Some consider Paragliding an extreme sport that can open a whole new world of amazing experiences. A Paragliding flight can range from simply driving to the top of your favorite local hill top or trekking to a mountain top launch and gently gliding to the desired landing zone. The more adventurous can venture to alpine locations in Europe and Nepal for epic breathtaking flights in the mountains.
A Paraglider is an aircraft which is small enough to be stowed in an oversized backpack and light enough to carry on your shoulders. A complete rig weighs between 8kg(18lbs) to 16kg(36lbs). It's so portable you can take it almost anywhere. After completing a training course to gain your flight qualifications, you can launch your paraglider from anything from shallow slopes to steep hills. Just upack the wing, clip into your harness and helmet, inflate the wing overhead by letting the breeze into it, and then turn and with a few running steps, the earth drops away and the sky is yours.
Using steering toggles, you easily control the direction and speed of your aircraft. After some further training and gaining some experience, you can begin to use the upward movement of the air, (thermals or ridge lift), to stay aloft for hours. When it's time to come down, landing can be just as smooth and simple. Paragliding is enjoyed by all ages from 16(depending on local regulations) to 85 or more.
It is a sport enjoyed by ladies and men alike, with many women performing well in cross country competitions.
Although Paragliders somewhat resemble rectangular skydiving parachutes, (from which modern paragliding has evolved over 20 years ago), modern paragliders are now designed to keep you aloft for extended flights, soaring, climbing and sinking with the currents of the air. They are now shaped like a graceful curve, and the air pressure shapes a high tech airfoil section.
Many Paraglider pilots have completed cross country flights of hundreds of miles, all done without an engine. One could say it is one of the most environmentally friendly air sports around. All it takes is a healthy breakfast, a bottle of water and a healthy dose of adventurous spirit.
Paragliding is also arguably one of the most affordable forms of flight. Perfect for those who cant buy a plane, pay hangar fees, or don't live near an airport, but find themselves always looking to the skies.
Article By:Marco Veronesi
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