Summer Mountain Tandem – Launch from our Western Skies launch above Santa Barbara

Summer Mountain Tandems with Eagle Paragliding are available from May through August. The take off for these tandem flights is from our Western Skies launch near HWY 154. Which overlooks Santa Barbara, The Pacific Ocean, and the Channel Islands. This is the ideal activity to enjoy a summer’s day, with departure times at 9:30, 11:45, 2:30, 4:30 and Sunset. We are able to get anyone under 260 pounds flying with us on Summer Mountain Tandems. These tandems are offered May through August. Sunset flights are an extra $50 and require a bit of flexibility due to changing times, and weather conditions.

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What to Expect

We use a larger canopy designed to carry the weight of two people. Each person has their own harness, and the passenger and instructor are connected together with spreader bars. The Tandem instructor sits in the back and the passenger sits in front. We organize our equipment and do a simulation before our actual launch. The instructor double checks your buckles and straps, clips you in, and we turn and wait for a nice launch cycle. When the wind is right we build energy by running together as the wing comes overhead into the flying position. We run with the wing as we are lifted of the ground, up, up, and away!

We have a variety of meet times between 9:30am, and 4:30pm with our long summer days. These times can change depending on the weather. The Eagle Staff will coordinate with you on the meet time for your group. We also offer sunset tandems, for an additional fee you can enjoy the sunset with your friends or significant other from the sky!

Our primary meeting spot for summer mountain tandems is near the San Marcos Preserve in Santa Barbara. The Eagle van parks near the North end of Via Gaitero as it dead ends into the San Marcos Preserve. The meeting location is a short 10 minute drive from Downtown Santa Barbara.

The passenger is flying in the front seat exposed to the wind. The temperature at altitude may be quite cold even though the surface temperature is warm. It’s best to prepare for cold by bringing multiple layers. Your instructor can brief you on the expected temperature at altitude the morning of the flight, and you can layer appropriately.  We would rather have you be too warm than too cold. Here is a checklist of items to bring:

  • Protective footwear, no open toe shoes
  • Pants, jeans are great
  • Warm clothing layers and a Jacket
  • Warm gloves
  • Sun Glasses
  • You may bring a GoPro or camera if you wish

Yes, we will work to fly together when possible.  Part of what makes flying so fun is getting to be up there and experience it together. There are no guarantees, but this is what we strive to do on each flight.  We work as a team to find and share thermals as we gain altitude with other pilots. When thermals are present, we climb above the area we launched, and the surrounding peaks on the Santa Ynez range. The views of the mountain range, the Pacific Ocean, and Channels Islands are spectacular.

The Mountain to Beach Flights only happen September through April.  The flight to the beach is not an option on the Summer Mountain Tandems.

These tandems usually take an hour and a half or two hours from the time we leave for the launch in our vehicle until we touch down for landing.

The shortest Summer Mountain Flight will be 12 minutes if no thermals are present.  There are no guarantees that we will find thermals and soar.

Yes, family and friends are welcome.  We appreciate you bringing at least one person along.  They often help by driving the Eagle Van down after watching you launch. They usually take photos and/or video to upload on social media to prove to everyone you flew like a bird. So please bring friends and family anytime you can.

Yes, you can bring a camera.  However, we have noticed passenger get queasy when they are focusing on filming instead of looking out across the horizon and enjoying the view themselves.  Your Instructor may be able to film your flight for you and hand over the SD card at the end of the flight for $50.

The temperature varies in the mountains. You should be prepared for cooler weather by bringing options, and simply layer appropriately.

There is no sensation of falling with Paragliding launches and flights. After being airborne for a few seconds you will realize the peace that comes from floating like a bird with the wind in your face. Participants with some apprehension are put at ease after arriving at launch and actually seeing what the flight looks like as pilots begin to launch and fly. The launch process is easy, and the landings are soft.

Yes, you need to be able to jog. With lighter winds we will run for 10 to 15 steps, and with stronger winds we can expect to be airborne much sooner.

The glider has a specific placard for wing loading. Overloading the glider can making launching and landing more challenging. We suggest a 1 day solo training for anyone over 260 pounds. We have paragliders to accommodate participants over 300 pounds on solo flights.

The Fine Print — Tandems

If we are unable to complete your tandem due to weather, you will not be charged. Participants may schedule a tandem via email. Reservations are required, and only confirmed when held with a credit card, or full payment has been made. The deposit for tandems is the entirety of the fee. Deposits are refundable only if participants do not get to fly, or a cancellations is made at least 24 hours before a scheduled tandem. Eagle Paragliding reserves the right to modify, change, or delete any aspect of the tandem programs or fees at any time. We strongly recommend that students have their own medical insurance. Most anybody can enjoy paragliding. If you don’t meet the weight requirement minimum, or have anything you feel may prevent you from having the physical or mental ability please contact us to inquire.