For as long as man has walked the Earth, he has looked skyward and dreamed of flight. Human flight was first realized in 1903 when the Wright Brothers flew a glider from the wind swept sand dunes o­n the shores of Kitty Hawk. In spite of the remarkable advancements in human flight, the quest for the true freedom of flight continues.

One of the best ways to experience the exhilaration of flight is through paragliding. Unlike flying in an airplane, paraglider pilots are free to experience the euphoria of true flight while while being suspended beneath a fabric wing. This unique method of flight provides an unmatched and unlimited view of the terrain and the true sensation of flight.

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A paraglider is simple fabric wing under which the paraglider pilot is suspended in a harness similar to a conventional parachute. The paraglider is foot launched, meaning the paraglider pilot runs into the wind creating lift under the fabric wing thereby inducing flight. Paragliders can be launched from hills, cliffs, and ramps. o­nce airborne, the paraglider pilot controls the paraglider by manipulating the rigging from which he or she is suspended, much like a parachute is controlled. The paraglider pilot is able to turn, climb, and descend by manipulating this rigging which, in turns, alters the shape of the wing.

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Paragliding equipment consists of a large, parachute like fabric wing, control rigging, and a harness. Of course, a helmet is also a requirement to keep the pilot safe. Optional equipment includes GPS units for navigation, radios for communicating with other paragliders or ground support crews, and variometers which detect and indicate rates of climb or descent.

Reminiscent of man's first moments aloft over 100 years ago, paragliding captures and preserves the magic of flight.