Yes, I took flight, and I HATE heights, but I did it.
Our instructor might have been the coolest, intolerably patient instructor, I’ve ever worked with.
My teens, all 4 of them, absolutely thought the hang gliding experience surpassed their expectations.
I went into this ‘sand’ to play, and I was ALL IN.
What could be better than a day in the sand and sun?
How about flying above the sand dunes?
Alright, so what can you expect at a beginner hang gliding lesson?
Everything and more!
Dress casual, tee shirt and shorts, slather the sunscreen and don’t forget your sunglasses!.
You’ll take flight off a dune and your instructors will encourage you every step of the way!
The Outer Banks Hang Gliding Experience
My adventure was hosted, the story that follows and all images are mine, based on my personal experience.
Visit North Carolina, whether you are an adventure seeker, a foodie, or a beach-seeking fiend!
Corolla Light To Jockey Ridge State Park & Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding School
We stayed in Corolla, in a Brindley Beach Vacation Villa, and headed to Jockey Ridge State Park.
At Jockey Ridge State Park, we are seeking Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding School.
For your reference, we left at 2:45 P and arrived at 4:25P.
One lane roads and people that don’t go anywhere near the posted speed, traffic, etc. all play into this so time it out right!
A Little Bucket List Info ♥ & The Outer Banks Hand Gliding
Did you know that Jockey Ridge State Park is the TALLEST Sand Dune on the Atlantic Coast?
It’s true and we learned this 2x on our trip to the Outer Banks.
As previously mentioned, since you are here, you can knock this off your travel bucket list!
You’ve arrived and will see the tallest active sand dune on the Atlantic Coast!
Let’s start with all the basic stuff, to help you get ready.
Your Outer Banks hang gliding experience will be the highlight of your vacation.
For those that seek adventure with a new learning experience, the Outer Banks Hang Gliding experience glows!
Fast Answers for those booking an Outer Banks Hang Gliding adventure.
Can you bring a backpack with you?
Sure, it’s going to sit on the sand dune while you are taking flight.
If you are comfortable with that, go for it!
My bag sat atop the hill, with camera equipment and everything else I needed, it was FINE!.
On the FLIP side of where we sat, were other kites and people.
Should you wear sunglasses?
If you look at all the photos, you’ll see we are.
It’s bright, you are on the reflective sand and I would to shield your eyes!
Choosing a Time for Hang Gliding
Our 4:30 slot was perfect.
While the sun was out, we didn’t die of heat.
Trust me, the sun glistened across the sand, yet the wind was blowing.
It was warm, but perfect for photos, memories, and a new adventure.
What kind of shoes do I wear to the Outer Banks Hang Gliding Experience?
Anything you want, they are coming off the minute you get off the mini ‘boardwalk’ path that leads you to the sand dune area.
Clothing choices, does it matter?
Well, I would not wear a dress, if that is what you want to know.
You have to step into these ‘harness’ things (I’m not technical) and each has a separate leg hole if you get where I am going!
Shorts and workout clothes work well.
Tees, tanks, etc.
Anything comfortable, as you will be laying on the ground, moving your legs and may get super warm from the sun beating on you!
Is this physically strenuous?
First, the walkover requires the ability to walk on sand that might be mounded, soft, flat, already trotted in.
There is nothing but sand.
Next, at first, once off the wooden pathway that leads to the dune area, you will go downhill, but quickly, you will ascend.
Let’s just say, it’s straight up and you are going to fight sand every step of the way.
I must have gone up and down the hill 15x during this, to capture photos and reset a Bluetooth device to shoot other images at the same time.
Sidestepping is helpful.
For THOSE not watching and flying, for every Flight you have to come back up.
That is 6x up the hill, plus the first plunge.
Naturally, there’s the walk back as well.
Stamina as well as a desire to fly is what you will need.
Did I mention anyone flying can come and watch!
There were plenty of spectators.
The Hang Gliding School’s Response To COVID 19
So now that you know you want to take flight, let’s clear the air about social distancing and cleanliness.
Yes, I too was worried, but, here’s a little help.
First, every harness going on YOUR body is in a washing machine BEFORE you put it on, being sanitized between patrons.
Secondly, the helmets are also sanitized.
Third, your activity is OUTDOORS.
Once you take flight you are well beyond SIX feet as they are on the ground and YOU are IN THE SKY (well somewhat, let’s not get too crazy here!)
It’s so Gonna Be Their Thing –
For those that love a vacation memory trigger, a good story, this is it!
Kitty Hawk Kites offers the largest hand gliding school in the USA (bragging rights on where you learned)!
Next time you sit around with your friends, you’ve got a great adventure to share.
Would we do this again?
My family is ready for lesson TWO.
This is really an Outer Banks experience I will NEVER forget, it was exhilarating and so fun!
Plus, I only share my vacations and things we do, when it was fabulous, felt safe, and makes for a great family adventure!
See you in the sand dunes with a Kitty Hawk Kites instructor ~ Dana XO