One of the common initial considerations for most people is cost. How much will your training cost you in your hard earned dollars? As you ‘shop’ around, you will likely find that most schools are very close in their pricing structures. After deciding that this new sport of paragliding is for you, (and is affordable to you), a much more important consideration than outright cost becomes value. What are you getting for your money? Is the equipment used optimal for training, and will the gear selection be the right size for you? What is the experience level of the instructors? What does the training location have to offer and is it a safe and reliable venue? These are all highly ‘valuable’ considerations.

A common second consideration is travel time and distance to the training location. This once again quickly becomes a question of value. While it can be a pain to travel a couple of hours to get to your training location, you will find that most instructors have very good reasons for training in the locations they choose. Ask why if the answers are not readily available. Why is it worth the drive to location X?

Perhaps the least tangible and probably one of the most important considerations for choosing an instructor is interpersonal compatibility. Do the values of your potential instructor seem in line with yours? Are personalities compatible? The only way to really figure out these questions is to open a conversation or dialog with the school you are considering. This is something we highly encourage. Take the time to be in touch with your potential instructor and see if it feels like the right ‘fit’ for you. Call a few instructors even. You are going to be spending a substantial amount of money, sure, but a much more important question is: Will you feel safe in the hands of your chosen instructor, and will they be able to give you the information and training you need to become a competent pilot yourself?

When choosing a school or instructor, there are many things that need to be considered.

You will be working with two Master Tandem Instructors, and their associate instructors, experienced in all forms of paragliding flight: Paragliding, Powered Paragliding, mini and speed wing flight, towing, thermal and Cross Country (XC) flight, and even aerobatics. We can offer training from the very beginning levels all the way up to your instructor certifications and beyond.

Sunset Beach has proven to be one of the most productive locations throughout Oregon. Wind direction can vary from north to south (as long as it’s not blowing offshore), and wind speed can vary from 0 to over 15 mph and we still have workable conditions. Add the training dune, and our towing system and you are assured more actual training ‘airtime’ than any other location in the northwest.

While any sporting activity has its inherent risks, we have taken special care to make sure our students have the safest training environment possible, and also to instill in them the habits that with continue to keep them safe and healthy. That said, we have been actively teaching since 1997, (weekends since 1995), and so far our safety record is impeccable. Sure, there have been a few bumps, scrapes and bruises along the way, but our only serious training injury to date has been a dislocated elbow over eight years ago.

Paragliding should be fun, safe, and thought of as something that you can do for as long as the passion drives you. As such we take our training methods seriously and work with you towards building each and every new skill on the foundation of those already learned.


Maren, a native of northern Germany, first came to the Northwest in 1997. Already a beginning paraglider pilot, she had read about the great paragliding opportunities here, and with a conveniently timed job opportunity, jumped at the chance to come to Portland for a year and fly our local sites. Nine months into her stay, both Brad and Maren found themselves at the 1998 Oceanside Open fly-in on the Oregon Coast. They would finally meet, and would begin dating just a few weeks later.

With their mutual passion for paragliding, and a growing passion for each other, they were married in October of 1999 at the site of their first meeting in Oceanside, Oregon, and have been nearly inseparable ever since.

Brad is a Master rated pilot and is certified as an Advanced Instructor and Advanced Tandem Instructor. He is one of only a few pilots in the US to hold Tow, Instructor, and Tandem Administrator appointments.

He began taking lessons less than two weeks after he first ‘discovered’ paragliding in 1992. By mid 1995 he earned his first instructor rating, and hasn’t looked back since.

His passion for the sport has taken him throughout the western United States, Canada, Central America, and Europe in the quest for more knowledge, experience, and of course, ‘airtime’!

Maren ‘discovered’ paragliding on a tandem flight with a friend of her brother (who is also a PG pilot) on the shores of the Baltic Sea in northern Germany in 1995. Immediately hooked, she started taking lessons shortly thereafter in the Hartz Mountains, about six hours from her home in Hamburg, and has been enthusiastically involved ever since.

