FAQ's Tandem Paragliding

What is paragliding?

Simply put, paragliding is a non-motorized, foot-launched form of free flying with an inflatable lightweight wing. The aircraft has no rigid structure, the fabric canopy consists of many interconnected cells and is inflated by the air entering into them which gives it an aerodynamic shape. There is no jumping off cliffs, mountains or airplanes involved in paragliding, neither there is any pulling by boat. After the wing is inflated, the pilot takes a few steps down a slope and is lifted up in the air. The pilot then sits in a harness which is suspended from the wing by many lines. Anyone can experience paragliding by doing a tandem flight with an experienced and qualified instructor. The instructor pilot can fly with one passenger using a bigger tandem wing designed to carry two people with the passenger strapped in a separate harness in front of the pilot.

What can I expect from the tandem flight?

No two tandem flights are exactly the same, however this is what you can expect from your day. After you get to the meeting point, we drive up to the flying location that is most suitable for the current weather conditions. There are a few excellent takeoff points around Vik, which gives you an opportunity to enjoy the superb views of the area and us the flexibility to choose a suitable location depending on the weather so your chance of flying is higher.

Once we are at the takeoff site we do a briefing during which we take you through the details of the flight and explain about the equipment and safety procedures. After a safety check, we’re ready to take off so we run a few steps down a gentle slope and it’s time to sit back and enjoy your flight. Depending on your desire, abilities, the weather conditions and the area where we fly, your instructor might let you handle the controls during the flight. If you just want to relax and admire the scenery, that’s OK too, the main objective is to have a good time.

Can anyone do a tandem paragliding flight with True Adventure?

Yes, almost anyone, who is reasonably fit and in good health, can learn to paraglide. As with most outdoor activities, there are a few common sense exceptions, so if you are in doubt, please consult your doctor before deciding to fly. Your first experience in free flight will be an introductory tandem paragliding flight. 

How fit do I need to be?

There might be some walking to and from the takeoff and landing points and you will be required to run briefly for around 20 meters when we are getting airborne and when we land. So if you think that you are fit enough to do that, you will have no problem enjoying your first paragliding experience. You just need to be able to take a few steps at takeoff and landing, and spend the rest of the time sitting comfortably in the harness. We can accommodate most people’s needs, so if you have any concerns, contact us to discuss before your flight.

I have a mobility impairment, can I still fly?

We fully support this scheme and if possible will fly people with disabilities. Please call us and have a chat to find out more before booking.

What about weight and height requirements?

The safe  minimum weight is 15 kg and the maximum limit is 135 kg. This is determined by the certified weight ranges of the paragliding equipment we use. In terms of height, there are no official restrictions, you just need to be able to comfortably fit in the harness. We’ve never had a case in which a person who is within the safe weight limit hasn’t been comfortable with the harness.

What are the age limits?

There are hardly any age limits if you fit within the weight requirements and are in good shape. The oldest passenger we’ve had so far was nearly 90 years old! Kids as young as 5 can fly too, as long as it is clear that they want to.  A parent or a guardian must be present to look after them, participate in the briefing and be satisfied that we are taking all necessary measures to ensure the child’s safety. Any young people under the age of 18 need written parental consent to fly with us.

I’m scared of heights. Does that mean I can’t paraglide?

No, not at all. Fear of heights is very common but for most people the anxiety vanishes, the moment we are airborne. There won’t be any jumping off cliffs involved and when you are sitting comfortably and gliding in the sky, the feeling is very much like that of looking through an airplane window. If you’re already reading this, it means that flying is something you want to do. Let us know beforehand if there is anything that worries you and we will ensure that your experience is enjoyable and adjust the way we fly with you accordingly.

How much time do I need to allow for the whole tandem paragliding experience?

If you are lucky with the weather and depending on how many other bookings we have on the day,  the whole experience will take a couple of hours, including meeting, preparing, instructions and the flight itself. We might need to change sites due to the weather, so it’s best to keep free a good part of the day or the whole day, if you want to have the best chance to get your flight. We always do a weather check in the evening and the morning before flying, so we advise you call us on +354 698 8890 around 8 pm the night before to check the situation.

How long does the actual flight take? 

We aim for 10 - 15 minutes of flying time depending on the conditions, the wind strength and direction and of course on how the passenger feels and reacts to the experience. This is a very good duration for a paragliding flight, especially if it's your first time doing it. Our aim is always to make it fun and enjoyable, so of course if we can spend more time in the air and you feel good about it, that's what we do, but the duration is only one of the many factors that make a tandem flight a great experience.  If we have to cut your fly short because of the conditions we'll try to have a second flight with you shortly afterwards if that's possible weather-wise and you feel up for it. We recommend you set aside a good part of the day to be able to take advantage of the best conditions as it is sometimes necessary to wait for the weather to improve or to change sites.

