KEEP UP: How to get higher when paragliding in light lift

we’re on Ditchling. I’m gonna try and
get up, it’s very light. so let’s talk about launch timing. I’m
standing on launch here it’s very light so I don’t want to launch at the wrong time and drop out. I’m just waiting for that feeling when the wing is lifting and
when it’s pulling slightly forwards. when it’s pulling you back it means the winds
are strong on the hill but if you can feel like it’s gonna pitch forward a little
bit like that, that should mean that there’s some lift in front, just in front
of the hill. it’s just the thermal lifting and pulling off so I’m gonna go out,
try and find the lift. let’s see what happens. might be helpful if I turn my vario on. I’ll check the wing. I always check again after I’ve launched. very very light lift I’m expecting, where we’re flying
here I’m expecting to get some lift as I get out over the trees because you’ve
got ground that’s warming up and you’ve got a whole bowl here which has got
shadow in it. if you look here that whole bowl has got shadow …
there’s the sunlight so I’m going out for that transition there where the warm
air comes up against the hill, hits the shadow and then triggers. I’ve got two seagulls off to my right climbing up there, so that’s showing me this may be something out this side. I can drift
across, now I’m on the line where I expect the lift would be pinging up and I’m gonna use this hill as my bomb-out slope see if I can connect with the thermal
the seagulls were in. light lift there kind of zero I don’t want to get too close into the
sheep here, I give them a little bit of space I’m gonna use this slope to land So you just keep yourself in the game. I haven’t committed to anything that I can’t
really get back from but equally you don’t want to stay on the hill especially
when the sun is at such a steep angle. there’s no ways it’s going to be warming
these slopes. I’m just keeping the glider up because I
can feel what the air is doing then. it’s much better than standing on the ground.
with a little bit of a gust there and the change in direction. I’m still
getting that feeling that the glider is pulling forward, see that? so
let’s go off again now we’ve got a bit of slope here see where we are headed I expect it to get a bit trickier here
because I’m now pointed more into wind the wind’s coming around that corner so
I’m not getting a good angle on this ridge. the ridge lift is weakened, but if I can just keep myself near the top I can get around the corner to the better
face. I can always slope land here if it’s not
working out now this is gonna be a tricky little corner to get around
because this is exactly where the winds gonna want to come around and spill into
this little bowl. if I can just sneak past these bushes … don’t want to come in too low here I might get a little bit of turbulence just around as I’m
approaching the fence line. over there I’m just going to ease over the
top and now we’ve got a better facing slope.
OK that’s now better into the wind. we’ve got another one of these little
bowls to transition and then we are on a good face. this little piece here at
I’d want to fly fairly fast I’ve just got my hands up letting my glider glide through this a
air, to transition I can even use a little bit of speed bar here. I don’t really
need to, I’ve got enough penetration just let it swim its way upwind. I’ve got
another big deep shaded bowl here so with all this shade around
ideally I’d want to be out somewhere over the fields to get the thermals but
there’s no slope landing coming back so I’m just going to use the ridge while I
can get around these trees and then move on to the main bowl.
there’s the Ditchling launch alternative over there and now we’re on a good slope
see that’s pointed nicely into wind it’s got a nice scoop and let’s see if I can pick
something out slightly further out. there’s a bit of a strike of a thermal
but not enough to do a full circle and I can continue on that line I can always
come back to the ridge there we go little thermal not quite enough to do a
full 360 as I settle into my corner now I look at my averager: 0.2 … just
enough to stay in. The climb has strengthened a little bit we’re up to 0.9 on the
average so I’m just gonna stay with it I’m not adjusting my circles at all
I’m just gonna let it drift me up and at this point it’s gonna start spilling
over to the back so now I point into wind and I’ll try and drive upwind a bit on
that same thermal source to try and pick up some more lift. going
forward again. I’ve got to try and pick up something further off the hill now
because as you can see that one topped out really close to the top of the hill
but I’ve got a little bit more height than I had before so now I can go
further out and I might be able to get up to that shadow line so I’m just
following my nose straight into wind on this weak lift line. just little bubbles coming off the same
source and the weaker ones will hit me first, the stronger one will be further out and going more upright. So says the
theory. let’s see how far we can get just check back at the ridge I think I’ve got
enough height to glide back in if I need it I’m getting close to the point I want
to turn. The idea is to try and search in the spots where you’ve got light lift so
you’re not sinking out. so I’m crossing a bit trying to find something there. it’s not strong enough for me to turn in.
I can use that line to get back to the hill so trying to go back into that little
bit of lift and going directly down wind back at the hill on that weak lift line. there it is! a bit of lift there. the trick
is to always top up. never miss an opportunity to gain a couple of metres
that gives you more search options but I’m also watching the other guys next to
me to see if they’re getting more lift than me. Always shift over to wherever it’s working better. you see he has climbed in
there, he’s hit something there. It shows me there’s a little bit of lift off to
my left so I can move my line out to the left slightly and maybe pick up
something out here. It’s gone back down to -1 Time to go back to the hill go look for another. that’s the game it’s
very simple you just keep doing these searching patterns going back to the
hill using the hill to just recover as soon as you’ve recovered your height try
and find that lift line, push out on the lift line, keep working it and keep
watching the other pilots to try and work out if you’re in the best spot or
not. good luck, I hope that helps you get away from the hill or at least up or extends
your flight time a little bit. Have safe flying and as always, thanks to the
crew on Patreon, we really appreciate your support and thanks to everybody that
pops over to and gets some gear, that keeps the show on the road. safe flying guys!

