So you want to learn how to fly. Great! We’ve been teaching hang gliding lessons since 1974 and have had over 450,000 students take flight. But before you head out to the dunes, there are a few things that we recommend you bring with you on your hang gliding lesson.
A sense of adventure
Jockey’s Ridge State Park is the east coast’s largest living sand dune. In the summer the sand can get extremely hot and there is very little shade to be found. It’s important to stay hydrated out in the sun. So we recommend bringing more fresh water than you think you’ll need. And as a company on the coast, we strive to decrease the amount of single-use plastic. That’s why we suggest using a reusable water bottle like these from Hydro Flask and Yeti.
If you forget to bring one, we have some for sale inside our hang gliding school at the park entrance. Or you can pick one up at one of our stores.
The Outer Banks sunshine is beautiful. But it is also unforgiving. Protect your skin with broad-spectrum rated sunscreen. We recommend Sun Bum because it is all hypoallergenic and made with built-in moisturizers to keep your skin hydrated. Bring it with you to the lesson and reapply throughout the day.
Being able to see where you’re flying is very important when you learn how to hang glide. The best way to do this is by remembering to wear a pair of sunglasses. We recommend polarized lenses. These reduce glare, sharpen images, reduce eye strain, and increase clarity and comfort.
Stop by one of our Kitty Hawk Surf Co. stores to find your perfect pair. Our favorite brands include Ray-Ban, Oakley, Costa, Smith, and VonZipper.
During the summer months, the sand on the dunes gets very hot. This makes it uncomfortable to walk on the dunes barefoot. The opposite occurs in the winter months. Cold, often wet sand can definitely dampen your spirits. We recommend wearing socks and/or closed-toe shoes that are secure on your feet. In the fall and spring, the weather may be comfortable enough to walk on the dunes barefoot. But you can’t always depend on that. Bring a pair of shoes just in case.
Even though your instructor will carry the glider back up the dune for you, you can expect to break a little sweat during your hang gliding lesson. Bring some extra fuel to munch on between flights.
If you’re flying with your family, make a picnic out of it! Bring a cooler of drinks to keep everyone hydrated and a blanket to keep the sand off of your food. We offer kids hang gliding lessons for children as young as four so that the whole family can participate. Or pack some beach toys to play in the sand during the lesson.
6. Face Mask
Currently, there is a state-wide mandate in North Carolina that requires everyone to wear a face mask in public when social distancing cannot be maintained, with some exceptions. You can read the specifics of the mandate on the North Carolina Government website.
We highly recommend wearing a face mask or other effective face covering during your lesson to limit the potential spread of the novel coronavirus. Depending on availability, we may have some for sale in our Nags Head flagship store across the street from Jockey’s Ridge State Park. One of the benefits of these fabric face masks is that they are flexible and take up very little space in your beach bag.
7. A Sense of Adventure
Our goal is to provide you and your family with moments of pure joy and memories worth sharing & repeating. In short, we are fun makers. When you arrive for your hang gliding lesson, make sure to bring an upbeat attitude and sense of adventure. You’re about to learn to fly, after all! Our instructors love to teach and will go out of their way to make you relaxed for a fun, exciting flight.
Do you still need to book your hang gliding lesson? We offer them year-round, multiple times per day. Check our availability online, or call our reservationists at 1-877-FLY-THIS.