Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding

Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding

Channeling Orville & Wilbur
Nags Head, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Dreams of flying are as old as mankind, and the same thrill Orville and Wilbur Wright felt over 100 years ago when they lifted into the heavens and made that dream come true can now be yours. The two brothers from Ohio had their pick of places to stage their first flight, but they chose Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, for its steady winds and miles of soft beach sand—because landings, back then, weren’t always guaranteed to be smooth.

Kitty Hawk Kites offers hang gliding lessons from Jockey’s Ridge State Park in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, just a stone’s throw from where the Wright brothers flew, and where steady breezes and soft sands can still be found in abundance. Beginner classes include 1 hour of ground school followed by 2 hours on the dunes with about five flights per student. Though in the past children under 85 pounds were restricted from going airborne (hang gliders need more weight to maneuver), Kitty Hawk Kites is able to offer kids’ lessons by having instructors assist in the controls.

 

Hang Gliding Camps

For those who want an unparalleled sky-high experience, tandem lessons take participants and an instructor up to 2,000 feet (610m) or more in a hang glider towed by an ultralight plane. Once unhooked from the tow plane, the flyers can practice dives and turns that were once experienced only by soaring birds. And if you find you’ve been bit by the flying bug, Kitty Hawk also offers a series of hang gliding camps lasting a full week, and special clinics can be arranged to perfect your launching, landing, and aero-towing skills.

If your body is still hungering for more adrenaline, Kitty Hawk Kites offers lessons and camps in kiteboarding, power kiting, surfing, wakeboarding, and parasailing. Had enough? Throw in some sailing, jet-skiing, and aero-tours, and you’ve got a one-stop shop for all your adventure tour needs.

Kitty Hawk Kites ( 877/FLY-THIS; www.kittyhawk.com).
When to Go: Classes offered year-round.
Norfolk (80 miles/129km).
$$$ The First Colony Inn, 6720 S. Virginia Dare Trail ( 800/368-9390; www.firstcolonyinn.com). $$ Cypress House Inn, 500 N. Virginia Dare Trail ( 800/554-2764; www.cypresshouseinn.com).

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