How do people actually learn sports like paragliding or kitesurfing or skydiving?

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I mean, if you take biking or skiing, you can start try, fail and try again, but in those extreme sports I mentioned in the title, you don’t really seem to get second chances lol

Any idea? Any personal experience?

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’m a skydiving instructor. A skydiving course starts with ground school, where we use several techniques to prepare the students before their first jump. We especially train the door exit procedure, the normal parachute deployment procedure, the emergency procedure, and the parachute landing fall, so that they have done all of them tens to hundreds of times before their first jump. We talk about how the parachute behaves and how to fly and land it, we look at others jumping, we walk around a scale model of the drop zone to get a feel for how the parachute drifts in different winds, and we put the students through several harrowing emergency situations in a training harness to see that they can act correctly on what they’ve learned in a stressful situation. Most of what they learn is how to safely handle bad situations that they may never encounter – but it’s also possible that it happens on their very first jump. Only after that do we let them jump, with instructors, and for each jump they complete safely and correctly, we gradually add more advanced maneuvers.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You get plenty of second chances in kitesurfing. Are you mistaking something for kitesurfing that is actually something else? Kitesurfing involves a harness and kite and board on water. The first N hours you spend time learning to control the kite on land and then doing a lot of half-drowning in shallow water as you continue to learn to control the kite in water. The worst thing that happens while taking lessons is you get dragged out a bit to sea (hopefully you have chosen to taken lessons somewhere with on shore or at least parallel wind so you don’t get dragged out too far) and then you get to deal with the mortifying swim back to shore dragging the downed kite behind you.

Or, if you’re me and you panic and forget emergency procedures like letting out the kite, you scream for a while and another kitesurfer kindly comes along and drags your stupid ass back to shore.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Curious, why do you think you don’t get second chances in kitesurfing ? You or kite fall, you just start again ..

Anonymous 0 Comments

The paragliding example can be a real ELI5. You start flat. Then a little slope, then a bigger slope, then a little hill. And so on.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In most places where those kinds of activities are generally done you can find classes or instructors who will teach you the basics. Especially if you’re renting equipment, those places tend to either offer such services themselves or have partnerships with providers who do. For something like skydiving they won’t even let you on the plane until you’ve had at least some instruction because most people don’t know how to operate a parachute, for example, and that sort of thing is pretty important to know, and in that specific case your first dive will almost certainly be tandem with an instructor so you have someone who actually knows what they’re doing in case you forget how to do something or freeze up.