The club was formed in 1974 by a group of enthusiast aviators flying the original, diamond shaped “Bog Rogs”* made of yards of billowing sailcloth, sometimes home built; How things have moved on with today’s high tech, high performance machines.
The sport developed rapidly through the late 1970s and 1980s. In the late 1980’s paragliding began to develop from parascending canopies and started appearing on the hills. This new way of flying became an integrated part of the club in the early 1990s and paraglider pilots are now in the majority within the membership of approximately 140 (??).
In the early days the majority of flights were from the top to bottom of the hills lasting a few minutes. Now the aim of most pilots is to soar the hill looking for thermals to take him or her up to cloudbase and then cross country for many miles. Several flights of over 100 miles have been achieved in this country. If a thermal is not found, then top landing back at take off is usual.
The Sky Surfing Club does not have the facilities to provide ab-initio training. If you are looking for information about learning to fly and getting involved in the sport, we recommend you visit the BHPA website. There is some information on our coaching page about learning to fly.
Why the name Sky Surfing Club, rather than Hampshire Hang Gliding Club or similar? It dates back to the very early days when the image betrayed by the press and others was that hang gliding was a sport undertaken by reckless and irresponsible people who should be avoided at all costs, and so it was a name that veiled the true reason for the club. In reality, reckless and irresponsible people are the least suited to our sport!
You may also be interested in the history of Royal Navy Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association http://www.rnhpa.co.uk/history/history.htm
* Bog Rog – Bog standard Rogallo, named after Francis Rogallo, the inventor of a steerable parachute intended for returning spacecraft to Earth that was the basis of the design of the first generation hang gliders.