I went to my second hang gliding lesson today. It was more awesome than the first, and the first was pretty darn awesome. I’m totally hooked already. I’ve done a lot of different things, but never anything that gives anything close to the sensation of floating in the air that hang gliding does. I still get a rush every time I take off for one of my little flights. I’m sure some of that rush will dissipate a little as I get more experienced, but I can’t imagine the sensation of freedom that flying in the glider gives me lessening. I think as I get more experienced and I become one with the glider this sensation of freedom may even grow.
For those who don’t know the way hang gliding is taught seems very effective and very safe to me. You start out on flat ground just running with the glider. On flat ground it’s impossible to take off so you don’t have to worry at all and you get used to the feel of the glider and can learn how to turn it and that sort of thing. Then you start going up a hill. At first you’re not up high enough to truely fly, but you start to “moon wall”. This is where your steps start to get farther apart and you feel light footed. Then before you know it those large steps turn into flying. After my second lesson I’m to the point where I start about 60 feet up the hill and my flights are a few hundred feet horizontally. These flights are long enough that I realize I’m flying and have to make a few small correcting turns before landing. My next lesson will involve flights long enough that I will need to make real turns before landing. I can’t wait!
I’m learning to hang glide at
Morning Side Flight Park
, and I highly recommend it. If you live somewhere else in the country, but are interesting in flying try looking on the internet for a hang gliding club in your area. Then ask them where they recommend learning to hang glide. This is what I did and it couldn’t have turned out any better.