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What is tandem paragliding?

Paragliding is a leisure sport that combines freedom, euphoria and exhilaration. The activity involves two pieces of equipment: A wing, which looks similar to a parachute, and a harness, which connects a person to the wing.

Tandem paragliding involves two people: An instructor and a student. At Elite Paragliding, the instructor is the pilot and the client (that’s you!) is the passenger. When flying tandem, the passenger sits up front in their own harness that is connected to both the pilot and the wing.

Tandem paragliding consists of three parts: The launch, the flight and the landing. Prior to launch, your instructor will go over a few simple instructions to ensure both your safety prior to and after your flight and maximum enjoyment once you’re up in the air.

Is it safe?

Paragliding, like flying in an airplane, is extremely safe. But just like flying in an airplane, paragliding requires a mixture of good judgment and safety equipment to ensure complete safety both before, during and after flights.

Elite Paragliding instructors rely on their expertise of atmospheric conditions and flying methods to keep their passengers and themselves safe during the entire flight. In addition to their own good judgment, instructors use certified flying equipment that is subjected to rigorous examination and thorough testing during and after manufacture (certification is done by a third party).

Want to read more about the safety of your tandem paragliding flight? Read More

Is it legal?

Yes. Like airplane pilots, Elite Paragliding instructors are required to follow certain rules established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To fly with students, our instructors are required to be certified by a paragliding organization like the U.S. Handgliding and Paragliding Assocation (USHPA) and must follow certain rules regarding where and when we can fly.

Solo students (non tandem flight), on the other hand, do not need a special license or certification. And unlike an airplane flight, we don’t make you show a boarding pass or stand in long security lines.

Paragliding near Six Flags Discovery KingdomWhere will we fly?

Elite Paragliding operates in the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, our primary flying sites are near San Francisco) and Wine County (South of Napa). We occasionally operate from other places in Northern California, and are evaluating potential launch sites to add to our list. For more information on our flying locations, click here.

I’m big/short/thin, can I still fly?

In most cases, yes! Elite Paragliding instructors can accommodate just about anyone for a flight, regardless of your shape or size. We require you to be between 50 lbs (22 kg) and 260 lbs (117 kg).

There are some cases where special equipment and/or considerations may need to be arranged for a safe flight. If you have a condition that you think might need some extra attention, give us a call at 1-650-735-2FLY (2359) and we’ll work to accommodate you.

I’m still not sure this is for me.

Hellen Keller said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” We encourage you to get a sense of the freedom, peace, and euphoria that paragliding offers. Our mom’s have flown with us! If our moms can do it, so can you. Seriously, what are you waiting for.

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