Vail Valley Paragliding
|Meet our Tandem Instructors
Vail Valley Paragliding offers comprehensive, in-depth instruction, and is unique in regards to paragliding teaching methodology.
We limit the student per teacher ratio to ensure a quality experience, and focused attention to each individual. Our goal is to fulfill
each student's need whether they want a tandem flight or to pursue and advanced rating.
The Two Day Introductory Lesson is perfect for the entry level pilot that wants a simple, yet hands on experience of what foot
launch flight has to offer. We include at least two tandem flights; extensive solo ground handling of the paraglider, and solo
flights from our training hill. We have indoor classes focusing on meteorology, aerology (wind), and aerodynamics, which
includes the use of the most advanced flight simulators to date.
Our Five Day Course (P1) is a full, in-depth program which includes the beginner rating through the United States Hang Gliding
Association (USHGA). It includes several tandem flights with an instructor, use of equipment including paraglider, harness,
helmet, and radios. The student will experience many hours of ground handling the glider, several solo flights from the training
hill including a flight from 1500 vertical feet by the 4th day.
Our indoor sessions cover aerodynamics, meteorology, paraglider design, safety, soaring flight, and equipment. You will also get
a manual and flight log. By the end of this course you will have a comfortable understanding of the dynamics of foot launched
Our Novice Certification Course (P2) is the premier program for entry-level pilots. At the course completion, you will have a
Novice Certification from the United States Hang Gliding Association. To achieve this level it takes a minimum of 25 flights and
usually 14 flying days to complete. Once you have your P2 rating you will have the credentials and be able to fly many of the
flying sites in the USA and abroad. The course is very comprehensive, and takes commitment on the part of the student.
Including the material from the above courses, the student pilot will experience steering and landing the glider into a 25 foot
diameter circle. He/ she will learn the basics of thermaling and soaring flight with respect and understanding for meteorology,
aerology (wind), and aerodynamics as it pertains to non-motorized foot launch flight. Many of our novice students have
experienced first hand thermal soaring flights over 45 minutes long, with 2000 foot altitude gains above launch by their 20th
flight. This is the course to consider if you're excited and driven to pursue foot launch flight for many years to come.
Our tandem flights offer the exiting and enjoyable opportunity of flying without the stress of doing it alone. You do not need any
experience for a tandem flight. With some basic instruction you will have the prowess it takes to safely fly one of our advance
sites with a Certified Tandem Instructor. Many of our flights have been over 2 hours dancing with thermals over the Vail Valley.
Bring your camera, as we occasionally are accompanied by one of the local golden eagles flying with us wing tip to wing tip.
Many of our flights will take us 4000 feet over the Vail Valley with an earth perspective you will not soon forget. We say "It's
not the sky that’s the limit, it's the ground."
If you decide to buy a glider from us, you will have unlimited instruction toward any of the more Advanced Ratings (P3/ P4),
free reserve repacks, free glider maintenance and inspection, as well as minor repairs (small tears, one line break). If you take
the Novice Certification Course through Vail Valley Paragliding, you will receive a 10 percent discount on the purchase price.
The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association is the self governing
body who administers our rating, rankings and designations. It is also the body who
sets the standards, requirements and guidelines of our instruction. As members solo
pilots, instructors and tandem passengers alike are covered by a group liability insurance
policy to protect third parties from damage while we recreate. Our goal is to be
advocates and mouth pieces for the our sport and to perpetuate a safe and enjoyable
Vail Valley Paragliding specializes in instructional tandem flights, beginner through
advanced paragliding courses, and thermal and cross-country clinics.
We offer a small student-teacher ratio for personal attention and maximum transfer
of information. Our staff is certified through the United States Hang Gliding
Association (USHPA), which governs all foot launched non-powered aviation in the
Our instructors combine over 25 years experience in the art of paragliding. We
strive to exceed the student's expectations with personalized attention, safety,
comprehensive curriculum, empathy and fun. All the ingredients for an experience
you will not forget.
Our training curriculum starts from the ground up, literally. We start our courses
with ground school, which teaches you the nuances of paragliding flight. As your
skills develop, next is guidance through a series of low-level flights, which
emphasize the launch and landing. This could happen on your first day. By the
third day you can be flying off one of our significant mountain sites where the
birds soar, and pilots have had significant cross-country flights.
All of our training flights are radio controlled. You will be in contact with the
instructor who is on the ground guiding you from launch to landing. You will also
experience, in soaring conditions, a tandem flight with an instructor. This allows
you and the instructor hands-on guidance, with you taking the controls if
conditions permit. The joy of flight cannot be missed. We can take you there.
All of our sites are within a 20-mile drive of Vail, Colorado. The Vail Valley is home
to many athletic opportunities. When it's not flyable, there are many other activities
to participate in including, rock climbing, fly-fishing, kayaking, or mountain biking.
From 1,300 vertical feet, to 3,200 vertical feet, most of our sites have road access.
If you prefer to hike there are numerous options to satisfy your needs. We can
guide you to any of these flying sites depending on experience.
We can tend to any of your paragliding needs. Call us for the time of your life!!!
|Meet our Tandem Instructors
|Wir reden Deutsch. On parle français. Hablamos Espaňol.
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Vail Valley Paragliding's Philosophy and Instructional Offerings:
Vail Valley Paragliding
Basic Tandem Instructor