Over the water
There are two things that nearly all great pilots have done after being certified as a P2 pilot. One is Mexico, the other is a maneuvers course (and most often several of both).
A maneuvers course is one of the best ways to understand the physics of paraglider flight, and to better understand what action should be taken during abnormal glider configurations. It is all done in a controlled environment with experienced instructors, radio communication, flotation devices, a rescue boat, and other precautions. Maneuvers courses are recommended for any pilot that hasn’t already taken one, and every time a pilot moves to a different wing. Although it is highly recommended, very few pilots throw their reserves at these courses. If the pilot does throw, it is most often because they wanted to experience a reserve ride, not because a certain maneuver was “unrecoverable.” An added bonus is that if the pilot throws their reserve or gets it wet, re-packs are free during the course.
Acro: Bozeman Paragliding teaches aerobatic maneuvers including stalls, spins, helicopters, wingovers, asymm spirals, loops (reversals), and SATs.
Realize that hydraulic pay-out towing over water is one of the safest ways to get in the air, arguably safter than hiking up a mountain and flying off. Towing has come a long way in the last 15 years, and Bozeman Paragliding has one of the lowest maintenance and easiest to operate winches in the business. This winch has given us thousands of beautiful tows since 2005, with absolutely no technical issues! See towing page here.
Maneuvers courses are so important that in the opinion of Bozeman Paragliding, they should be required for P3 (Intermediate) sign-off, and at the very least for a P4 (Advanced) rating. If you would like to get signed off as a P4 with Bozeman Paragliding, guess what? We’re going to the lake.
A typical course outline looks something like this:
Meeting at launch (typically Hellgate Campground):
Simulator work and discussion about towing procedures:
Towing and Maneuvers:
The course runs for three days with a minimum of 4 high tows under instruction, although it is common to get 7 or more tows during the weekend. You will need:
Single tows are also available.
We hope to see you at the lake! Contact Bozeman Paragliding for more info or to sign up.
Fine Print: It is often flyable at the lake even when it "looks bad from your house." To get all four (or more) tows in, we need to be on site, ready to tow at all times during the weekend.
Be sure to watch the maneuvers video in full screen below: