Try it a few times. It’s easy, safe and within our means. You can do it right here in our own state. You do not have to be an athlete or an expert with long hours of training, though in its serous form, athletes soar up to thousands of feet high for hundreds of miles and flying for hours!
Take a week-end trip with your children (12 years or older.) Head straight to Kitty-Hawk on the coast. Right there at the sand dunes, you pay a small fee for both you and your children. You get a few minutes of instructions, equipment is provided and off you go. Do not worry, you fly only 15-20 feet above the sand dunes for a few hundred feet at a time. Landing on the sand, even if done a little awkwardly, is safe. But the joy of it! The excitement! Just think of the wonder of it- flying like a bird for a few minutes.
But what is hang gliding? Simply this; a contraption made of two wings of tough cloth 15-20 feet long on either side shaped exactly like an eagle’s wings and a horizontal bar underneath that moves back and forth to control speed and direction from which you hang onto. You grab the bar while raising it -it is very light.- You run with it to the edge of the sand dune and off you go. You fly down hill at a speed of 10 miles an hour but for each one foot you lose in height, you fly in the air for twenty feet. Eventually, you wind up flying 700 to 800 feet! Do not worry. You cannot drop down like a rock as long as the hang glider keeps moving. This WILL always provide a lift. This phenomenon is called the aerodynamic principle – the air moving on top of the wings has a longer distance to go than that under the wings. This is what makes the lift upward and why a plane remains in the air. The engines are what keep the plane moving forward.
I have gone hang gliding with my grandchildren several times. Each time was a shared cherished adventure. So, come this spring, go alone or with your children. Certainly, on your return trip home, you will have a lot to talk about with your children or friends.
Next time I will share a trip I took with my grandchildren during christmas time to the South African jungle, we called it ; Shaking hands with elephants.