Para-waiting – or the frustration of waiting for a flyable day
So far the ‘winter’ has not offered many opportunities for flying and maintaining currency but there is a lot that can be done as we wait for better conditions.
- Check all your flying gear (wing, helmet, harness, vario, radio etc) – make sure they are in excellent condition and, if required, send your wing for an annual inspection & re-trim to one of the many companies offering this in the UK.
- Attend a local reserve repack session, get to know your reserve, make sure it will come out of the harness if you ever have to throw it. Reserves should be repacked at least annually. How old is yours, even if never thrown in anger it may be time for a replacement?
- Start planning for those long XC flights or ridge runs
- Book your next holiday abroad finding somewhere it may be flyable.
- Think about attending an SIV or Pilotage course.
- Practice ground handling, but only if conditions are suitable
- Check the excellent online training videos for strong wind takeoffs, ground handling, spirals etc etc
As the weather starts to improve, and it will, beware of spring thermals since lack of currency and punchy bullet thermals are not the ideal mix.
Hopefully we will see you on a hill as the days lengthen.
Safe flying from the Wingbeat team for 2024.
Wingbeat - History
Wingbeat is perhaps one of the smallest paragliding clubs in the UK and is based around the tributaries of the River Tweed in the Teviot, Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys of the Southern Uplands in the Scottish Borders. The club started in the 90’s originating from the local paragliding school, WingBeat, run by Joe and Lyn Campion.The original members of Wingbeat trained with Joe and Lyn and, when Joe left the Borders, retained the name for the club.
Wingbeat may be the only club in the UK to have almost more sites than members but this reflects the ‘remoteness’ of the Borders in terms of population and also the excellent relationship we have with local farmers and landowners. It is not unknown for the club to be approached by farmers asking if we can ‘fly’ their hill.
Unlike most clubs we do not have a constitution or committee but are just a group of folk with a common love of paragliding and the outdoors. Current members are drawn from the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Central Scotland and Ayrshire although you do not have to be Scottish to join an understanding of the local dialect would be helpful so you can join in the craic on the hill!!
Local sites are listed elsewhere on the website but many will have heard of ‘Cacra’ or ‘Black Knowe Head’ following visits to one of the many BPC or Scottish Open paragliding competitions that have been hosted by Wingbeat over the years. In the same way the Boston Hall at Ettrick has become synonymous with Wingbeat hospitality even if this does include midges and the odd damp day!
Typically the local sites are soft green hills offering an easy walk up from the valley and friendly take offs, some are even top driveable on a good day.There are not many places in the UK that can cater for all wind directions within a twenty mile radius, allow you to fly in dynamic lift, take thermals to base, fly in valley convergence or wait for the evening sea breeze to arrive over St Mary’s Loch.
Wingbeat offer everyone a warm welcome to the Borders so why not get in touch if you would like to fly in this part of Scotland.
The Wingbeat team