Parasoft Paragliding

Located in Boulder, Colorado, in the US is Parasoft Paragliding. Their claim is the pursuit of high standards and having a professional approach to teaching, plus good service. Safety is also high on the agenda, as it should be at every paragliding school.

The Parasoft school operates out of a variety of local sites, each offering different launch directions and each with their own quirks. Some quirks are potentially hazardous to your health, so you need a high rating to fly there!

For example, the Lookout Mountain site is rated P3 mainly due to the handkerchief-sized landing zone, 300m (1000ft) below the launch.

Well, it's not quite that small, but you get the picture.

Fly only the sites you are rated for and everything will be easy, safe and fun.

Some schools have a definite preference for either tandem or solo flying in the introductory stages. At Parasoft Paragliding, it's your choice. Whatever path you take, you will be taught by USHGA (United States Hang Gliding Association) approved instructors, and airmanship is developed from day 1.

All the courses require you to complete a certain amount of ground-school time, flights, and flying days. So the number of elapsed days before you reach a particular level can vary a lot, depending on the weather. The non-flyable days will come in handy for boning-up on the ground-school topics. Or fantasizing about your next day's flying..

Anyone who completes the Novice level training (P1) is encouraged to sign up for intermediate level training (P2). This is aimed at further increasing skills and consequently heightens enjoyment of the sport since more interesting flights can be flown. You can get around and fly a lot more local sites with a P2 rating under your belt. You will have good knowledge of micrometeorology, different launch and flying techniques and safety procedures by this stage.

Finally, if you really want to shed the shackles of this weary Earth, consider a P3 course which will see you participating in various specialized clinics. You will become knowledgeable and skilled in areas like Towing, Flying Cross-Country, Mountain Flying and Ridge Soaring.

Parasoft uses computer simulation to help P1 students understand the basics of take-offs, turns and landing. Well I never. Warmed the cockles of my flight-simming heart to hear that!


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