What if I like it so much that I want to fly again?

If you want to fly again straight after your pre-booked flight we can do that for you given that the conditions are good and that we have the time. Just talk to your pilot and we will try to accommodate your request and offer you a special rate for your second flight. 

Do we jump off  a cliff?

No, when you fly with us you fly with a qualified tandem instructor who lifts up the wing,  makes sure  that the wing is flying perfectly and then we take off from a slope using the wind to lift us up and glide effortlessly like a bird.  You will be required to run for a few meters at takeoff and landing, but there will be no jumping or acrobatics involved.

What should I wear?

The weather in Iceland can be quite changeable even in the summer. Always dress appropriately and wear layers as you might get warmer while walking and colder during the flight or if there is any waiting involved. As a rule of thumb, layers are better than wearing just a couple of thick items. Make sure you have some water and windproof top layer, thin gloves and a hat to go under your helmet. Footwear is also very important as you will need good ankle support to avoid injuries during takeoff and landing. Hiking boots are a good solution, avoid trainers or any other shoes with slippery soles.

How safe is it really?

Statistically paragliding is quite safe as compared to other sports. Choosing when to fly has the greatest impact on everyone’s  safety when it comes to paragliding. Our instructors have all the necessary experience to judge the weather conditions and will only proceed with a flight if they are certain that safety will not be compromised.

When can I fly?

We fly every day of the week from May to October as this is the best season for paragliding in Iceland. With milder temperatures and fair winds (most of the time anyway) you have a much higher chance to enjoy an awesome glide in the sky. The days are also longer in the summer months, so we fly well into the night if you want to experience the midnight sun from high above.

Why do you keep mentioning the weather?

Like all other aviation activity, paragliding is extremely dependent on the weather. As much as we want everyone to experience the joy and freedom of free flight, we will simply not compromise and take unnecessary risks if the conditions are not suitable for flying. So, the best thing to do is check with us the night before your flight and arm yourself with patience, we might need to wait a bit or drive to a couple of sites before finding the best conditions. However, if you are lucky and the winds and clouds are good, then all the waiting will be well worth it.

How do I book?

The fastest and easiest way is to go to www.trueadventure.is, pick a date and a type of tour and then book online. With that your booking with us is guaranteed. You can choose from morning, afternoon and evening departure, but it’s best to be flexible and have most or all of the day free in case we need to change times and sites due to the weather. Call us on +354 698 8890 around 8 pm the night before to check the weather situation.

Why south Iceland?

We believe that south Iceland and the area around Vík are  one of the best places in the world to experience your first flight. The natural beauty and spectacular views that you can enjoy, compared with generally favourable conditions, make it the perfect place for first timers as well as more experienced paragliding students or pilots.

Can you recommend anywhere to stay in Vik?

There are a few very good options for accommodation in Vik suitable for different budgets (hotels, hostels and a campsite). Bear in mind that the town is quite small and it gets pretty packed in the summer months, so it might be a good idea to book your accommodation well ahead. You can also do the trip to Vik from Reykjavik and back in a day and we can help you organise a Day Tour.

What else can I do in Vik and the area?

Vik is the perfect point to be based to explore south Iceland. You have the beautiful Reynisfjara black sand beach within walking distance where you can view the basalt rock columns (Gardar) and admire the Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks in the water. The Dyrholaey peninsula is not far and offers a magnificent view of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier which caps the Katla volcano to the north, Reynisdrangar to the east and even Selfoss and the coastline to the west if the skies are clear.  If you have a car you can also venture further around and explore Skogarfoss and Seljalandsfoss  waterfalls and  Solheimajokull glacier to the west, and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the Vatnajokull region to the east. 

We also offer a "Sunset Mountain Views Jeep Tour in Vik" which you can book alongside your tandem flight by selecting the option in the "Extras" box on the booking form. It's a small group tour with a minimum of 2 participants (max. 6) required for it to take place. 

Where is the meeting point for the tandem flights?

Our meeting point in Vik is in front of the Vik Hostel (Nordurvik)

Suðurvíkurvegur 5, Vík í Mýrdal, South Iceland (check map)

If we need to meet you elsewhere because of the weather we will let you know in advance.