Why the name Icarus Paragliding?

Who is Icarus?

In Greek mythology Icarus is the son of master craftsman Daedalus. The main story told about Icarus is his attempt to escape from Crete by means of wings that his father constructed from feathers and wax. He ignored instruction not to fly too close to the sun, and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned.

So why the name Icarus Paragliding?

The owner and passionate pilot has a similar story. At the age of 8 he thought he could fly. Some boys are just passionate about flying from a very early age. He wasn’t interested in going to school, he wanted to be a bird and just fly away. Jacques constructed himself some wings and tried to fly off his two storey house. Luckily he didn’t hurt himself, but got the fright of his life and his parents were not too pleased to say the least. Throughout his teenage years Jacques tried again and again to fly.

At the age of 12 he witnessed a paraglider flying over his home, he wished he could be that pilot.

At the age of 25 on the way to a business meeting Jacques pulled over on the side of the road near Hartebeespoort Dam and he watched  as wannabe pilots were being trained in the art of paragliding.

A few hours later he approached the paragliding instructor and was allowed to ground handle his first wing. He was a natural and it was assumed he had done this before. He was then taken on his first tandem flight and his dream came true, he was flying and hooked for life.

He bought his first solo wing and began his new hobby, paragliding. He wasn’t aware that there were specific rules and techniques and that he actually had to go through various levels of training and licenses. He was convinced that he had invented certain techniques. He persisted. Eventually he found a paragliding instructor and was rewarded with his license. Any spare time was spent in the air, he finally had wings, and these wings were not about to melt.

Working in an office became the thing of the past and he turned his hobby into his career and moved to Cape Town to become a Commercial Tandem Pilot.

In 2009 he was ranked second in South Africa for Tandem Paragliding. In 2011 he was ranked first.

In 2010 he took a certain lady for her first tandem flight, it was her birthday and she was buying herself a flight as a gift to herself. Little did she know that this would not be her last flight. They flew from Lions Head, she was fascinated by the experience and her pilot, Jacques. She started working out her monthly budget to include a tandem flight every month. She didn’t have to, by the weekend she was flying a cross country flight in Porterville with her future husband. Everyone teased her that adrenaline makes you fall in love. They were married two years after her first flight. Together these lovebirds came up with the name Icarus Paragliding, the name made sense and they were both in awe of the insight that Icarus had.

They have a private joke, whenever they see a feather on the floor they laugh and say that he is molting (not melting, molting).

Jacques & Louise paragliding from Lions Head
April 2010


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