The South Westerly wind is definitely the best wind direction to have to paraglide from Lions Head.
The image above displays the general airflow in a south-westerly wind.
Paragliding in the South Westerly is pretty much straightforward.
You need at least 15km/h of wind on the Top take off-site for Lions Head to be soarable.
If it becomes too strong to launch from the Top take-off site you will face cross-wind airflow from the NW on the bottom take-off.
The best way to take off from the bottom take-off is by doing a reverse launch and making sure that the left side of your wing comes up first.
The image above displays the area where you should fly in.
If you stick to flying in the yellow circle you should have no problems reaching the summit and above in no time. Once you are above the peak of Lions Head you are now free to explore all other areas, as long as you are high above the peak.
The image above displays the dangerous areas marked in green on the sides of the mountain.
We often experience a strong Venturi effect (as shown in the green marked areas) on the sides of the mountain when it becomes soarable. This wind can be strong enough to blow you over the back and get you into deep trouble.
When taking off from the bottom take off, make an immediate right-hand turn to move into the middle area of the mountain. The green X marks a big rock right in the middle of the slope. Start making a left-hand turn when you pass the rock as you go downwind toward the dangerous areas of the mountain. You will see that it takes quite a while for you to complete the turn as you move closer to the Venturi area.
If you find yourself stuck in the Venturi you can apply the same techniques as discussed in Part 2 of the series.
The same rules as discussed in part 2 also apply when flying out towards landing. Approach far upwind from the landing area.
We often experience nice SW wind on the mountain only to find a much stronger Southerly wind at landing. By flying far upwind from landing when you are still high and then drifting back you will eliminate the risk of not getting to the landing field.
You should always keep a lookout for the increase of wind speed on the ocean like white horses or whitecaps. If you do see some white caps it would be best to rather fly out and go land.
In part 4 we will talk about the various locations of the house thermals.
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For more information on paragliding or to book your next paragliding session, Please feel free to contact us at Fly Cape Town and we will be glad to help you.
The Fly Cape Town team are a group of highly experienced Tandem Paragliding Flight Instructors who can provide you with the best paragliding Cape Town has to offer. Come and experience the joy of a tandem paragliding flight in the beauty of Cape Town.