You can ground launch any skydiving
canopy if you have enough slope and enough up-slope
wind. The heavier the wing-loading, the steeper
the slope has to be. I don't recommend trying anything
higher than 1.3 or so until you get more experience.
As for the technique, it's fairly straight-forward.
First, choose a location that is
smooth, steep and without obstacles. The wind MUST
be flowing directly upslope, and must be less than
10mph. If you fly in high winds or turbulence you
will probably die a horrible death. Make sure the
owner of the land gives your permission, or cannot
see you fly. ;)
- Remove the pilot-chute and stow the slider all
the way down.
- Unstow the brakes
- Lay the canopy out upslope from your container,
in a horse-shoe shape with the end-cells closer
to the rig than the center cell. The nose must
face up, but the canopy should be on its back.
Check all the lines for sticks and for continuity.
- Put the rig on, while facing downhill.
- Drape your risers over your arms, and grab the
toggles, paying careful attention to the continuity.
- Reaching under the risers, grab the front risers
at the connector link.
- If there is very little wind, you will need
to get a bit of running speed before you hit the
end of the lines and bring the canopy up, so start
by backing up toward the canopy.
- When you are ready to fly, run AGGRESSIVELY
downhill with your hands up in front of you, with
no slack in the front risers.
- When you hit the end of the lines, the canopy
will go "WHOMP!" and will pull your
shoulders back a bit. Keep running!
- When the parachute is fully over your head,
release your grip on the front risers.
- Do not apply your brakes until you have lots
of speed, otherwise the parachute will retreat
behind you like airbrakes.
- If the canopy drifts to one side, do not try
to steer it back over your head. Run slightly
toward the side that the parachute has drifted
toward so that you end up back under the canopy.
- Look up at the canopy as you run straight downhill
to check for proper inflation and line continuity.
If something looks wrong, stop running and pull
your toggles all the way down.
- When you have adequate running speed apply the
brakes to 1/4 or so.
- Look straight downhill as you run to assure
a straight take-off run, and to avoid rocks and
- Keep running as fast as you can until you find
yourself running in the air.
- Never do a 180 back at the hill, always land
across the slope or downhill (if the slope flattens
- Do not fly into a tree, ski lift or other object.
- You may still die.