Speed-flying and speed riding are advanced disciplines of paragliding that use a small, high-performance paraglider wing to quickly descend mountains. Speed flying and speed riding are very similar sports; speed flying is when the speed wing is foot-launched, while speed riding is a winter sport done on skis. Just like the title says, speedriding is the combination of freeskiing and paragliding, giving big mountain skiers access to terrain that would have otherwise been considered unrideable.
Speed riders has become popular in Fernie over the past decade and here is a group enjoying flying in the Lizard Ranges Fish Bowl.
Marty McFly commented, “Finally got my chance to speedfly the Fish Bowl after my first attempt last winter when I snagged a tree on launch, ripping a hole in my wing. I returned to Fernie this weekend to speedfly with the boys I paraglide with in the summer and we had a blast.”
The danger in Speed-Flying, as with any extreme sport, lies in the fact that it may feel safer than it really is. While you are flying a few feet above the ground, at high speed, the adrenaline rush is intense. It is not a sport suitable for everyone. Speed-Flying involves both paragliding and skiing skills, but at the same time is unique from both, and therefore involves a new skill that should be learned gradually. The sport has a fatality list that confirms its potential hazard.