Paragliding is a weather dependent sport and sometimes it seems like Mother Nature messes with us just for the fun of it.
We’ve scheduled four maneuvers clinics in the past two years. All of them have been cancelled. High winds at a usually predictable site in California cut our trip short.
Getting stuck on the ground is frustrating, but it’s a part of the sport. No matter how disappointing it can be, not flying is always better than flying in dangerous conditions.
There’s a saying in aviation, “Gravity never loses, the best you can hope for is a draw.” For paragliding, I think it’s more appropriate to replace ‘gravity’ with ‘weather.’
You can’t beat the Mother Nature. The wind does what it wants. We can’t control it. Some pilots handle it better than others. Some can fly safely in tough conditions; others cannot.
Sometimes you have to wait it out, let the weather clear, or try again tomorrow. There’s another aviation saying that I like, “It’s better to be on the ground wishing you were flying, then flying wishing you were on the ground.”
Some days are discouraging. Days can turn into weeks. But the best day of the season could be right around the corner.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned flying is that it’s not worth it to risk everything on a bad day. Tomorrow could be the best flight of my life.