After turning 16, I started learning to fly a hang glider; it’s an extreme sport where you take off with an unpowered glider and use ridge lift and thermals to fly higher, steering using weight shift.
Learning to fly is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made; not only is it rewarding, but a great way to relax and simultaneously get an adrenaline rush. Extreme sports are underrated. Too often, people will say, ‘Oh, I’d love to try that!’ without ever actually trying it. They really are worth taking up. Here are some reasons why you should push the boat out and give it a go:
- It’s Cool
- You Develop New and Different Skills
Like with any sport, you improve with practice. For me, that means flying higher and further. You have to learn how to make quick and safe decisions so that no bones get broken and to make the most out of each flight.
- The Views
Literally nothing compared to the views; it’s one thing being stood on a mountain, but it’s a whole new level soaring 4000 ft over the top of it. I mean, just look.
- You Can Relax and De-Stress
Even though you get a huge adrenaline rush when you run off the edge of a cliff, flying is incredibly relaxing. Concentrating on what you’re doing means you stop thinking about anything that is worrying you, which is pretty nice. After you’ve had that rush and used up all that energy you can also sleep like a baby.
- The Feeling of Achievement
Again, as with any sport, you set your own goals and strive to achieve them. With a sport such as hang gliding, that could mean flying cross country, entering a competition or reaching cloud base. It’s not your everyday kind of goal, so when you finally manage it you feel 100 times more proud of yourself and like you’re on top of the world (pun intended).
(All photos my own)