Paragliding in BC

Paragliding in BC

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Coolest Helmets Ever

Wohoo!  I decided to become a dealer for Ruroc, who sell awesome helmet systems that look like this:

RG-1 Shadow Complete Helmet System from Ruroc

I entered a contest on Facebook to win one, then approached them about carrying their products.  Kind of like what I did with Flyte Park and selling the Microvario - I found a product I liked & believed in and wanted to help promote.  These helmets just look so cool I couldn't help but ask to work with them!

So after doing some research, I found they don't just look great but have fantastic safety features and innovative technology, like their goggles and lenses that have special vents that permanently prevent goggle fog.  The "ski mask" is detachable so you could wear it when flying (or skiing or boarding or speed riding) in the winter, and remove it when having a nice little summer flight.

I plan to promote these within the snow sports arenas as well as the paragliding community, although I think most people who fly also ski/board/speedride in the "off season" and would love a helmet they can switch between sports. 

This past year I've been trying to "think outside the box" for ways to make a living in paragliding without having to rely on things like tandems which are completely dependent on the weather.  So far I've started teaching intermediate classroom courses and will do so again as soon as flying stops for the year, and I think branching out and catering to sports connected with ours or that pilots like to do along side with flying is a solid step in the right direction.  I'm excited about this next venture and look forward to improving my snow skills so I can wear one of these helmets somewhere other than the bunny hill :)

If you'd like to buy one (or just want to see what's available) check them out on my website:

These pages are still "under construction" but I can start taking orders immediately.  Thanks for your support!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Keep Calm and Paraglide On?

This is somewhat of an anniversary for me.  Maybe more of a milestone, or a reminder to look at how far I've come.  About a year ago I moved into my own place, with nothing more than a pocket full of tandem money and the confidence I'd easily find a job to work over the winter so I could go back to paragliding full-time the following spring and summer.

But living close to a flying site often means you're living in a small town, and living in a small town can mean a struggle to find work.  Typical job ads read, "Experienced milker wanted" or  "Chicken catchers needed".  Not being proficient in any of these, I've kept my eye open for office jobs or retail or something else exciting from the "et cetera" column on the Craigslist job postings.  I spent my days applying for jobs and doing whatever contract work or odd jobs for friends I could find, and would "play" my nights away...getting lost for hours working on my website (although it never felt like work).

In February I was hired at my current retail job, which happily started out as full time as it was a new store and we were prepping it for opening.  The hours slowly dwindled down to very very very part time, and the frantic search for something to supplement it began.  I loved the job and didn't want to replace it with something else full time, especially since it was spring now and that meant tandems, right?

Wrong.  Mother Nature had other ideas, and I flew maybe 10 per cent the amount of tandems I had last year.  What was I thinking in trying to run a flying business?  But every time I considered putting my ambitions on hold, something pulled me back in.  A new student.  A group of tandems.  Media opportunities.  Great turn-outs at the paragliding courses I started teaching.  Becoming an authorized dealer for my Flyte Park microvarios and having such a positive response to them (and my tshirts too!).  Friends believing in me and sending me business.  Then the big one...the Skywalk paraglider sponsorship!  Every time I thought that this dream was just that - a silly dream - something else would pop up as if to say, "Don't you dare give up on this!"

So I've stubbornly carried on, even cutting down on my personal flying to save the money I'd have spent on gas to drive to the take-off to simply make ends meet.  Why?  I've talked it this before, but I HAVE to fly.  It's not an option, it's mandatory.  And if I can't fly I have to help others fly, or learn more about flying myself.  It's bigger than me, and it's what keeps pushing me through the challenging moments.

A few more job opportunities have been presenting themselves lately, and I'm confident that I can get back to a place where I'll feel more comfortable financially again.  It may be another lean winter, I may not get to join my friends on flying trips to sunny destinations, but I know I'm on the right path.  After reading so many inspirational books lately on success and those who struggled and made it, I know this is just part of the process...that this is the time to have the most faith and believe in myself and Just Keep Going.

In the meantime, I will search onwards for more fun things to sell on my website (shameless plug!  Buy something from me! ) and follow the signposts that keep popping into my life that tell me I'm doing the right thing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Radio flyer

Spring has finally arrived!  Ok, so it didn't get here until September but the last couple of weeks have been great and the week ahead looks beautiful too.  Tandem season looks like it will easily carry on through September...and hopefully beyond to help make up for the lackluster summer weather.

Last Saturday I took a local radio DJ and her brother on tandem flights.  Here's the video I made for Sadie that she posted on their website and you tube (thanks for the publicity Sadie!)

A group also came out a few weeks ago to celebrate their Dad's 60th...I got to take the birthday boy tandem and hired some friends to help fly all the family members who came along.  One of them is coming back for another flight this weekend, and today I got an email from an excited passenger who wants to fly again and is bringing along two more friends who want to try too.  Repeat business is a HUGE compliment, especially in an "extreme" sport like this where a lot of people tend to just want to try paragliding once.  I'm lucky enough to get paid in cash as well as hugs, smiles and referrals from happy customers.  If this isn't a rewarding job then I don't know what is!