Learning to Stay in The Game, and Connect the Dots

Indicate the month and location of your clinic at checkout in the “Order Notes” section. Lets go flying!

Pilots are able to gain valuable insights at the thermal clinic, which helps increase their flight duration moving forward.  We get more thermal experience when we can stay up for longer periods of time. These longer duration flights really help pilots develop a feel for tracking and coring thermals.  Once you have improved your thermaling technique you are ready to start connecting the dots and flying cross country. Our Thermal XC Clinics follow the same organization and execution as our worldwide tours. There are great locations in North America year-round. Our history in continually bringing together top instructors who are world class pilots in the sport to work as a team is unmatched. Most clinics give you a 10 to 1 student instructor ratio.  Our tours have always had a 5 to 1 maximum on our student instructor ratio.  Our two decades of experience running tours has shown us the quality diminishes significantly with a student instructor ratio any higher than 5 to 1. We team fly in our clinics when we start making moves to fly cross country much like a gaggle in a paragliding competition.  Coaching a gaggle of 10 pilots is unrealistic, and smaller student instructor ratios are a world of difference. Having the smaller ratio allows us to group you with pilots of similar levels, which prevents more experienced pilots from being held back. Our clinic Instructors are actually professional pilots who bring years of real world XC and race to goal experience.

Signup Now for a THERMAL XC CLINIC!

Welcome to Team Flying!  Getting High, and Going Far, with a Little Help from Your Friends…


March 22-24 – 3 days– Santa Barbara Clinic
April 26-28 – 3 days – Santa Barbara Clinic
October 18-20 – 3 days – Owens Valley Clinic
November 15-17 – 3 days – Santa Barbara Clinic
December 13-15 – 3 days – Santa Barbara Clinic



April 4-6 – 3 days – Santa Barbara Clinic
May 9-11 – 3 days – Dunlap Clinic
June – dates TBD – 7 days Woodrat Mountain Clinic
Oct 17-19 – 3 days– Owens Valley Clinic
Nov 14-16 – 3 days – Santa Barbara Clinic
Dec 12-14 – 3 days – Santa Barbara Clinic

Thermal XC Clinic Locations

Dunlap has been the site of numerous paragliding competitions, and one of the location for the Northern California Cross Country League. This site offers  Great combination of both mountain and flat land thermal flying opportunities.  Pilots can camp or stay at lodging near launch which makes for a nice relaxing morning before the days flying activities. Pilots who have join us for these clinics always end up coming back. The area is beautiful and due west of Kings Canyon National Park.  Eagle Staff have won tasks, and ended up on the podium at the national championships held at Dunlap making flights south just short of Bakersfield. Let these pilots show you the area, and get you out on you next XC mission at this great paragliding site.

Marshall is one of California’s most consistent sites, and renowned for strong thermal conditions mid-day.  We get newer pilots off early and late in the day at our clinics and fly through mid day with experienced pilots on XC missions.  Marshall is a one of the eagle staff’s favorite sites to sneak way and do big XC flights when the weather and conditions line up for the site.  Its a great place for our staff to get you airtime if your working on thermaling technique. We enjoy team flying down range at Marshall as well.  Aaron Price organizes the Southern California XC League events, and Marshall is one of the go to sites for these races. Our clinic goals at Marshall are to allow you to become familiar with the area, and understand where the thermal triggers are located.  We also hope to show you possible lines to follow when making moves down range on XC missions.

Topa Topa Mountains – Ojai, California ( 3 Days $695)
Our Ojai clinics happen May through October. These clinics take us away from the ocean air on the south coast, and has us flying the Topa Topa mountain range. We usually launch from Chiefs Peak. We can utilize other launches if needed. We fly around the Ojai Valley, and often push east flying XC toward Fillmore and Piru.  We also launch Nordoff Ridge when Santa Ana conditions are present, and its possible to fly back to Santa Barbara on these flights.  After attending the Ojai clinic you will have a better understanding of the moves necessary to fly the Ojai Valley, and the confidence to head eat toward Fillmore and Piru.

