It looks cool, to just step gently off the hill, tip back into your pod, and swoop off, inches from the grass. There is a hidden danger in this bad habit, one which will show its teeth when launching into unexpected turbulence or striking a hidden object.
In this article and accompanying video we demonstrate and discuss how to catch thermals and control your thermaling turn focusing on four key concepts: thermal searching, using weightshift, tightening on the core and optimising brake input. Using the correct timing, weightshift and outer brake inputs can dramatically improve your climb rate and get you to the top of the stack.
Low-airtime paraglider pilot Ked Shayer found that he made some big improvements in his flying this year. He even won some prizes! Wisely, Ked noted down some of the things he learned so he could refer back to them later. We thought his notes would also be useful for other new pilots to read so, with Ked's permission, we've published them here for your benefit with bonus expert commentary from Carlo at Flybubble.