“I have always longed to be able to fly, and one day I stumbled across the sport of paragliding. I did some initial investigations and found that it was reasonably affordable to get into. So after contacting Darrell I was hooked by his enthusiasm and love for the sport. I didn’t want to buy my own gear until I knew if I liked the sport or not so Darrell allowed me to rent the equipment off him. In addition to this he allowed me to make progress payments so I was not outlaying huge amounts if I decided I didn’t like it or if my skills we not good enough. Darrell stepped me through everything from care and packing of a wing, to ground handling, to the excitement of my first flight, to top landing on the infamous Mount Maunganui. At no stage did I feel pushed beyond my comfort zone and felt completely ready to take each new step. Darrell kept me extended but always within my abilities. Every flight, without exception, Darrell has taught me more skills. Each flight I come away a better pilot than when I arrived. His teaching style is comprehensive, kind, enthusiastic and motivating. He made himself available so often so I could progress at whatever pace I could handle.
I would recommend Darrell without hesitation and would recommend the sport equally as fast. Darrell has opened up a whole new playground and has enabled me to enter the sport in a safe and competent manner.
Every time I fly I appreciate the skills and techniques Darrell taught me. Not just the flying skills but assessing the conditions and deciding where to launch for different conditions. Just had an amazing twilight flight. What a sport!
Ever since I was a young child, I've wanted to learn to fly. Finally I'm making it happen, and it has been an amazing experience learning with Mount Paragliding. Darrell's energy and enthusiasm for the sport is so contagious and flying with him is always fun. He is very generous with his time and clearly passionate about developing his students into really competent pilots. Darrell is great at demystifying flying and his explanations are often funny and quite colourful! In air I get enough instruction to be safe and enough freedom so that I am learning. Having him on the radio when you're flying is the best kind of encouragement you could ask for. At the end of every training day I just can't wait for the next one. See you on the hill!
Through my very short time being out and about learning to fly with Darrell I have experienced nothing but professionalism and safety.
I am a fixed wing Instructor so I understand both the learning and teaching side of things. Darrells care for the students and his desire to deliver quality students into this sport is clear in his teaching style.
I have extremely enjoyed what I have learnt so far.
The people I have met are fantastic and I look forward to continuing in this fantastic sport.
I have only just joined the paragliding club this summer and am yet to get into the air, I have to say that Darrell's dedication to this sport is epic. His knowledge is invaluable, his attention to detail around the safety of all his students is unwavering and his encouragement is fantastic, especially for the new students like myself. The current group of paragliders are awesome people and the trips away are always fun and very entertaining at times. All in all a great experience so far!!
Learning paragliding with Darrell has been a fantastic experience. From the first day I was learning the skills I needed to fly safely. Darrell is really enthusiastic about sharing his passion for this wonderful sport. Flying is absolutely amazing, and I can't wait to do more. I'm so glad I got involved!
I have really enjoyed learning to fly. I progressed quite quickly and enjoy learning new things every flight. I particularly like Darrells approach to practicing ground handling to make sure my launches are safe and I am not nervous. I have progressed to small wingovers and figure eights.
I purchased new equipment through Darrell and I love my Ozone ultralite its light to carry up the mount and easy to launch.
This has been an awesome experience from the beginning.
Darrell has a great way of teaching I feel safe yet always progressing. My ground control is coming along nicely and my confidence growing every day.
I had my first flight off the mount on Tuesday 25/4 and wow I am hooked. What a feeling to fly.
I am addicted to this. Paragliding with Mount Paragliding has been awesome.
The first part of the course all the gear is provided and Ive got to fly. I have always thought about doing this now I am.
It’s a real community feel, with a bunch of like-minded people from diverse backgrounds and ages supporting and encouraging each other in a really positive and fun way. Darrell’s calm and clear instructions and advice are just what you need when taking on something outside of your comfort zone. His focus on safety and his patient approach in explaining not just what to do, but why, and taking time to ensure you ‘get it’ before moving on gave me lots of confidence.
I want to say thankyou so much for taking me through this experience. Saturday was truly one of the most enjoyable days I have had in many years. Everything you taught suddenly made perfect sense, and your reassuring voice over the radio gave me the confidence I needed.
Learning to Paraglide through Mount Paragliding has far exceeded my expectations.
The instruction and communication is first class.
If you want to have an awesome experience surrounded by great people I would recommend you contact Darrell.
Full Bio to come
I qualified as a PG2 pilot in South Africa, and discovered that to convert the licence to NZ standards there were several hoops to jump through.
During this process, I flew with schools in Queenstown and Auckland, before settling back into the Bay of Plenty.
I got in touch with Darrell at Mount Paragliding to help me finish my licence conversion, and to connect up with the paragliding community here.
Darrell creates a super supportive and encouraging environment to learn in.
Asides from being very patient and generous with his time, he has offered great suggestions and alternatives to the methods I had previously learn't and techniques which I have found most comfortable and have now adopted.
I have also picked up quality merchandise through Mount Paragliding at reasonable prices.
For anyone thinking about hitting the skies, I highly recommend Darrell at Mount Paragliding.
- Sam Paki