Paragliding and Hang Gliding Videos

A new paragliding launch option in Big Sur

January 14, 2020 5:53 am

Scroll down to go straight to the maps and video.

Paragliding in Big Sur is sort of like sex and pizza

When it’s good, it’s great, when it’s bad… it’s still pretty good! If you have ever launched from the Prewitt Ridge Camping area, also known as Wild Cattle, you know there are some drawbacks:

  • It’s a long 45 minute drive from the LZ to launch and requires a lot of coordination. A 7 mile hike is possible but it’s steep and challenging.
  • From launch, you can’t see if the LZ is fogged in or not. A dense marine is common, especially in the warmer months.
  • You only have tiny glimpses of the water texture. It’s nearly impossible to read what’s going on with the coastal winds until after you launch. With no reliable weather stations nearby, you only have a general idea about the conditions as you head up the mountain.
  • Lastly, during most of the flying season, the prevailing wind direction is NNW. Not great for anything but sledders at Wild Cattle.

This new Big Sur launch site addresses all of these issues. Wild Cattle can deliver some epic thermals, and 3-4 hour flights can be achieved there, but that’s a different post.

Plaskett Creek Road: AKA Little Big Sur

Just South of the Plaskett Creek Campground is Plaskett Creek Road. It’s mostly one lane and is a little rough for 2WD cars. My Sienna minivan easily made it up to the 1600 ft. launch known as Little Big Sur. Please comment on the Facebook post if you have a better name for this launch. Beyond that point the road gets pretty rough with deep ruts and blind one-lane turns. It’s 4WD from there on up. I bashed my stock minivan’s front bumper pretty good halfway up. You can also do dispersed camping just about anywhere along that entire ridge line with the exception of a few private properties. See maps below.

The 1600 ft. launch is a good place to stop and take stock of the current conditions. If you have a 2WD car you may want to hike up from here. If the wind was forecasted to be NNW but it feels W here, you may be feeling a rotor from the ridge to the north. Short sled rides are common here due to the relative ease of access.

I have hiked this road from Sand Dollar to the top twice now. At 3.3 miles it is much shorter than the the Wild Cattle hike but it is steep and can be very dusty. Wear a bandana, hat, and bring eye drops to protect yourself from powdery dust stirred up by passing vehicles. Near the top, the shaded roadway opens up into big grassy fields, full exposure, and ocean views. You will see a campsite to your right…

Note: The timelapse at the end of my video was taken from this campsite.

It’s all downhill from here

Go through the campsite and you will find a lightly traveled downhill trail. You’re in tick country now. Follow that trail down about 300 yards and you can’t miss the big open field on your right…

Notice the clear view of the wind lines in the distance. This launch is at about 2200 ft. ASL. On this day the winds were only about 5-7 mph. Thanks to a clear line of site, I was able to see the conditions evolve. I waited a few hours after this picture was taken to time my launch to coincide with the little bit of wind that finally moved in. Steer left shortly after launch to play on this face…

Even with the light winds I was able to graze the lee side of the ridge searching for thermals as you can see in the video. I am confident that winds in the 8-12 range could make a long day of ridge soaring, and thermalling, possible.

On a different day, I launched here with virtually zero wind. Thanks to the huge launch field I got off with over 100 yards to spare before clearing the treetops.

Warning: The big grassy field behind the ridge at Sand Dollar Cove sits in a nasty rotor. More than one pilot have been slammed there. If you choose to land there, get as close as you can to the edge of the ridge or land on the beach.

Video below…

To contribute to this post Follow us on Facebook and make comments to this post there. I will do my best to incorporate any helpful information into this post.

More Paragliding and Hang Gliding Videos

Amazing Paragliding Magnet Mount Photos From the California Coastline

Sun, Wind, and a paraglider mounted camera made for some amazing views of the California coastline on New Years Eve 2021.

A new paragliding launch option in Big Sur

There’s a better, easier, and safer ridge soaring option for Big Sur’s common NNW winds. Here’s a guide to that site with maps and video.

Paragliding the Dunes of Marina California

Paragliding from Marina California to Sand City and back.

Why hike when you can just fly to the summit?

“I felt like a first time pilot all over again.” Sure beats hiking to the top!

Paragliding on the Central Coast of California

Here is a beautiful day at the beach with the members of the San Luis Obispo Soaring Association [2 videos].

Jan Thinoks Outlaw Speed Flying is Gritty and Awesome

Fun video of Jan Thinoks, from Speedfly Arena, venturing into the forbidden zone for some rad speed wing action

Claire Mercuriot talks about Flying in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Claire Mercuriot continues to be competitive in a sport dominated by men. In this video she talks about her experiences flying at Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.

360 Cams and Acro Pilots Are Trippy Together

Roland Brunnbauer seems to defy the laws of physics in this video. Presumably this was shot with a new GoPro Fusion 360 camera.

Roland Brunnbauer goes Acro with a Paramotor

In this video Roland Brunnbauer gets high with his paramotor and then cuts the engine as he pulls radical acro paragliding stunts the rest of the way down.

