I struggle with knowing how to thermal properly. At least that's what I tell myself even though I've had lots of explanations and coaching on it. Truthfully, I just really don't like it very much. It can be scary! (Ya, ya, ya, I can hear all the smart-assed remarks from some of you reading this!)
Regardless, I decided to do a tandem flight with Dilan (our SIV instructor from Let Fly Paragliding) and, while I learned a lot from him and now know what it feels like to thermal efficiently (it's not nearly as bumpy when you actually have the skill to stay in the thermal!) I have to admit to myself that it's just going to take much more practice, pushing myself a bit more, and not running away when it starts to get uncomfortable.
As Dilan pointed out, a few bumpy thermals is way less "exciting" that the maneuvers we did on the SIV course. I say, "But that's different!" And both of us are right.
My goal for the next flights is forcing myself to thermal a little more and a little more each time. Eventually, the comfort and confidence will come. I hope!
|Off launch, we thermalled up and got high enough to do some cross country. We followed this main ridge for a while, getting additional thermals and height off some of the side ridges.|
|Flying tandem with Dilan.|
|View of the coastline south of Santa Barbara.|
|And then we headed to the beach! (About 20 km from launch.)|
|Looking down at our LZ at Padero Beach.|