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latest Para-Newbie News-n-Pics, Dec07, Issue #0012, monthly.
December 25, 2007

Fresh Paragliding Stuff

Selected News, Image, Site Update

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Issued on Wed, Dec 26th 2007, Issue #0012

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Table of Contents

  1. News of the Month
  2. Image of the Month
  3. Website Content of the Month

News of the Month

As usual, I scoured the Web using a number of world news resources to uncover some paragliding news. Wondered for a while whether anything actually happened in December, apart from the usual accident reports... Finally, a couple of items cropped up that were worthy of sharing in this newsletter.

Extreme Filming Planned for Chamonix

Source: Ski Rebel Magazine, Canada

Date: 13 Dec 2007

It's interesting how extreme sports such as paragliding are beginning to blend with the more creative world of media. Demonstrations of great skill, exotic locations and the draw of flight itself all contribute to this trend. There is a growing amount of money to be made from packaging and presenting what so many people are doing for pure enjoyment.

This story is really an announcement of an event coming up next February, the Nissan Outdoor Games. Chamonix in France will be the venue. Integral to the event will be the capture and editing of imagery. Instead of just a few elite athletes standing on a podium as place-getters in a comp, the end result of this festival will be some great film and photography. It's all about a number of extreme mountain sports. Of these, paragliding, speed riding and BASE-jumping might be of most interest to you as a flexible-wing enthusiast!

Speed riding is relatively new, and involves skiing down slopes fast with the aid of a small parafoil. BASE jumping is basically cheating death for fun, by jumping or skiing off rocky outcrops and then descending by parachute after a short free-fall. Not for me, but can you imagine the video footage...

To give you some idea of the scale of the event, there will be about sixty athletes, photographers and cameramen from Europe and the US all working in teams for 5 days before the sports competition itself. They will be trying to shoot and edit down everything to just 20 still photographs and a 5 minute film.

In order to maximize the impact of those photos and films, creativity and artistry will be a big component. We'll just have to wait and see what the teams come up with!

In the end, there will be 2 types of winners declared - best athletes and best film. The films, which will show a sequence of all the sports, will be judged on photography, screenplay and the athletes' performances.

Paragliding in Namibia

Source: USA Today, USA

Date: 19 Dec 2007

Just a short snippet here, but it caught my eye. I mean, who would think of flying in one of the poorest countries in Africa, Namibia? Apparently, it's in the country's interest to encourage tourists to participate in many adventure sports, including paragliding.

Namibia has a small population, around 2 million. This is only double the population of the modest-sized Australian city that I live in! So when nearly half that number travel through each year and spend money, it really kicks along the economy. The tourism figures are rising each year, and this sector is expected to be the country's number one earner in the next 10 years.

What lures wealthy tourists to this out-of-the way spot on the planet? It has a lot to do with its unspoiled nature, plus the chance to fly in utterly wild and spectacular landscapes. There aren't too many cars around, and retrieves are made easier by good quality roads.

A Good Book For Free-Flight Paragliding

Paragliding - A Pilot's Training Manual. Do you have at least a few hours of soaring experience under your belt? Keen to learn much more? This book will fill out your knowledge nicely. Just remember it doesn't take the place of your instructor!

Complete Reference For Powered Paragliding

Powered Paragliding Bible. This is one of a couple of good books that people are using before and during taking up power paragliding. It's great if you want a really complete reference book about the sport. Authored by Jeff Goin and Dennis Pagen and published in April 2006. That Pagen name pops up a lot in light aviation literature!

Image of the Month

There's plenty of paragliding imagery on the Web these days, much of it so-so. Thanks to some paraglider manufacturer friends of mine, I can bring you some great pics that you might not find anywhere else. Hope you enjoy this month's featured picture, below.

Just click on it to enlarge.

A great shot of an Apco Salsa paraglider ridge soaring. I wonder how many new converts to paragliding come from people in this location! They must often catch sight of passing paragliders from their apartment windows... Note the double shadow on the slope - who needs a tele-photo lens when you can get this close! Photo courtesy of Apco Aviation.

Website Content of the Month

Pages are always being added to the site, and I usually highlight just one page here. However, this month I have decided to feature an older page which was updated earlier this month with an eBay listing. Well, you can buy something if you want, but the really nice thing about these eBay listings on my site is that they always give you an up-to-date snapshot of the gear that is out there.

Every ebay listing on my site is specific to paragliding, or even some particular aspect such as these wind meters and watches. Have fun doing some online window-shopping!

Bearing in mind that this paragliding newsletter and in fact most of the website is really for 'newbies', any constructive feedback is welcome! In particular, what would you really like to see in this newsletter? Just reply to this email and tell me your thoughts.

Finally, why not tell a friend about this newsletter.

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