This page follows from Paragliding continued.
It was long ago
In the early morning glow
When it all began with Adam and Eve.
— Words from Children of Paradise by Boney M, 1980
I managed to photograph one of the new paraglider sail patterns created by former British hang gliding champion Bruce Goldsmith. On this day, I got above the paragliders just by standing on the hill…
While the colour schemes have improved, the naming problem (inherited from hang gliding I fear) persists. This particular example is called Adam. After Adam Ant? The guy I asked about it was adamant that it was named after the Biblical character who made the first paraglider out of interwoven fig leaves to hide his embarrassment about not having any clothes to wear. (Having been educated in UK state schools during the era of science and technology, I am somewhat hazy about such tales.)
Eventually, I launched my hang glider into a breeze so light it barely ruffled the sail and, three minutes later, I landed at the bottom. Would you Adam and Eve it!
When the Poles talk among themselves on the hill, the sound reminds of the 1968 movie The Battle of Britain, which features several scenes involving the Polish squadrons of the RAF.
This Firebird is one of the few good-looking paragliders (in my view) that has been around for a while.
It was a familiar story on a Saturday in mid-May 2015 at Monk’s Down. Some paragliders climbed out in thermals while the hang gliders did not do so well.
Paraglider pilots begin their launch facing backwards. No kidding.
When the wing is overhead (it just hangs there, supported by the lightest breeze) the pilot turns 180 degrees to face into wind and down-slope.
Two steps and she is airborne!
No doubt about it, paragliding is what hang gliding tried to be, but never was; flight with minimal hassle. Hang gliding is now a specialised activity suited mainly to stronger winds and ‘big air’ (strong lift and its associated turbulence).
A light wind day in mid-May 2018 at Bell Hill, north Dorset, England, saw height gains to cloud base by some, while others struggled to avoid going down to the bottom landing fields. Meanwhile, paragliding training was carried out at the west end of the launch slope.
See also Hang gliding 2020 onward.