Actor Tovino Thomas loves travelling. Be it travelling solo or with family, he makes it a point to take time and explore the little-known places in the world. Recently Tovino shared a throwback video of his paragliding sojourn at Vagamon. Tovino is seeing flying a parachute and alighting from it, all in the backdrop of the mist-covered mountains.
Paragliding is performed using a lightweight, foot-launched aircraft that has no rigid structure. The pilot is secured to this structure using a harness and a fabric wing aids the flight of the individual. This wing is kept in shape and in place by the network of harnesses that keeps the pilot suspended. Paragliding in simple terms is the cheapest way to fly like a bird. Floating on air with your heart beating faster and the winds kissing your face is a feeling that needs to be experienced. Paragliding is there on every adventure travellers bucket list. This sport is best experienced at Himachal Pradesh, Mumbai, Pune, and Nandi hills.
When it comes to Kerala, Vagamon is the best place to try paragliding. Along with flying in the air, one can take their fill of the exquisite scenery around. Situated 6000 ft from sea level, no wonder Vagamon’s paragliding has already found a space on the world map.
Did you know annually tourists from all over the world flock here to participate in the paragliding contest? The paragliding sport usually occurs at Kolahalametil, a few kilometres from Vagamon. This is also part of South India’s second-largest peak, Amritamedu. Paragliding season usually falls between September-January and again from March to May. When the winds blow consistently in the South-West direction it becomes easier for paragliding. Since throughout the year Vagamon’s climate is mostly wintery, one wouldn’t feel the heat of summer.
If you want to learn paragliding, there are great schools that teach you paragliding in North and South of India. Before indulging in this sport, it’s important to know its pros and cons. The professionals who give training for this uses the most technically superior equipment’s for this purpose. Local soaring. Ridge soaring, Thermalling, cross-country flying, para-motoring, aerial photography and joy rides are other fields where professional training is available.
Paragliding tips for beginners
• Book a tandem flight to know how paragliding is: Once you are up in the air, the paragliding experience may feel vastly different from what you expected. This is the reason you must book a tandem paragliding flight. That will give you the chance to fly with a professional who will show you how it feels to fly like a bird, but you won’t have the added stress of controlling the situation and the huge paraglider wing floating above your head.
• Sign up for a paragliding course: Once you have tried the paragliding experience and loved it and if you want to become a paragliding pilot, promptly sign up for a paragliding course with certified professionals. Once you have received your paragliding lessons, you will receive your paragliding license. Then, you will have the chance to buy your own equipment if you haven’t received it in the Paragliding School.
• Join a good paragliding club: Once you have made the Club Pilot course, you have the chance to fly within a club environment, so you can join a paragliding club. It’s better to find a club close to your home. Once you join a paragliding club, you have the chance to interact with other pilots who will give you advice about paragliding.
• Don’t fly on your own (make friends and fly with them): It’s also a good option to join a paragliding club to make paragliding friends. That interaction will help in improving your skills. When you start your paragliding life, it can be difficult to make the right decision about which is the best paragliding site to fly depending on several factors like the weather conditions and so on. So your paragliding friends can give you the right directions.
• Don’t overrate your skills: Once you understand the basics, it is easier to get carried away and you will be tempted to do acrobatics or launch in high winds. Even expert and advanced paragliders tend to do this. One of the biggest mistakes that people commonly make after they begin practising paragliding frequently is to fall into a pattern of complacency. Stay safe, stay out of such risks.
• Paragliding preparation: That is the key. You must bear in mind that errors occur, even to experienced pilots. Therefore you should respect flying and prepare for those unexpected moments of defenselessness. Get yourself both mentally and physically ready. Also, be aware of the weather before you make that flight, and also you should know the area well. Check all your pieces of equipment thoroughly and if you find anything amiss don’t try a flight. Thoroughly practice your paragliding techniques for both taking-off and landing too.
• No need for speed: Paragliding is not really a sport for those speed addicts. Imagine gracefully floating on the breeze, with fantastic views of the landscape around you, a bit more like a butterfly, that’s paragliding. Not that there is no adrenalin rush, you will get that by doing paragliding aerobatics through the air and seeing the landscape beneath you in a completely new way.
• Pilots are rarely injured due to equipment failure: Paragliders built today are uniformly very stable. They are designed to recover quickly in the event of glider collapse. So as long as you are using new paragliding equipment which you check before every flight, there is little risk of an accident resulting from equipment malfunctions. Almost all accidents happen because of mistakes made by the pilot, either in the air or in their assessment of weather conditions before a flight.