Soaring Skills For Low Airtime Paraglider Pilots


I don’t want the wing to pull me downslope,
so (we’ve done this in another video) you get the wing to be across the wind, almost
90 degrees, then I’m pulling up from there, the wing pulls me up the hill, it’s much easier
to control, I’m letting the wing pull me up the slope while I’m controlling things, if
I like everything I can steady the wing into wind, straight, and off we go. The wind’s quite strong, so I don’t need to
be close in on the slope, it also means it’s more turbulent close in to the slope, so it’s
better to just point into wind, keep riding it until the lift stops. So I’m keeping on
going, still climbing, I don’t need to be near the ridge. There we go, that’s the edge
of the lift band there, just there. So now I’ve established where the lift band is, I
can just sit on the outside of that lift band, I don’t need to be in the Venturi, and this
gives me options, if the wind increases I’ve got more time to get my speedbar ready. Now
I’m just going to follow the seagulls around and fly on the outside of the lift band. When you’re ridge soaring, it’s a very good
time to practice energy management. You want to try and get your turns so you’re not wasting
energy, this will be very useful when you’re thermaling. So when you do a turn, you can
do a tight turn, but try and make it so that when you come out of the turn there’s no second
swing-through, controlling that pitch on the brakes so you make it really smooth. So put
in a turn, let it swing through and try and control that energy. It’s very subtle, but
when you get it right you’ll feel it’s really smooth. The same you can do with pitch control, just
coming down on the brakes a bit, letting the glider dive forward, letting it swing through
and now trying to smoothen this one out, now I’m coming down on the brakes just a touch,
… and there we go, level level level. Very useful skills to have, and the best time to
do it – when it’s smooth and soarable, so there’s nothing upsetting your controls. Another thing you can practice is getting
tight turns using weight shift first. So a little bit of weightshift in my corner, now
a bit of brake … perfect thermaling turn there. Your glider wants to flatten out a
little bit after the first 180, if you keep your weight in you get a really nice turn,
play with that, come out of the turns, back to level smooth, and the whole time you’re
working on getting your glider control so that the wing is nice and smooth, you don’t
have these big pitches. It’s also quite a lot of fun. OK, I’m going to do one to the right now,
so I weightshift first, and then I’m turning, getting a nice tight turn round, there’s the
level-out, I keep my weight in, come around my 360, and back to level, and let’s lock
it in there. Lock! Find a point on the horizon and imagine that you’re coming in on rails.
Lovely stuff. When you’re controlling your glider, try and
avoid pushing your hands ahead of the risers. This is a common mistake, and what it does
is you’re trying to stabilise your body by pushing away, you’re pushing yourself back
into your harness. I’d suggest try and set your harness up better so you don’t feel the
need to do that. This is also a much better control line, it’s straight down, it doesn’t
have anything in the way, when you go forward like this you can start chafing the lines
against the other lines, so bring it back, in line with the riser that should be your
control line. If you’re far enough away from the slope,
you can practice just gentle 360 turns, but be very careful of doing this when you’re
ridge soaring, because this turn here (downwind), you’ll find you’ll really speed up towards
the ridge. So only if you’re high and well ahead. Oh, it’s a bit thermic there, turn into wind,
up we go! Steady climb all the way up. This sort of bowl, you don’t want to fly over
the road, there again, you’re going to get Venturi (increased wind). I’m turning
here, it’s about as far back as I want to go. What a lovely view.

29 thoughts on “Soaring Skills For Low Airtime Paraglider Pilots

  1. Thanks Greg, keep them coming! What harness are you using? The Blog link isn't working, perhaps not published yet?

  2. It's brilliant that you're getting into your stride again with these videos. They are some of the best sources of information out there, and I'm certain they've helped keep many pilots safe. Thank you, Greg and the team.

  3. I am so enjoying your videos ! really get the sense of the situations your demonstrating and then get your input to dealing with it, so realistic! and I am soaking up your viewpoint like a sponge. REAL VALUE!

  4. on the latest wings it is adviswed to fly with brakes fully off. Therefore if wing pitches back ie gust or thermal you have no brake to release to counter this. Your bit on pitch control in vid reminded me of this.

  5. Hi Greg. Your videos are really informative and very well put together. I love being up there too but when the wind is howling it's great to get my very few paragliding neurons firing watching your videos. Thanks sharing. Subbed .. Cheers Gerry

  6. Nice vid. I'm guilty of clinging to the top of the ridge in case I lose height. I hadn't thought about staying out of the venturi till now. Next time I'll be pushing out to try and find the front of the lift band. Thanks for the advice!

  7. Gday Greg, Im from Australia and wonder how you find the Skyride sys nav. I am looking at getting one. Thank you, your videos are very imformative and helpful.
    Keep up the great work.
    Andrew Mills

  8. It's the best paragliding channel I've ever seen. Really great learning material. Thank you Greg and the Team.

  9. Hi Greg. I'm in NZ and did PG1 and a few flights of PG2 last summer. Hoping to complete this coming summer (which we have at Christmas over here). Do you have any reviews of BGD gear? I've looked but not seen any. I'm considering the Snug / Opps / Epic combo. I have over 1650 skydives, so looking forward to the challenge of actually staying in the sky for a change 🙂

  10. Love your videos! I’m currently learning with Zenti Bishop in Wilderness and on my 40th flight. Been flying all morning at Map of Africa! Loving this sport! Look forward to finding some good spots back home in the UK. 🤙

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *