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Fly on Your Own - Introduction to Paragliding Course

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

Are you interested in learning how to paraglide? Introduction to Paragliding is a fun and informative 2-day course where you'll learn the basics. This includes learning about equipment, a tandem flight with an instructor, as well as flying on your own!


In this blog post, we'll talk more about the course and what it involves. Read on to discover what paragliding is about and if it's the sport for you.

Paragliding lesson on the dunes
Paragliding lesson on the dunes

Day 1 - Introduction to paragliding


The training will start on a grass field in Cape Town, either along the Sea Point Promenade or at the Glen Sports Field in Camps Bay. First, we'll look at the equipment we use in paragliding, which includes harnesses, reserve parachutes, a helmet and the paraglider.


Equipment


We'll take a look at the different parts of the paragliding harness and their purpose, the reserve parachutes and why we have them, and other accessories. After that, we'll examine the wing and point out the different parts of the paraglider, while explaining the line setup and the risers that connect to the harness.


Kiting and launching - Ground Training


Once you are familiar with the equipment, we'll start using it by getting into the harness and connecting the paraglider to it. We'll then spend about 2 hours "kiting". We call this ground training and it is the first step in learning to fly on your own. We use two types of take-off methods. These are forward launching and reverse launching. In the first part of the ground training lesson, we'll learn how to forward launch and control the paraglider above our heads like a kite.


Once you've mastered the forward launch, you'll then learn how to do a reverse take-off. The difference with a reverse take-off is that you face the paraglider and will see it inflate in front of you. Once the glider is inflated and above your head, you'll turn around and run forward as you would during a forward launch.


Tandem flight


After about 3 to 4 hours on the grass field, we'll drive up to Signal Hill to do a tandem paragliding flight. Before the flight, you'll learn more about take-offs and how to set up the paraglider. We'll then touch on pre-flight safety checks and then it's time to fly! You'll be asked to start with a walk while your instructor brings the paraglider up above your head. Once it's up, we'll let the glider pick up some speed by running as fast as we can down along the take-off area. As your feet leave the ground we'll start our flight!


We'll fly a bit along the mountain and then out high over the city. During the flight, your instructor will explain to you what is happening and the decisions they are making. You'll then take over control with the steering brakes in your hand and fly until we reach the landing area. For the first landing, your instructor will take over the brakes and land you safely on the grass field at the Sea Point Promenade.


The first day of training is fun and interesting, and it will prepare you for doing your first solo flights on the second day of the Introduction to Paragliding course.


Sunset tandem paraglide Cape Town
Tandem Paragliding during from Signal Hill over Sea Point


Day 2 - First solo flights


On the second day of the course, we'll go to a paragliding site close to Cape Town. In the morning, you will be picked up by your instructor and driven to the site. The site will depend on the wind but it will be one of the following: Langebaan dunes, Betty's Bay sand dunes, Hermanus, Du Toit's Kloof or one of the sites in the Porterville valley.


On arrival at the site, we'll start with a first flight briefing. Your instructor will explain how the day will run and what to expect from your first flight. After that, we'll prepare the gear and get you ready to fly. We'll fly as much as possible on this day and you'll have many opportunities to experience flight on your own. If the conditions allow, your instructor might take you for another tandem flight to further your skills. You can expect to do between three and seven flights on your own, but this will depend on the wind and on your own skills and fitness levels.


Once we've completed our day of flying, you'll be transferred back to where we picked you up in Cape Town.


Paragliding course student training flight at Hermanus
Paragliding Training flight at Hermanus

Book a paragliding course with Sky Safari


This is a fun course with the aim to prepare you for a full basic paragliding license. If you decide to do the full course, the introduction course fee will be deducted from the full course fee and the flights done will be logged and count towards the 35 flights needed for the full license.


To book the Introduction to Paragliding course you can either send us an email on fly[at]skysafari.co.za or book online. Once the booking has been made we will contact you to ask about your availability and make arrangements, depending on when the wind allows us to start the training. We look forward to hearing from you and teaching you how to fly!

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