Learning to Paraglide - From Walk to Fly!

Learning to Paraglide is an investment. It changes your life and becomes that primary thing you do!

What do you do? I am a paraglider pilot. (...cut to interesting conversation...) For work, oh yeah, there's that but who cares when you paraglide! Adventure sports change your life. Paragliding opens new horizons while turning the volume down on everything else. For me, and many of us, it places life into a new perspective. Once you join, you're part of the Wander Expeditions Crew. We use a Telegram group primarily to notify when we fly. We also chat about the sport, gear, goals and events. There's also a fabulous amount of humor and a great sense of camaraderie!!

The most effective way to learn to fly is through a progression learning program. Our program starts with ground school to provide understanding, then we progress to ground handling where you learn control of the wing while standing on the ground. This is often called kiting and is an essential skill in paragliding. 

We also use tandem flights to train our students. Especially early on, let's go fly tandem. Once we're up, we hand you the controls, grab your hands and give you the feel. Got it? Great! You fly for a while now! This has been a tremendously effective method for training.

Moving forward, once you can kite effectively, we start with small flights and gradually increase the height and length of the flights to master specific flight skills. Flights are interspersed with more ground school and briefings to provide specific goals and instruction.

You'll be flying high altitudes and long distances before you know it!!

TIME is a very important commodity in life. In aviation, and specifically when it comes to paragliding, you MUST devote the time to fly. Consistency and currency are key to both safety and progression. An average sport pilot flies 30-50 hours of flight time per year. This means approximately 3 times this amount of time is required for  getting to launch, parawaiting (waiting for the right weather) packing up and maintaining your gear. This means that you can approximate 90 to 150 hours out of your schedule between May and October every year. Mechanically, that means 90 to 150 hours divided by (6 months X 4 weeks) which is (approximately) 5 hours per week. Make sure you can spare the time. If this doesn't fit your schedule, this is NOT the sport for you. Your physical safety is at issue. The time to complete your basic paragliding training varies but averages 2 months. It depends mostly on your availability.

Add one final consideration, flexibility. We need to fly in a specific weather condition, especially for training. This includes days which have wind less than 10 mph and the direction needs to be consistent with whichever site we fly. The bottom line here is that we generally know within 6 hours of flying but we need to be available when the weather is favorable. In Boise, where we train, we generally fly early in the morning, before 11am or late in the day, after 7pm. This works well for most students!

CONSIDER: Progression Learning - Time Requirement - Flexibility 

These are the considerations to consider the sport. The sport is absolutely wonderful and takes you to the most amazing places on Earth. The Alps, Himalayas, Dolomites are just a few!

Now, let's get to pricing. We use the 'student for life' method so you pay for training once and never again. The training fee includes all of your pilot ratings from novice through advanced. There are four pilot rating levels in the US. P1 through P4 indicating novice, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Cost is $2000 usd with the goal of earning your P2 rating which means you are qualified to fly on your own. Subsequent ratings come with time and skill development and can be expected over the following 2 or 3 seasons of flying. The other cost to factor in is your membership in the national organization, USHPA (https://www.ushpa.org/), which is necessary to maintain your rating and have 3rd party aviation liability insurance. This cost is $160 per year.

Gear has a range of costs. You need 3 items, a harness, a reserve and a wing at minimum. Cost ranges $2500 to $6000 usd. Purchase the best gear you can afford; this is aviation! As a student, you will purchase gear through us and we will help you find the gear that suits your specific style of flying. We will help you safety check, line trim, adjust and assess porosity (how effective a wing's fabric is) on anything used. Gear is expensive, we know! Deals can be had but we don't want you flying junk. It is also VERY important you have a wing and harness that is appropriate to your skill level. Mismatching these means injury or death.

Cost Recap:
- Training - $2000
- Gear - $4500 (average)
- Total Sport Investment: $6500 usd

Learning to fly is an investment, adventure sports and paragliding is a lifestyle.

One final note. Like many sports, you buy in. If you decide to leave, your gear has a resale value. You can expect to resale gear for between 50%-75% of what you purchased it for. If you leave the sport and decide to come back, your training is still included. When we say 'student for life', we mean it!

Learn to fly with us!!

Email for more info: Wander@WanderExpeditions.com