Paragliding is flying sport and is one of the younger extreme sports in Macedonia. Unlike parachuting where is performed a jump from an airplane, with paragliders pilots takes off from mountains or a steep slope. Paragliding flight can last 15 minutes, but if the pilot is experienced and has the knowledge, the flight can last much longer, or few hours. In Macedonia unofficial record is departed from Skopje, and landed at St. Naum and the flight lasted 5 hours.
The basic equipment consists of paragliding wing or paraglider,boat which attaches pilot, helmet, reserve parachute and instruments as GPS locator which is used for navigation, radio for communication and variometer for measuring the change in air pressure. There are three disciplines: precision landing, aerobatic flying and cross-country race. In the first discipline the pilot takes off with paraglider and has a target that should hit the pilot in aerobatic flying also take off, and they are held over water and stunts are performed. The third and most popular discipline is cross country race, which set GPS points that pilots must pass.
Certainly we will mention recreational flying and where they are not given specific tasks but must apply security rules and tandem flight which is done together with an experienced pilot and it is an attraction for tourists and lovers of heights.
Paragliders average speed is 30 km per hour, and if the pilot has the wind hitting back, speed can reach more than 60 km per hour. The height always depends on air currents but can reach over 3500 meters above sea level. In Macedonia there are perfect conditions for paragliding and they attract many adventurers from the country and around the world.
Commonly depart points are Vodno, Skopska Crna Gora, Popova Shapka, Krusevo and Galicica. To apply this sport there is no upper age limit is not mandatory excellent physical fitness and physical predispositions but respect of rules and responsibility in flight are more than required and the experience which is acquired with a longer training and it is constantly upgraded. In Macedonia currently there are only three licensed schools for flying with paragliders: “Acro Macedonia” and “Vertigo” in Skopje, and “Delta” in Prilep, so if you are interested in paragliding do not hesitate to join one of these clubs and start to discover the beauties of this sport or at least to take the heights with an experienced pilot in tandem flight.