Paragliding is one of the most thrilling and blood pumping adventure sports out there, but it is also a sport that holds tremendous potential for accidents and mishaps. It is absolutely vital to follow precautions while paragliding, and failure to do so could lead to severe consequences. Learning paragliding safety is something that should be done with the help of an expert and a seasoned professional of the sport, as they are the best people to impart wisdom about it.
A paraglider is a foot-launched and free-flying aircraft that can be manned by either one person or by two people. The individual is required to run down a cliff with the glider and take off, and then the wind and the aerodynamic build of the glider takes over. Steering the glider is something that a beginner would be unable to do, so it is essential to learn the basics before trying it, and it is also important to try the first few times with an expert or an instructor alongside you.
Rules for Paragliding Safely
Flying without a motorized engine can inevitably be dangerous, since one is solely in the hands of nature for some time. So it is necessary to take all the precautions possible in order to prevent serious damage. Using the right equipment, wearing the right clothing, and following the right protocol, is something that every paraglider should do, and there should never be any ambiguity about such things.
Here are some basic rules that any experienced or amateur paraglider must remember at all times.
- The first time that you go paragliding, you should do so with an experienced instructor. For this purpose, you can either join a paragliding club, or enlist the help of a licensed and registered instructor.
- Equipment like a flight suit, helmet, boots, harness and canopy must be utilized by anyone who is paragliding. If possible, you must buy this equipment for yourself, rather than use equipment that is used or is used by a group of people at different times.
- Learn to respect the weather conditions. Paragliding when it is raining or when there is excessive wind is ill-advised, and you must learn to recognize the signs. Majority of paragliding accidents happen due to unsuitable weather conditions.
- Showing off unnecessarily could lead to accidents and serious injuries, so you must know your limitations and not push them excessively. Paragliding is essentially an adventure sport, so a rush of adrenaline is expected. But you must know where to draw the line, because after all, your life is at stake.
- The landing site must be easily accessible and clearly visible. A lot of accidents happen due to irregular landings, and one should also use their legs for rough landings. A broken ankle or leg is easier to manage than a broken back or spine.
- Always carry a knife with you while paragliding, as you never know when you may need to cut yourself free from an entanglement of wires and cords.
- Always take advice from experienced paragliders about various aspects like launching off, navigating, landing, steering, and other safety issues. Someone who has flown a lot will be the best teacher in these circumstances, and their words can help you avoid the mistakes they may have made.
It is said that most paragliding accidents happen due to the bad attitude of the paraglider. Someone who is cautious and takes the right safety measures will almost never find himself in a dangerous situation. But someone who is excessively cavalier and aggressive about paragliding, may lure himself into a situation that could lead to serious injuries. At the end of the day, paragliding is a dangerous sport, and only someone who is prepared for the worst can handle it. A famous adage says It is better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than to be in the air wishing you were on the ground, and this is something that every single paraglider must remember.