You are about to go paragliding, but you are worried about the weather conditions, especially the wind? You can find out if you can make your flight or not. We explain how to know what wind you need to paraglide.
The role of wind in paragliding
Wind is not necessary for paragliding. The feeling of air on your face during a flight is only the relative wind that is created during the flight. Even if there is no wind, it will be possible to do your take-off in a paraglider. As you gain speed, your glider will inflate and you will be able to fly in complete serenity.
Depending on where you are, you will have to pay attention to the wind. A paragliding flight is made at 30 or 40 km/h in the air. If you feel the wind before your flight, it is important to study its intensity and direction so as not to be disturbed in the air. You should also consider the terrain before your paragliding flight. This will influence your height.
How to study the wind before flying?
To know what the wind is like before you fly, there are several parameters to study. First of all, you need to know how strong it is. Not to be confused with force, which is also the wind speed, but expressed as a scale, intensity is measured with an anemometer. The latter will give you three values for the wind:
- in km/h in free flight,
- in m/s on land,
- in knots at sea.
By looking at the wind intensity in km/h, you can find out if it is possible to fly or not. The direction of the wind is also important. To learn to fly a paraglider, it is advisable to have it facing you, i.e. in front of you when you take off. This will allow your glider to inflate better and to be carried. Finally, you should launch in an open area, well exposed to the wind and slightly sloping. This will allow you to put the wing of your paraglider in the axis of the wind. The choice of terrain is therefore important for paragliding.
Ideal conditions for paragliding
To fly safely, all conditions must be met. The wind speed should be between 15 and 20 km/h. You should avoid wind gusts above 20 km/h. The rain forecast should be less than 0.8 and you should not fly in fog. If you see clouds, it is not necessarily bad. It will simply impair the thermal lift that causes the glider to gain altitude. However, it is important to analyse whether these clouds are not at risk of a thunderstorm, which would prevent any practice.
Unfavourable conditions for flying
It is not advisable to paraglide if the wind is too strong. It is almost impossible to take off if the wind exceeds 25-30 km/h. The wind can also prevent you from moving forward and take you into uncomfortable conditions if it gets stronger while you are in the air. If it gets into the glider, it can become dangerous, as your glider will pick up speed. Rain, thunderstorms, lack of visibility or night are all conditions that will prevent you from practising your sport. It's up to you to study the wind and weather conditions carefully before you fly your paraglider.