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!

Convention Center Adds Outdoor Mural

Seaside Oregon Civic & Convention Center adds outdoor mural

Learn More
The Best of Times News: The Beach at the End of the Trail

Travel writer for the fabulous 50-and-over set, Andrea Gross, spent some time on Oregon’s North Coast in the summer of 2014....

Learn More
Broadway Retro

A look at downtown Seaside during the 1960s

Learn More
Elevated View

The highest point in Seaside, Oregon in the 1920s.

Learn More
Gone Fishin’

You know you’re in Seaside when . . . this sentence can be completed in numerous ways. Today I’ll finish it with: . . . you see a guy walking down the road in tall rubber boots, fishing pole in one hand, long silvery fish dangling from the other.

Learn More
Episode One: Grave of the Unknown sailor

The Seaside Audio Walking Tour exploring the mysterious grave of the unknown sailor.

Learn More
The Sweet Side of Seaside

Above photo: A tray of sweets on display at A Sweet Affaire, held every February. In February, we invite you to bask in the sweet ...

Learn More
On How to Spend the Holidays in Seaside

Let’s be honest, the holidays can get stressful. That means it’s the perfect time of year to slow down and head to the beach. ...

Learn More
Knights of Summer: Seaside’s Lifeguarding Tradition

Seaside has had a rich lifeguard tradition for almost 100 years.

Learn More
Northwest Travel Magazine: Gilbert District

For more than 100 years, the Gilbert District has been a big piece of Seaside's core.

Learn More
Times of Change…

Seasons of change in nature and life.

Learn More
“Fascinated” on Broadway

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

Learn More
Summer’s Great, but There’s Nothing Else like Winter in Seaside

When you imagine a classic beach town, you probably picture something similar to Seaside, Oregon. Our town of 6,700 sits less than...

Learn More
Find a Beach Path Less Traveled By

A Sunday stroll along the beach at 12th Avenue in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Children feed the Harbor Seals at the Seaside Aquarium in Seaside, Oregon.
How to Seaside Inside

Don’t get us wrong: Plenty of beach lovers come to Seaside in the cooler, drizzlier months to enjoy the great outdoors. That’s...

Learn More
An early morning kayak ride

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

Learn More
Antiquing in Seaside

Antique shopping in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Lookout on Neahkahnie Mountain

Sometimes an Oregon Coast outdoor adventure doesn

Learn More