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 take to the skies in paragliding, the weather conditions must be right. And for them to be adequate, nothing complicated! If there is little or no wind, you can still take off, the trick is to manage your take-off well, by running and launching with enough strength. With the help of your instructor in your tandem, the exercise will be easy. However, if the wind is too strong, between 25 and 30km/h, it will not be easy to take off, so postponing the big jump is the best solution. Finally, the only thing that can cause problems is rain! The fabric is not made to withstand continuous rain, which makes paragliding impossible. Fortunately, the beautiful region of Haute-Savoie offers ideal weather conditions for flying all year round. So, are you more into summer flying, blue skies and warmth, or winter flying with a view of the snowy peaks, well wrapped up?
Paragliding in winter
Contrary to popular belief, paragliding in winter is an extraordinary experience! There is no need to wait for the summer to take the plunge. And why? Because flying over Annecy will offer you breathtaking landscapes: snow-covered peaks, pine forests dotted with snow, the tranquillity of the lake which offers you its most beautiful blue. And what's more, you can try an activity that stands out from the crowd: the paragliding flight ski touring baptism ! Start with a ski tour in the beautiful mountains of Haute-Savoie to get to the starting point of the paragliding take-off. Accompanied by your instructor, a paragliding and mountaineering professional, you will learn all about the snow, skiing techniques, paragliding and the pitfalls to avoid. And when it's time to take off in a tandem flight, launch yourself on skis! After your ski-flying tour, you will land gently on the slope with your skis on.
Paragliding in summer
In summer, the Haute-Savoie region is decked out in blue and green! Take off over Lake Annecy to admire the colourful landscape. In the air, depending on the itinerary chosen, you will have a view of the deep blue of the lake, in the surrounding area, admire the roofs of the houses of the old town, and further on, a view of the green forests. And in summer, your first paragliding flight may offer you some surprises. What about trying the Apéro'boat formula which perfectly combines paragliding and cruising on Lake Annecy? Or the formula baptism paragliding flight paragliding canyoning ! Go down a canyon and then reach the Col de la Forclaz to take off in a paraglider !
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.