Every adventurer knows deep inside that they want to try the paragliding experience. You want to feel that adrenaline rush — nevertheless, there is always a reason that stops you from taking the dare. Hence, if you have desired to try paragliding for a long time but you have never had the chance or you have never been the courageous enough, here you will find a list with 10 interesting things about paragliding that you should know.
At Overfly Tenerife, we give you the opportunity to try the best paragliding experience, and you don’t even need to get a paragliding license. Here at Tenerife, which is one of the best places to paraglide in the whole world, we offer you the best tandem paragliding flights! Without further ado, let’s see the most interesting things about paragliding that you probably don’t know yet!
Remember that the sky is not the limit — it is just the beginning of a great adventure!
10 interesting things about paragliding
We are quite sure that you had already heard about some of these ten interesting things about paragliding,
1. Paragliding is not as dangerous as people normally think
One of the most interesting things about paragliding is that, before you try it for the first time, you will probably think that paragliding is one of those extreme sports that only crazy people dare to practices. We can assure that we are not crazy — we love what we do, and we are very proud and happy to share it with all of them who want to try it!
Is paragliding safe? Seriously, paragliding is actually one of the safest aerial sporting activities. First of all, you have to think that you are connected to the wing by at least 30 lines, and all of them are strong enough to hold your weight. Normally, every risk is related to a chain of bad decisions made by less experienced paragliding pilots — for instance, flying in bad weather conditions.
The paraglider can collapse under adverse weather conditions, although it usually opens almost automatically and, in many cases, without the intervention of the pilot. In any case, if the situation gets out of control, every pilot counts on a reserve parachute that will guide them gently to the ground. Therefore, the answer is — if the pilot is responsible and makes a correct analysis of the weather, and if he or she doesn’t assume unnecessary risks, it is unlikely that a paragliding accident occurs.
2. Feeling Vulnerable is not bad
As we have mentioned in the previous point, paragliding is a very safe activity on the whole, even more if you learn from a professional instructor. It is quite easy to start practicing this airborne sport — nevertheless, some beginners can slip into an over-confident state and think that it is a damn easy sport. An interesting thing about paragliding instructors and experts is that they call this the “intermediate syndrome.”
Of course that we want you to have a lot of fun while you are up in the air, but do not ever forget that paragliding is not a child’s play — don’t let your guard down. In the first moments of learning it is then we are more exposed to be injured during our paragliding flights. This is due to lack of knowledge and excess of confidence. So you need to adequately implement the safety techniques that your instructors have taught you in order to avoid any possible accident.
3. Pilots are practically never injured because of a failure in their paragliding equipment
Nowadays, paragliders are all really stable, without exception. They are all designed to recover quickly in case of collapse — so, if you are using your new paragliding equipment, you just have to check it before every flight. This way, we guarantee that you will be very safe and there won’t be almost any risk of an accident — at least as a result of equipment failure.
Another interesting thing about paragliding that you probably didn’t know is that almost every accident happens because of human mistakes. In other words, almost every paragliding accident is due to mistakes made by the pilot. That is why you should not overestimate your skills either in your assessment of weather conditions before a flight.
4. Paragliding must not be confused with other sports as hang-gliding
Although it may seem a bit weird, another interesting thing about paragliding is that people frequently confuse it with hang-gliding. Apart from being totally different sports and having different names, the biggest difference between these two aerial sporting activities lies in the hang glider and the paraglider wing design and shape.
The wings of the hang gliders count on solid structures — using an aluminium frame to create a V-shaped wing that resembles the stealth bomber — while the wing of the paragliders has a soft structure with no internal frame, which has an elliptical shape once inflated.
As paragliders’ wings have a slower flying speed, they are much more forgiving than the hang gliders’ ones — so, as a result, the learning curve is usually less steep for paragliding. Furthermore, paragliders must be fold appropriately into a small bag when you are not using them. This way, you can take your paraglider almost anywhere!
5. Paragliding must not be confused with other sports as parasailing
Parasails are basically parachutes, but they are used being towed by speedboats at the beach or on big lakes. In terms of altitude, they get around a hundred metres high at most.
An interesting thing about paragliding is that the design of a paraglider wing is more like the wing of a plane than a normal parachute. The paraglider wing is designed to catch thermal updrafts and rise through the air, not just to descend slowly to the ground. Paragliding is a much more dynamic and intense experience.
6. You can travel across the country practicing paragliding
This is another of the most interesting things about paragliding that practically 99% of people didn’t know. If you are a really good pilot, you can travel across the whole country practicing paragliding. It sounds crazy, but it is true!
The vast majority of paragliding flights last approximately between 15 and 25 minutes — the time varies depending on the paragliding weather conditions. Nevertheless, pilots who are especially skilled at finding and exploiting thermal columns of rising air can use those thermal columns to hop and skip their way across long distances.
