We are two guys from Salzburg (Austria) who are addicted to "Acro Paragliding". We spend every free minute for flying and training our manoeuvres to progress and get better in synchro and solo flying.
What is acro paragliding?
Acro Paragliding or Aerobatic Paragliding is to perform stunt manoeuvres with a paraglider. You can fly solo or perform synchro manoeuvres with your partner.
What is the faszination of this sport?
Paragliding itself is a very addictive sport. You feel the freedom when you are in the air, you see the world from a different perspective and become one with the nature...
Acro Paragliding is so faszinating because of the g-forces - the perfect glider control - you dive in a new dimension of flying. It's like a rollercoaster, but you can control it ...
What is possible with a paraglider?
There is a big sortiment of manoeuvres which can be performed with a paraglider:
A list of manoeuvres, videos and descriptions can be found here.
Is acro paragliding dangerous?
Yes, it is dangerous! But if you follow a few rules you can reduce the risk of aerobatic flying to a tolerable level!
If you want to start flying acro, you have to do it safe and go step by step, otherwise it can be really harmful.
First of all you have to be a good paraglider pilot, means that you can really handle your wing, start/land safely, you can handle laggy conditions without problems - get routined and safe in what you do. Freetime means Flyingtime!
The next step is to learn the basic manoeuvres like spiral dive, full-stall, wingover, negative spin.
To learn this in a safe way, it is obligatory to fly with high altitude above water, minimum one rescue (better two), with a lifewest and a boat. Before you do anything, you should really understand the things you will do now. Get the information from other acro pilots, watch a lot of youtube videos, especially the fails, to know what can happen if you make a mistake. Think about what you will do in worst case - szenario. The "safer" way is, to do a training with a safety trainer.
If you have done this you should keep practicing a lot. Get conform with spiral dives and the g-forces, do deeper spirals and lead it out safely. Practice fullstall a lot until you can really handle it (~100). Fullstall should be the manoeuvre which you are able to do without thinking about. You will need this very often to reset your glider after a messed up manoeuvre. If you get conform with fullstall then you can begin to practice negative spins and train this as hard as fullstall. If you have done all this, you should be safe to go further and learn all the other stuff step by step.
But keep in mind that the only safe way to practice new manoeuvres, is to make them over water with a lifewest and a boat. Don't make the mistake to overestimate your skills and think that you are ably to fly a manoeuvre in really low altitude. It will go perfect for a couple of times, and one time you will make a mistake. Then you will be happy if you have the hight to save your ass.
Acro paragliding is nothing you can do sometimes. If you really want to progress in acro and want to be safe in what you do, then your purpose in life should be acro! You should stay in the air every free minute and keep on practicing. Don't go to fast and try to fly manoeuvres which you can't handle. Always go step by step and stay safe!
A few other rules you should keep in mind:
If you practice over ground, always figure out that you will need the reserve. You should calculate the winddrift where you will go down with the rescue before you start with your program.
Never fly acro over other pilots, public, power lines, houses, streets, ...
Minimum Equipment for acro should be:
Helmet, two rescues, cutter knife, a glider which fits to your flying skills
Never fly without an insurance!
Is it expensive?
In aerobatic paragliding you need a lot of time. We are making about 600 - 700 trainingsflights per year. The material of the glider is hard abused. That means minimum one glider per year...