Paragliding is unlike any other form of aviation. Imagine this, you wake up on a beautiful sunny day in the South Island of New Zealand, grab a coffee and throw your 10kg pack in the car. You drive for 30 minutes to your flying site, pull out your glider and set up in 5 minutes, take-off and fly 100km using nature's energy over the mountain tops.
You land in the evening as the thermal lift dissipates and you pack your gear. You call a friend for a pickup and head home. What a great day!!!
Of course, it`s not all about big distances or major adventures, a great day can also be relaxing with a group of friends at a local soaring site, cruising around in the smooth airflow and landing on top of the site, back at the launch.
When you become a more advanced pilot you can rip up to the local aerobatic sites to throw down some acro moves (aerial aerobatics) with your friends over the lake and land on the beach. Whatever floats your boat it’s a great sport!!
Of course, all this talk about flying great distances, thermal lift, soaring and acro moves may all be a new language to you. Paragliders can soar like birds along inland and coastal hills and cliffs riding the upslope winds, sea breeze or onshore winds but they can also ride warm currents of air called `thermals` up to the clouds just like a bird of prey circling in the sky. Enhancing this power from nature is one of the major skills in paragliding. In the hands of a well-trained and skilled pilot you can ride these currents and by linking a series of thermal climbs and glides, cross country (XC) flights are possible using just the power of the sun and wind.
There are many websites dedicated to the history and development of paragliding, click on this link for more information, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paragliding or go to the links page. Check out the diagram below for a general idea of how the gliders structure works and if you really need more info perhaps it’s time to give us a call!!