One of the common initial considerations for most people is cost. How much will your training cost you in your hard earned dollars? As you ‘shop’ around, you will likely find that most schools are very close in their pricing structures. After deciding that this new sport of paragliding is for you, (and is affordable to you), a much more important consideration than outright cost becomes value. What are you getting for your money? Is the equipment used optimal for training, and will the gear selection be the right size for you? What is the experience level of the instructors? What does the training location have to offer and is it a safe and reliable venue? These are all highly ‘valuable’ considerations.
A common second consideration is travel time and distance to the training location. This once again quickly becomes a question of value. While it can be a pain to travel a couple of hours to get to your training location, you will find that most instructors have very good reasons for training in the locations they choose. Ask why if the answers are not readily available. Why is it worth the drive to location X?
Perhaps the least tangible and probably one of the most important considerations for choosing an instructor is interpersonal compatibility. Do the values of your potential instructor seem in line with yours? Are personalities compatible? The only way to really figure out these questions is to open a conversation or dialog with the school you are considering. This is something we highly encourage. Take the time to be in touch with your potential instructor and see if it feels like the right ‘fit’ for you. Call a few instructors even. You are going to be spending a substantial amount of money, sure, but a much more important question is: Will you feel safe in the hands of your chosen instructor, and will they be able to give you the information and training you need to become a competent pilot yourself.