The Cloud 9 Paragliding School
Creating tomorrow’s pilots
Ask any of our hundreds of graduates: the Cloud 9 Paragliding School is utterly dedicated to creating the perfect learning experience for our students. Our staff of instructors is composed entirely of pilots who love teaching as much as they love the sport — and that’s saying something.
We are the nation’s largest paragliding school, and with that comes many benefits for our students – tons of different instructors who each offer their unique teaching style, a store with a team of people to help you choose the gear that’s right for you, and a student discount that lasts you the rest of your life.
Lessons are by appointment only, and availability is on a first come, first served basis. During the winter months, we tend to fill up a week or two in advance, but in the summer months we can be booked as far out as three months in advance, so please plan ahead!
If we are already full for the dates you want, don’t worry! We can add you to our waitlist, and if someone cancels or gets signed off a little early, we will contact you to add you to the schedule.
Our Training Grounds
The Point of the Mountain
Cloud 9 Paragliding has the privilege of teaching at the best training site in the country: The Point of the Mountain Flight Park in Salt Lake City, Utah. Pilots come from around the world to experience the smooth air, predictable weather and consistent ridge-soaring conditions at the Point. In the mornings the wind normally blows from the South, so most lessons are taught on the South Side. In the afternoon, the winds normally switch to blow from the North, so we fly our PM sessions on the North Side. Due to the unique conditions at the Point of the Mountain Flight Park, flights of several hours are very common here.
Let’s get started.
A $195 deposit is all it takes to get you started on your very own paragliding journey.
Is paragliding for me?
While paragliding is a fairly mellow sport meant to be enjoyed by all ages, training can be pretty rigorous and we want to make sure your body is up for it. We want to spread the joy of free flight with everyone, but we don’t want to break you! Below are a few ways to check if paragliding is right for you:
- Endurance: Hiking up and down the hill is a big part of training, particularly the first few days. Can you hike up a steep hill? Can you run back down it? Can you move around actively for 2-3 hours while kiting? We allow as many breaks as you need, of course, but we want to make sure you get the most out of your training.
- Landings: A perfect landing is like stepping off one stair and landing on your tip-toes. However, it takes practice to get those landings dialed in, and if you time incorrectly, it can be a little rougher. Can you jump off a few stairs and handle the shock? Can your knees and joints take a few rough landings or tumbles?
- Scuffs and Bruises: Training bruises are a mark of pride, so make sure your body is able to handle them. 99% of our students will get bruises on their arms and stomachs from leaning forward against the risers or in the harness for an extended period of time. This is perfectly normal and goes away after your training. You may also trip and fall during a landing or while kiting. Make sure your body is equipped to handle such things.
If the answer to all these things is yes, keep reading! If not, maybe try a tandem flight to experience paragliding, or reach out to us and we can help you find a more accessible option(i.e. Trikes and Chairs).
What to Expect
Lessons at the hill
At the training hill, you will work on things like launches, landings, flight drills, ground handling, and so much more! We will teach you everything you need to know about handling a paraglider.
We have three videos you will need to watch (on your own time) and three in person ground school classes sprinkled throughout your training. Classes are generally done right after lessons, or if weather is canceled, we will do ground school instead of lessons. Total ground school time is about 10 hours.
Testing and Ratings
There are two tests you will need to take, your USHPA P1 and P2 rating tests. Once you finish our course, we will sign your paperwork and then you can submit it to USHPA to receive your rating.
WHAT TO EXPECT
We teach lessons all year long – yes, even in the snowy months! Lessons start at sunrise, so be sure to contact us the day before for the exact meeting time. Depending on the time of year, we will meet anywhere from 6:30-8:30am. We will fly for 2-3 hours, or until conditions are no longer favorable.
On your first lesson, we will start you at the bottom of the hill and hike up a short ways to get you your first flights. As your skills grow, we will hike up higher and higher until you are ready to fly off the top. Once you are ready to fly off the top, we will be able to drive down and pick you up. Dressing in layers and sturdy hiking shoes are a must for your first few days, but are a good idea through your entire training – if the wind is too strong to fly off the top, we will take you back to the bottom of the hill.
Morning lessons take place at the South Side Flight Park at the Point of the Mountain, one of the most consistent flying sites in the country.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Evening lessons are available as bonus practice for advanced students, but not required to get your P2. The evening site is much more advanced, and the weather is a lot less consistent. Unlike the South Side, which is flyable all year long, the North Side is mostly only flyable during the warmer months, usually April-October.
If we are able to get you an evening lesson, we will meet 2-3 hours before sunset. The evening lessons are meant to get extra kiting practice, with a flight or two at the end of the night after traffic has lessened.
In order to qualify for an evening lesson, we require our students to have their own gear, including a wing, harness, reserve, and helmet.
Evening lessons take place at the North Side Flight park at the Point of the Mountain.
Let’s get those feet in the air.
The goal of each course is to get you rated to your USHPA P2 – your novice paragliding rating. We will take you through all the minimum requirements and beyond to not only make sure you meet USHPA’s requirements, but to make sure you will be a smart and safe pilot in the long run. Our training is rigorous and thorough to ensure your safety as well as nurture your love for flight.
Take a look at our courses below to decide which one is right for you! The training is tailored to you as a pilot, these courses are based largely on timing.
Express Course – $1695
Our Express Course is geared towards out of town students or locals available every day. There is a minimum scheduling requirement of 10 consecutive days, but we encourage you to schedule 14 or more. This gives us some extra time to account for weather (average is 8-10 lessons). If you come out and do not complete the course due to bad weather you can come back within 6 months and finish your training at no extra cost.
