Paragliding

Includes: paragliding Outdoors, Adventurous activities, In the air, Sports

Activity time:
Half day

Age:
14+

Cost:
High
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Soar through the air

The closest you can get to flying - you don't need an engine to ride the wind and paraglide!

Overview

A paraglider is a free-flying, foot-launched aircraft in which the girl is suspended in a sitting position below a fabric wing.

Solo flights are open to those aged 16 and over.

Tandem flights – where a girl flies with an instructor – are open to those aged 14 and over when:

  • The instructor is licensed to take passengers
  • The girl is able to understand the instructions
  • The girl's weight is in the provider’s required weight range
  • The instructor must have completed a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

To take your girls paragliding, you will need to find a British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA)-approved site.

Paragliding is an adventurous activity and should follow the adventurous activity policy and procedures.

Approved: 5 May 2021
Version: 1.0
Content owner: Adventure team

Planning checklist

Safety notes

Activity providers will have certain weather conditions which will mean they'll cancel these activities. This could be before the activity starts or half way through should the weather conditions deteriorate.

Leaders should check the terms and conditions with the activity provider to ensure that you will get a full refund should the activity be cancelled by the activity provider due to weather limits.

Check the safety regulations for more guidance on paragliding.

If you or another member of your leadership team is running the activity at an external venue/location, follow these extra steps:

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know about any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your commissioner.
  • Get a copy of the public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
  • Check you hold the relevant qualification (if one is needed) to run the activity and let your commissioner know you plan to run it yourself. If you aren't sure, speak to your local adviser to check.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the needs of your group.
  • Get any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.
  • Ask for a copy of the venue's safety guidelines and risk assessment (if relevant).
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls, leaders and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity if a qualification is needed). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Consider the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions and plan the session accordingly.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation. 

If you're working with an external provider or external instructors to run this activity outside the unit meeting space, follow these extra steps. 

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know if you make any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your local commissioner.
  • Tell the activity provider about the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
  • Choose a reputable and licensed activity provider (where applicable).
  • Check the qualified adults hold the correct qualification to be able to run the activity (see the information below).
  • Get copies of the instructor qualifications and public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
  • Ask for a copy of the providers' safety guidelines and risk assessment.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the requirements for your group.
  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation.

The instructor must hold a British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA) qualification.

The instructor should brief girls on:

  • The use of safety and other equipment
  • Procedures
  • The purpose of the flight
  • Sensations likely to be experienced

Paragliding must be undertaken using the standards and controls laid down by the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA) and must take place at a BHPA-approved site.

Adult to child ratios

The ratios below are given as a maximum and ratios must be considered as part of the risk assessment, this may lessen due to any medical conditions, physical ability or other factors.

Leadership team ratio

As this activity will take place outside of your usual meeting place the leadership team adult to child ratio is mandatory.

  • Rainbows: not a Rainbow activity
  • Brownies: not a Brownie activity
  • Guides: not a Guide activity
  • Rangers: 1 Girlguiding leader 

Qualified adult/participant ratio

The activity leader (qualified adult) should determine what size of group is safe. There must be enough qualified adults to ensure the safety of all participants.

The number will be determined by any limitations placed on their qualification, permit or the rules of their operating organisation as well as the risk assessment. This should take into consideration the location, weather and experience of both the qualified adult and other participants. The leader should assess the risk and any concerns must be raised to them.

Forms

  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities