It is a fair question. We often see people saying things like, it is as safe as you make it. You deserve a better answer.
By leaving the ground, you take some risks that you would not face leaving the ground. For years we have been following studies of the safety of what we do (links to some recent articles are included at the end). Our main conclusions are:
- Serious injury (including fatality) can and do happen in hang gliding and paragliding
- Paragliding and hang gliding have similar risk profiles, although hang gliding has a lower incidence of serious injury than paragliding
- One aspect of paragliding and hang gliding is responsible for the majority of serious injuries. We have adjusted our training to emphasise skills in that area
- We actively teach a risk management approach to your flying
- Powered paragliding has a much higher risk than paragliding without a motor. We do not do powered paragliding.
- Sports with a higher incidence of serious injury (including fatality) than paragliding and hang gliding include: golf, tennis, aerobics and cycling
Here are some references you might want to look at:
- Injury, hospitalization, and operation rates are low in aerial sports
- Is Hang Gliding dangerous? Micromorts death risk.
- Which sport is Australia’s most dangerous?