We fly the Owens in the spring and fall. The Sierra’s and White mountains provide excellent thermal and XC opportunities. The Owens Valley offers a variety of launch locations, and we will make a move to the launch which matches our forecast for the day.  We can work as a group and team fly here as well, and out out some big distance numbers. The State distance record is held from a flight in this area by Dave Turner. The area is world famous and worth a trip in the fall or spring for some classic flying, and big distance opportunities.

Eagle has organized clinics at Pine Mountain off Highway 33 behind Ojai.  Two local legends Tom Truax a.k.a. “Sundowner“, and “Diablo”, Tony Deleo each set the California state distance record from this site back in the 90’s. September is our favorite month to do clinics out there, and we held a clinic there years ago where a pilot flew 50 miles on his first Cross Country flight.  We followed the Team Flying strategy we share at our clinics and on our tours with a group of pilots on this flight.  The pilot wrote up a story of his experience for Paragliding Magazine called “50 Miles on my first XC Flight“.  Our favorite time of the year to do clinics out there is September.  The beautiful thing about the launch is its omni-directional.  Pilots have made moves in just about every direction after getting up to higher altitudes.

Santa Barbara has a very long mountain flying season extending from September through early June. These clinics are aimed to get pilots familiar with the thermal triggers, and lines to take to get from lift source to lift source moving down the range. We often set tasks similar to race to goal events much like the SB HoeDown organized by local flying guru Aaron “Cracka”  LaPlante.  Have a look at his Cracka Sauce YouTube Channel to have a laugh while learning about flying all our flying sites. After attending this clinic you will have a better understanding of the moves necessary to get down range, and the confidence to get through the pass and fly to Ojai and beyond.

Woodrat Mountain in southern Oregon is where the Rat Race competition has been held over the years.  The even is now called the Applegate Open. This clinic focuses on allowing pilots to become familiar with the area, and route flown during the competition held each June.  We will set tasks, and incorporate the strategies, considerations, and mindset that are a part of XC and race to goal flying.  This clinic is great as it prepares pilots for the competition the following week.  The staff leading these clinics have been on the podium at the race to goal competitions held from this site, and know the area very well. The RVHPGA is the flying community who calls this their home site.  This group of pilots and community members are organize, and super friendly.  They make it easy to be an informed pilot, and to help preserve one of the best summer flying sites in the USA. Eagle Paragliding chose Woodrat Mountain and the local flying community as the location for the feature film shoot for “The Upside” starring Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, and Nicole Kidman.

  • Check lists
  • Proper gear
  • Deciding on goals
  • Launch timing
  • Airspace considerations
  • Reviewing possible routes
  • Speed to fly
  • Staying out of clouds
  • Finding Convergence Lines
  • Reading the weather
  • Making adjustments
  • Using your instruments
  • Gliding technique
  • Low Saves
  • Landing option considerations
  • Letting others know you have landed safely
  • Understanding the retrieval process
  • Reviewing Check lists
  • Flight plans
  • Finding and Mapping Thermals
  • Understanding Trigger Points
  • Entering thermals with other pilots
  • Staying with Thermals and finding the core
  • Flying with confidence
  • Active piloting and turbulence
  • Gaggle Flying
  • Staying out of clouds
  • Using Birds, pilots, and other lift markers
  • Patience and decision making
  • Getting high and staying high
  • Variometer use
  • Radio etiquette and reporting
  • Common Beginner Mistakes
  • Tandem flight as a passenger

Deposits and full clinic payments are refundable only if a qualified replacement can be found. Clinic spaces are transferable to another individual. Eagle Paragliding reserves the right to modify, change, or delete any aspect of the tour programs or fees at any time. We strongly recommend that pilot have their own medical insurance, and travel medical insurance. If you have anything you feel may prevent you from having the physical or mental ability please contact us to inquire. There are no credits if we are unable to complete tour flying due to weather.