Am I in safe hands with FlyStyle?
Absolutely. Our instructors have been teaching for years. They know how to teach for all learning styles, and they have judgement you can trust. We will never send you off on a flight if we and/or you don't feel comfortable.
Why use Flystyle over any other company?
If you take time to compare one school to another (and we recommend you do, to find your best fit for your journey and end goal) you'll find that the big differences are:
We are fun! While we are professional, we don't take ourselves too seriously and like to laugh and be creative. We are all just a bunch of big kids flying big kites, after all. We want our students to have fun, to shake off the willies and just be relaxed and excited about their discovery of flight, as we've found that the best learning happens when you're having fun.
We are flexible. We teach year round, 7 days a week (weather permitting), and we can work with you to accommodate your schedule.
We are distributors! We are distributors of paragliding products, so we can find you the best gear when you are ready. While you are first learning, we use practically new equipment to teach you on. Fresh equipment makes a big difference in the safety and ease of learning.
Advanced Technologies. We can incorporate boat and truck towing with our Cloud Street Winch into our programs, which means that you're guaranteed the opportunity to fly thousands of feet over the ground. Up high, you can learn about 360's, big ears, speedbar use and a host of other maneuvers that can't be practiced when flying off of a hill.
Hours of airtime. Flystyle offers hours of hands-on airtime. This opportunity exists through around 3-10 instructional tandem flights (depending on the student's needs). Tandem instruction is our specialty, and is an integral component of our training program and essential for the developing pilot. Students more readily absorb and understand flight aspects with an instructor by their side giving crucial feedback at the correct moments.
When is the best time to go speedflying + paragliding?
Seasons: We fly tandem and solo all year long and have amazing flights every month of the year. Winter has great flying but definitely doesn't get as many epic days of the week as other times of the year.
Time of day: Sunrise to sunset in the summer is often good for paragliding and speedflying in the summer. 10am - 3pm is often prime time to fly in the heart of winter. The wind direction is most affected by the big-scale scenario — ie., the weather systems that move across the U.S.
Paragliding and speedflying are weather dependent, but is magic when we score. The forecasts these days are very accurate 5 days in advance, helping you plan for your flights.
Do gift certificates expire?
Our gift certificates are valid for one year.
What are paragliding lessons like?
We pride ourselves on offering highly personalized, typically one-on-one instruction—and we take our time. Some students are comfortable with a quick progression, while others move along very slowly. No matter your pace, we promise you will enjoy the process. Our students consistently exceed the USHPA minimum requirements for attaining a P2 rating, and they have a great time doing it.
What happens after a novice paragliding course?
Once you have completed your license course and have all of your gear, you will be able to fly the paragliding sites that your pilot rating meets. You should join the flying club of your local area which is where you'll find a great network of free-flight pilots and future friends who will happily provide further assistance. The paragliding community is a good one, so get yourself involved as it can only build your skill level. There are endless possibilities to attend: events, competitions, fly-ins, clinics, etc.
What is the difference between speedflying and paragliding? Which is better?
Note: we love do both as a hobby, but prefer speedflying (our passion) over paragliding for a few major reasons:
Speedwings can fly in much more wind, making it 1) more likely to fly on the day you want to fly and 2) safer if the wind strengthens.
Speedwings can fly in more turbulent air which is good for 1) strong thermals and 2) saftey. Speedwings have less risk of in-air "collapses" than paragliders do.
Speedwings have a better glide-angle than paragliders, meaning they can fly steeper, more controlled, and more dynamic conditions + thermals (fun!).
Speedwings can fly almost as slow as a paragliders, but can be used to fly much faster.
Speedwings are controlled by shifting your weight & precise toggle control.
How long does it take to learn to fly paragliders?
Students usually finish courses and are competent, licensed, beginner pilots at around 10 training days.
What do I get with a course?
• 10 days of training at various Oregon & Washington paragliding sites
• Site introduction and familiarization to sites such as Cape Kiwanda, Sollie, Bingen, Cliffside & more
• Personalized instruction
• 2-4 (student depending) tandem flights
• 3 days on the training hills
• 10+ hours of theory
• Free use of the latest equipment.
• Supervised soaring flights.
• A novice rating (student depending) accredited by USHPA
• A solid foundation of core flying skills to build upon
• FUN, and a huge sense of accomplishment
What does it feel like to paraglide and speedfly?
A dream come true.
Also, gaining altitude sometimes feels a bit like take-off in an airplane where your stomach drops, but for the most part, your ride will be all smooth transitions.
Do people ever get up in the air and freak out on their tandem flights?
