Discover Paragliding is a United States Powered Paragliding Association (USPPA) authorized training location, and we are certified in both Solo and Tandem instruction. While we embrace their extensive training syllabus, our tow assisted training programs will take you well beyond the minimum requirements, giving you a solid foundation not only in theory but with significant in-flight experience.
The basis of our training philosophy is taking little steps, growing familiarity with every small progression. We feel this is the best way to keep people safe, calm, and cause them perhaps the worst case of ‘perma-grin’ they have ever had! Really. Flying a PPG is beyond description.
Perfecting your ‘Ground Handling’ skill set is the key to safely and successfully launching, flying and landing your paraglider or powered paraglider. As such, you can expect to spend a number of hours practicing and perfecting your technique, eventually moving beyond cognitive control and into the realm of ‘muscle memory’.
Having the ability to feel and react, even before you have time to think, is an amazing ability. Not only does it give you the ability to launch (or abort your launch) successfully, it’s a very personally rewarding feeling to ‘get it right’!
Our powered program starts out very similarly to our Free Flight program. After several hours of ground handling, you can expect to get your first flights (without a motor), either from a slope or via our winch system, typically by the end of your first day of training.
Our winch towing system allows first flights up to 300′ to 500′ high, eventually reaching up to 1000′ or so within a few days. Multiple non-powered flights allow time for getting a feel for the air, practicing emergency procedures, and making multiple landing approaches. As your skills improve, we start making launches ‘harder’ on you, requiring you to have the right ‘motor launch posture’ before your winch operator will apply enough tension to get you off the ground. All of this is part of a progression that continues taking you to that next natural step in your training.
After ‘enough’ flights without power, we have you begin practicing with our training frame to get the feel of ground handling with the different geometry of a paramotor without having the carry around the weight of the motor itself. After a couple of quick flights with just the frame, it’s time to get the reward for all your hard work!
Your first ‘motor’ flight will start power off, via our now familiar winch system. Once you are in the air, you will start your motor, release from the tow line, and spend the next 15-20 minutes enjoying power on flight. You will practice different throttle settings, pitch control, and mostly just some time in the air. When it’s time to land, you’ll turn off your motor and glide into the landing zone as you have already done many times before.
After ‘enough’ tow assisted motor flights, you’ll find it’s an easy and natural transition to launching with only the power of the motor on your back. No surprises, and no worries about what you might not know. It’s just there, and it’s time for you to fly!
Don’t worry, your instructor will still be with you through several more flights, including ‘touch and goes’ which are important for take off posture and landing technique.
Eventually, there will come a point where both you and your instructor will know that you’ve reached your goal! That you have developed the necessary skills, and can be proud of yourself as you are awarded your PPG 2 (Novice) rating with the USPPA!
We encourage our students to not purchase any gear prior to training, and as such provide all necessary gear to use in the school and even up to those first motor flights.
After 4-5 days of training, we will begin to have an idea of what type of pilot you will be, and we will then begin discussing gear options. Paragliders and Paramotors are anything but one size fits all, and a considerable portion of our job as your instructors is to help guide you into the proper gear for you. Are you going to want to fly PG as well as PPG? Maybe favor one over the other, or even exclusively? What’s your body type? Where will you be flying? Etc…
It’s a fair amount of money, ranging from $7,000 to $12,000 depending on which way you want to go. We do our best to make sure you get it right, the first time. Our goal is to get you into gear that will keep you safe, happy, and flying high (or low) for years to come.