For most people, hang gliding or paragliding is a completely new experience. It’s one you’re likely to remember for years to come, so you’ll want to make sure you’re appropriately prepared. Here are some tips to help you have the best flying experience.
You should always call the gliderport ahead of time to see if the weather is appropriate for flying that day or not. However, you can check the winds online to get a general idea of what to expect.
You’ll need winds blowing between 240 and 280 degrees, west to east. For paragliding, you’ll need speeds of 7 to 15 MPH, and for hang gliding, you’ll need speeds of 10 to 18 MPH.
What to Wear to Go Paragliding
It’s important to dress comfortably for your paragliding adventure. Make sure you’re wearing something you can move around in without too much restriction. You’ll need either athletic sneakers or hiking boots, as your shoes will need to have a good grip. If the weather is on the cooler side, you’ll also want to make sure you have a jacket.
Weight and Size Limits
Before you sign up for your first tandem flight, you’ll want to make sure you fit the gliderport’s requirements. There’s no official weight limit, but on most days the wind restricts flyers to 225 pounds or under.
If you’re over this weight, call ahead - they have been able to take passengers up to 350 pounds in the past. The gliderport is generally very accommodating, so if you have any concerns at all, you can talk to their team ahead of time to see if they can set up a flight for you.
How to Get to the Gliderport and Parking
The gliderport is located in the Torrey Pines area of La Jolla, just north of the University of California, San Diego. This area is about a 20-minute drive north from downtown San Diego. They have a parking lot available for those driving by car.
Although there are buses in the area, the fastest way to get to the gliderport without a car is to use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft.
Feeling Nervous? You’re Not Alone!
If you’re feeling nervous beforehand, talk to your pilot during the instructional session. They can answer any questions you may have and help you feel more comfortable in the air. The pilots have worked with people of all experience levels and will be happy to walk you through each step of the process before you get into the air.
If the weather is good, consider going at sunset. San Diego has some of the most stunning sunsets in the US, and the view will look even better from the air.