Frequently Asked Questions
What is paragliding?
is the simplest and most serene way of fulfilling your dream of free
flight. A paraglider is an inflatable fabric wing. It is easy to transport, easy
to launch, and easy to land. The pilot sits in a comfortable harness
suspended by Kevlar lines from the canopy and steers the glider with
two controls. With a paraglider, you can fly like a bird, soaring upwards
on currents of air. Paragliders often stay aloft for hours, climb to
cloud base, and may go cross-country.
What is the difference between paragliding and hang gliding?
The paraglider canopy shape is maintained only by air pressure and the pilot is suspended in a sitting position. A hang glider has a rigid frame maintaining the V-shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. A hang glider has a 'cleaner' aerodynamic profile and flies at higher speeds than a paraglider and therefore needs also more space to land. The paraglider gear folds up into a 15 Kg (30 lbs) backpack in about five minutes and can be easily transported. The hang glider, due to its weight and rigid frame, needs to be transported on a vehicle.
Is paragliding safe?
can make paragliding, like most adventure sports, as safe or as dangerous
as you want. Ways you can make it safe are to receive instruction from
a certified professional and use appropriate equipment. You must be
willing to learn gradually, use good judgement and have a mature attitude.
If you don’t, then you can get injured or killed; if you do, then
you can paraglide until you’re 90 years old.
Who can do paragliding?Paragliding is about finesse and serenity, not strength and adrenaline. Women often do better than men because they don’t try to muscle the paraglider around. However, you want to be in good physical condition as the learning process especially in a tropical climate requires quite a bit of stamina due to heat and dehydration. Besides good physical condition, being mentally alert is important. To be a successful paragliding student and pilot, you need to be able to think clearly and to listen well.
How long does it take to learn to paraglide?From your first steps of 'groundhandling' to altitude flights from the Malvern site it will take approx. 10 lessons. Whether you complete your training in consecutive days or weekends or spread it out over half a year is up to you, although the more concentrated your training, the better. If you have the means to learn abroad it will most likely take less time, but cost you much more.
How much does the paragliding gear cost?A new paragliding set (incl. wing, harness, helmet and reserve parachute) is available from US$3,500. I give my local students substantial discounts on equipment! After 300+ hours of exposure to sunlight, a wing may need to be replaced. Of course this varies with how you take care of your wing. Harnesses should last for decades with good care. Good second-hand equipment may be available for less, though it will have a shorter life-span.
How to get started?
It's best to make an appointment with Jurgs,
the instructor (cell 366.5265), to schedule a first introductory session.
This will give you a better feel for the mechanics and dynamics of the
sport. You are also most welcome to watch us flying on weekends from
one of our launch sites on Skyline Drive (above UTECH) or in Malvern,