Speed riding is a new sport that combines skiing and paragliding

Speed riders either hike to the top of the mountain or hitch a ride on a chairlift. They then lay out their fabric “wings” and take off, keeping close proximity to the slope as they fly down the mountain.

Pictured in the image accompanying this story (previously published in Jetstar magazine), are two riders from the Swing Pro speed riding team – Gaby Van Der Steen and Arnaud Longobardi.

“This image was taken in Chamonix last year [2014], during a Big Mountain Speed Riding Progression Camp,” says Chris Doerfel from SkiandFly, the training company that hosted the event.

This year, SkiandFly are holding two speed-riding training camps in New Zealand. The first is from 29 August to 5 September at Broken River Ski Fields, 1.5 hours out of Christchurch. It will teach entry level and intermediate riders safe and fun skills to get them airborne.

“Broken River is one of NZ’s most snow-safe resorts, and the diversity of runs is amazing,” says Chris.

The second event, Big Mountain Progression Camp, is from 6-14 September, and is suitable for intermediate and advanced riders looking to fine-tune their skills.

“It’s essential to learn the ropes from a professional with the right gear and training,” says Chris. “Mentorship is provided by speed riders who are also licensed paragliding instructors.”

Do it yourself

For more information on speed riding or to join a speed-riding camp, visit skiandfly.com

This story was originally published in Jetstar Australia’s inflight magazine, July 2015 issue. The photo was provided by Ski and Fly, and was taken by extreme-sports photographer Daniel Kofler (in Chamonix, France). Check out more of his photos at danielkofler.com