Thursday, 30 October 2008

Tandem Gliding with Para - Pax

The first time I met with Steff of Para-Pax Paragliding was on top of Signal Hill where at the time, he was getting ready to take a client up. Between him briefing his passenger and prepping his kit, we spoke a bit about, he was as one would expect though, more focused on the task at hand.

My reason for being there was that he wanted me to see what his operation entails and I have to say I was very impressed at how effortless he made it look. The process is a lot less complicated than I would have thought, and clearly after years of doing this, Steff and his team have got it down packed.

They spread the canopy out on the ground, all cords are neatly laid down in rows pointing in the direction of take off, passenger and pilot are attached to each other by a body harness, and takeoff commences. The part that surprised me was seeing how gentle and unforced the takeoff infact is.

Steff seemed very excited about how ideal the conditions on the day were and displayed an enthusiasm that spread to his passenger and myself alike. After a short briefing take off commenced which literally consisted of about three big steps forward, the canopy lifted without any sign of complication and away they quietly floated.

It appeared almost surreal, for what seemed like an extended period of time they remained at the same sort of altitude as to what I was at, my feet however were firmly anchored on top of Signal Hill while they where floating away directly in front of me high above Sea Point. I made a decision right there and then that this is something I have got to do. Watch this space.

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