How to choose a paragliding course.
So you've decided to try the fantastic sport of Paragliding. If you are a born daredevil, you probably know
what its about, and you may as well look into complete courses. If you are not certain, just thinking about
"dipping your toe in the water" then it would probably be wise to attend a one or two day introductory
These introductory courses usually only cost a couple of hundred dollars, and will give you a great feel for the
sport. You will get to know some of the theory, and often get to have a tandem flight with an instructor. That is
an experience you'll never forget.
Paragliding instructors usually need to have a great deal of experience before being qualified to teach.
Consequently many paragliding sites only have a small number of local instructors or schools. In Europe there is
generally more choice. The decision about which instructor to learn with will often be determined by access to
your local flying sites and your ability to attend the course.
Intensive courses are preferred because there is a lot of theory which need the practical experience to back it
up. However paragliding is a weather dependent sport, so signing up for a 9 or 12 day course wont guarantee that
you will be qualified at the end of that time. If you attend a remote course, you may have to return at a later
date to finish off, or you could finalise your training with another local instructor (some dont like this because
each instructor teaches a slightly different system)
If there are several instructors to choose from, go talk to some pilots. Hang around at a popular flying site
and ask questions. You will get all sorts of opinions, but most paraglider pilots will be happy to help you
Another thing to consider is that many schools offer tuition and equipment packages. This is one way to save
some money on equipment. Remember if youre on a tight budget, that you can always complete the course then source
your own secondhand gear(but that always carries the risk of buying worn out junk).
Check out the other pages on this website about equipment, paraglider safety and paragliding organisations.
The information in this guide is of a general nature only. Paragliding is a
potentially dangerous sport. It is absolutely essential to get professionally qualified instruction before buying
any gear and flying. Your professional advice superceeds anything on this site.