Uncommon Disciplines of Paragliding
Seldom seen is “Cage” flying. Here the pilot hangs from a single hang point. The idea is
to create the most efficient turns and flight possible to yield great flights. It has not caught on however.
Costume flying is a unique site. Every year in St. Hilaire, France, the Coup Icare air show
assembles 8,000 pilots who take to the sky in elaborate costume such as this dragonfly. Others are flying anvils,
bathroom tubs, unicycle launching, and flying cows. About 75,000 people show up to watch this awesome event.
Some very non-traditional disciplines include D-Bagging. Here a pilot hangs below a tandem
paraglider with his own wing packed sequentially in a stow bag above his head. He releases from the
tandem and falls the length of the paraglider lines. Out pops the canopy which opens smoothly into flight.
Using this D-Bagging technique, Mike Kung from Germany was towed aloft to
16,000 feet above France. He released and deployed his paraglider and glided across the
English Channel landing in England in May of 2003.
Jimmy Hall is the first person to free fall from an airplane and then deploy a paraglider using a
special packing technique including a slider - used to slow the opening process, so the canopy doesn’t explode.
Here we see a tandem paraglider being towed by a hot air balloon.
When ready the canopy is released and away flies the paraglider.
Not recommended is the “Bridge Rollover.” The pilot hangs the canopy below the bridge
and does a forward flip over the canopy. After a bit of jostling the canopy
comes to and begins to glide for a soft landing.
Only a few pilots have ever aero-towed their paraglider. Here an ultralight tows
a paraglider off of flat ground with a long line. Not for the weak of heart.
Here we see a fusion of paragliding and kite boarding to create “Paraboarding.”
Extreme kiting or “Parakiting.” I’ve also heard of trapeze
being hung from a paraglider - haven’t found that photo yet.
One of the most interesting concepts I’ve heard of is “Parahawking.”
Pilots are trained in the art of falconry. The work closely with the birds and eventually
take short flights with them. Their training leads them to reward the birds
for finding thermals. Really cool idea.
© Circling Hawk Paragliding • Santa Barbara, California • Bo Criss • 805-403-5848 • Bo@CirclingHawk.com