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Learning to Paraglide

So you want to learn to fly! Paragliding is the most exhilarating and peaceful, simple, yet challenging form of aviation yet devised. The modern paraglider has opened up the skies to thousands of people from all walks of life, right across the globe. It is a sport that unites people's differences, giving them a unique common interest, to pursue mans oldest dream to fly like a bird.


Modern paragliders were directly developed from ram air parachutes, which during the late 80's were found to be able to be foot-launched from steep hills. As the Sport developed, so did the technology, and now paragliders are closer to aircraft than parachutes. It is now possible to soar paragliders for many hours, thousands of feet above the ground and be able to fly great distances. A new form of paragliding, speed riding has also come of age, with mini paragliders, taking us back to the thrills of skimming the ground at high speed and soaring in stronger winds. ( we may help you if you are interested ) 

Paragliding is very similar to hang gliding, in fact, they are essentially the same activity done with slightly different equipment. Hang gliders have a  rigid frame and paragliders are completely flexible.

The advantage of paragliders is that they can be packed into a rucksack and carried more easily. Paragliders weigh between 4kg and about 20kg They are also much easier to land, which gives them a big advantage.

Please click here to download a PDF of the BHPA  EP training guide

Is it hard to learn?
No! Our school uses the latest techniques to teach you how to fly as safely as possible, following systems which have been developed over many years and are the approved method of the sports national association; the BHPA. All our instructors are qualified by the BHPA and are experienced and enthusiastic pilots themselves. Your first lessons will have some basic theory and demonstrations, and then with the help of your instructor it's your turn! Now the fun really begins. We won't start by taking you to a hill and throwing you off, but begin with some ground control. Then gradually progressing to short flights on gentle grassy slopes, moving on to the next stage only when you are ready.

Are our prices competitive?  It seems quite expensive to a lot of people, It's only when people realise how much effort goes into training you, how we bend over backwards to get you to achieve your goals, flex around the weather to make sure you will have great fun learning! That you will only appreciate when you come here and try. We budget on 8 days to CP, and that is the Total you pay. However, we know that many of our students train with us from 10+. So our training prices may not be the cheapest, but we think the value speaks for itself. You only need to pay a day at a time, so you are not locked into training with us.

Buying Equipment  If you buy Kit from us, your training fees can be reduced by up to £350 - that's £50 back for every extra day you train except the intro day. Then on top of that you will get 10% off your new full Kit Package, (and 10% off anything you buy in the future as a Club member loyalty bonus)  which allows you the flexibility to buy what's right for you, and to come away with what we think is the best deal out there.

What about the weather? 

Paragliding is a sport that is very dependent on the weather as flying is only possible in certain conditions. A good flyable day is one where there are light winds and no rain. Clouds (except Cb) are not a problem; a dull overcast day with light winds can often be better than one in blazing sunshine when the air becomes turbulent with Thermals.. ( when you are experienced you will enjoy and use thermal lift)

The best thing to do is keep an eye on our own weather forecast page. here you will find our own interpretation based on several forecasts. We give an indication up to a week ahead of the chances of flying and who it will be suitable for.

Whilst you under training with us, you will be a member of Axis Club, and will be able to use the sites and training slopes of the South East Wales Hang and Paragliding Club and South West Wales Soaring Club. We are  affiliated to these Clubs and our CFI; Steve Millson has been on the committee for almost 20 years and is currently the Club safety officer and Chief Coach. The SEWHGPGC and SWWSC are there for the members to allow access to the sites and continue pilot development when you leave school. You can join a recreational club when you leave Axis with your CP (-:

Getting to CP level should take about 8-10 days of tuition. ( it can take more.. this is usually not taken in a block, unless you have links with the weather gods:-), but there is no financial penalty if it does.

A program of courses abroad which can be mixed with training in Wales. This is a great way to do it. learning abroad sometimes does not prepare you well for flying in the UK and vice versa. Experience both for a better experience of the sport. 

Flexible payment system. Paying by the day helps you to spread the cost of each course over the period of your training, and means that if you do not wish to continue with us (unlikely (-: ), you have not wasted course fees.  We try to be as fair as possible with our days, and you will need to pay for 4 days for completion of each EP and CP course, irrespective of how many days are taken, less or more)

Courses abroad are a separate item and one weeks EP or CP course abroad does not include finishing back in the UK unless we were unable to complete 4 days of that course due to weather, in which case you will be offered completing bad weather days back here on us. If you have a valid days credit from a UK course you may use that as a deposit on a course abroad if you choose to do that.

Best Flying Sites We are probably situated in the best flying area in the UK, with more slopes to train on, (several private sites) taking more wind directions. Sites up to 2400 feet AMSL. More easily soarable sites- makes passing those tricky CP tasks much easier!