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 flight.

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
recreation environment.
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
United States.

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!!!
Greg Kelley
Advanced Tandem Instructor
(970) 376-0495
Kris Husted
Advanced Tandem Instructor
(970) 376-0684
David D. Champaign
Advanced Tandem Instructor
(970) 845-7321
Thomas Keough
Advanced Tandem Instructor
(970) 390-8467
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
Bobby Blount
Basic Tandem Instructor
(970) 390-8130
Darren Jack
Basic Tandem Instructor
(970) 471-6586
Garrett Gardner
Basic Tandem Instructor
(714) 247-9351
Bob Strong
Basic Tandem Instructor
(970) 376-3363
Matt Bickley
Basic Tandem Instructor
(970) 393-2008