Learning to Fly
This is the beginning of your paragliding career
Here, you will acquire the knowledge and skills needed in order to fly in a safe and fun way. No experience is required.
The full certificate paragliding course at Boulder Paragliding is the perfect way to experience the magic of flying on your own for the first time or take your existing aviation skills to a new level.
We will cover all the requirements in order to get you fully certified as a USHPA P1 and P2 pilot. The USHPA P2 license will allow you to fly not only with The U.S. but also in most places around the world.
Why Boulder Paragliding?
- 12+ Years of World-Class Paragliding Experience
- USHPA certified instructor with the most experience in the Boulder area
- 6+ Years teaching dozens of students how to paraglide
- 4,000+ tandem paragliding flights without any incidents
- Lessons in English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
- Student Referral Program
- Full support with all learning materials included in the cost of your course:
- Paragliding Manual Book
- Boulder Paragliding T-shirt
- Boulder Paragliding Stickers
- Professional private classroom for theory classes. Located only 5 minutes from the training hill.
- Online flight log
What Our Students Are Saying
We understand that "taking the leap" into flying is as much of a psychological challenge as it is physical. We will assist you by teaching you unique techniques and skills that will accompany your training; including goal setting, imagery, self-talk and relaxation techniques. This results in you have the highest likelihood of enjoying the process and achieving your goals.
We aim to create a learning environment. Our students receive positive reinforcement for trying their best, improving and helping others to learn through cooperation. We promote an environment that focuses on the personal journey of each student.
What are Boulder Paragliding lessons like?
Fun! Most of our lessons are in a small group environment, this way we assure you get all the attention you need in order to progress at your own pace. On your first day, you will meet your instructors and get to know each other well. We want to learn about any previous flying experience you might have, why you are choosing to paraglide, your physical abilities, your schedule and anything else that might impact your learning experience.
The first couple of days are spent in the ground kiting and getting familiar with the gear, terminology, weather, safety, etc. Once you have perfected your kiting on the training hill we will hike up to the lowest takeoff and you'll go on your first solo flight with your instructor guiding you by radio from takeoff to landing.
Expect a combination of practical and theoretical lesson plans. Most of our students graduate as P2 pilots in about 16 days of lessons. Keep in mind that every person learns at a different pace and consistency is huge when it comes to Paragliding.
- Unlimited paragliding lessons during the season (Apr - Oct)
- 8+ hours of ground handling
- 8 - 10 hours of theory lessons (Intro to Paragliding, gear, aerodynamics, meteorology, how to control your glider, rules of flying, how to handle difficult situations, safety, etc)
- 35 flights (these will be guided by your instructor via radio)
- Full equipment rental for up to 10 flights - After this, it is highly recommended you buy your own equipment. We are committed to finding the best possible equipment for our students.
- Student pilot training manual
- Boulder Paragliding pilot t-shirt
- Boulder Paragliding stickers
- Online flight log
- Full personalized assistance and guidance from your instructor, both in the ground and up in the air
- P1 + P2 USHPA Exams (theory and practice)
- P1 + P2 USHPA Certification
- BONUS #1: Free teaching tandem flight
- BONUS #2: $200 voucher for your new paragliding gear
What Will I Be Learning?
- To be humble and connect with nature (in paragliding we depend 100% on the weather conditions)
- To be patient
- How to use your gear and equipment
- Ground Handling (kiting is the most important skill of your paragliding career)
- How to layout and pack up your paraglider
- Pre-flight checks on glider, harness, radio and other equipment
- How to safely take off with different wind conditions (forward and reverse launch)
- How to fly and glide in mild to medium conditions
- All needed tools to make wise decisions during your flight
- Landing techniques and approaches
- Smooth and accurate airspeed control
- Theory on aerodynamics and meteorology
- Rules of flying
- How to read weather and assess flying conditions
- What to do in dangerous situations
- All the required skills of the P2 USHPA program:
- Stabilo line
- Rear riser steering
- Safe use of the Speed System
- Ability to deploy and recover from "Big Ears”
- Co-ordinated, smooth 90, 180 and 360 degree turns
- Turns with no hands
- And more...
Where and when do we train?
We train between April 1st to October 1st in North Boulder. For ground handling lessons and flights, we meet in the parking lot of the Foothills Community Garden. Lessons are held most days between 7:00 am and 10:30 am weather permitting.
The Foothills Community Park has a training hill and three takeoffs at different altitudes. This helps students build up their confidence and skills in a progressive manner. Keep in mind that you will need to hike up between 20 to 25 minutes with your gear, so get ready to get in great shape!
Theory lessons will sometimes be held on the field and sometimes in a classroom setting.
Who are the instructors?
The team of instructors at Boulder Paragliding are all USHPA certified and have been teaching for years. We pride ourselves on producing confident pilots, with skills that will allow you to fly anywhere in the world.
What do I need to bring with me?
- To be at least 18 years old (anyone under 18 must have parent's authorization)
- Comfortable clothing, hiking/running boots (we highly recommend to have shoes with ankle support), sunscreen, sunglasses, and thin gloves
- Motivation, willingness, and patience to learn
- Good health and physical conditions (you don't need to be an athlete but you do need to do some running and hiking)
- Pay attention to your instructor at all times and trust him (he will always know what is best for you)
Boulder Paragliding will provide all necessary gear for all new students. However, it is recommended and expected that students buy their own gear from Boulder Paragliding after the 5th lesson. This will help you connect and get familiar with your wing, harness, etc. Additionally, you'll be able to learn all the skills with your own gear which is essential to your safety and confidence as a Paragliding pilot.
How long does it take to get certified?
The program's duration will mostly depend on your consistency and commitment to the sport. We recommend our students to attend our lessons as often as possible, as it takes a while for students to get used to the new movements, build muscle memory, absorb all the new information, and master all the skills. Once you've got the momentum, everything starts "clicking”, and you start coming as often as possible to classes, you'll be able to learn faster, fly safer and complete the course in a shorter time frame.
Boulder Paragliding gives every student the whole season to finish the course (April 1st through October 1st). If for some reason you can't finish the course during the season, we can arrange extra classes for an additional fee.
If your schedule is pretty tight and you'll only be able to participate in the lessons during the weekends, it will be harder and it will take you longer to finish the course.
Here are some examples*:
- If you come every day, you can finish your course in about 15 days
- If you come every weekend, you can finish your course in about 8 weeks
- If you can come 3 times per week, you can finish your course in about 6 weeks
- *Keep in mind that this estimates will vary due to weather and the student's ability
Not sure about Paragliding?
We offer a 1-day intro lesson for $347. The great thing is that if you decide to sign up for the full course, we will apply $200 to the "P1 - P2 Beginner Paragliding Course"