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Paragliding Adventure in a nutshell

Friday, 20 May 2016 00:35 Written by  Fran Kirsten
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Deon Borettis is no new comer to taking to the sky. This accomplished paragliding pilot started flying 20 years ago and for the first 7 of those had heaps of fun while competing in formal Competitions against his peers.
 
After several years he qualified as an instructor and tandem pilot and started developing his paragliding school, Dolphin Paragliding in Sedgefield. All the while Deon stayed committed to the Skywings Paragliding Club. Deon pays his paragliding experience forward by serving the paragliding community for the past 20 years. 
He explains that paragliding launch sites are of utmost importance to any paragliding pilot: "Without safe and well maintained launch areas we cannot operate safely."
He added that Tandem Flights within the area are of very high quality and the views outstanding. "We are also the cheapest in the land and have boast with some of the most scenic views in the world." The safety record from Deon's Tandem operation is excellent. They maintain a high safety rating and always fly using the latest equipment. 
 
Tandem Flights has pilots who are all seasoned veterans and most of them have more than 10 years’ experience. "We provide a professional service and take quality video and photos of flights," smiled Deon.
 
His company further provides accommodation to groups and individual pilots. "We are qualified paragliding guides and are doing tours with foreign groups within Southern Africa," he concluded.
 
10 things needed to fly successfully: 
•Training with SAHPA rated instructor 
•Wing or Canopy this is the aerodynamic wing that flies above much in the same was as a birds wing but made from synthetic materials. Brands such as; Sky , Axis , Gin 
•Harness is the seat that attaches to the wing .The Harness also has back protection 
•Helmet is compulsory used for protection and reducing chance of head injury 
•Reserve parachute this utilized in emergency situations to bring pilot safely to the ground 
•Instruments like GPS , Variometer and Wind meter to assist pilot to fly especially cross country 
•Launch sites - need to launch from a dune or hill to fly 
•Ridge lift wind from the ocean creating a wave of lift over a hill or dune 
•Thermals these are balloons of warm rising air which we use to turn in and gain altitude 
•Paragliding Clubs who help manage the launch site and interact with the community to resolve any issues 
 The Garden Route is well-known as the mecca of coastal flying in the World. Our area has several world class launch sites that have been developed by local pilots, clubs and private landowners. More than 25 registered paragliding sites exist in the Garden Route, ranging from Mossel Bay to the Plettenberg Bay. We have the best sites in the world for training of students as well as for Tandem flights.
The most well-known sites to fly are:
•Brenton on Sea ( Skywings Paragliding Club ) Ridge soaring site over a beautiful Bay 
•Sedgeview in Sedgefield private owned site .Thermic site getting high over the lakes, lagoon and river over Sedgefield while enjoying the sea view 
•Kleinkrantz Launch sites (Skywings Paragliding Club) ridge soaring over beaches
•Wilderness Beach Hotel (Skywings Paragliding Club) ridge soaring over beaches 
•Map of Africa in Wilderness a private owned site. Ridge soaring over Dolphins Point.
 
Each site is used according to the days wind speed and direction of the day. Some days multiple sites can be used. 
For further information contact Skywings Paragliding Club’s Jeff Ayliffe on 082 798 1100 for list of launch sites or any professional operator in the area.
 
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