Paragliding Skills: Toplanding in light winds

hey today we’re gonna talk about top
landings, coming in at an angle coming up the slope I’ll show you
a few variations and demonstrate to you how you can come in for a very
cool smooth top landing in light conditions. let’s check it out! that’s the wake from the other pilot passing in front of me. so you must be careful when somebody’s turning just in front of you, that you don’t get turbulence from their wing. I’m watching the guy in front of me here
turning again he’s gonna create wake just behind the wing so I would expect
to fly into it in about 3 2 1 somewhere there. it’s quite gentle as it
had time to dissipate. look first, take an easy turn letting the other guy stay
close to the ridge. I should be able to come in for a top
landing now. I’ve got traffic coming towards me but I’m on the right so I’ve got
right-of-way, the other pilots need to move out That’s fine. I’ve still got a good line coming in for my top landing. there’s a little bit of
a hazard I don’t want to put myself into the trees so I want to be sure that I’ve
got enough height to get in there and that’s kind of touch-and-go on this line.
legs down early, keep the speed up, keep it coming straight in and I’m gonna
flare when I feel it’s the right time. the trick is to not do any turns at the end
just keep it straight even if you’re landing crosswind you can flare and
make it nice and soft Keeping a nice line, giving a bit
of space for everybody and the guys turning in front means maybe I can shift
over the ridge give them some space somebody launching off to the left. I
could come in for a top landing again from here somewhere.
in a moment … just waiting for a good moment in the traffic. so this is a higher top landing approach
I’m now coming in with more height I’ve come in a little bit from the back, set
it up nicely and then take a line in from here. Again in a straight line, legs
down early, keep the speed high, keep it straight and just when you’re ready, flare,
touchdown, no big movements just a good flare right at the end. more of that looking for a gap to come in here we
need this other pilot to go past me and then I can dive in. I’m gonna come from upwind now so now I’m coming straighter into the
slope, faster. A good flare, earlier, and touchdown. as long as you give yourself enough
speed you can flare and touch down smoothly even if you’re going up the
hill. cool, so what I’m trying to do with this top landing approach every time is
to come in on a straight line you want to set yourself up, however much height
you have, set yourself up on the finals, very long finals, so you’re not making
adjustments close to the ground as you are going through that turbulent area. you
want to pick a line depending on your altitude that brings you in to your
landing spot and then just keep it absolutely straight if you come in with
lots of speed and you put that flare in when your feet are this high off the ground, you’re gonna get a nice round out and a touchdown that’ll be smooth enough and soft enough even if you’re going uphill but the
trick is to keep the line absolutely straight and to come in with speed. I’m
doing different variations here just to show you the different angles. the ideal
top landing of course is coming around behind launch and just coming in on a
nice steady glide into wind and keeping everything nice and slow. this would be a more traditional top
landing approach coming over the ridge line with a lot of height looking at the
windsock, going on behind the windsock and then turning and picking your line
fairly early, legs down early, straight into wind and from this position now I can
afford to play more with the brakes because I’m nice and slow I’ve set it up
nicely and I can just come down here low, slow down and touchdown. Another normal top landing approach, drift over the ridge like this, so ridge soaring poorly basically, you taking a line that brings you over the crest, that gives you a chance for a turn level with the windsock then running yourself back a little bit, legs down and make sure you’re turning into wind slowly with lots
of height. okay this would a good moment for a butterfly landing, just keeping it off the
stall point. A thing to bear in mind is that the launch area is likely to be
turbulent because you’re going into that ground wash behind little obstacles:
trees, rocks, changes in terrain. so that’s why I’m getting my legs down
really early on any top landing approach and I’m coming in with full speed. I’m
not slowing it, slowing it, slowing it … like this. A thing to be careful of if you’ve
got a slope like this is to avoid putting out your hand on the slope side
that’s a natural reaction that pilots do when slope landing as you
kind of try to push the slope away as it comes up just at that last moment and
the trick is to just focus on your hands keep them absolutely steady and straight
and flare them out level. sometimes what I’m doing at the last instant is I’m
turning the glider into wind but that’s only like the very end of the
flare I’ve already flared and then I leave one brake on to turn the wing
around. you definitely don’t want to do that as you initiate the flare because
you’re gonna spin the wing. so I’m coming in with hands high, flaring like that and
then I’m releasing just to spin the wing around into wind. all right this is going to be another fast approach, coming in upslope. legs down early, keep it nice and fast,
keep it straight, flare it in, one hand up to swing it around I’m a bit low this time, I don’t think I’m
gonna come in because this would put me in the wash behind the trees. I don’t
really have enough height to swing through clearly so let’s do another pass. well it’s all good, I’ve got a good approach coming in from here and I’m gonna overshoot you I think but
coming in straight, bringing it in fast, straight through long flare, slow it down, touchdown. I overshot you! you can
see it’s the flare that’s important, the angle is not that important.
I hope that helps you with your top landing setup, that makes it safe.
remember to practice this somewhere really cool like this, we’re so blessed
here we’ve got such big sites to come and mess around on but do it somewhere
where the airflow is nice and smooth be careful of slowing the wing down too
much and remember to get your legs down Thanks for watching, thanks to our patrons, thanks for supporting the shop. See you next time!

18 thoughts on “Paragliding Skills: Toplanding in light winds

  1. Such great info!! I spent a whole day doing laps working on perfecting my top landings. It’s definitely a skill not everyone is good at πŸ˜‚. Nice job, keep up the good work!!

  2. Love your videos!
    But just my 2 cents opinion on this one: the site in the video is definetely not a problematic launching site where its difficult to top land, as it is extremely moderate grassy slope with plenty of room for the landing. (Devil's Pyke i suppose?)
    I think that a top-landing tutorial with reference to a more complex site situation where you don't have that much room for a speed section before the flare will be even more beneficial because in this specific site, it looks like you can just as much perform a regular "open-field" landing.

    That being said- great video, like always! (:

  3. Awesome video! Always appreciate this high quality content.
    Quick question: For sound, are you just using that foam gopro cover, or do you have an external mic?

  4. How about a top landing video that shows how to land in strong winds on a cliff launch site with lots of rotor unless you touch down within 5 meters of the lip? Such as La Bajada in NM?
    I like the one hand up for cross after touchdown, I'll have to try that.

  5. Grelt video because of the back light from the Sun, as a semi new pilot and not beeing a toplanding ACE, it is very helpfull to se the movement and amount og branke input that you use when approating landing.. πŸ‘

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