Frequently Asked Questions regarding Tandem Flights
Q: How do I know if tandems are confirmed for the day I am scheduled for?
A: We will post updates to our Facebook page. It is a public page so you don't even need an account on Facebook to check. We normally post confirmations on the morning of the event as forecasts can change (for better or worse) overnight.
Q: How do I pay for my flight?
A: You can pay online ahead of time if you like. Just add the tandem flight to your shopping cart and checkout. Be sure to set the shipping to "Local Pickup" so you aren't charged for shipping. If you think of it, add the scheduled flight date in the notes of the order to help us out. You can also pay at the field - as of 2018, we can accept any form of payment at the field - cash always works and thanks to Square, we can take all cards in our remote office (the hang glider). We are tech-buffs and love it that we can now do tap, chip and even debit cards with their new NFC reader.
Q: How do I find you?
A: We operate on a private farmer's field. There are no signs up to respect their privacy. We only operate by appointments so we don't want any drop in traffic to minimize our impact on them and their neighbours. It is a country road and car GPSs (Garmin, TomToms) don't often have the proper road names programmed in.
LOCATION / DIRECTIONS / OTHER INFO:
The easiest way is to search for "Instinct Windsports" on your smartphone's maps application. To confirm, we are just North of Waterloo. To plan ahead, you can also use Google Maps to find us - just click here
Q: Are their weight and age restrictions?
A: Yes. Minimum weights of 80lbs are needed to fit the tandem harness properly. Passenger weights of over 200lbs need to be noted as we need to make sure we have a reasonable breeze to help us get up efficiently. Passenger weights of over 240lbs are not possible in any conditions. There is no real age limitation...as long as they are mature and can physically fit our harness. However, for minors, it's a bit more tricky and there is an additional legal form that needs to be filled out. You can read more about this and the form here
Q: What are your bathroom facilities?
A: We have none! :) Only 'natural' ones. We recommend going before you arrive. There is a Tim Horton's 10 minutes away or Picard Peanuts 3 minutes away (good ice cream stop!)
Q: How on earth do you get a hang glider flying? There are not mountains around here!
A: That is what blows people's minds when they find out we fly hang gliders around here! We use our state of the art high-powered winch to tow us up. The winch is designed specifically to tow hang gliders. It is the safest and most efficient method of launching a hang glider. The rapid climb it creates is also very exhilarating!
Q: How long is the flight?
A: You take about a 5 minute tow up to about 1500' above the ground where you then release the line and you are free! The ride up is as fun as the ride down. The flight is then at least another 5 minutes or so before you are back on terra-firma. We try to make the flights a little higher and longer if we can but sometimes conditions don't allow for us to do so. So 10 minutes and 1500' are the minimums we can guarantee - that is still higher than the CN Tower observation deck!!
Q: How accurate are your scheduled times? When should I arrive?
A: Timing hang gliding is not an exact science. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature so sometimes there are strong winds we have to wait out as well as bits of rain at times, even changing wind directions. It's really important to NOT be on a tight schedule when coming out as delays can compound. We hope you want to come out and relax in the country and enjoy the entire process - it does get stressful if you are pressed for time. There are times that we are an hour behind schedule (but we certainly try not to be).
It's best to show up 15min before your scheduled time to get the paperwork signed. It's also advantageous to come early to watch the people go before you to watch the process and have any questions you may have answered. We schedule flights every 30 minutes to take preparing passengers into account as the flights are usually 10 minutes (often a touch longer).
Q: How much impact is there? Is it strenuous?
A: Since you don't even land or launch on your feet, there is zero impact. We use the hang glider's landing gear to roll in so you don't even have to worry about stumbling on landing! We have had passengers with physical disabilities go for flights as well as passengers into their 80s.
Q: Can the passenger fly the glider?
A: You bet! As long as conditions allow for it, we hand over the controls to the passenger and show them how easy it is to control. After all, every tandem flight is a flight lesson! We actually both have our hands on the controls at first so we are right there to help you.
Q: Can me and a friend go at the same time?
A: No. We get this question asked rather often...people think of towing hang gliding as the same as parasailing (behind a boat). Parasailing has no directional control...you just get dragged around behind the boat. Piloting a hang glider takes skill and certification which requires you to have a certified, tandem-rated instructor up with you.
A: You need to bring:
- sunglasses or eyewear - we have never lost any and they help keep the wind off of your eyes. It keeps them from watering
- water & food
- jacket - even in the summer it gets cool up at altitude...at least bring a wind-breaker to keep the wind off of your arms
We provide the helmets but if you wish to bring your own, any snowboard helmet is suitable.