Online newsletter of the Hawaii Paragliding Association

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cross Country Capriccio

Time for another fun musical form, this time a whimsical improvisatory piece, usually played fast. I had little more than an hour to fiddle away before taking Dorothy to the airport, but conditions at Kahana were looking quite harmonious for a cross country jig. Wind was a bit on the strong side and there were some sour notes on the radar but I was optimistic. I wasn't sure exactly what would be possible today, but I knew whatever it was, I had to fly it fast!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cross Country Etude

A great cross country flight is like a symphony: a long and epic creation, a rich and expressive narrative of struggle and heroism, with many players contributing. But sometimes a cross country flight can be like an etude: a humble but intense study of a particular technique, one crucial thermal, one challenging transition, a tiny exercise that is not just practical but beautiful. Today James and I practiced a classic duet of bay crossing at Kahana, in a brief window of sweet but easterly conditions.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Then There Were Two

Poor Alex, ever wonder why he has to fly alone so much? Well, our windows are getting smaller all the time, and you have to be right there when it opens. If not, it slams shut. When you live a minute from the most prolific launch site on the island, catching these windows is a tad bit easier. Oh, and he has a lot of free time on his hands. He is presently #1 in the USA for most air time logged on Leonardo this year, and #5 in the world. Today, I got to be there right when it all happened, and I just about got my fingers snapped when the window was closed.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ghostly Wingman

While my usual wingmen desperately chased the specter of an epic downrange day at Makapuu, I chose the cloud street less traveled, and enjoyed a rare solo sojourn from Kahana to Kaliuwaa and Kanehoalani. But I could never quite escape the company of a shimmering shadow that appeared each time I found myself high above a wispy cloud. Which was pretty often! What a gorgeous day to fly over the most beautiful corner of the island, with the quietest flying companion ever.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


It's been a heck of year, medically speaking, for my family, as we have had our fannies in and out of hospitals for all kinds of reasons. Well, hopefully this is the end of it for awhile, cause it sure has put my wing budget in arrears. I was getting pretty bummed out with all this stuff, until the crack of dawn today. Kahana looked promising! I told Tom and Kelly to shake their booties and head out, as I, with a partial med-clearance, snuck out the back door.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Laugh Out Loud Beautiful

Fifteen lucky pilots graced the shores and skies of Kahana today, to enjoy some flying and kiting and thirst quenching, on a drop dead gorgeous trade wind day. Fifteen! On a weekday! Now that’s more like it. I’ll stop complaining that nobody flies anymore. At least for a few days. Conditions were strongish and northish, as the trade winds started to build back in, after a week of slacking off. But we knew this might be the last good day for a while, with surface high pressure slated to crank up the trades another notch, and upper level troughs predicted to deliver a soaking. Nothing brings out the rats like the threat of a sinking ship! Get your fricking gear and go!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Small Missions

At least a dozen happy monkeys flew Makapuu today, to celebrate the departure of the sulfuric Kona breezes and the impending return of the trade winds. The flow started out nice and light and straight onshore, although low clouds dashed our hopes for big downrange missions. So we enjoyed some nice small valley missions to Puu O Kona, Greenwalls, Olomana, and that special place just a hair short of Lanikai.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Happy 60th Birthday Party

I did not want to mention the name, so I will leave it out and try to let everyone guess. I am hoping she doesn't mind me throwing the number out there. Oops, I said she. Well, we have a number of female pilots that have October birthdays. Just which one is it? Okay, now I may have ticked off a few of the other gals that aren't even close to this milestone. Did that help? Now, there is even a picture to the right to really give you a hint, cause they say Twitter is for idiots and Instagram is for those that can't read. But here's a word all monkeys know:

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Winter Season Opener

Our late summer season is finally starting to give way to signs of a reluctant winter: low pressure systems, cold fronts, and light and variable winds. Winter means we have to work a little harder to figure out where to fly, but we do look forward to a higher cloud base, and we get to fly a wider selection of sites. Today, three winter sites would be flown. This is the story of seven stalwart pilots who answered the call of winter's headquarters: the west side.

Saturday, October 04, 2014


There is nothing quite so gratifying as sharing your favorite cross country arena with appreciative visitors and new pilots. Over the last couple of days we have conducted some challenging and fun tours of the valleys and peaks surrounding Kahana, with visitors AK Jake and Christian, and our own Sebastian. Chris is from Germany by way of China. He texted me after yesterday’s flight: Was amazing! This place has magic. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded of that!