For those who want to get a true bird’s eye view of the state of Texas, as well as an experience that is impossible to beat, Fly Texas in Austin is the thrill of al lifetime. At this unique spot, those who are daring enough can learn how to hang glide or paraglide – two of the most breathtaking and exciting opportunities.

What’s the difference between hang gliding and paragliding? 

If going hang gliding or paragliding sounds awesome, but you’re not sure what the difference between the two really is, here’s a quick briefing:

The biggest difference between hang gliding and paragliding is both the position of the rider and the type of material and framework – the canopies are different, as are the take-off positions. While paragliding, the rider is in a sitting position, where the canopy is controlled using two handles to the right and left of the rider. In hang gliding, though, riders are positioned with their feet extending out behind them, with the guide bar under the chest. Hang gliding is a much faster sport than paragliding, and hang gliders can reach staggering speeds of up for 170 miles per hour.

Instructor Jeff Hunt at Fly Texas

At Fly Texas, the advanced tandem instructor is Jeff Hunt, who has been hang gliding for more than 20 years. Not only does he have years’ worths of experience, but he also has a degree in aerospace engineering, and has served on the board of directors for the U.S. Hang Gliding Association. With such high levels of skill and experience, you’re sure to be safe in this instructor’s hands while flying.

The Flight Process

If you want to learn how to hang glide, then the first thing that’s required is burning desire for this adrenaline sport – it’s not for those who are hesitant. After signing up, you’ll spend some time at the practice hill learning all about the process and getting a feel for flying. Then, you’ll gradually progress, transitioning into a solo ability. After a lot of practice, you’ll be able to do a mountain flight.

Booking a Class

Hang gliding is a a very technical sport, and isn’t like skydiving where you can sign up, take an hour, and jump out of plane. Instead, hang gliding takes a lot of training and practice, and a half day training into lesson package only gets your feet off the ground. However, if you want to purchase a full day lesson package, then you’ll gain some more altitude. The latter is $199. Or, you can purchase a full beginner’s package, which will set you back $599. For that, you’ll get a classroom briefing, training film, ground school lessons, 20 flights at the training hill, and a written rating test to get a Hang 1 certificate.

For Those Who Just Wanna Have Fun

For those who just want to have a little fun and aren’t planning on pursuing hang gliding as a long-term commitment, the tandem discovery flight package might be right up your alley. This package is $279, and provides you with a tandem flight from the bike or trike system.