What to Wear and Equipment Needed for Hang Gliding

What to Wear When Hang Gliding

Hang gliding requires that you dress in layers. The wind and temperature on top of the sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge or at local air fields can change rapidly.

A strong, flexible harness and safety helmet are essential. Pilots also need a pair of goggles that reduce glare while flying. A radio enables the pilot to communicate with people on the ground and other pilots in flight.

Harness and Helmet

For thousands of Outer Banks visitors and local Bankers each year, hang gliding is an exciting and exhilarating way to see Jockey’s Ridge, Nags Head and the surrounding area. While most lessons are done in a controlled environment and many students learn to fly each year without incident, the sport does carry some risk. It’s important for students to listen closely to instructors regarding harness and helmet fit, as well as other safety measures.

Typically, the best fit for a hang glider pilot is one that is snug but not tight. It’s also important that the helmet fits equally around the head without exposing the forehead or restricting vision. Many hang gliding students also bring goggles, similar to those used in skydiving or skiing, to shield the eyes from wind and aid in glare reduction. In addition, a GPS device is often helpful in keeping track of the pilot’s altitude while in the air. Many pilots also carry a radio to communicate with other flying pilots or those guiding them from the ground.

Flying Suit

Hang gliding requires an insulated flying suit that can be worn over regular clothes. This is essential for insulating the pilot from piercing wind and cold temperatures, especially at high altitudes. Goggles are also recommended to protect the eyes and reduce glare during flights.

In order to ensure a safe flight, pilots should also carry a reserve parachute, which can be deployed at any point during the flight. The reserve parachute is especially important in case the glider loses control or crashes during a flight.

It’s important to remember that both hang gliding and wingsuit diving are extreme sports that involve significant risk. It’s a good idea to always check the weather and make sure all equipment is working properly before each flight. It’s also important to never fly in bad conditions, as one mistake can be disastrous. This is why it’s best to add a buffer day into your itinerary for flight days that can be used in case of inclement weather.


When you go hang gliding, it is essential to wear some kind of eye protection. The sun’s UV rays are especially strong on the Outer Banks, and if you don’t protect your eyes, it can be difficult to see clearly.

Some people wear goggles similar to those used in skiing, which help reduce glare and increase visibility. They also help keep out wind and dust. Some of these goggles are contoured, wrapping slightly around the face, and can even accommodate contact lens wearers.

Other important equipment for hang gliding includes a reserve parachute, which is vital in case of an accident or other issues during your flight. Some pilots also bring a variometer, which helps them track their altitude and speed. This instrument is helpful because pilots can easily get lost high up in the air, where it can be difficult to determine their exact location. In addition, a radio can help them communicate with other pilots.


Hang gliding is a thrilling adventure that will give you the chance to soar and swoop through columns of rising and falling air like a bird. While it may seem a bit dangerous to take off into the sky with nothing but your wings and harness, rest assured that this sport is surprisingly safe. All that you need to get started is a sturdy and well-designed hang glider, a helmet, a parachute, and some basic equipment to help you land safely back on the ground.

It is also important that you stay physically fit in order to prepare for takeoffs and landings. Regular exercise and training can ensure that you are in the best shape possible for your upcoming flight. You should also always carry a first aid kit and some other essentials that can be useful in case of an emergency. Additionally, you should bring a radio so that you can communicate with your pilot and follow the instructions of flight control.

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