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Flying tandem is a great introduction to the sport of paragliding. It's the fastest way to experience first-hand what this "aircraft in a backpack" is capable of. Whether you're taking the first step in pursuit of a new hobby or just looking to spice up an afternoon, it's hard to beat a tandem paraglider flight.
     
     
Free HD video! 2014 rate ... $165
Cash or local checks only, sorry no credit cards!
 
   
 
   

Frequently asked questions:

How much experience do you have flying tandems?
Good question, and one that not enough people ask! I've made several hundred tandem flights, my first being in the summer of 2000, most of them right here at Woodrat Mountain and all of them injury-free. Also, if more than one pilot is needed I will select a safe and reputable pilot from our community to do the job. Be assured that no one can beat our reputation for safety and customer satisfaction!

How long does a flight last?
This varies with the weather, and a passengers personal preference. If a paraglider pilot launches from the top of the mountain and is unable to find lift, he would find himself landing at the bottom in approximately 15 minutes. Fortunately, Woodrat Mountain is frequently "soarable" meaning sustained glider flight is possible, leaving it up to the pilot to decide when to land.

Can I bring my camera?
Sure! You'll need somewhere to stow it while launching and landing, and a tether of some sort is a good idea.

How do you steer a paraglider?
The rear of the glider, refered to as "the trailing edge" has a group of lines attached which the pilot can pull to control direction. Pulling the group of lines attached to the left half of the wing creates drag causing that side to slow and the glider turns left.

What kind of people fly paragliders?
ALL kinds! And that's no exaggeration. This isn't an activity just for crazy young kids, as a matter of fact, most of the folks I fly with are in the 40 to 50 year old range and relatively sane.

Is this dangerous?
It's as safe as you want to make it. I like to compare it to riding a motorcycle - if you drive at a reasonable speed, keep a sharp eye out for gravel, and anticipate other drivers actions, it's a fairly safe activity. Start swerving in and out of traffic at high speed at night in the rain and it's extremely dangerous. Same thing with paragliding, the pilot who exercises good judgement, is observant, and operates within their abilities is likely to have a long, happy, flying career.
Needless to say the professional tandem pilot is extra careful with their precious cargo.

A paraglider can go up?!
A paraglider descends at approximately 220 feet per minute in still air. If the pilot is able to locate an area of air rising faster than this, they will float up with it. Heights of 3,000 feet above launch are not uncommon for this site.

Why are you called a "Tandem Instructor"?
Because tandem paraglider flights are subject to rules set forth by the FAA and are only allowed as a means for instruction.

Can you teach me to fly a paraglider and get my certification?
No. I'm a Tandem Instructor and specialize in taking people for their first flight. If you decide that a paraglider is something you would like to learn to fly on your own there are schools in the area that I could recommend. You will however learn a lot about paragliding on our flight, I guarantee! And if you'd like, and the conditions allow, you can take the controls and try your hand at piloting the glider.

Passenger requirements:

  • Helmet (provided)
  • Securely attached shoes or boots with low heels (no sandals or slippers)
  • Long pants
  • Warm jacket or sweater and windbreaker
  • Weigh no more than 250lbs / 113kg fully clothed
  • Ability to run 20 steps
  • Minors need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian
Optional: Your favorite helmet, gloves.

That's it!

So what can I expect with my first paragliding experience?

First we'll decide what kind of flight you're looking for. Morning flights are generally the smoothest but that also means there may not be any lift. For potentially longer, higher flights (but bumpier) mid-day is what you want. Oftentimes evenings offer the best of both worlds when long, smooth flights are possible.
We meet near the spot where we will be landing, commonly referred to as the Landing Zone, or "LZ" for short. This is a cow pasture near the intersection of hwy 238 and Bishop Creek road. From there we will take a 20 minute drive to the top of Woodrat Mtn, 2000' above the LZ. The take-off area, or "launch" is a large smooth area covered with gravel. It's the ideal place to launch, and in fact was custom built with help from the Bureau of Land Management specifically for foot-launched gliders.
After you're fitted with a helmet and harness we'll have a short round of instruction and practice before hooking in to the glider for the real thing. To get the glider overhead with no wind we may have to run 30-40 feet, or with help from the wind it could be as short as one step. During the flight you will have little more to do than lean back, enjoy the scenery, and possibly take the controls if you choose. The pilot sits directly behind the passenger so your view will be completely unobstructed. When it comes time to land we will slide forward out of our seats into the same position we used on launch. Supported by the leg and chest straps we may have to run a few steps. Again, this depends on the wind available, more wind = fewer steps. Pictures and high-fives!

This sounds great! How do I sign up?

Simply call or email and we will get you on the calendar. The futher in advance you book the more likely your date will be open. We have however accommodated clients with less than 15 minutes notice so it never hurts to ask!

from my Inbox:

Hi Christian -- I know that Damon just sent you an e-mail thanking you for his wonderful flight on his birthday. I want to add my appreciation for the excellent way that you introduced Damon to paragliding. I felt very confident in your experience and safety considerations. It was a wonderful birthday present for him -- I couldn't have found anything better!
Thanks again, Brenda R

Christian, Thank you again for the wonderful flight today. We are already talking about a "next time." I so appreciate your kindness and for making it an awesome experience. I can't wait to see the video when you send the link! I will definitely be talking you up to my friends!
Sincerely, Liz D

Christian, Thank you so much for the videos and pictures. What a great time we had!!! We will definitley look forward to seeing you again soon, whether it is here on the coast or up there this summer for another tandem paragliding flight! The picturers and video turned out great. I couldn't be happier! :D Thanks again, for all you do!
Jamie H