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Frequently Asked Questions-

What is paragliding?- Paragliding is a simple form of flying, where you glide through the air on a thin, wide canopy while reclined in a little bucket-type seat. Paragliders are usually foot-launched from a mountain or hillside, and glide on down to a landing area. Your flight time can be extended be seeking out thermals and ridge lift, and flights of several minutes to hours are possible.

What’s flying like in the Sierra Nevada of California?The Sierra Nevada is one of the world’s great paragliding destinations. High majestic mountains, deep glacial valleys, expansive views, and easy access are all readily available here. There are many flying sites in this area to choose from, from fun and easy Flynn’s, all the way to the wild west of paragliding- Walt’s point. Bring your ‘A’ game while flying the Sierra- this is big mountain flying!

What is the best way to get introduced to paragliding?- A great way to become introduced to paragliding is to go for a tandem flight. This lets you kick back and relax, take in the views, and leave all the complicated stuff to the pilot!

What are the requirements to fly?Physically the only thing you need to be able to do is run about thirty feet or so, down a sloping hillside.

How long is the learning process?Anyone can go for a tandem flight with absolutely no previous experience. To progress to you full P2 certification usually takes seven to ten lessons, and most pilots get this done over the course of a few weeks. It can be a bit faster or slower, depending on the student and their availability.

Where is Mammoth Lakes and Sierra Paragliding?The Sierra Nevada mountain range of California runs close along the state’s eastern boundary with nevada, and is often referred to as ‘the east side’. Away from the hustle and bustle of southern california and the S.F. bay area, solitude and wilderness is easily found. Driving times from both the bay area and Los Angeles is about five to six hours. Directions and location

What are the differences between speed flying and paragliding?Speed flying is a form of paragliding, where we use smaller, faster wings to descend down mountains and hillsides. The sport is newer than paragliding itself, and is really catching on with the type of person who prefers high speed flying, rather than gently soaring through the sky.

What are the differences between hang gliding and paragliding?Hang gliding is similar to paragliding in most ways, but the wing itself is very different. A hang glider is a metal framed V-shaped wing, that is much heavier and bulkier than a paraglider. The hang glider is usually transported on top of a truck with a lumber rack and is about 65 lbs, while a paraglider folds down into a backpack and weighs about 25 lbs.

What are the capabilities of paragliders? Paragliders are not only capable of gliding down from hills or mountains for a few minutes, but are also capable of flights of many hours by seeking out thermal or ridge lift. Very high altitudes well above 17,000 feet are easily reached here in the Sierra, with distances of over 150 miles. Some pilots like to fly aerobatic (or ‘acro’) maneuvers as well- loops, spins, and tumbles!

How much does a paraglider cost, and how long will it last?-The average cost of a paraglider, harness, and reserve parachute run from about $3,000 to $5,000, and used gear is often available for considerably less.The average lifespan of a paraglider is three to six years, depending on how often you use it. We can help you find the wing which is best for you.

Is paragliding scary or dangerous?- Paragliding is similar to many other outdoor sports, in that you can make it as safe as you want to. Modern paragliders are very stable while in flight, and safe competent pilots rarely ever find themselves in threatening situations. Fear or being scared is usually quickly done away with after your first flight, as soon as you experience how easy and safe the sport really is.

What is the history of paragliding in Mammoth Lakes/Owen’s Valley?



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