FAQ's about Learning to Paraglide (click on the questions below)

Where can I learn?

I am lucky to fly and teach almost 12 months a year. I teach in the Rogue Valley and the Shasta Valley in the summer. Every winter I lead tours, guide and teach paragliding in Costa Rica.
I teach one on one or in groups that are small and focused. Paragliding is tons of fun, but also a serious sport that demands work to develop skills. You can do all of your training in the US, or do all or part in Costa Rica, whichever works for you.

Is it safe?

No. Paragliding is not 100% safe. Watching TV is pretty safe, but then again your house might have radon gas, lightning could strike, plus TV can damage your mind!
Seriously, paragliding is relatively safe when pilots fly modern well kept equipment and fly in appropriate conditions for their skill level.
One simple analogy would be driving a motorcycle vs flying a paraglider. With proper equipment in appropriate conditions, obeying operating rules and regulations, accidents are rare. Actually the rate of accidents is about the same in paragliding and motorcycling, not without risk, but manageable. Your training will emphasize safety, such as techniques to evaluate conditions before considering whether to fly, how to check your equipment each time preflight, as well as how to take off, fly and land safely.

How much does it cost to learn?

We encourage most students to start with a 2 day introduction, which costs $300. We treat these two days as if every student will continue, but it also gives you a chance to see if paragliding is right for you, as well as for us to see if we feel you are right for paragliding! The fee for a 2 day introduction is applied towards your P-2 training.
P-2 Training is a total of $1800, with a credit of $400 towards your purchase of equipment through us. P-2 is the rating designation from USHPA, the US Hang gliding Paragliding Association for a novice pilot, one capable of flying without instructor supervision in appropriate conditions. Nick is an Advanced Paragliding Instructor capable of continuing your training through the P-3 and P-4 levels, that's to become an intermediate and then advanced paraglider pilot.

How much does paragliding gear cost?

Paragliding gear costs about $5000 for new gear, around $3000 for used gear in flyable condition that will last you. Paragliding equipment gets better and better each year, with new materials and construction techniques. We apply $400 of your training fee towards the purchase of your paragliding gear through us. Quality used gear is hard to find, and you need to know it's history because your safety literally depends on it. For information and sales of paragliding equipment go to our websites at Niviukwest and Apcowest.

How long does it take?

First, everyone learns and absorbs information and skills at different rates. Second, we want you do be a skilled novice pilot when we “turn you loose,” not just be able to pass a test and fulfill the minimal requirements. We like to say that you graduate with your P-2 level, but you fly as a P-2.5! Getting your P-2 can take anywhere from 2 weeks if you train every day and we have good weather, to several months of training on weekends.

Is paragliding for everyone?

To be blunt, no, paragliding is not for everyone. First of all, it takes a commitment of time, finances and most of all desire, to become a paragliding pilot. But there are no age limits and it doesn’t take tons of athletic ability. Most people can learn to handle a paraglider and to fly if they have the commitment and desire. It is a wonderful, fun, challanging, potentially life changing activity, and we'd be honored to show you how!