Taking to the Skies
Fergs Paragliding and Adventure is the only Northland paragliding and adventure school based out of Mangawhai Heads. Owner Mike Ferguson started the business a year ago with the aim of sharing his passion for paragliding and adventure in Northland, and has steadily regrown the sport locally in Northland establishing some new flying sites and sharing these with the Northland Hangliding and Paragliding Club. “Northland has amazing sites and, depending on the weather, you will find local paragliders soaring at Pakiri, Mangawhai and Ocean Beach in the East to Te Mairie, Glinks Gully in the west, or chasing thermals inland,” says Mike.
“Paragliding is easy to learn – as long as you have moderate fitness and enjoy learning,” he tells us. “Modern paragliders allow you to soar like a bird on coastal breezes or taking thermals inland and flying for long distances.” To learn you have to join the association and do a course under an instructor. These courses run on small training hills, where you will learn basic techniques used to control the paraglider.
At Ferg’s, Mike runs courses throughout the year, most weekends and full time over the summer, so you can start at any time of the year! Mike explains, ”on the first day you will get the experience of flying solo, starting with small glides and quickly building up to high flights.”
“We cover important theory associated with flying a paraglider and gain a basic understanding of the weather, then progress to higher flights under the close supervision of an instructor, with the use of UHF radios.”
Mike was introduced to the sport six years ago and was instantly hooked. “It has allowed me to reconnect a passion of aviation that came from my grandfather. I soloed an aircraft while still at school and had my basic licence before I had a driver's licence.” After joining the army and spending some time in the Airborne component this passion was put on hold for 20 years until Mike was introduced to the sport by friends. “Once bitten I progressed quickly through paragliding to become a full instructor, tandem pilot and competition pilot, having competed at the New Zealand, Canadian, Greek and USA Nationals, and many Australian and pre-world cup competitions. These are all arenas that allow me to spend time with the best pilots in the world.”
So whether you just want to experience paragliding once, by having an introductory tandem flight or you would like to learn how to fly, Ferg’s Paragliding offer NZHGPA certified instructional courses with an enthusiastic and a professional approach to paragliding. Check out their website for more information or give them a call to get airborne this summer.
021 995 682