If you don’t believe it, you can check that the distance paragliding world record has been smashed in Brazil. Three pilots flew a record 564 kilometres from Araruna, northeast Brazil, on Thursday 13 October 2016. These three pilots are Samuel Nascimento, Rafael Saladini and Donizete Lemos.
7. Paragliding is probably even more comfortable than the chair where you are sited in right now
Well, maybe your chair is the comfiest one in the whole world — in that case, our state is probably not true. Nevertheless, it is an interesting thing to say about paragliding that, unlike most harness-based activities — like parachuting or rappelling — its focus is not on a series of pinch straps and clips around your legs and midsection.
Modern paragliding harnesses connect the pilot — or the passenger — to something siFmlar to a lounge chair. In this lounge chair, the pilot stores the reserve parachute and other goodies, and some of them even count on lumbar support. After you leap and the glider inflates, you just have to slide this “chair” under your rear. Then you can simply ride your flying paraglider wherever you want to.
8. Paragliders count on brakes and throttle
We could say that paragliders are equipped with a sort of brakes and throttle, but not literally. There is certainly no combustion engine on board, but an interesting thing about paragliding pilots is that they have a great deal of control over their gliders. These controls are held in the hands of each pilot.
They are connected to the trailing edge of the left and right sides of the wing and these can be used to steer and to adjust speed. The other thing which is directly under the pilot’s control is the ascent. It depends on the pilot’s skills at finding rising columns of thermal air, which can loft the glider great distances.
9. Paragliding is not about speed
If you are a big fan of speed, we are sorry to tell you that it is not really the sport you were looking for. Nevertheless, if you are scared because of the speed, you don’t have to worry!
Another interesting thing about paragliding is that it is all the opposite in fact. Thus, next time you think of practicing paragliding, imagine yourself quietly and softly floating on the breeze like a light feather while you enjoy the astonishing views of Tenerife’s landscape around you.
10. The NASA gave it its name
Some people say that Leonardo Da Vinci designed the first parachute glider, but it was the NASA who helped to design and naming the paraglider. In 1961, Pierre Lemoigne — a French engineer — took the first steps by cutting strategically placed vents in a parachute which allowed it to ascend into the air and be steered. However, it was the NASA who developed what was known as a “sail wing” into the paraglider.
Interesting things about paragliding and its health benefits
If we talk about interesting things about paragliding, we should also mention its multiple health benefits. When people think about this breath-taking sport, it is probable that they don’t think about its “health benefits”. The vast majority of people think about paragliding as that kind of experience that you only live once in a lifetime.
However, the truth is that — besides being an exciting activity that gives you the chance to see the world from a different perspective — paragliding provides numerous positive benefits for you, both physically and mentally. Do you want to discover the health benefits of this sport? Keep reading!
Paragliding boosts self-confidence
As we have already told you, paragliding is by definition the funniest aerial sport. Moreover, one of the biggest advantages is that people of different ages can practice this aerial sport. However, some people find this sport quite intimidating while some others don’t opt for this activity, as they are afraid of heights.
One of the most curious and interesting things about paragliding is that this sport is indeed a great option as it can help people to overcome some of their fears. Although it is a great workout, paragliding enhances your mental health as well. People can fight their own fears after seeing how relatively exciting, relaxing as well as easy this aerial sport is. Once they get the initial boost in terms of confidence, they will take their skills to the following levels.
Paragliding reduces stress
Another interesting thing about paragliding is that it helps people to enjoy the present intensely. It also enables them to keep their worries and stress aside. Paragliding also helps people to focus on their current moment that further enhances their concentration levels.
Paragliding improves body balance as well as a strong core
At last, but not at least, another interesting thing about paragliding is that it helps people to build a stronger core which further improves the stability, the balance and the posture of people. This aerial sport engages people’s deep core muscles that strengthen their body and lessens the risk of injuries during rigorous activities or exercises.
Paragliding also helps people to burn calories and to have greater upper body strength. The adrenaline that is generated from flying not only increases people’s energy but also helps them to become self-aware. No matter if you are keen to opt for tandem paragliding in Tenerife or in any other place — you better make sure to rely on a trusted instructor.
By now, these are probably all the interesting things about paragliding that we have to tell you. If you are interested in paragliding and you would like to learn some more, you can read other posts of our blog, such as:
- The best paragliding launch techniques you need to know
- 5 top tips about how to do paragliding for the first time
- The 25 paragliding competitions you should follow
If you want to discover more interesting things about paragliding, you can also check our paragliding guide and its different sections — ‘paragliding tips’, ‘paragliding information’ and ‘paragliding curiosities’.
We hope that you have enjoyed this post about interesting things and facts about paragliding that you probably didn’t know. Please, if you have any doubt, if you need more information or if you are interested in our services, don’t hesitate to contact us! We will be happy to help you anytime! Overfly invites you to enjoy the best paragliding experience in Tenerife!
We want to fly with you; we want to be your wings.