No, not one so far! We have done thousands of tandem flights, injury and freak-out free. However, we always give the option to the passenger to tell us if/when they'd like to land.
What if I'm scared of heights?
What better way to conquer that fear than to learn to fly? Its's mind over matter: the scariest part of the flight is thinking about it.
What happens if the wind stops?
A controlled, smooth, gliding decent to the LZ (landing zone). Paragliders (and all aircrafts) create their own "airspeed" from gravity, and gravity never stops.
Are paragliding + speedflying physically demanding?
Nope. It takes a light touch, not lots of muscle. Paragliding tandem with a good onshore breeze is not physically demanding whatsoever. We've shared the experience with many seniors, children, and folks with physical challenges. Which is awesome, because EVERYONE deserves to fly!
Is the wind too noisy to hear when you fly?
No, it's about the amount of wind you hear in your ears when riding a bicycle. It's easy to have a chat with each other when flying tandem or even from paraglider to paraglider while airborne.
How does a glider stay up in the air for an extended time?
1) Ridge/mechanical lift: the wind flowing off of an object (a body of land/building) and moving upward.
2)Thermal lift: a column of rising air, caused from the ground heating.
Can you fly in the rain?
Light rain is ok. But flying near building "storm-cells" is NOT cool.
Do I have to take the lessons consecutively?
No. In fact, most local students tend to complete a 10 day course, sporadically, over a couple of months. Having this extra time will give you a chance to read, watch videos, research, learn, absorb, and understand some important concepts (i.e. the weather) and how to handle situations you have not yet encountered before.
How much does it cost to learn to fly?
Check our lessons page for pricing.
Will I receive a license after completing my lessons?
Yes, you'll receive a license from USHPA when you have proven your abilities on a check list that matches your desired pilot rating.
Other than a wing, what gear will I need to buy or get?
Paragliding Membership through USHPA
Paragliding, PPG, or Speedflying Instructional Book $24
Understanding the Sky book $60
How much does a glider/wing cost?
Anywhere from $2,800 for a great second hand glider (have your instructor help you inspect them) and up to around $3,800 for a brand-new glider with custom colors.
What's the "typical" speedflying and paraglider pilot like?
All sorts of people paraglide & speedfly! We have taught a brain surgeon, 10th degree black belt ninjas, I.T. techs, teachers, lawyers, students, surfers, 747 airline captains, landscape artists, doctors...the common denominator between them all is that they all want to fly.
Is speedflying and paragliding dangerous?
Modern glider/wing designs are tested and certified carefully. Like any activity (mountain biking, surfing, etc...), participants can put themselves at risk when they do not respect their own skill level, equipment, or the weather conditions.
How does a 'paragliding competition' work?
It's like a 3-dimensional sailing race. The pilots race a course in the sky, which may be a triangular course or an "out and back", or maybe a straight "race to goal". Pilots are scored on how fast they fly the course, or how far they went if they did not finish the course. A GPS (Global Positioning System) is used to navigate and track logs of each pilot. GPS also gives each pilot a synchronized time.
How high can you go in a paraglider?
Thousands of feet high! Daniel has been 18,000 feet. If you find a "thermal" (warm rising air), you can go as high as the clouds! When soaring the "ridge lift" on a mountain, it will depend on the shape/size of the mountain and the direction/strength of the wind. Our tandem paragliding flights often take us to altitudes hundreds of feet higher than the launch site.
Do you have two tandem instructors so that I can fly at the same time as my friend?
That can be organized. Both passengers/students will get instructional flights with professional and certified tandem paragliding instructors.
What is tandem speedflying + paragliding like compared to tandem skydiving?
Speedflying, paragliding and skydiving are fun and we recommend each! But if you have to choose, speedflying + paragliding is awesome because: 1) It is a longer experience of a 10-30 minute flight that can be slow & peaceful and/or fast and exciting. 2) With the guidance of your instructor, you get to take the reigns! 3) You will have time to spot wild life and fly with the eagles. 4) You get to experience the sensation of free-flight...like in your dreams. No fossil fuels required.
What if the weather is bad on the day of my tandem flight?
If you wake up and it's raining, don't call the whole thing off yet! We often get beautiful days/flights from mornings that started out dreary. The most important factor of the weather is the wind forecast. The rain, clouds, and sun may come and go many times throughout a day, providing epic opportunities. If, the day does get called off because of the wind forecast (direction mostly), no problem. Just pick another date you'd like to book, or we'd be happy to help you pick a day in the next few days that looks suitable.
Note: By using all of the major paragliding sites of the area, we provide the opportunity to fly with a wide range of wind conditions.
For any unanswered questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.