by Ari in the Air
Hey there, fellow paragliding enthusiasts! Welcome back to Ari in the Air, where we explore the exhilarating world of paragliding. In this episode, I want to shed light on some observations I’ve made over the years and discuss the five worst paragliding habits that you should either avoid developing or break immediately. So, let’s dive right in!
- Holding your brake toggle like a base jumper: One of the most common and dangerous habits I’ve noticed is holding the brake toggle like a base jumper, holding just the bottom of the brake toggle. While base canopies are designed for stability, paragliders require more delicate handling. Holding the brake toggle in this manner disconnects you from the wing and limits your ability to feel and control it effectively. Instead, opt for a half wrap technique, which provides better line tension and control.
- Wearing a GoPro on your head: As tempting as it may be to capture your paragliding adventures, wearing a GoPro on your head is a habit you should break. Not only does it distract you from focusing on flying safely, but it also poses a significant risk of line entanglement. Remember, your safety should always be the top priority.
- Inflating your glider when not attached: Inflating your glider without being securely attached to it is a bad habit that can lead to accidents or loss of control. It’s crucial to learn proper techniques for hooking in correctly without inflating the glider prematurely. This ensures a safer launch and minimizes the risk of tangling or getting stuck in unfavorable conditions. Inflating your glider when you’re not attached to it also takes up a bunch of space on launch, which can be a nuisance to other pilots.
- Holding onto your risers while flying: While it may seem instinctive to grab onto your risers during flight, it’s a habit you should avoid. By doing so, you compromise your ability to feel the brake pressure and respond effectively to changes in the wing’s behavior. Instead, focus on maintaining a light touch on the brakes and let your hands follow the risers without gripping them.
- Letting go of the brakes off launch: One of the most dangerous habits I’ve witnessed is letting go of the brakes immediately after launching. This is especially risky when flying in thermic conditions or low to the ground. It’s essential to maintain control of the brakes, as unexpected collapses or changes in the air mass can occur. Always fly away from the hill, gain some altitude, and ensure terrain clearance before letting go of the brakes to get into or adjust your harness or instrumentation.
Additional Lightning Round Tips:
- Always wear your leg loops when using a harness to prevent rigging malfunctions and ensure your safety.
- Avoid sitting down too early or jumping into your harness. Instead, smoothly fly your glider off the hill in a torpedo position.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help or seek guidance when visiting new launch sites. Being a responsible and knowledgeable pilot contributes to a safer paragliding community.
There you have it, my fellow paragliding enthusiasts, the five worst paragliding habits that you should either avoid developing or break immediately. By being aware of these habits and making conscious efforts to correct them, we can enhance our safety and enjoyment in the skies. Remember, paragliding is an incredible adventure, but it requires responsible and mindful practices. So, let’s soar high and fly safely together!
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by Ari in the Air