That sounds like fun! How adventurous! I’m envious, I’ve always wanted to go for a tandem paragliding flight! Wow! Cape Town is beautiful. We really do live in a beautiful city. If you were wondering that’s the response from my family when I showed them the photos I got from Icarus Paragliding . It’s dangerous! Are you crazy? No thank you, I’m happy with my feet on the ground. How safe is paragliding? (Guess I can’t say their reaction was the same when I told them I wanted to start paragliding myself).
After a long time of thinking I came to the conclusion that everything in life we do can be dangerous. You can injure yourself doing many normal day to day activities so why not do something that does have risk factors but at the same time can give you the feeling of excitement in life by stepping over the edge, your heart racing, your blood pumping through your veins and that feeling of I’m alive, I’m living and not just existing.
Being in my early twenties, living on my own I thought to myself how on earth am I going to afford to do a basic paragliding course to obtain a license and buy my own equipment?
After some research I found that if I do my basic paragliding course with Icarus Paragliding they will supply me with the paragliding wing, the harness (that’s the seat that you sit in while flying), a helmet (head protection is important) and a radio (where you are under constant guidance by the instructor) giving me time to save up to buy my own gear. Then what I found out which was really cool and would make it more affordable for me is that there is second hand gear that one can buy that’s in really good condition, that will cost half the price and still take me on many paragliding adventures if I didn’t want to buy a brand new paragliding kit.
To be fully equipped and safe one needs a paragliding wing, a reserve (that’s your back up parachute), a harness, a helmet and a radio. Shoes with ankle support is not a necessity but a good idea to have, I’d say. I also came across this gadget that you can use while paragliding called a vario. A variometer is a flight instrument that provides you with your:
•Altitude and Climb/Sink Indication – Altitude is a distance measurement usually in the vertical direction. It is commonly used to determine the height above sea level or ground level of a location. The rate you increase in altitude is referred to as the climb rate and the rate you decrease in altitude is referred to as the sink rate.
•Ground Speed – is the speed you move over the ground
•Wind Direction and Speed – Wind direction is the direction the wind is blowing from, it is not the direction the wind is blowing towards. Wind speed is the rate at which air is moving in a particular area. Wind speed changes in altitude as well as when faced with obstacles.
It’s a really cool instrument but not needed. You would only need a vario later on in your paragliding adventure when you start flying longer distances and want to compete in competitions.
During my research I found out that paragliding is the cheapest form of aviation. The initial set up can be pricey but it’s definitely a manageable price to pay to do something that makes you feel alive, has a positive effect on your life, makes you look at life differently, takes you to new places you would never have seen, constantly bringing new adventure into your life.
I’m nervous, scared and excited about the new challenges that await me next week with my paragliding training. Will I conquer it?