A $195 deposit it required to hold your spot on our schedule; the remaining balance is due after the first lesson.
Introductory Lesson – $195
Not certain if you’re going to like paragliding, and just want to give it a try? The introductory lesson is perfect for those who are uncertain if they want or can complete the entire course. This includes one lesson at the bottom of our training hill; get an introduction to the basics of a paraglider, how it works, and take a few low altitude flights on your own! Lessons generally run for about 2-3 hours or until weather conditions shut us down.
If you choose to continue with your training, the price of your lesson can be applied to either of our training courses, so long as your training is completed within six months.
Novice Course – $1995
The Novice Course is best for locals or people who need to break their training up into chunks. You have three months from your intro date to finish your P2, but you have the freedom to schedule any days you like(depending on schedule availability). Average time is 10-12 lessons. Perfect for students who only have one or two days a week to dedicate to training.
A $195 deposit is required to hold your spot on our schedule; the remaining balance is due after the first lesson.
Brushup Lesson – $195
Brushup lessons are great for rated pilots who may not have flown in a while and need someone to watch over them and help them shake the dust off their wing. We will work with you on a case by case basis to work on whatever skills you need help with most.
Brushup lessons are also great for pilots who are wanting their P3 or P4 and need a check flight to get rated (we don’t charge our graduates this fee) or international rated pilots who want to get their rating converted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need training?
YES. Paragliding can be an incredibly fun sport, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. Our instructors have extensive training and experience to help you stay safe in the long run. We always, always encourage getting official training.
I have previous flight experience. Do I still need the entire course?
The USHPA minimum is 7 training days to get your P2; if you have previously logged days with an instructor, you can do the pay as you go program. This is just $195 a lesson and a 1 time fee of $330 for ground school, materials, etc. We will do as many lessons as you need to complete your training. If you have previous flight experience from another sport, you will likely still need the entire course. Some sports, such as skydiving, tend teach heavy handed habits that can take some extra time to break down and build back up correctly for paragliding, so you may even want to plan for a few extra days!
Do I need to purchase gear?
We provide all the training gear you will need (except a helmet and gloves) to use during your training. You will want to purchase your own set up to use once you have completed your training; generally, we recommend you purchase your gear about halfway through your training, once you have a better idea of what you’re looking for and we have a better idea of what kind of glider will be best for you. Ideally, you will finish the training on your own set up while we’re still there to keep an eye on you, but it’s not required.
Currently, Cloud 9 does not require you to purchase your gear from us to qualify for training, but it is always recommended to purchase gear through your school.
What if I can’t complete my course due to weather?
We understand that at the end of the day, paragliding is a fair weather sport and we are at the mercy of mother nature. If you sign up for the Express or Novice Course and are unable to complete your training within the time specified, you can come back or extend your training at no extra charge, so long as you come back to finish within six months. If you paid for a single lesson and it was canceled due to weather, you can reschedule your lesson at no extra cost.
What Our Customers Are Saying
Don’t just take our word for it.
I got my P2 certification through Cloud9. They have some of the best instructors in the state of Utah. Their primary teaching location is the south side of the point of the mountain flight park. They will take it as slow as you want or as fast as comfortable. Alex, Brain, and Harry are three of my favorite instructors! They are more interested in keeping you safe than making a buck, though tipping your mentor is always appreciated. (We tipped $10/lesson) As my training was wrapping up I purchased my harness and reserve, and later my wing from C9 as well. They are patient and willing to let you hang in each harness finding the one that fits your body. They are an Ozone dealer but can order other brands too. They do wing and harness repairs and reserve repacks. They have new and consignment wings. My wife is still working on her P2, but is waiting for warmer days. They have flat fees for your P2 cert or you can pay per lesson as you go. Steve the owner, and Sara at the shop were always ready for advice and to help! If you want to get certified in UT, C9 is the place to go!
I could not have been happier with my Cloud 9 paragliding P2 experience. Steve and the Cloud 9 crew are consummate professionals that make training for your P2 as much fun as it is safe. Coming from an aviation background I appreciated the thoroughness and emphasis on making safe “go/no go” decisions. Steve even took the time to take me to the north side in the afternoon to demonstrate top landing and advanced kite control, something I did not expect after having already done a morning session. While Cloud 9 is slightly more expensive (and I do mean slightly) than another popular school, it is well worth it. My brother went through another Utah school and didn’t have anywhere near the level of instruction I received. In addition, Cloud 9 seems to take on smaller groups of students at a time so there are plenty of instructors per student. While I had to split up my training due to my work schedule it only took me about 9 days total to achieve my P2. After earning my P2 I ordered a wing from Cloud 9 and Steve even lent me a loaner wing for a couple of days so I could solidify my skills. If you’re looking for a place to train look no further than Cloud 9 at Point of the Mountain Utah. There are plenty of inexpensive hotels nearby if you’re coming in from out of town. Because of the consistent conditions at the Point you’ll likely conclude your training here cheaper than anywhere else even if you have to pay for a hotel.
If you are committed on learning how to paraglide, Cloud 9 is the school for you. I just received my P2 certification from Cloud 9 and I got way more out of the experience than I had expected. The training was challenging, but very rewarding and so much fun. The instructors are extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and will teach you everything you need to know to be a safe and confident pilot. I look forward to coming back and flying with the Cloud 9 team, as well as additional training in the future.