Paragliding is one of the simplest ways to fly. After a short briefing, you strap into a harness with your instructor, and run forward off a hillside and into the air. To stay aloft, we use wind that is forced upwards by the shape of the hill, as well as bubbles of rising warm air called thermals. Sometimes we have a gentle flight around a hundred feet above the ground, other days we can use powerful thermals to reach the clouds.
Since 16th March we have postponed flying due to the Coronavirus. The easing of restrictions on 13th May was not enough for tandem paragliding, since we have to be less than 2 metres away from our passengers. We will be up and running again as soon as the official advice changes. Wishing you all good health!
Do I need to be fit?
You don’t need to be an athlete, but a moderate level of fitness is helpful. You need to weigh between 42kg and 110kg (7 to 17 stone). You should be capable of running for 30 seconds, and be able to balance and jump. If in doubt, call us for advice.
What is the minimum age?
There is no legal minimum age for tandem paragliding, but the passenger needs to be able to follow simple instructions, and give their consent to take part in a risky sport. For this reason, we put an age limit of nine years old.
Is this dangerous?
Paragliding is a high risk sport – insurers tend to put it in the same category as off-piste skiing or white water rafting. We do everything reasonably possible to reduce the risk: we are trained and inspected by our national association (the BHPA), our equipment is carefully inspected, and we have many years of experience. But we cannot reduce the risk to zero – so you should only take part if the joy of flight is worth the risk for you.
When can I fly?
It all depends on the weather: we need no rain, and light wind from the right direction. The forecast gives us a good idea a few days in advance, and the evening before we can be 90% sure.
What should I wear?
Grippy shoes, ideally with ankle support. A wind proof jacket and long trousers. The temperature at altitude is a bit cooler, so wear an extra layer. In winter you’ll need gloves and a scarf.
Adventure in the Auvergne
Adventure in the Auvergne with a wee snag. by Dave Harvey, Instructor at Albatross Paragliding The third day of the Albatross Paragliding mountain flying trip was promising great things: a light northeast wind at altitude, a good lapse rate, and we were venturing into the big mountains – a grassy ridge highly recommended by the […]
Join our mountain paragliding trip, 12 to 19 Sep 2020
We’re organising a mountain paragliding trip for qualified pilots (CP or above) from the 12th to 19th Sep 2020. The cost will be £390 plus travel. This cost includes accommodation, food, guiding, and up to one XC retrieve and the end of each day. Come and join us to progress your mountain thermal flying! More […]
What would paragliding be like if it was done by 5 year olds? I am perpetually amazed by my young children’s creativity when they play. And they’re learning so fast – recently I’ve begun to think there’s a link between these two, and we paraglider pilots might do well to follow their example. […]