Paragliding was the primary reason for her first trip to the Northwest in 1997. Since then she has become an integral part of the Discover Paragliding instructional team!

She is also Master rated, and also holds the Advanced Instructor, Tandem Instructor, and Tow Administrator certifications from the United Stated Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (the USHPA).

In 2012, she became an internationally recognized team pilot for Parajet Intl. powered paragliders (PPG).
Check out her team blog here: Parajet Team Pilot Blog – Maren Ludwig (Parajet is currently updating their website too, so this link will be modified when they get her blog updated again.)

It has taken Brad and Maren many years to attain the experience, ratings, and skills they now possess, yet they still consider themselves perpetual students in the Art of Paragliding. They often travel throughout the U.S., the Americas and Europe to receive continuing education from national as well as international leaders in the sport. In the constantly evolving sport of paragliding, it’s the only way to continue to bring the latest, safest, and best training methods home to their students.


Let the team at Discover Paragliding make your dreams of flight a reality! Their Master Rated ‘Couple of Instructors’ form a world class team that can take you from that very first day to heights yet only imagined.
Whether it’s a scenic tandem flight, an extended instructional experience, or even touring foreign lands, we’ll be there helping you have the best experiences possible!
Paragliding is our passion and we love sharing it with new and aspiring pilots just like you!

A Dream of Flight. An Aircraft ‘Discovered’.

In June of 1992, Brad first ‘discovered paragliding’ and became immediately and completely obsessed with this crazy new sport. He began working for his then instructor in 1993, and by 1994 had started ‘Paradventures!’ with the intent of soon forming his own school.

It became almost immediately apparent, even to himself, that he lacked the flight and training experience to be serving his students well enough, and began to focus on filling in those rather glaring gaps.

After taking instruction from several different prominent instructors, both in the US and in Europe, those gaps started to fill in. Eventually, he joined up with Larry Pindar of Over the Hill Paragliding and they enjoyed working together, bringing the dream of flight to so many others, for the next 4-5 years.

Brad and Maren

Sometime in 1997, after a few years of friendly ribbing from Larry about “Par Adventures, where to go for your average golfing tour”, (and a couple other factors), a new name was decided on and “Discover Paragliding” was born. (We won’t talk about the choice of ‘Over the Hill Paragliding’ as a name here!) Suffice it to say, Larry and Brad had a lot of fun working together!

A Chance Encounter. A Lifetime of Consequences!

In April of 1998, that fateful meeting at the Oceanside fly-in would occur. It’s fair to say that that one chance meeting changed both Maren and Brad’s previous life plans beyond anything they could have imagined!

Maren had arrived and would soon become an integral part of the new team. Already a pilot in her own right, she soon acquired both her instructor and tandem instructor certifications.  Discover Paragliding, after four plus years in the making, was now poised to become a viable independent school.

Yoncalla: Where it all began.

Training at Yoncalla

Yoncalla. This was the training hill of choice for decades. Unending gratitude goes to Susan Applegate, the owner of the property, who has allowed people to learn to fly from her land since the early 70’s when Hang Gliding was just getting it’s start. Yoncalla is where Brad got his start too. It also is where he and Larry took innumerable students over the years that they worked together, and at this point Brad and Maren were there most every workable weekend.

While Yoncalla was a very good training venue, it had a couple of small problems. The first was its propensity to get too thermic to fly by lunchtime, and that it was at exit 154 on I-5. The latter was included in all the directions to get there, but something that was rarely mentioned is that exit 154 was exactly 1/2 way from the Washington to the California border on I-5!

Brad and Maren were still living in Vancouver, WA at the time, and between driving to Yoncalla, trips to the coast, and to the gorge, driving 400+ miles a weekend had become the norm. There had to be a better way, not just for us, but for our students too!

