Seaside Stories

Paragliding on the North Coast

August 15, 2011 | by Becky Jensen

This is how the conversation went. “Honey, you know how I said I’d never go bungee jumping, or jump out of a plane? You know the no heights, no falling thing? I’ve changed my mind. How would you feel about paragliding?”

“Paragliding? You mean jump off a cliff?” he asked me incredulously.

“Usually yes, but I just figured out that you can launch right from the beach.”

I’ve always been terrified of heights and also falling from heights. When I climb the steps of the Astor Column I get woozy, so paragliding was never an option for me. But with a boyfriend who likes to white water raft, and live life on the adventurous side, I wanted to have an open mind.

So I talked to Brad Hill, who owns and operates Discover Paragliding along with his wife Maren Ludwig, about how paragliding works. Brad told me that in 1992 (before he knew what paragliding was) he was sitting on the side of a mountain and knew he wanted to glide off the hill, but wasn’t sure exactly how to accomplish it. A few weeks later he saw paragliding on television and said, “That’s it!” Two weeks after that, he was in a paragliding class.

He and Maren are both master-rated instructors with over 15 years experience training pilots. They brought Discover Paragliding to the coast when a student suggested they check out the beach as an ideal place (they launch from Sunset Beach just North of Seaside for many of their flights).

I told him up front that I was scared of heights and falling. “90% of people who say they are afraid of heights are actually afraid of edges or falling. If you prefer to sit by the window on the airplane to watch the view you aren’t scared of heights,” Brad told me.

For first timers like myself the introductory tandem experience is the best way to go. They launch from the beach and can take you up to 20 feet to start. If you’re OK with that height they can take you up to thirty feet. At 30 feet people usually stop looking at the ground and start enjoying the view. Your flight can go 15-25 minutes depending on weather.

Brad and Maren offer a safe environment for all their customers. They have taken up passengers from 3 years old to seniors, paraplegic and even dogs. Talking with Brad has me excited to try paragliding, and with their experience, training and passion for the sport, I know I’ll be in good hands.

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Rebranding Seaside Gives us new Opportunity for Promoting Seaside

How do you describe Seaside to your friends, neighbors and relatives? Better yet, how would you, if asked? You may have an answer ...

Learn More
Digging for the Bounty!

Razor clamming on Oregon

Learn More
We’re Getting Crabby on the Coast

Dungeness crab season on the Oregon coast

Learn More
Miss Oregon Parade: 1950

A brief look at the Miss Oregon Parade circa 1950.

Learn More
Establishing Another World Record

Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament establishes yet another record during stellar event.

Learn More
Paddle Neawanna Creek
How to Paddle Seaside

Spend a little time in Seaside, and you’ll find yourself itching to paddle on the rivers and ponds.

Learn More
Fall in Seaside

Experiencing the changing seasons in Seaside

Learn More
A Weekend of Discoveries

Last weekend I went to the Pouring at the Coast Event with my boyfriend, and had the best time! We were given souvenir glasses to use during the event (and they had rinse stations to keep your glass clean between tastings). We tried craft beers from every brewery, and I discovered I really enjoy the dark beers

Learn More
Making Seaside Beautiful: Gardens

Seeking help on starting a garden plot sent me in search of Pam Fleming, whose reputation as a resource on Seaside’s Gardens was a bit understated as I was to discover. I met her at the Grand Opening of Back Alley Gardens (find by walking through Natural Nook Florists 734 Broadway).

Learn More
Watching Nature Run its Course in Seaside

Wonderful natural beauty in Seaside,

Learn More
Clamming and Crabbing Closures in 2015

With all of the recent closures in recreational clamming and commercial crabbing, it’s difficult to know what to share with visi...

Learn More
Seaside Lifeguards – Kicking off the Summer Season

The lifeguard tower in Seaside ensures a safe and fun beach experience.

Learn More
Broadway Boon

A glimpse at the history and evolution of Broadway.

Learn More
Seaside Holiday Spirit
Seaside Holiday Spirit

Seaside holiday spirit is more than evident around town beginning in early November. Ushered in by lights and decorations going up...

Learn More
An early morning kayak ride

One kayaker's take on an early morning ride into the Necanicum Estuary.

Learn More
Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament
World’s Largest Beach Volleyball Tournament

Come August, the “digs” along Seaside’s beach have nothing to do with razor clams. For the 36th year, Seaside will host the ...

Learn More
“Fascinated” on Broadway

Fascination has been a staple in Seaside, Oregon since the 1950s.

Learn More
Crabbing at the 12th Avenue Bridge

The inside scoop on catching your dinner in Seaside.

Learn More