Paragliding Adventures is owned and run by Hendrik van Zyl, a SAHPA certified instructor.
Hendrik is passionate about all forms of flying and especially powered paragliding. He is qualified to train new pilots to fly paragliders and powered paragliders. He is also able to convert a paraglidng license to a powered paragliding license.
Many people are under the impression that paragliding is jumping off mountains with a parachute or being pulled into the air behind a boat with a parasail. This couldn't be further from the truth. Paraglider pilots fly off mountains, they never jump off. A paraglider is in essence an inflatable wing. The movement of air into the canopy inflates it and gives it its aerodynamic shape. The paraglider is soft and can easily be packed into a bag and carried around. Its portability is its main advantage. The paraglider is laid out on the ground at the top of the mountain on a gentle slope and facing into the wind. The pilot is connected to the paraglider with a special harness. The paraglider is then pulled gently into the wind, which causes the canopy to inflate. The pilot then takes a few brisk steps into the wind and floats gently up into the air.
As you pick up more experience the length of your flights increases rapidly as you learn to take advantage of rising air known as lift. There are two types of lift that enable you to stay aloft longer. The first is called ridge lift. This would involve flying near a mountain or hill, catching the oncoming wave of wind as it lifts to clear the ridge. Once you have mastered this art you can spend hours flying along the front of the ridge.
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