Online newsletter of the Hawaii Paragliding Association

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!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Caps and Veils

Yesterday we enjoyed one last nice long flying day before we have to start looking for dry windows during the rain we are forecast to get for the next week or so, ending six straight weeks of consecutive easy flying days on the island. The approach of inclement weather was signaled by an incredible cloud show: on this last perfect day, flying from Kahana to Kualoa and back, I witnessed the most stunning display of pileus and velum clouds I have ever seen, forming around and above some very dynamic cumulus clouds. My phone pictures don’t begin to do them justice!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Insanely Strong and Beautiful

The title does not actually refer to any of the strong and beautiful women in my life. I am thinking of yesterday's flying conditions at Kahana. It was an unlikely day to fly much higher than ridge height, but I was determined to carve out a cross country mission, and by god I crunched that speed bar into submission. I'm giving it all she's got Captain! The reward was a strange and starkly beautiful cloudless view of the whole range.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Textbook Tradewinds

Now these are trade winds! After weeks of light synoptic flow, sea breezes, thermals and overdevelopment, we are back to a more typical pattern of moderate easterly wind. At least for a few days. Pilots flocked to Kahana and Makapuu to enjoy the easy ridge lift, and also some fun and challenging technical cross country flying. Technical flying is the kind that involves being low and near terrain, as opposed to the kind that involves thermaling to cloud base in wide open air. Oahu pilots could write the textbook on technical flying.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Easy Choices

We are super lucky to have so many options for flying on most days. Today we had many happy pilots flying at least three sites, and we could easily have spread out to a few more! Four of us met to fly at Kaena for our second day in a row out there, this time in easy ridge lift under very high clouds, cruising all around from the point to the drop zone, until the window closed. Four flew Kahana in super east low cloud conditions, all landing at Punaluu. And at least a handful flew Makapuu in strong east low cloud conditions. If there are more details or pictures to share, post them in a comment!