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  • Has anyone done paragliding before? Or passed out at a really inappropriate time? Am interested in hearing other peoples experiences. I did it for the first time last week (tandem thank the gods) and i blacked out! Like in the air!!

    I don't think it was fear i was a bit anxious before but i loved the take off and the first 15 minutes or so of the flight were amazing. I've done a bungee jump and a tandem parachute jump before and was totally fine. It all started to go wrong when the pilot did a few circles while descending and i started to feel sick. I told him i wasn't feeling well and he tried to keep us in as straight a line as possible but the nausea just kept getting worse then my hands and feet got really bad pins and needles. Luckily he had headed for the landing spot as soon as i'd said i felt sick ...the last thing i remember was looking at the lake we were flying over and thinking how sparkly and pretty it looked then when i woke up i was on the ground! The pilot was a total legend he managed to land us both and i didn't get injured at all.

    I've never blacked out before so am a bit freaked out that i allowed it to happen at such an inappropriate moment but i just couldn't stop it. Around the time of the pins and needles i had a few seconds where i thought i was going to die and i don't know whether it was that or just a physical process, that caused the black out. The pilot said that blood sugar levels drop during paragliding and it was early in the morning so i hadn't eaten much.

    It's really put me off doing anything like that again as i don't think i'd be able to trust myself :shock:

  • Sounds most likely from your symptoms you described that you had an anxiety/panic attack and hyper ventilated (breathing far too fast and so over oxygenated). That would totaly explain the pins and needles,nausea,blackout and your strong sense of impending doom.

    Its usually prompted by a mad rush of adrenaline (which considering your experience is highly likely the cause).Adrenaline dumped into your system uses up blood sugar reserves very quickly.

    You dont have to feel particularly scared at the time,the sudden rush of adrenaline into your system triggers rapid heart rate and breathing which you dont immediately notice and if youre not expecting it it can be scary or unnerving and makes you feel very uncomfortable,you may even get chest pains which often convinces people theyre having a heart attack and about to die. In very extreme cases people do pass out cold and temporarily lose bowel control...theres a reason people often say adrenaline is brown :)

    I wouldnt let it worry you too much,people can have the exact same experiences triggered simply by watching tense action films or stressful events on the ground like being involved in or witnessing a car accident or robbery. Even some military personnel experience similar when theyre first exposed to something stressful or something that prompts a big adrenaline rush ie parachute jump or after being under enemy gun fire.

    The important thing is recognising whats happening to you and controlling your breathing by slowing it down and relaxing.

    Dont let it put you off paragliding,theres nothing wrong with you. Go and have another go, youll probably enjoy it more next time.

    As the saying goes,if you fall off the horse get the fuck back on :D If you go again get some Dextrosol glucose tablets from any pharmacy counter and eat a few before you jump.

    Ps I havent been paragliding myself, but i have jumped by parachute and used to regularly go climbing and abseiling.

  • sounds like you had a lucky escape Emma. Coming round at the wrong time (landing). You could have caused problems for the pilot. Adrenaline and shock all rolled into one skyjoyride. Glad you were unscathed. Hopefully you will try it again, to prove to yourself just how awesome the human body really is.

    Here’s what you missed.

  • Fuck me that second video is mental fair play to that guy he really kept it together... that would have been terrifying! Thank God i didn't pay extra to get the whole thing video'd or my zombied face would probably be all over Youtube :blush:

  • You dont have to feel particularly scared at the time,the sudden rush of adrenaline into your system triggers rapid heart rate and breathing which you dont immediately notice and if youre not expecting it it can be scary or unnerving and makes you feel very uncomfortable

    Cheers for that reply it makes sense i felt like i was actually pretty calm for most of it but maybe it was the adrenaline rush that caused things to deteriorate. I think if i hadn't have got the motion sickness it all would have been fine but feeling really nauseous so fast made me realise where i was and i remember thinking i just wanted to be on the ground.

    I really don't think i'll do it again i feel like i got lucky with the pilot i had and i'd never want to put someone else in danger again. I read a few accounts online where it's happened before and the guy got his face totally smashed up on landing. I've never really had an urge to do it anyway it was just a once in a lifetime thing because it was over the mountains in Nepal.

  • I remember at Stonehenge festival 1982/3? A guy was offering paragliding experience by being towed behind a old landrover. Me and my mate had just dropped some acid and my mate paid to have a go as he wanted to see the festival from above.
    I watched as he left the ground, but the acid was a little stronger than I anticipated as I assumed I was laid on my back and floating about 2 foot off the ground just Infront of the icecream van. I can only compare my experience to me being like the disc on a air hockey table, anyone of those coming to buy a icecream could have knocked me sideways in any direction across the site.

    I was in heaven on Earth. It must have been the lines of Coke we did straight after taking the acid. I was warm and comfortable floating around at knee hight amongst other festival goers. However I didn’t notice my mate crash landing or see him being dragged across the grass field on his knees. I was happy to learn later that he didn’t feel a thing. :whistle:

  • Ha ha , I have the same feelings about the bus rides in fiji where I got far greater adreneline rushes than I ever did when free climbing !!

    Glad to hear that you both got down safely Emma , it could of been a far worse ending to that story. xx