“Can you paraglide in the rain?”
Paragliding could be considered one of the most exciting extreme sports. However, given the nature of this aerial sport, we should always be cautious and be prepared for any event. Weather can become, therefore, our best friend or our worst enemy.
Sadly, it is not possible to paraglide anytime we want to. There are certain weather conditions we should check before initiating a flight. And yes, the wind is quite important, but we should not forget about storms, rain, or bright sunny days.
In this post, we will check whether it is possible to paraglide in the rain, and which weather conditions are/are not appropriated for us. Remember, paragliding is not dangerous at all, but you should take the right precautions.
And now, let’s start!
Is it possible to paraglide in the rain?
The first thing you should know about paragliding in the rain is that you should avoid it as much as possible. It can turn out to be dangerous and even damage your wing. Technically, it is possible to paraglide in the rain, of course, but you should not do it.
Why you should not paraglide in the rain
Before, the way the wings of the paraglide were made, allowed us to paraglide without worrying about the rain. The only fear we could have was to get our feet wet. Nowadays, however, given the changes the gear has gone through, it is not possible anymore.
Modern wings are fabricated so they are light and smooth when the weather is dry. It makes it much easier to fly and they are made this way, so they reduce the drag. However, they are not as much water-resistant as before.
These are wrinkle-free and most of them have a water-repellent coat, they do not absorb the water that easily. When it starts to rain, it causes the creation of water beds on the nose or the leading edge of the wind, causing the increment of the weight and flow separation.
Flow separation when flying in the rain
Flow separation provokes your paraglider to drop airspeed and slow it down to almost zero. This is because the water bead is avoiding the correct airflow of the wing, and reducing your lift. Once you are there, you will feel like you are starting to drop vertically, causing what is known as a parachute stall.
You should avoid paragliding in the rain because it could cause a drop stall, and the situation could go out of your control. Even the most skilled paragliders have issues when this happens and know that it is not recommendable to fly when it is raining.
How to react when you are experiencing a parachute stall?
Sometimes you cannot avoid getting caught in the middle of the rain or maybe there is a drizzle while you are flying. In both cases, the best thing to do is to find a place to land safely as soon as possible.
Nevertheless, if you feel like your paraglide is airdropping, the airspeed has been reduced and there is a way to regain its control, then you can take the next indications.
Put your hands up and wait and accelerate the speed as much as you can using the speed bar. The paraglide should bite and fly. Then start to lose height flying 360’. Do not do big ears because it increases the drag and, of course, the parachute stall.
How can you avoid rain when paragliding?
It does not matter your level in paragliding, it is important to have certain knowledge about how to interpret the weather and also study in advance if it will be possible to fly before you start. This means, learning a bit about weather signs and knowing when you can paraglide and when you cannot.
Before starting to fly, check the clouds and how does the sky look like. Nimbus clouds are the ones you should avoid. If you see any of these, no, today it is not a good day to paraglide. They are grey stormy clouds and a good sign of coming rain.
Also, if the weather forecast predicts rain for that day, you should reschedule it. In Overfly, when there is a tandem flight planned and we see that it is very probable that it rains, we change the date of the activity to preserve the safety of our clients.
Weather conditions in which you can paraglide
Be careful! Cloudy skies do not always mean rain. Sometimes cloudy days are a good opportunity to fly without having to worry about the sun getting on your face. However, sunny days will make your experience much nicer and add extra centigrade, which turns out to be a helpful one you are flying. This is up to you, though.
Wind should be another key element when preparing your next flight. The presence of wind is not extremely necessary because you will know how to play with thermals and currents of air. The most important thing about it is that it is not too strong to make you lose control of the paraglide and that it goes in the right direction (one that fits the interests of your flying route).
Learn more about paragliding with Overfly
Also, we offer tandem flights at any level in Tenerife, one of the most beautiful islands in the Canary Islands. If you are interested, here is some information about it.