This post is also available in: Español
Have you ever dreamed about flying? Haven’t we all? Well, isn’t it crazy that we are actually able to do it in so many different ways nowadays? However, between flying in a plane, helicopter, hot air balloon or any other, we believe that one of the closest ways to feeling like flying, is actually paragliding.
This is why we want to let you know more of what it is, how it works, if it’s safe and why you should dare to do it. So that, if you decide to actually do it, you can experience what feeling like flying really feels like…
All of us can all fly
Contrary to what many would believe, paragliding is an activity that is suitable for everyone, from children and the elderly to people with functional diversity. If you have never flown a paraglider before and want to try it out, the easiest way is to do a tandem flight. However, as this sport requires a high level of technical knowledge and important practical training, the best option is to be accompanied by an expert pilot.
The tandem paraglider
The tandem paraglider is designed to carry the weight of two people, the pilot and the passenger, without the need for the passenger to have any prior knowledge. As mentioned before, there are no age or physical limitations and it is only necessary that the person has a minimum health condition (no heart diseases or scared of heights, for example). Minors must have a minimum weight and have the authorization of their parents.
During the tandem or two-seater flight, the pilot is in charge of the take-off. While the passenger’s only responsibility is, to be able to relax while sitting comfortably until he or she touches the ground again. Having to worry only about enjoying the experience and photographing the landscapes.
What to bring to the Tandem paragliding experience
Even if you decide to paraglide in the middle of summer, it can be very windy once in the air. Besides, being so close to the sun might get you burned, so here’s a list to what we think should not be missed when flying:
- Long pants
- Anorak or windbreak (depending on the time of year)
Is it safe to fly?
One of the most frequent doubts about whether to do this activity or not, is based on how safe it is. Although, as in everything, there are risks, it is very important to make sure that you are in the hands of professionals, as this generates a certain guarantee of your safety.
Better conditions for paragliding
In some cases, the weather conditions will determine the flying time and the right place to fly, as well as whether a smooth take-off will be possible. If you see that the day is not right and your pilot decides to cancel, you are most likely in good hands because a professional will not expose you to any kind of risks.
Another frequent fear is to jump into a void, like you most likely have seen in the movies. Well this does not happen in real life. When paragliding you typically go down a slope that with the strength of the paraglider behind you, will make you start flying without you even noticing.
Duration of paragliding flights
The “baptismal” or first flight, lasts between 15 and 75 minutes depending on the weather conditions and what the passenger prefers. Although they do not usually last more than half hour because it is possible to get dizzy for the first time, most of those who discover the magic of flying do it twice or look for other alternatives to learn to fly by themselves.
Where to do paragliding
There are a lot of places where you can do paragliding. In fact, if you’re currently on holidays in Spain, this might be the best time to try it out since the summer is still not over.
If you want to get an idea, you can take a look at the tandem paragliding experience in Ager, one of the best places in the world to practice this activity not only for the unforgettable experience, but for the views of the most characteristic landscapes of the area.
The gorge of Montrebei, gorge of Terradets, Canelles reservoir are only some of the places you will be able to see from the clouds.
Repeat and fly again
If vertigo doesn’t affect you during your tandem flight, you may want to take the experience a little further and become a pilot. To do so, you will have to sign up for a course with qualified and certified professionals who will guide and advise you on matters such as equipment, which clearly must be the right one.
Paragliding is usually quite expensive in the early stages, but once you have a licence and equipment, you only have to pay the price of getting to the places where you can fly. Once you have passed the course, you will be able to fly safely in the internal area of a club. This means that you have to join one, which will allow you to interact with other paragliding lovers and receive advice on which sites or which days to go.