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Speed riding/fying.

Here, I introduce you a new extreme winter sport - speed riding ( sometimes referred as speed flying).

If you haven't heard about it ( or haven't seen it on Youtube):

Speed Riding is a blend of paragliding and skiing that lets you ride/fly the slopes at incredible speeds.

When you watch those videos on YouTube, it looks pretty intense, riders are going very fast and there’s lots of flying involved. And you think to yourself: " This is insane ! There is no way I could do that ! You have to be some kind of a daredevil."

So how hard is it, and how dangerous?

While being adventurous is a must, a background in skiing and working knowledge of paragliding is a big help, speedriding is not so extreme ! It depends on the way you are doing it!

You gear consists of a pair of skis, helmet, goggles and a specially-designed canopy that is closely related to the traditional paragliding rig ( and of course, a helicopter to drop you in places that would otherwise require a week off work ).

Though, "getting started is easy, quick and totally safe", the biggest problem for somebody who want to try this sport is to find a credible school.

Speed riding is a relatively new sport and is largely unregulated. Some resorts do offer training, and novices are advised to start in ....France, where instructors must hold a paragliding licence and are recognised by the French Free Flight Federation ( Les Arcs Speed Riding School).

I couldn't find a speed riding school in U.S , but Fly Above All (a paragliding school in Santa Barbabra, CA) says :

What's the best way to get started in Speed Flying? Come master the Art of Paragliding first, so you know how to fly! Learn the proper inputs you will need to operate the wing and keep it flying. Find out how the glider stalls, what produces a spin, and how to handle a surge.

In Speed Riding, everything happens VERY fast. It makes sense to build a solid foundation of glider control skills in a slower, more forgiving aircraft before you move to the big time. Even a single day lesson will teach you valuable lessons about our incredible aircraft and you will experience the magic of flight for the first time.

If you know about other U.S based speed riding schools/classes, share your info on this blog or send me an email.
For now watch how it's done in Alps:

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