Terminology, acronyms and abbreviations


If you can’t find a term, acronym or abbreviation on Google or ChatGPT, send me a message and I’ll add it here.

  • A-B-C-D lines or risers: The lines or risers from the front to the back of the wing. Some wings only have A and B risers (called “two-riser” wings). I prefer saying “front risers” and “rear risers” since these are used for ground handling and launching.
  • CB: Cloud base. The lowest part (or base) of clouds. This is the maximum altitude that a paraglider can reach. A low CB means you won’t get up very high above the ground.
  • CB: Constantiaberg
  • CT: Cape Town
  • DTK: Du Toitskloof
  • EMP: Environmental Management Program. A document and set of procedures to formalize and regulate the 22 flying sites within the TMNP. If you plan on flying these Cape Town sites, you have to comply. More here.
  • EN: European norm; a classification system for paragliders according to safety and performance. EN-A is the safest, but lowest performance.
  • Foefie (also misspelled as foofie or foofy): From Afrikaans foefie slide, meaning zip-line. When you take off and there is not enough lift to stay in the air for long and you just glide down to landing.
  • FH: Franschhoek
  • FW: Fence West
  • GR: The Garden Route
  • HG: Hang glider or hang gliding.
  • Hike & fly: Where you hike up to a launch site, and fly back down, or even to a different location; combining the thrill of paragliding with the joy of hiking.
  • IPPI: “International Pilot Proficiency Information.” A worldwide system, used to assess and record the qualifications and proficiency levels of PG pilots. Your IPPI card can be considered like an international driver’s license for PG, showing your level or ability. IPPI 1: Entry-level, suitable for beginners, basic skills under close supervision. IPPI 2: Displaying improved control and ability to perform simple manoeuvres. IPPI 3: Able to handle more challenging conditions and fly with increased independence. IPPI 4: SAHPA Basic license level. Independent level, capable of handling various conditions and allowed to participate in competitions. IPPI 5: SAHPA Sports license. The highest IPPI level, representing independent and skilled pilots with advanced knowledge.
  • Kom: Kommetjie
  • LH: Lion’s Head
  • LLH: Little Lion’s Head / Llandudno
  • LZ: Landing zone.
  • NP: Noordhoek Peak (also NHP)
  • PV: Porterville (which could be the PV valley, PV town, various PV launches, the PV ridge…)
  • PB: Piketberg
  • PG: Paragliding or paraglider.
  • RASP: Regional Atmospheric Soaring Prediction. A forecast model that predicts conditions, specifically for sailplane, hang glider, and paraglider pilots. Available for many locations. RASP South Africa is free and mostly very accurate showing maps of the current and following day’s forecast.
  • SAHPA: The South African Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.
  • SH: Signal Hill (sometimes “Sigs”)
  • SIV: From French “Simulation d’Incidents en Vol” which translates to “Simulation of In-Flight Incidents,” it refers to a training course where pilots practice and learn how to handle various emergency situations and maneuvers in a controlled environment.
  • SLP: Sir Lowry’s Pass
  • TM (or TMNP): Table Mountain (National Park).
  • TO: Take-off. Often a known or registered takeoff site (but TO could be anywhere on a hike-and-fly mission)
  • Turkey: Sometimes it refers to a flight where you’re losing/not finding any lift and going straight for landing (see “foefie”), but mostly it means the landing area closest to launch.
  • Volbiv: From French “vol” (Flight) and “bivouac” (a temporary outdoor shelter), it refers to a style of paragliding where you go on an XC flight, camping overnight along the way to rest before continuing your journey the next day.
  • Wind talker: Also called a wind or weather meter or station, it periodically records snapshots of the current weather, such as wind speed, wind direction, temperature, and more.
  • XC: “Cross-country,” referring to long-distance flying where you try to cover significant distances from one point to another. In some countries, you need a higher IPPI rating to do these flights.

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.