Designed to give you a general feel for the free-flying sport of paragliding, we will cover all the basics - from flying equipment and safety - to general flight theory.
We start slowly and explain how something so apparently simple flies and how a paraglider is designed and built. Harness, backup reserve parachute, helmet, speed system, instruments - lots to learn! Afterwards, we will give you a hands-on approach to inflating and stalling the glider in a controlled manner while still safely on the ground.
If weather conditions and skill acquisition permit, we may be able to get your feet off the ground and give you a brief flying experience.
Great way to spend part of a day!
Maximum 4 participants.
With this full day course, you will have the opportunity to fly with a certified H.P.A.C. Senior tandem instructor on a mountain Tandem Flight. You will also get the chance to try your hand with a solo glider with the goal of giving you an overall taste of the sport (as described above in the SOLO course).
You will go home smiling!
*Further training is available on a limited, selective basis. At Vancouver Island Paragliding we focus the teaching of fundamentals and are not in the business of churning pilots out of our school. We do not promise to have you flying solo from a mountain on your first day. If you do end up training with us and working towards your P2 Novice Paragliding rating, you will be trained in such as way as to build skills from the ground-up with lots of practical experience from varied sites and in varied conditions. We try to be flexible to accommodate your schedule as well as the weather's.
** Our 2023 season is full with students. We are only able to offer Tandem instructional flights and Intro Day courses as a result. We have a waiting list available for 2024**
Specific requirements for the P2 (Novice) rating can be found at the HPAC (Hang gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada) website here: Pilot Ratings
What should you bring?
Good Shoes (hiking boots are best)
Camera (you'll be able to use it in flight but you'll probably forget)
All of your flying dreams!
What we provide
Certified Paraglider Instructor
A dream come true!
How long does everything take?
The Solo course is typically 4 hrs, while the DayTaster (as the name suggests) takes the better part of the day. Details will be provided ahead of time.
What is the landing part like?
If you have ever seen a skydiver land with a high-performance canopy, you will have seen how they swoop down near the ground and 'flare' the canopy just as their feet touch down. Paragliders land in a somewhat similar manner - however, due to their much slower ground speed and much lower descent rate, they provide a much softer landing.
Do you just jump off a hill/mountain?
No. Paragliders are launched from specific flying sites and, with the guidance provided by your instructor, you take some running strides and are gently lifted off the ground as the glider begins to fly.
Why do I have to take a "lesson" - can't I just go for a ride?
Unlike in Europe, where every mountain resort offers "Taxi-Flights" as pure joy rides, in Canada, the federal aviation body (Transport Canada) allows tandem flights exclusively for instructional purposes. Not to worry, you will still get to enjoy the pleasure of free flight but you will end up learning a thing or two in the process! (e.g. the basics of what makes a paraglider fly, how it is controlled, launched and landed, etc.).
I am afraid of heights! Can I still do it?
Believe it or not, but many pilots (paraglider, hang glider, fixed wing, etc.) are actually afraid of heights. There is a significant difference between standing on the ground on a high, exposed place like a tower or a bridge and being completely disconnected from that ground, flying in an aircraft of some kind. The sensation requires relative depth - so if you have nothing to compare the height to, the sensation isn't possible. You'll have to try it to believe it!