Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Infinity Paragliding based?
Infinity Paragliding is based at the Flight-Park between Queenstown and Arrowtown and operate predominately at Coronet Peak skifield but also from many other sites within the area, including the Skyline Gondola in Queenstown and Treble Cone in Wanaka. Check out the `Contacts` page for definitive directions.
When is the best time to learn?
In the summer months from November to April. There are advantages starting at most times in the summer if you start in November then once you receive your license you will have the rest of the summer to develop the skills you have learnt. If you learn from December to February then you will get the best of the summer weather for your learning and if you start in March or April you will have the smoothest conditions for easy development and learning ready for the winter season flying and the following spring.
Do we operate every day?
Yes, we do what we say on the tin, we actually operate 7 days a week all season providing the weather conditions are suitable for paragliding and your ability level. We contact all the students the night before to advise them if we are operating the following day, It's then vital that if you are available for the following day that you contact us to confirm, so we can arrange all the equipment.
When do courses start and on which dates do I need to book?
Courses run from the 1st November to the 31st April. There are no set start dates at Infinity for courses, we are unique in that we operate around our students and are super flexible. We can start any course at any time, although we do try to start students together so they can learn from each other visually while under instruction. You can book a course whenever you feel ready.
How long does a course take?
Typically 10-14 full days. This question is dependent on many factors, primarily:
- How available you are, do you work full time, part time or are you on holiday?
- At what speed do you learn and how do you learn?
- Having the correct weather conditions.
How much time is spent training/flying per day?
As long as you are available, it is up to you, however usually between 7-9 hours per day. If you only have 2-5 hours, for instance, you just need to let us know before the day starts.
What age can I learn to paraglide?
Any age!! Legally you have to be 16 or over, or if you are under 16 you can still learn with parental consent and if the instructor deems you suitable. There is no upper age limit and the sport often attracts the veteran generation. Every club has its 70 something actively flying, maybe you could beat that!
Do I need my own equipment?
No. The school provides all the paragliding equipment you need, gliders, harnesses, helmets and radios are all supplied. However it's advised you wear sturdy ankle-supporting footwear which you will need to provide and some students prefer to wear their own personal helmets from other outdoor sports activities. This is fine as long as it is suitable for the activity of paragliding. Often the most important equipment is a hat, sunglasses, sun cream and water.
Do I need any transport?
No. The school provides free transport to and from the sites.
Do I need to be fit?
No. We are lucky to have many sites/launches that we can drive to, get out of the car and launch. All you have to do is land by our vehicle or later when you are on your own by the road or pre-arranged landing site. However, it does help to be moderately fit if you intend at a later date to achieve alpine ascents and fly downs, walks up your favourite peak to fly off, multi-day bivouac flights or anything away from your vehicle.
How much does the equipment weigh?
4kg to 20kg dependant on what type of equipment you are using. An average weight for a full bag of equipment would be around 12kg to 16kg or 26lb to 35lb.
What if I want to do extra flights after the course?
Yes, we encourage students to stay and keep flying with the school after they complete their course, this is always at a reduced rate. We always look after our friends.
How do you pay for the course?
We charge per flight and not per day that way you only pay for the flights you achieve and not for time on the ground, all other aspects of the course such as ground training and theory are free.
How experienced are Infinity Paragliding Instructors?
Infinity Paragliding instructors are primarily Alan Swann the NZHGPA Training Manager who oversees all paragliding training in NZ and Blake Round the Paragliding Safety Officer for the Southern Lakes region of NZ. They are two of the most experienced instructors in NZ with 22 years of paragliding experience between them.
Is it worth researching the school?
YES, do your research and ask pilots in your area what they think. We are confident that because we dedicate all out time and resources to teaching and we are proud of the students we produce; local pilots will recommend us, get opinions from them and become an informed purchaser.
Do the instructors have first aid skills?
Yes, it is a legal requirement that all instructors hold a basic first aid certificate. However, all Infinity Paragliding instructors hold the `Pre-Hospital Emergency Care` a more advanced qualification. It is rare for accidents to happen while learning to paraglide, but if a student unfortunately did, at least your instructors have the skills to care for the student effectively and safely.
Is the New Zealand qualification legal abroad?
Yes, when you gain your PG2 you also apply for an IPPI card; the International Pilot Proficiency Identification provides a standard reference by which all national rating programs may be compared. When you travel abroad this card, together with your NZHGPA rating card, gives flying site managers, instructors and others responsible for paragliding flight operations an easy way of verifying your pilot experience level prior to approval of flight activities and membership to their organisation. These cards are obtainable with your PG2 for a $20 fee.