If adventures are your thing, then hang gliding would be on your bucket list for sure. To glide through the wind and feel the breeze as you realize for once the ground isn’t below your feet. Many would say it is a great feeling. Is hang gliding on your bucket list? If yes, this article is all you need to turn your dreams into a reality.
Many people wish to do hang gliding at some point in their life. However, only a few of them are able to. So, if you are getting a chance to go hang gliding, go for it! But, ensure that you follow the proper steps mentioned in this blog.
Don’t worry! This blog will help you know everything required to hang glide properly, regardless of whether you are a beginner or not. So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!
1. Find a good hang gliding instructor
Choosing a teacher to guide you through the hand gliding process may be one of the most crucial choices. In addition to teaching you the gliding fundamentals of excellent flying habits, a good instructor will be someone you can depend on for guidance on safety, equipment choice, and other things you haven’t thought of before.
So how do you find the right instructor? It may sound challenging, but here are some tips to help you find a good hang gliding instructor:
● Approach hang gliding schools
The best hang gliders are usually available within the training schools. You can contact several hang gliding schools to pick out the best instructors from the group.
● Check their experience
Once you find a few instructors, the next step is to check their experience. If an instructor has more experience, you will feel much safer asking them for advice. You can rely on them more to rescue and assist you when you are uncomfortable.
● Talk to previous students
If possible, you can reach out and contact their ex-students so you can get their reviews/opinions on the instructors. Of course, everyone is different, so some instructors may be good for them while others will not be. You can decide which instructor you want based on their experience with them.
● Get to know them
Finally, talking to the instructor and examining their attitude can help you determine whether they are a good fit or not. A knowledgeable and skilled instructor will be confident and assuring. But a wimpy and insecure instructor will be doubtful and discouraging. Use your judgment to decide which instructor is suitable for you.
2. Choose a location for hang gliding
Before you go hang gliding, you should know that not all locations are appropriate for such sports. Some places explicitly won’t allow hang gliders. So, it’s better to know about all hang gliding locations and choose the safest place for hang gliding. For beginners, going with a hang-gliding school is better as they will take you to a location where they mostly train students. That location will be beginner friendly, so you can glide without a doubt.
However, if you have learned the hang gliding skill and want to practice on your own, then choosing a proper location is critical. In the US, many places have a high population of hang gliders. They are considered safe and permit such sports. George Egbuonu says they offer a memorable view you can enjoy when gliding.
Some of the most famous hang gliding places in the US are:
● Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
● La Jolla, California
● Kahului, Hawaii
● Salt Lake City, Utah
● Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
● Golden, Colorado
● Sun Valley, Idaho
● San Francisco, California
● Orlando, Florida
● Virginia Beach, Virginia
3. How to choose a hang glider
Everyone can participate in the fantastic sport of hang gliding. But you want to be sure to do everything in your ability to get the best glider to make it as secure, reliable, affordable, and pleasurable as possible. Safety is a priority.
To do this, you should consider several aspects, such as price, performance, fun, glide bar pressure, hang glider geometry, and much more.
Here are all the considerations you should make when you search for the ideal hang glider.
When purchasing a hang glider, price is always a key factor. You want a hang glider that will last and perform well without going over budget. An overpriced hang glider with bad reviews will not perform as well as a cheaper one with good ratings.
● Single surface vs. double surface gliders
Your hang glider’s geometry is also crucial. There are essentially two types: single surface and double surface. Unlike double surfaces, which use two sections linked at an angle, single-surface gliders only use one airfoil section.
It might be best to start with something simpler, like a single surface, for a beginning pilot because they’re much easier to learn.
● Performance and fun
Another factor to consider while selecting a hang glider is performance vs. enjoyment.
Simple hang gliders are the best to go if you want something that is only intended for leisurely gliding and enjoyment. However, if you want to implement a more sophisticated glider to fly through the air faster, head in that direction.
● Glide bar pressure
You should also take glide bar pressure into account. The many rods and bars that make up the glider’s control system are known as glide bars.
Some people choose a glider with a gentle touch or one with a lower glide bar pressure.
4. Safety tips to consider
Undoubtedly, hang gliding can be a very exhilarating activity. The risks, however, are incremental. When flying, safety is of the utmost importance. So, make sure to keep these safety tips in your mind:
● Pre-flight glider check
Look over the glider and every piece of equipment attached to it. Be sure to turn it 360 degrees and check all of the important parts, including the wingtips, battens, wires, and fasteners. Verify the glider’s suitability for flight. Also, test your harness by hanging it while inspecting it. You can also ask for assistance from your instructor if you are still unsure on whether your glider is secure.
● Check the hang straps
The characteristics of your glider may change slightly depending on where you set the hanging loop. So, always be cautious when adjusting or tightening the hang strap. For further security, use a steel carabiner with a lock. Again, your instructor can assist you with this step.
● Look into equipment upgrades
Once a year, replacing your equipment is a good practice for both safety and experience. Older equipment can break more easily and work less. For example, the straps would be thinner and looser. Make sure you check in with your equipment yearly for upgrades.
● Check the weather
Even if the storm’s eye does not cross your glide path, you may feel gusts up to a hundred yards away and even more. So, watch the weather forecast in the days leading up to your flight, and don’t be afraid to cancel if a storm occurs.
● Sprint when taking off
The takeoff should occur on an extremely steep hill without any obstructions, like towers, trees, people, large boulders, or equipment. It’s best to start slowly and then progressively get to the sprinting pace. Sprint in the direction of the cliff to gain strong gliding momentum.
Voila! You are all set to glide and fulfill your dreams for the first time. Don’t forget to consider the safety tips and enjoy your flight. Hang gliding takes experience in practice, so do not feel discouraged if you aren’t a pro on the first day. Now that you’ve followed the steps from the blog, you will be able to glide smoothly.