To paraglide from Lions Head probably rates as one of the most scenic paragliding flights in Cape Town, the problem is that our bottom take off area is rather limited in size and almost 99% of the time the wind does not come straight up the take off area.
To master the take off from the bottom take off area in the magical South-Westerly wind is a trick on its own and if not carefully executed, you are almost guaranteed to put your paraglider in the trees.
The take off
The image above displays the take off area with the classic SW flow presenting itself as a Westerly. The red arrow indicates the wind durection.
The paraglider should be laid out as far as possible in the top right corner when facing the mountain. You will do a reverse launch. The left wingtip should be placed with a slight arc down the mat and the right wingtip completely parallel with the top of the take off area. The red arrow indicates the wind direction.
The left wingtip marked in yellow should always be inflated first. you need to walk backwards down the take off area and once the wingtip is inflated, back up underneath the paraglider and move slightly to the left as the yellow arrows indicate.
It is of utmost importance to keep maintaining lots of brake pressure on the left wingtip to ensure complete inflation of the right wingtip as well. The brake pressure on the left wingtip will prevent the glider from flying to the right into the trees.
Now that your paraglider is fully inflated and facing straight into wind you can ease of the brake pressure, turn around and gently apply a little bit of left brake pressure and run towards to bottom right corner of the mat when facing towards Campsbay, and voila! You are airborne…..
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