35 thoughts on “KEEP UP: How to get higher when paragliding in light lift

  1. Great stuff @Greg Hamerton. The launch timing, you were talking about feeling the wing pull forward, so you were talking about a thermal lifting in front of launch? and feeling the air on launch pull the wing forward to backfill?

  2. nice. I really want to get in to paragliding. I love paramotor. but to stay up for so long and fly in silence must be great. most flights I like to go up high before landing and kill the motor and enjoy the glide down.

  3. Really reminds me of winter flying in the UK. Hopping from here to there and always trying to hedge my bets. A lot those rolling hills have taught me. Great video Greg ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. This type of video where an experienced pilot is simply speaking aloud the thought process , explaining the decisions etc is incredibly useful.
    Thank you

  5. I see you flying with moderate brakes. It looks like a little more than the brake travel when flying actively. I presume that's somewhere in the range of min sink? Or is just to fly slow to be in the lift as long as possible? What's the idea behind this? Nice video footage! It's quite addictive to watch.

  6. I enjoy watching you flying in these weak conditions with little to no cutting in the video. You are a very good pilot; so that any unspectacular little flight helps pilots like me!

  7. Greg super flying I love this type of flying this is when the skill factor comes into our flying.โœ…๐Ÿ†’๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

  8. Nice video. Thank you for sharing all of those tips!

    Also, does FlyBubble sell these attachable ball compasses, as you've got in this video?

  9. Another great video. I do a lot of coastal ridge soaring, are varios as useful in that situation as they are for inland thermalling?

  10. greg is that beeping unit work on wind change or height change as keep hearing wonder what it does? ,๐Ÿค”cheers lovevideio

  11. Great video – really appreciated hearing your thoughts while looking for lift in such light conditions and late in the day. Learned quite a bit from you on this one – even the simply obvious point while you were walking and knowing there is lift when the glider shoots forward, should have known that, but never thought about it that way until you mentioned it. Thanks!

  12. Hey Greg! I understand the things you say, but when I try them myself, I always have the problem that whenever I decide during the flying around that this is enough lift to circle/search there, I loose height overall. What are your technical tips for flying with little lift, especially how to fly curves, how much brake pressure on which brake, and at what point to search? How far away from the hill? How do you make quick direction changes without height loss? I refuse to accept that it is all in the aspect ratio of the wing, there has to be some pilot knowledge.

  13. Hi I have been watching your videos and really enjoy them. I weigh approximately 115kg is that to heavy for paragliding or should I try paramotor?

  14. I'm new so I hope this is not a dumb question. Above your brake toggles there are handles. What are those for? I'm guessing, trims?

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