Mael Jimenez Acrobatic Paragliding

Mael Jimenez shows us his acrobatic paragliding skills in these videos. Check out Mael in his element in this video taken in Organya, Spain.

Thomas Schloegl Acro Paragliding Landings

Thomas Schloegl brings us footage from a competition pilots point of view as they try to hit the landing rafts several times. Wait for it.

Egor Posokhin Acrobatic Paraglider

Egor Posokhin and his paramotor get an ATV ride out to the remote snow covered tundra in Norilsk Russia. The sky couldn’t be any clearer and the snowy terrain makes this acro paragliding video really clear and sharp.

Andres Villamizar Acro Paragliding Videos

Here’s a video of Andres giving some tandem paragliding flights in Atitlan Guatemala. Fast forward to the 1:15 mark to catch Andres cutting loose during a little ‘me time’

Lionel Hercod Acro Paragliding Videos

Here’s a promotional video of Lionel Hercode and friends flying for Niviuk. The paraglider manufacturer put together some great scenic aerial shots of some brand new wings in action.

Cesar Arevalo Urrego Acro Paragliding Videos

Here’s a video of Cesar Arevalo Urrego and his friend Andres Villamizar doing a hike and fly deep in the Himalayan mountains.

Jack Pimblett Acro Paragliding Videos

This video shows Acro paragliding pilot Jack Pimblett handling some sketchy launches, including one from a hot air balloon. Don’t mind that big wide hole in the side of the balloon Sir.

Francois Ragolski Acro Paragliding Video

We found this video of Francois Ragolski flying with acrobatic paraglider pilots Tim Alongi and Martin Schricke over Mount Blanc.

Axel Fornasier is spinnin and grinnin

Acro paraglider pilot, Axel Fornasier, earned the #6 spot at The 2018 Acro World Tour. Here’s a few videos showing some “casual” flying from Axel.

The Perlan 2 Soars To the Edge of Space Without a Motor

The Perlan II Glider Plane has been breaking unpowered aircraft altitude records recently. This week they bested 76,000 ft. again shattering their own altitude world record.

Jean-Baptiste Chandelier’s Weightless Paragliding Video

Jean-Baptiste Chandelier is known for incorporating man made structures into his paragliding stunts. In this video ski Jumps, swimming pools, and industrial cranes all get put to good use.

Theo de Blic Soars the French Alps

Watch the Théo de Blic’s acrobatic maneuvers in the French Alps. As Theo de Blic soars over the Saint-Hilaire du Touvet Funicular experience the sights and sounds of paragliding.

Tim Alongi Acro Games Paragliding Video

Tim Alongi finished #4 in The 2018 Acro World Tour. Here’s a video of Tim paragliding at this year’s AcroGames in Organya, Spain.

Victor Carrera Caught on Camera Acro Paragliding

We had trouble tracking down acro videos of Victor but it looks like the paparazzi caught up with him.

Rafael Goberna Powered Paragliding 360 Video

Outside of acrobatic paragliding Raffael is also known for his motorized paragliding skills. This 360 video let’s you pan around to control the view as he paramotors over Brazil’s beautiful Iguazu Falls.

Acro World Tour 2018 Final Results With Videos

Here are the Acro World Tour 2018 final results with videos included. Click a competitor’s name for videos.

Horacio Llorens Best Acro Paragliding Videos

Horacio Llorens claim the top spot in the Acro World Tour 2018 Finals. Here are the videos showing why he is the acro paragliding champ.

Bungee Jumping From A Paraglider Dropped From A Balloon

Why not? Watch this man bungee jumping from a paraglider that was dropped from a hot air balloon.

Acro Show 2018 Proves Air Sports Are Here to Stay

Sponsored by the World Air Sports Federation, The 2018 Acro World Tour was an air sports show, stunt show, acrobatic paragliding competition, and carnival all combined into one.

Paraglider Tethered to a Truck Goes Through Underpass

Paraglider pilot says “faster, faster!” while tethered to truck on a steep winding mountain highway.

Jean-Baptiste Chandelier’s Paragliding Videos are Amazing

When it comes to producing amazing paragliding videos Jean-Baptiste Chandelier and his film crew are the undisputed champions.

The Don’t Panic Team Paraglides Over Stunning Locations

Want to paraglide over Costa Rica, Yangzhou China, Indonesia? The Don’t Panic Team is a band of pilots offering tandem flights around the world.

Marlon Jonat Shares his Best Paragliding Moments of 2018

I’m not sure who is having more fun, Marlon or his tandem passengers. What do you think?

Ballooning, Paragliding, and Skydiving all at once?

Some people have hot air ballooning, skydiving, and paragliding on their bucket list. For those of us with limited time sometimes we have to cross all those items off the list at once.

Family Reunion While Paragliding In Cayucos California

After not seeing my older brother for several years I am grateful the weather cooperated when he arrived so we could paraglide together in Cayucos California.

Do you produce air sports videos?

We are seeking video producers to participate in our Smart TV network launch in early 2019. Get paid to be seen on Roku and other streaming channels.

Join Partner Program