Paragliding Wiki

▶ Click/tap here for more about me and this wiki

Hi, I’m Werner 👋

I created this Wiki as a place to collect my thoughts, ideas, lessons, and hacks related to paragliding, with the aim of making 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 openly shared and not just be held in the brains of the most senior people around (and I’m sure those same people are going crazy answering the same questions every week).

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 something, or just want to talk paragliding, send me a message.

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 investing, paragliding, and doing research, mostly in Mexico.