Tow Launched Training:

Brad’s first towing experience was in 1994, at the ‘Whiskeytown Paragliding Super Clinic’ in Northern California. It was a good first try, but it really took attendance at several Over the Water Safety clinics by both Brad and Maren to really begin to discover the advantages of towing at the student level. Before that time, towing was commonly considered more of an advanced skill, not really suitable for beginning pilots or first flights.

In 1999, Discover Paragliding acquired their first winch from Stuart at www.TowMeUp.com. It was a ‘pay-in’ only style of winch called a ‘Scooter Tow’, where you lay out the line, attach it to the pilot and then reel it onto the spool. Using a 250 cc Honda scooter, there was plenty of power to tow even tandem flights aloft.

This worked very well, but not great. A couple of significant disadvantages were that it took a large unobstructed field to do safely (1000’s of feet long), and variable direction winds could be a real pain. Dragging the line back to launch was a tedious task too. Lots and lots of waiting between tows. Even so, it was more productive for our students than all of the driving to and from the various flying sites that we had been doing up to that point.

By 2001 or so, our now good friend Stu at TowMeUp.com had developed his Supertow Pay-out Winch system. We were rapidly out growing the capacity of our trusty scooter two, and upgraded to this awesome new pay-out style winch as soon as we could! The amazing versatility of our new winch was immediately apparent, and we knew then that we could never rely solely on a pay-in (scooter tow) style winch ever again!

At that time, all of our weekend training gear, including the winch, fit (snugly) into the back of a Nissan pickup. Wow! That didn’t last though, and our trusty Nissan pickup was soon being followed around by a shiny new and ‘way too big’ 5′ x 8′ trailer. (Way too big? That thought lasted about a year!).

But there still had to be an even better way!

By 2001 or so, our now good friend Stu at TowMeUp.com had developed his Supertow Pay-out Winch system. We were rapidly out growing the capacity of our trusty scooter two, and upgraded to this awesome new pay-out style winch as soon as we could! The amazing versatility of our new winch was immediately apparent, and we knew then that we could never rely solely on a pay-in (scooter tow) style winch ever again!

At that time, all of our weekend training gear, including the winch, fit (snugly) into the back of a Nissan pickup. Wow! That didn’t last though, and our trusty Nissan pickup was soon being followed around by a shiny new and ‘way too big’ 5′ x 8′ trailer. (Way too big? That thought lasted about a year!)

A change of Venue:

F150 Upgrade!

Eventually, after months of coercing by one of our student friends, Pat C., we were sufficiently tempted to visit Sunset Beach to see if it was suitable for what we do. The beach at Cape Kiwanda was good, but it has some significant terrain obstacles, and is subject to extreme erosion and rebuilding, sometimes on a weekly basis.

Arriving for the first time on Sunset Beach on July 6th 2002, we were instantly convinced in the wisdom of Pat’s insistence. Towing commenced immediately, and we were hooked.

We soon rented a house in the Gearhart/Seaside area, and eventually bought our house and shop in Warrenton as soon as we found ‘the right one’. Since then, the school has continued to expand and grow. Additions included a new classroom and store, an F-150 soon replaced the Nissan, and then an even larger trailer to haul even more gear. We eventually added a 21′ tow boat for Over the Water Training, and most recently a replacement F-150 as we nearly killed off the first one driving so many miles back and forth along the beach.

What’s next?!?

Students and new friends: Ready to fly!

Sunset Beach has since become one of the premier training locations in the North America. We consider it a privilege to be the only school that gets to enjoy such an amazing place. Really, in all honesty, we consider it to be in the top five training venues in the entire US, and consider ourselves very lucky to have found it!

20 years on, and we’re still hooked on teaching, flying, and all things paragliding, from speed wings and mini-gliders, to aerobatics, XC flights and dune skimming, even on to powered paragliding. Any way and anywhere into the air is where we want to be!

What will the next decade bring? Stay tuned… Maybe it will be your turn to fly?!?