Frequently Asked Questions
+ Where do you instruct?
We offer instruction at several locations in Vermont depending on student level and weather conditions. Beginner (P0-P1) students will start their training at our locations in Westford and Richmond Vermont where the focus is on ground handling (kiting), low-level (ground skimming) flights, and stationary tow flights. Students rated P2 or higher will have opportunities to fly at a variety of mountain locations in New England and Quebec. Additionally, over-the-water towing for SIV clinics are available at our Lake Champlain location at the Bulwagga Bay Campsite in Port Henry - Moriah, New York. Directions and additional information can be found at our locations page.
+ I'm driving from out of state. What do you recommend for lodging?
Depending on your preferences and travel logistics, there are numerous options to consider. Burlington, VT is centrally located to both our Richmond and Westford training sites and offers a host of traditional hotel options to choose from while offering plenty of additional amenities throughout the greater Burlington area. If you are flying into Burlington International Airport, staying in Burlington is likely your best bet. You may also want to expand your search to include the nearby town of Williston just outside of Burlington as that will put you even closer to both flying sites.
If you are driving from points south of Vermont, you may consider lodging in Waterbury or Richmond to shorten the drive somewhat. Options include:
- Best Western Plus Waterbury - Stowe
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Waterbury Stowe
- The Old Stagecoach Inn
If you're looking for something more rustic and unique, you might consider:
Additionally, limited lodging accommodations are available at the instructor residences at both Richmond and Westford locations for no charge. Please inquire ahead of time however as space is limited.
+ What should I expect for flying conditions and weather?
It's New England, so you should expect the unexpected! However, June - October in Vermont can be exceptionally beautiful and offer fantastic flying. Afternoon thunderstorms between May and July can be a factor just like anywhere in North America. So, we always keep a close eye on storm development potential and will advise and adjust plans accordingly. Spring mountain flying before June is assessed with caution as conditions can be very turbulent. We generally begin flying mountain sites after May. August through October is often marked by splendid weather.
In terms of favorable conditions at our training sites and for towing operations, we operate as long as wind is less than 12mph and it's not raining. Both sites are meadow landscapes and may have mud depending on recent rain. So boots are recommended.
At mountain sites, flying altitudes can reach as high as 10,000', but 3,000' is more common. Cool weather clothing layers are recommended, but be prepared for hot and humid conditions on the ground.
While not a weather concern, regardless of location, we also recommend insect (especially tick) repellant.
+ What gear do I need? What if I forgot something?
If this is your first time paragliding, you should bring clothing appropriate for outdoor activity for the season. Be sure to check the weather forecast ahead of time! Beginning students should be prepared for a moderate amount of physical exertion and working up a sweat. So non-cotton, wicking layers are ideal. An extra mid or outer layer like a vest, fleece coat or light shell coat is also recommended in case it's cool. We have helmets for students, but if you have one you wish to bring that is certainly good. Gloves are also standard equipment. Pilots often use general purpose work gloves or mountain bike gloves. Gloves should offer good dexterity and ideally have leather or durable synthetic material to protect against line cuts from the paraglider lines. We have some extras, but again if you have personal gloves that fit well, bring 'em. A change of clothes (even if you're just coming for the day) is also recommended.
Experienced pilots are expected to already have their personal kit dialed in. However for all– if you happen to forget important gear, we may have extras of certain things. In a pinch you can also purchase gear or clothing at Burlington's Outdoor Gear Exchange on Church Street. If you have any questions, don't hestitate to ask us before you arrive.
Don't forget food and water!