Paragliding Wiki

I am busy moving my paragliding wiki from MediaWiki to WordPress. Some things might not work for a day or two. Aug 7, 2023. You can see old version of the wiki here.

I created this Wiki as a place to collect thoughts, ideas, lessons, and hacks related to paragliding, with the aim to make me a better and safer pilot. There are many voices in our sport and there is much to be gained from others.

I believe that knowledge should always be documented and shared; it reduces anxiety (and I’m sure some senior pilots are bored answering the same questions every week). I’m documenting what I can, here, for now, but I might move it to a separate domain in future.

Much else of what I write down is my own opinion, something that will hopefully evolve over time.

I don’t subscribe to any absolute truths outside, say, the bounds of science and governing laws. There is no absolute “right way” to turn when reverse-launching, but it is absolutely illegal to fly in some airspaces. Do your own research and find what works for you, and importantly: what doesn’t.

I trained and started flying in early 2021 in South Africa (but I spend most of my time outside the country) so some of these articles may have a specific geographic focus and be more relevant to newer or progressing pilots, like me.

If you like something, disagree with me, or just want to talk paragliding, send me a message.

Table of content

Getting started 🍼

Just because you can learn to paraglide in a week, doesn’t necessarily mean you should (but, honestly, you probably should; it’s life-changing stuff). There are many things to consider before taking the leap. See: Getting started

Where to fly: flying sites 📍

How to find paragliding sites, how to get a proper briefing, and how to find and stay out of restricted areas. See: Flying sites

Where not to fly: airspace 🚫

Once you’re in the sky, there are some areas that you need to be aware of (and others that you must absolutely avoid). Main article: Airspace

When to fly: weather 🌤️

Learn how to become better at forecasting, find great flying days, and avoid bad ones. Main article: When to fly: Weather

Manoeuvres 🕺

A list of moves that might help you improve ground handling, flying, recovering from incidents, and landing. Main article: Manoeuvres

Checklists ✔️

Our form of aviation is the only kind that doesn’t rely on checklists (but, really, it should). Lists prevent complacency and will probably help you have a safer, more enjoyable, and less stressful flight. Main article: Checklists

Gear, software, and hacks ⚙️

Sure, you only need around 4kgs of thin fabric and a bunch of lines above your head (and a harness to keep you strapped in to it all), but there are a lot of other small things to consider that might make your flying more comfortable and safe. Main article: Gear

Emergencies, insurance, and safety 🚑

Things don’t often go wrong, but when they do, you need to have your shit in order. Main article: Emergencies

Travelling 🧳

Ours is the only form of aviation where your entire aircraft gets folded into a backpack, ready for your next adventure. Main article: Travelling

About me

Werner van Rooyen

Formerly Business Development and Marketing at Luno (where we went from eight nerds in a tiny office to hundreds of people spread over three continents) and before that Marketing at PayFast. Currently a full-time nomad, learning, running long distances and doing research, mostly in Mexico.