Is This a Camera Trick or San Francisco’s Newest
Imagine flying above the San
Francisco waterfront in a winged vehicle smaller than a compact car.
On a beautiful Tuesday morning I did just that with Bodhi Kroll,
owner and operator of the San Francisco Hang Gliding Center as my
After less than five minutes of
instruction, we took off from the Richmond Marina with me strapped
onto my pilot. Whatever trepidation I felt before departure was
replaced by overwhelming awe and delight as we soared into blue
skies over San Francisco Bay. There was remarkably little engine
noise produced by the single propeller located in the rear of the
ultralight seacraft and even without the "squawk box"
which was off being repaired, we were still able to communicate with
Flying 2,000 feet above the water
afforded a 360-degree view of unimaginable beauty. At one point, we
were witness to the 78,000-ton Panamanian container vessel NYK
Leo as it sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. Even from our
eagle’s perch, this ship looked huge, completely dwarfing all
other ships in the bay. Talk about up close and personal. My fears
of getting soaked on take-off or landing proved groundless as the
pontoon running gear and expert piloting negated any real splash
effect. I was as comfortably dry upon returning to dock as I was
Kroll and his staff boast a perfect safety record over eighteen
years and will not hesitate to postpone in the face of high winds
and rainy conditions. Mr. Kroll also offers unpowered high altitude
Tandem Hang Gliding from Mt. Tamalpais, the state park located only
ten miles north of San Francisco.
San Francisco Hang Gliding Center
is the first and so far the only company to be granted a permit from
state and local government to offer commercial tandem hang gliding
lessons to the general public. Visit www.sfhanggliding.com
or call 510-528-2300 for more information.