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Now that you are thinking of learning to paraglide,
there are a number of ways you can go about this:

1. Buy a paraglider and have a go yourself
2. Get a friend to teach you
3. Sign up for a recognised training course in a BHPA registered school

Option 1. Buy a paraglider and have a go yourself. If anyone is prepared to sell you a paraglider without confirming that you are at least BHPA Club Pilot level of competence, or without making arrangements for training to that level in a registered school, be very cautious. They obviously have very little regard for your safety and wellbeing, and you may have no guarantee of the suitability and safety of the canopy they are selling. If you should consider do-it-yourself paragliding then, although it may be cheaper financially, it could easily lead to serious injury or even cost you your life. In addition, you would not be insured to fly and would not be welcome on club sites. If you scare the landowner's prize racehorse and it panics and injures itself, or a spectator gets kicked on the head, or a driver on a nearby road swerves his car into somebody because you distracted him, you could be facing a ruinous claim.

Option 2. Get a friend to teach you. If that friend is a qualified instructor and is operating within a BHPA registered school there is no problem. If (s)he is not a qualified instructor and, whether or not you are a BHPA member, they have no insurance cover to teach you, and you have no guarantee that you are being trained properly on a suitable canopy. All the other disadvantages of option 1 apply.

Option 3. BHPA registered school course. This gives full insurance cover to instructor and student. Instructors have been trained by the BHPA and are subjected to rigorous assessment and monitoring to ensure that they are, and remain, competent to teach paragliding. They follow a tried and tested paragliding training programme which is designed to teach the necessary flying skills in a logical progressive way, together with imparting the essential knowledge of flight theory, meteorology, site assessment, anti-collision rules, air law etc which you need to continue your flying safely. With knowledge and expertise gained in this way you can really enjoy this fantastic sport. It will cost money, of course, but with much less risk to life and limb, and cheaper than any other flying training - you would normally get a full day’s paragliding training for less than the cost of an hour’s power flying training.

Being sensible of course you will opt to sign up for your training with First Flight Paragliding. I introduced the proprietors of the other N Ireland paragliding schools to the sport.

Optional personal accident insurance is recommended and is also available online, not only for paragliding training, but also for a wide range of other sports and recreational activities, using this link.