you have this option to supplement your formal training sessions.
What are the Variables?
Your learning curve depends on a few things.
Most are in your control!
HOW OFTEN CAN YOU ATTEND TRAINING?
More is better! If you only come occasionally then training will take longer. The beginning is the most important part so be sure to dedicate the most energy towards this phase.
HOW QUICKLY DO YOU LEARN NEW PHYSICAL ACTIVITES?
Some find it easier than others. The reality is that most of the time it is the younger, physically fit individuals who will learn kiting sooner. But that's no problem for less fit, older students because we have Unlimited Lessons!
HOW SOON WILL YOU PURCHASE YOUR OWN GEAR?
Get your own gear as soon as possible so that you will have the option to practice what you've learned in training at your local parks or beaches.
The school has gear for your first 10 flights! Some gear will take longer to ship so order asap to avoid delays.
HOW WELL DO YOU FOLLOW INSTRUCTION?
This is the major determinant! If you could remember everything you're told the first time and execute instructions perfectly, then you would be a Pilot in just 2 days.
But no one can actually do that so the real question is, "how many times do you have to hear/see the same thing before you can repeat the action or task perfectly?"
I don't know the answer to that question, but we'll find out together!
HOW MUCH WILL YOU ADD TO THE TRAINING PROGRAM?
The school has additional reading material, Online Classes, and field Training Sessions to compliment the Flight Training Program. But how much MORE will you be investing with your time, attention, and energy.
Some will dive into the material and soak up as much as they can from the available resources while others prefer to be told everything as it's happening. Unless your memory is perfect then it's generally a faster training progression for the student who is reading and studying the reference materials.
HOW FAVORABLE IS THE WEATHER FOR YOUR TRAINING?
Here's the one you don't have control over, but maintaining a flexible schedule is our best bet. Our site has over 300 flyable days a year, the best in North America!
New students are often surprised that they can't just fly whenever they have the day off. We need proper weather first!
Summertime offers daily flying options and winter is still great flying but fewer of these days per month. If it looks like a good flying day is coming up, drop everything else and
Here's the short answer.
If you're REALLY hustling, as if you were at Boot Camp, you can knock out your first ten flights from the training hill on the first day. That is your P1 requirement but you must also pass the written test to get the P1 rating.
Then, you need 25 more flights to get to the P2 rating. These flights take more time since they are from higher launch sites. It's a matter of logistics since you must fold your glider and get a ride up between flights. Expect to get between 1-3 of these flights per visit depending on your motivation and the weather. You still need to pass the P2 exam which is considered to be the most difficult rating test. You get prepped for these exams by attending our Online Classes each week. There is a Student Video Archive accessible once you complete your first tuition payment.
Additionally, you must perform several tasks and have your skills evaluated along the way. One example is the ability to land within 25ft of a target 5 times. This is usually quite challenging and requires a few attempts.
You then need a P3 rating to get into any formal flying site. The minimum to get this rating is 90 flights. Even the most motivated of students will take more than a month's worth of session to achieve this rating. Among other things, students must be able to land within 10ft of a target and pass the P3 exam.
This is why we offer Unlimited Lesson so that instead of focusing on how quickly, the effort is to develop a skill-based progression so that you actually understand the concepts and can execute on any skill required for any particular situation. There's plenty of time to get airtime if you'll be flying for decades to come. Your training period is the time to focus on developing good habits and skills that will last a lifetime.
BEWARE OF SHORTCUTS
I’ve seen the best and the worst of instruction! Once you know what you’re looking at, you will see details that will inevitably lead to undesirable outcomes. Many instructors fly students off of the Training Hill in harnesses without ANY back protection. This means that if the student does something in error or if a thermal gust comes along, that the student will have a hard landing with virtually zero protection for their spine.
The worst injuries in Paragliding are broken backs. So why do qualified instructors who should know better do this?
Sadly, they are just trying to save a little bit of money in buying a cheaper harness. You’ll notice that some of these harnesses look really old too, like the instructor could care less about having quality gear for first time pilots. This is really no way to treat newcomers to the sport and unflightworthy equipment plus sloppy methods get people hurt!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. I witness some instructors actually pushing students off of the launch when they don’t yet have the skills to do it for themselves. They feel pressure to get the student flying when the student hasn’t progressed as quickly as the instructor thinks they should.
Do they really care about the wellbeing of their students or are they more concerned about their perceived reputation for having a quick training program?
In addition, some instructors don’t even use radios to help students through their first few flights. They choose instead to shout at them from several hundred feet away and then wonder why the student didn’t comply with commands. That’s just silly! The student is laying on the ground in a heap of gear wondering what went wrong while their instructor is yelling at them from a hilltop in front of everyone about what they should have done. Too little, too late.
Even a cheap $30 radio could have prevented all of those issues including the hard landings.
It’s our goal to create a new standard for Paragliding Flight Instruction! We have top quality equipment, well thought out teaching methods, and proper communication protocols. If you take an extra few days to master a skill or subject, that is totally okay. That’s why we have the Unlimited Lessons package.
We’re going to treat you like family because that’s the kind of relationship you would expect from anyone who says they care about your life, progress, and safety. Don’t be a victim of instructors who have learned to cut corners. You are worth so much more than that.