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Home > City Resources > Sports & Recreation > Adventure Sports
 
 

Spirit Of Mumbai

Adventure sports in Mumbai have not yet come of age. Youngsters are curious and want a taste of the risk and thrill that it affords. The clientele for these sports is split equally between men and women. Although the best age limit would be between 15 to 50 years, there are 65-year olds who make a go at paragliding armed with medical certificates! Thats the spirit of Mumbai!

Sporty Thrill
Adventure sports defined.

Bungee Jumping

A nose-dive from sky to earth with your nose barely touching the ground! A headlong jump into space with your feet secured by an elastic rope.

Paragliding

A commercial version of what birds have been doing all these years. Its a simple form of flying using a non-powered foot launch cloth aircraft weighing about 15 kgs.

Rock Climbing

Never look down, you might forget the way up. Its an old sport of climbing rocky stretches, using ropes and harness belts. It costs approximately Rs 250-350/- a day.

Rappelling

Just imagine you are Tarzan and Jane is waiting for you at the bottom. Rappelling involves descending from a rock cliff using a rope. It costs the same as rock climbing.

Scuba Diving

You are not happy swimming and want to know whats crawling beneath, go scuba diving. It entails taking trips deep down under water (it could start at 12 m. and go on to beyond 50 m.), fitted with diving gear and oxygen masks. The waters off the coasts of Lakshadweep islands are ideal. A week of scuba diving (going down with a certified diver) would cost around Rs 20,000.

 Paragliding 

How many of us, especially in Mumbai, have stood on crowded platforms waiting for the local train, and hoping we could just flap wings and fly home in a jiffy. That is not practically possible, but at least on a weekend you could don wings, run a few steps, take off into the skies and feel the freedom. Once in the air, you can maintain and even gain altitude using lifting air currents and thermals. Thats the thrill of paragliding, the latest, finest and most exhilarating form of aviation sports.

Running off moderate slopes usually launches you with the glider inflated, until it lifts you off your feet. You do not have to be an athlete for this. Once airborne, the physical effort is minimal. But, being overweight or out of shape can put you to a disadvantage when hiking or executing a hard landing. This sport has no age limits.

Wear your wings and get a birds eye view of the quaint stations of Panchgani and Matheran or fly with the sea gulls over sea forts and experience the fury of the sea.

Know Your Wings

Paragliders are lightweight aircrafts, which fly on the same aerodynamic principles as Boeings. Howeverparagliders are delightfully slow, with a very small speed range. It requires the same effort, as you need to learn diving or cycling. The entire paragliding set-up weighs less than 20 pounds and easily fits into a backpack.

Is It Scary?

If it were scary, birds would not be flying. It is a gentle adventure, once airborne the experience can be serene, quiet and peaceful. There is that element of risk even while walking on the roads, swimming or climbing. In this sport, personal judgement and attitude is of fundamental importance. Gain pilot attitude, obey instructions and use safe equipment and paragliding can prove to be a safe and exhilarating way to experience flying. During training, you will start by skimming the ground. As you progress you become more skilled and confident and will probably feel the urge to go higher. Paragliders have reached over 18000 above sea level.

Take a tandem flight

You can paraglide with a friend. Tandem flights use wings large enough to hold two people, the pilot and a passenger in front.

What To Wear?

  • Sturdy footwear
  • Sturdy pants like jeans
  • Long sleeved shirt

Paragliding Clubs 

The Western Paragliding Association
The Western Paragliding Association as an orientation programme would like interested persons to spend a day with them. The course starts at Mumbai. Students are free to come and go as they wish, as training is personalised rather than batch oriented. Day one is usually on a weekday, after which you can participate according to your convenience.

There are no limits set for the course. The association has students who have been with them since they started the school, and still continue to fly with them. They work all weekends, and most weekdays, except when they get tired and require a day-off. One can join the course anytime, except between June and September, when it closes for monsoons.

Equipment: It is expensive and after about 20 flights on their wings the association expects you to either buy new equipment, or join an equipment pool and take the strain off their limited resources.
Address: Laksh Aviation Pvt. Ltd, 14 Percy, IC Colony, Borivali, Mumbai,  Phone: 893 4803/ 893 6184.
Details: Courses take place in Virar, about 60 km north of the city centre of Mumbai at the end of the Western Railway suburban route. They last for 4 to 10 days, involve 15 to 30 flights and cost around Rs 7500/-.

Nirvana Adventures
Nirvana Adventures offers introductory, beginners, novice and intermediate residential courses in paragliding. The emphasis is on getting people to enjoy the sport and fly safely. Classes are limited to five people, so quality training is guaranteed.

Since 1996 this adventure club is based in the lake district of Kamshet, 3 hours from Mumbai. They have also discovered a variety of sites in a 30-kilometre radius from the base suited for training both hobby pilots and the more serious ones. The sites are operable from October to June.

The activities of the club include paragliding training courses, site explorations, introductory tandem flights, paragliding holidays and multi-activity adventure holidays. The 5-day beginner course costs Rs 14,500, inclusive of food, stay and travel.

Contact: Sanjay Rao, Address: 2-A, Takshashila Apartments, Tagore Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai 400 054, Phone: 649 3110/ 605 3724, Fax: 649 3110,  e-mail: sanjay@nirvanaadventures.com.

Om Air Paragliding
Om Air has set high standards of safety and professionalism in this sport. The Club follows the syllabus laid down by the French Federation of Paragliding (FFP) and has successfully trained over 100 students in the last four years at basic, intermediate and pilot level.

A student on the course is provided with a radio, helmet, cross bracing harness with back protection and a glider with air worthy certification, log book and a certificate on completion of the course. This club is successfully creating awareness among the youth and enthusiasts and exposing them to the wonderful world of paragliding. Once the student gets the license to fly, the sky is the limit.

Address:
1, Shankar Niwas, Pai Nagar, Borivali West,
Mumbai 400 092,
Contact:
Nandish Shah,
Phone:
891 8184,
Fax:
891 8183,
e-mail:
omair@omair.ourfamily.com.

Author : Wasim Siddiqui

 

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