Many people tell us that they are afraid to take the plunge because it is too dangerous, because they are afraid of heights, or because they are afraid to jump. If you think that, you are half right and half wrong. To reassure you, we answer all the questions that scare you in this article; because in reality it is a unique experience to live at least once in your life!
This is probably what puts most of you off: vertigo. And yet, it should not be the case because in paragliding, you do not feel the sensation of vertigo. Moreover, our activity would have been in danger for a while otherwise. To explain it quickly and simply, vertigo only exists when your body is in contact with the ground at a height and your eyes look at the void. Your brain is then a little disoriented, hence the feeling of imbalance. This is no longer the case in the air, as you have no reference to the ground.
It is possible to feel dizzy before taking off, at the top, but once in the air this feeling will disappear to make way for the incredible emotions of paragliding.
No excuse for those who are afraid of heights not to come and take a first flight in Puy de Dôme.
This is also a sentence that we often hear, but which is also false because we don't jump directly into the void but we take off gently over a slope. You jump with a parachute but you take off and fly with a paraglider. So yes, at some point you will have quite a bit of difference in height under your feet but at take off (which is what generally scares people the most) you will have all the time to see your feet take off quietly from the ground and feel the sensations of flying well before having 1000 meters of vacuum under your feet.
In reality, this fear is more about the apprehension of discovering something unknown than a real fear. And that's normal, you don't know what to expect, how you will react, how it will happen, etc. But what we can tell you is that 99% of people who fly paragliders want to experience that feeling again because it was so good! You just have to take the plunge and overcome that little bit of apprehension.
So yes, fear of heights is different from vertigo. Fear of heights is a sense of panic that some people feel at the thought of being in or above the void. It is often the result of an old trauma that you may have experienced as a child. It is much rarer than vertigo, but it is a phobia in a small proportion of the population that can block some people. But note that for people with this fear, it is not impossible to come if you really want to. The best way to overcome this fear and live this crazy experience with us is to face it. There are even professionals who can help you overcome your fear!
Although paragliding is considered a risky extreme sport, for a tandem flight there is nothing to worry about. Your paragliding instructor will have years and years of experience, will have flown there hundreds of times and will take care of everything so that all you have to worry about is enjoying the moment, taking in the incredible scenery from the sky and feeling yourself gliding through the air like a bird. Tandem paragliding accidents almost never happen (even though there is no such thing as zero risk).
Finally, you see, everything that could scare you is not really true! What are you waiting for to come and see the incredible landscape of the Puys chain, the Puy de Dôme, the whole Clermont-Ferrand area seen from the sky but above all to discover the sensation of flying?