Dune Hang Gliding
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Dune Hang Gliding lessons are conducted at our training facility in Jockey’s Ridge State Park located at Mile Post 12 in Nags Head, NC. The dunes of Jockey’s Ridge provide the perfect platform for learning to hang glide. They have plenty of height for beginners, and are soft for landing. Through special arrangement with the State Park Service, we are allowed to conduct hang gliding lessons from these dunes. We have been providing lessons at this site for over 25 years.
A typical Beginner Dune Hang Gliding Lesson is 3 hours long and starts with check-in (30 minutes prior to class time). Each class has no more than 5 students per instructor. You then have about 1 hour of ground school including a training video.
After ground school, your class proceeds to the dunes via a scenic walkway. It’s about a 200 yard walk to the base of the dunes. Once you have climbed to the the top of the dunes (the instructor carries the glider) you begin your solo hang gliding flights. The instructor is there to help. He/she will help you get into the harness, provide any last minute instructions, and help you launch.
You will run into the wind, and depending on the wind conditions (and your weight and skill), you can travel anywhere from 30 to 100+ yards at 5 to 15 feet above the sand. Each trip down the dune is termed a “flight.” The standard beginner lesson includes 5 flights. You might not land on your feet your first or even your second attempt.
What to Bring
What we Recommend You Bring to Your Dune Hang Gliding Lesson
- Water - Bring a lot more than you think you’ll need. When on the dunes, bury it in the sand to keep it cold.
- Sunscreen - If you apply it before the lesson, remember to bring it out on the hill!
- Eye protection - Even on an overcast day it is still very bright on the dunes.
- Comfortable Clothing - You’ll be running for a short distance, so stay comfy.
- Proper Footwear - Walking on the sand barefoot is easiest, but sometimes it can get hot. Either wear sneakers, a pair of socks (or two), or if it’s not too hot, wear flip flips and kick them off as needed.
- Camera - You WILL want pictures! Bring a plastic bag to protect it (and other valuables).
- Other tips & recommendations:
- It’s a good idea to dress in layers. You can always peel them off! During the spring & fall it can get chilly out on the dunes–especially when the wind is blowing hard. There’s always more wind on the dunes than in the parking lot.
- Bring a light snack (unless your diet consists of sand) and a blanket to sit on.
- Bring something to hold your valuables. Sand can ruin electronics fairly easily–and sometimes rain showers pop up unexpectedly.
Hang Gliding Activities
Our Dune Hang Gliding Classes are perfect for beginners who want to fly like the Wright Brothers and get their first taste of powerless flight in the wing of a hang glider. These lessons are held at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Experience one beginner dune lesson at our Jockey’s Ridge location and one tandem aero-tow hang gliding lesson to 2000 feet at one of our parks.
2 days (recommended)
The tandem hang gliding lesson is perfect for thrill seekers who want to get an overall perspective of hang gliding with a bird’s eye view of the coast line above Currituck sound on the Outer Banks. No experience necessary and this sky high hang gliding lesson is handicapped accessible.
This is the ultimate tandem hang gliding tow, 5280 feet! The tandem lesson is the most state-of-the-art training available, and perfect for students who want to get an overall perspective of hang gliding