Editor’s note: Last week, my friend David Shelton shot this spectacular video of mountain paragliding in Mexico. Tapalpa is in Mexico’s Sierra Madre region about 400 miles west of Mexico City. Here’s his report. –Paul Bertorelli
Last week, I enjoyed a fine week of soaring in Mexico, along with 16 members of my paragliding family. Each day featured four to six hours of cross-country flying, spectacular climbs to 12,000 feet and landings in unexpected places. What an adventure! This particular flight was about four hours. It was actually thermals, not ridge lift, but the thermals tend to flow up the ridges and release at the top.
I’ve been flying airplanes and sailplanes for 25 years, but I recently took up paragliding after moving to California. The view is second to none, and it is natural to leap into the air with your own two feet. Portability? Check! Paragliders fit into backpacks, so you can take them hiking, skiing, or bring them on vacation. Affordable? Yes! For the first time in my life, I can own the latest gear and fly as much as I like, without so much as thinking about the cost.
Most important, paragliding has a rad community and has managed to attract a very young and diverse demographic. That’s about all I can say about paragliding for now, because the weather is shaping up for a sunset flight. By the way, the intro drone shot was done with a DJI Mavic Air, which is small enough to bring on most adventures.