Although no medical examinations are officially required, you should be in generally good health. If you suffer from any medical condition such as epilepsy, fainting, dizziness, high blood pressure, heart condition, osteoporosis or diabetes you should consult a physician before taking part in the sport.
You need to be reasonably fit and able to run and jump around for sustained periods. You will need to be able to carry a 30-45 lbs (15-20 kg) backpack. For take-off and landing you may need to run (sometimes quite quickly) for 30-60 ft (10-20 m) or more while wearing a paragliding harness.
Your eyesight needs to good enough so that you can see obstacles 100’s of feet away, and be able judge your height and approach adequately so as to be able to land safely within the landing zone.
Tandems: minimum 66 lbs (30 kg); maximum 243 lbs (110 kg).
Training: minimum 99 lbs (45 kg); maximum 243 lbs (110 kg).
If you weigh more than 243 lbs (110 kg) you may still be able to do a paragliding course with us, but you would have to buy your own paraglider with the appropriate certified all-up weight range and the appropriate level for learning to fly on, before taking your first tow.
From the air you will be able to see lots of orange groves, swamp areas, canals, and sugar cane fields, sometimes as far as you can see from cloudbase. Condo soaring in Deerfield is also an interesting activity, which will suit the taste of many pilots.
There are roads in north-south and east-west directions at the LaBelle Tow Area, so the site is flyable with winds from 0 to 15 mph. Deerfield, on the other hand, is only flyable with northeast to southeast winds of 10-15 mph intensity.
For tandem paraglider flights, we usually meet up at the appropriate flying site for the wind and weather conditions (or at a meeting point somewhere nearby) sometime between 09:00 and 9:30am – but this can vary considerably depending on various factors, especially the weather.
We will confirm what time to meet us, where to meet and how to get there, when you call us the evening before you are booked in for the weather check.
You should allow the whole day, and expect to have to wait around for the right wind and weather conditions and other tandem flights to be completed before yours.
Other major factors are things like the individual’s fitness and their personal rate of progress, which varies considerably from one person to another, and how many other people are taking part in the course. There are also many, many other factors which may affect how long it takes to complete the day’s paragliding course, and exactly what get’s done, but there are far too many to mention all of them here. Suffice to say that we will always try to get as much done as is reasonably possible, whilst keeping safety as our number one priority.
The more patient and flexible you can be, the better chance you will have of getting the most out of your course!
For our paragliding courses, we would normally meet up at the park (or in LaBelle) sometime between 08:00 and 09:00am — but this can vary considerably depending on various factors, especially the weather! We will confirm what time we are meeting, where we are meeting, and how to get there, when you call the evening before you are booked in for the weather check.
For our paragliding courses, a ‘normal’ day’s teaching (bearing in mind that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ with paragliding and/or the weather) could finish anytime from around 12:00 to 16:00, but this can vary considerably depending on various factors, such as the weather or an individual’s fitness and rate of progress.
One day of training is anything up to a maximum of 6 hours. For example, if we start at 9:30, we will end at 15:30. However times and duration may vary greatly from this due to many factors outside of our control.
For tandem paraglider flights we can only book you in for one date at a time.
For paragliding courses we can only book you in according to the number of hours of training credit you have with us.
If the weather forecasts are not looking good for safe flying on the day you are booked in, then we will have to cancel the day and you will then need to rebook for another day. South Florida has great weather all year round, and such instances will rarely happen.
So, fingers crossed for the weather bringing us suitable, safe flying conditions!
Footwear with little or no ankle support or slippery soles are NOT recommended. Ideally your footwear should be without lacing hooks, as these can snag and damage suspension lines.
It is up to you to make sure you wear sensible and adequate footwear.
Good flexible hill walking type boots are the right kind of thing.
The best are purpose-made paragliding boots, though. Ask your instructor where you can get yourself pair.
We recommend that you bring enough to eat and drink to sustain you through your day. Also make sure to bring more water than you think you might need (one gallon or slightly more per day), especially during the summer training months.
You should bear in mind that tandem flying is conducted at the LaBelle Tow Area, which is somewhat a remote location, devoid of restrooms. When nature calls, we have to venture one of the adjacent forested areas. A roll of toilet paper or a pack of baby wipes is sometimes worth gold out there!
We will only fly you if we think the weather conditions are suitable to do so, and as safe as possible within reason. However, you should always bear in mind that paragliding is an adventurous activity and, like all forms of aviation, carries with it an inherent risk of possible injury which may potentially be very serious. Our highly experienced tandem pilots will do their utmost to keep you as safe as possible and ensure that we make the most out of the wind and weather conditions which occur on the day.
The day before you are due to come and fly, you must call us on (954) 651-4917 at 7:00 pm for the ‘weather check’. If the weather forecast is looking bad for the next day we will have to cancel the day. In case we are not able to answer the phone when you ring please leave a voicemail message, send us a text message, or try again later.
If we are unable to fly on the day you have booked, we will have to cancel the day and reschedule for another day (within the validity period of your booking).
Of course, in winter it is generally colder, but we often get smoother flying conditions (less thermic activity caused by solar heating) and people find they warm up quickly from walking up hills, running around and all the general excitement! 8-)))
You should always bear in mind that all of our paragliding lessons, paragliding courses, paragliding tuition credit, tandem paraglider flights, and Flybubble Paragliding gift vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, and must be completed before they reach the end of their 12 month validity period. Once the paragliding lesson, paragliding course, paragliding tuition credit, tandem paraglider flight, or gift voucher you have purchased from us has reached the end of it’s validity period, and so passed its expire date, it will have therefore expired and no longer be valid. This applies to all instances, regardless of any reasons given or circumstances, including outside influences such as the weather.
The best time to paraglide is always SOONER, rather than LATER! 🙂
NB. Don’t forget that paragliding is 100% weather dependent.
We are a USHPA Registered School, and as such, in order to participate in a paragliding course or on a tandem paraglider flight with us, you are required to obtain a USHPA Membership for the duration of your course (or on the day of your tandem paraglider flight). This is the same for any USHPA Registered School.
What is a USHPA Registered Paragliding School?
USHPA Registered Paragliding Schools are equipped and staffed with instructors who will train you at a rate of progress that is suitable for you. USHPA schools are monitored for safety, the quality of the training they offer, the equipment they use, and their trained instructors are licensed by the Association.
USHPA membership provides 3rd party legal liability insurance coverage which is there to protect you. When you start training you will enroll on a USHPA 30-day or Annual Membership through the School.
Which USHPA Membership do I need?
Whether you book a paragliding tandem, lesson or course, you will have to acquire the necessary USHPA Membership. The minimum for each is as follows:
Tandem Paraglider Flight : USHPA 30-day membership.
60 Hours of Paragliding Tuition : 12 Months ‘Full Annual’ Membership.
We encourage you to visit the USHPA website to learn more about the organization and its fee structure.