Monday, October 22, 2012

Learning to Paraglide - Day 1

As I mentioned in my introductory post to the blog, I paid for my intro paragliding day some time ok and then didn't bother to get on with it, so with my new found enthusiasm I checked their weather forecast and booked in a day.

When the morning came the weather looked foggy but as I drove to over the border and on into the welsh valleys it started to clear. I met the instructor Steve from Axis Paragliding and his assistant Ellis in Merthyr Tydfil's Asda carpark and then we headed up to the top of a gentle nursery slope (above)

Day 1 consists of : Learning how to fall and roll in-case you ever have a heavy landing, an intro to the equipment and how to check it over, pre-flight checks, an intro to the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, some theory of weather and suitable flying sites. Hopefully once a bit of this has sunk in you are onto the actual paragliding action!

This latter part of the day begins with trying to run on the flat with the paraglider being inflated and rising above you in a kind of mock launch. Progressing to doing this on a downhill slope where you might get the odd 'hop' off the ground. To where with a hopeful head-on breeze and some serious running effort you should experience your first actual first flight! See the video below to see how it went!

The day costs £150 and overall I can't recommend this experience enough, it's an incredible sensation when you feel the paraglider first take your weight and you actually start to 'fly'. I think I'm going to get hooked on this new sport and am trying to book my second day already, I just can't wait to soar! To become trained up so you can fly on your own takes about 8 days. If anyone wants to come with me from the Worcester area to give it ago you are welcome to a lift.