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HomeThings To DoOuter Banks Hang Gliding

Outer Banks Hang Gliding

There’s something magical about the thought of soaring with the birds, mastering the wind and floating on currents of air.

You can indulge your flying dreams with hang gliding lessons in the Outer Banks. After a brief ground school in which you learn the basics about your flying wing and – more importantly – getting off the ground, you’ll be ready for your first flight.

The instructors are careful not to over complicate beginner lessons and they hold on to the glider (and maybe help it along a little) during your flights. If you can remember run until you cannot touch, push to go up and pull to go down, well then, you’ll make an excellent hang gliding student!

Hang gliding students at the Outer Banks
These hang gliding students are at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nag’s Head – North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Beginning students typically fly 5-10 feet off the ground for 10-25 yards. This is not a strenuous activity, as the instructors carry the glider back up the dune after your flight. And when it’s your turn to fly, the wind will help hold up the glider.

Hang gliding lessons are offered year-round, while off-peak season visitors enjoy smaller group sessions and the instructors will tell you the cool, dense winter air is ideal for flying.

Hang gliding instructor and student
You’ll get a little sandy as ground school actually involves lying on the ground.

Outer Banks hang gliding student takes flight at Jockey's Ridge
In the Outer Banks, even kids take flight as hang gliding students at Jockey’s Ridge State Park.

 

  • Thrill-O-Meter – 7
  • Ages: 4 and up
  • Where: Outer Banks, Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head, NC
  • When: Year-round
  • Cost: About $129 per person for 5 flights
  • Guide: Kitty Hawk Kites

Know Before You Go

You’ll be out on the sand dunes, which are bright even on overcast days. So slop on some sunscreen and wear shades. Full length pants or leggings are recommended for comfort in the harness. Take water and a snack as group sessions can last 3 hours.

man tries dune sledding at Jockey's Ridge in the Outer Banks
Try dune sledding with a boogie board, or cardboard box. This requires very dry conditions.

kids running at Jockey's Ridge in Outer Banks
Kids enjoy the wide-open freedom of the dunes at Jockey’s Ridge, especially in the winter when it’s not so hot!

When you’re not flying, the sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park will be a huge hit with the kids. If the dunes are extremely dry you can try sledding down them (the Carolina Travel crew tried unsuccessfully with an old box).

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