Take Off

It's all about the beauty. The freedom. The thrill. Paragliding offers almost anyone the chance to get into the sky with little upfront cost and little training. And if you're not paramotoring, it's one of the only forms of totally green aviation out there. 

Just picture yourself climbing to the summit of your nearest hill or peak (or one you just love going to) with all of your gear strapped to your back... I'm based in the UK, so for me, it would have to be Scafell Pike in the Lake District. Then, once you reach the top, unfolding your wing, double checking everything and then running offinto the sky. You immediately feel the rush of the wind over your face and sense the calm stillness of the world from thousands of feet in the air. 

If that didn't swing it for you, here's a quick list of just a few of the other perks to paragliding:

It's cheap

Private pilot courses will set you back about 6000 GBP (if you're really good and don't need lots of extra practice). Whereas with paragliding, you technically don't need a license, but it's a good idea to get the training anyway. You're looking at only 500 for an EPC (elementary pilot's license) and another 500 for a club license, if you'd want to try the advanced stuff and fly on your own throughout the UK.

It's easy to learn

Private pilot training usually takes several months to complete. Microlight pilots need less training- about 25 hours worth as well as a lot of theory in ground school. Paragliding training can be accomplished in about a week to 10 days, if the weather allows flying each day. 

It's green

Paragliders rely on thermals to get them from place to place. The warm air gives them lift enough to coast to the next thermal, making petrol free cross-country flights possible. This is also possible with gliders and hang gliders, but they don't offer this next convenience...

It's portable 

With gliding or hang gliding, your craft has fixed wings, and you definitely can't carry it around with you. Paragliding wings can be packed down into a back pack which can then go into a car or be taken on public transport - making international travel much more possible. 

It's versatile

Paragliding offers pilots the chance to do anything from float gently from cloud to cloud to perform ariel acrobatics and stunts and everything in between. Paragliding is also a bridge into many other adventure sports including paramotoring, parascending and ski gliding.

So there you have it! Plenty of reasons to get into the UK's best adventure sport.