Every time my husband would say, “I want to go flying with the paraglider and I need you to pull me up”, I would get anxious. When he decides to go paragliding, I use our Jeep to pull him up. Yes, he is connected to the Jeep by a thin line that is connected to a winch on the back. For the first 30 seconds, his life is in my hands. I go through the procedure with him every time, no exceptions. We check the winch and go through our signals so there is no confusion.
Once he is hooked up and the line has been laid out, I wait for the signal. His wing unfurls into the wind and I wait until there are no corners bent and that the wing is fully expanded. He bends at his waist towards me, that’s the signal the time is right. A deep breath and I hit the gas. Watching the road but more importantly watching him. Is he going up? Is the wing fully open? Is he going sideways? He calls on the radio…everything is good. A wonderful sense of relief with those words. I continue to drive and pull him up until he releases, usually 1500 feet give or take based on the lift.
I feel the Jeep give slightly, I know he has released. He then comes over the radio and confirms it. I stop the Jeep, get out and start winding up the string. There is a small kite that is attached to the end so I can see where the line is at. Once I’m finished, I watch and wait. Sometimes he will land at home (we use a country road by our house) or if I need to follow him in the Jeep while he goes cross country.
We’ve done this for years and each time I’m just as nervous as I was the first time. His passion is my passion.