Paragliding Day 13

Winds were light, northerly, and swirling in the AM so we refrained from heading to the field and instead penciled in some mid-afternoon ground school at Ben’s house to abut an evening session on the NS. We spent a couple of hours covering the topics of weather and emergency landings and then wandered over to the Flight Park where we found winds light and variable.

One of the things I wanted to practice was controlling the wing when at risk of getting dragged across a field and into, say, a parking lot full of cars. Consequently we worked on deliberately and rapidly deflating the wing with a hard pull on the C’s which sit slightly fore of the brake lines. This works very effectively but if you happen only to grab one side’s worth of C’s you’ll also perhaps spin the wing around and slam it into the ground with a BOOM. Ben mentioned that this is a great way to destroy a wing and so I endeavored henceforth to grab both sets simultaneously.

The lightness and variability of the evening gave me an opportunity to play with the larger wing in messy conditions where after a reverse inflation the wing did wonky things like curl a tip underneath or quickly start dumping to one side. Earlier in the evening I struggled with inadvertent adverse brake pressure but after a few inflations that faded. I also got more comfortable with running under the collapsing wing side despite being in a reverse position.

What felt really awesome was that during reverse inflation holding the A’s longer and sitting deeper became far more natural. I imagine that partly this stemmed from a better mental map and partly from having cinched down the leg straps more tightly. The former gave the kite greater momentum to inflate and the latter more naturally levered me into a seated position. When done right it felt like the harness was snugging onto my hips like a chair-shaped glove. The sensation was amazing and was what had been missing for the past several days. Wow. What a thrill to have multiple things click simultaneously.

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