Paragliders are being flown in thousands of locations around the world. In fact if you are patient and know just where to go, chances are you could see one or two at a place near you. There are just a few exceptional places on this planet where there is a lot of Paragliding activity from time to time. These locations are all very public too, so access is easy. Since these places are very well-known in their respective parts of the world, no details 'who to contact and how to find it' information is provided here. The locals will soon point you in the right direction, if that is necessary.
Comparison between Paragliding & Speed Flying:
Although the terms Paragliding and Parasailing are commonly mixed up, most people have an idea of what the two sports look like. As a quick refresher, paragliding is the act of non-powered, foot launched flight (not being towed behind a boat). To make things even more confusing, now there is a new sport thrown into the mix. It's called Speed Flying, and as of the time of this writing, most people will have no idea what this is.
Paragliding involves piloting a very large "ram air" canopy with the ultimate goal of soaring for extended periods of time. The wing is long and narrow, which creates a large amount of lift with very slow airspeeds. Paraglider is a cruising sport, where the pilot makes strategic use of the winds and other natural lift sources to sustain flight. Those individuals that would be drawn to sailing a boat are the same types that would enjoy paragliding.
Speed Flying on the other hand, is for the fighter pilot at heart. A speed flying wing is shaped more like a high performance parachute and meant to descend out of the sky at adrenaline inducing speeds. The pilot begins her flight at the top of a mountain, launching from a healthy sprint, and then racing slalom style through the different terrain features on the way down. Speed flying is certainly a cousin to paragliding, but it's the cousin that the rest of the family loves to share stories about, but not necessarily join in the adventure.
Is Paragliding & Speed Flying Safe?
The sport of paragliding has evolved tremendously over the last decade, and with this evolution there has been a significant increase in the safety. Like any other adventure sport, there are always risks, and it is up to each individual to determine their risk threshold. With proper training, a modern Paraglider, and good judgment, one can fly injury-free well into old age. Speed Riding is a new sport here in North America, but it has been popular in Europe for a few years now. In that time there have been significant improvements to the safety aspects of the wings, as well as the piloting techniques. With a modern wing in the right weather conditions, one can easily make thousands of incident-free flights.
Hopefully this article has presented clear insight into the well established activity of Paragliding, and the up and coming sport of speed flying. Visit us at www.paragliders.com.