zacetki padalstva slo

The Evolution of Paragliding in Slovenia

Slovenia is a country renowned for its stunning landscapes, diverse terrain, and a spirit deeply rooted in outdoor adventure. Among its many outdoor pursuits, paragliding stands out as a sport that not only encapsulates the beauty of Slovenia’s landscapes but also reflects the daring spirit of its people.

The origins of paragliding in Slovenia trace back to the early 1980s when a group of pioneering enthusiasts embarked on a quest to fly like birds, navigating the skies using rudimentary, homemade parachutes modified for gliding.

It all started in 1984 when Darko Svetina leaped into the skies during spring from the Dobrča mountain, marking the first paragliding flight in Slovenia.

Two years later, Sandi Marinčič discovered the world of paragliding during his winter holidays in France. His inaugural flight from Kamniški Vrh on May 11 1986 marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey. In December later that year, Marinčič crafted the first Slovenian paraglider, affectionately named Bucko.

By 1987, Igor Krevelj, Vlasta Kunaver, and Sandi Marinčič flew from Slovenia’s highest mountain, Triglav. Later, Sandi and Vlasta ventured to India, conquering the 7,130-meter Trisul and setting a new altitude record for women. In the same year, the first Slovenian paragliding championship took place, featuring 24 participants descending from Kriška Gora. Tone Svoljšak emerged victorious with flights exceeding 8 minutes, setting a benchmark for future competitions. By that time, there were already 50 pilots in Slovenia. Later in the year, Sandi Marinčič and Tone Svoljšak organized Slovenia’s first paragliding course. In the autumn, Vlasta Kunaver, Sandi Marinčič, and Tomaž Vrhovec compiled Slovenia’s inaugural manual for paragliding.

With 120 pilots, the Slovene Free Flying Association officially recognized paragliding as an official sport in 1988. Sandi Marinčič pioneered tandem flights in March of that year. Additionally, the first national championship was organized, attracting 51 competitors, among whom Iztok Tomazin emerged as the inaugural national champion. The competition emphasized flight duration and landing precision. Slovenia ventured into the European scene, with Andrej Bertoncelj achieving over 90 minutes of flight near Kovk. Tone Svoljšak and Klemen Kobal undertook a remarkable 11-kilometer flight from Triglav to Bohinj. The year concluded with the release of an enhanced edition of the paragliding manual.

These pivotal moments underscore the relentless spirit and innovation within Slovenia’s paragliding community, laying the foundation for a soaring future in the skies above.

Over the next years, Slovenian paragliding has seen remarkable advancements in equipment, safety protocols, and training methodologies. National associations and clubs dedicated to the sport have emerged, promoting responsible flying practices and organizing events that celebrate the thrill of paragliding while emphasizing safety and skill development.

Slovenia’s diverse topography played a crucial role in the sport’s growth. The country’s varied landscapes, from the Alpine peaks in the northwest to the rolling hills and valleys in the east, provided an ideal playground for paragliders. Slovenian pilots explored these terrains, discovering new launch sites and perfecting their techniques in different conditions.

zacetki padalstva slo

The community of paragliders in Slovenia is growing rapidly, fostering a culture of camaraderie and knowledge-sharing. Experienced pilots mentored newcomers, passing down their skills and wisdom, ensuring the sport’s safe and responsible progression.

As Slovenia’s paragliding community looks toward the future, the sport is poised to keep evolving, embracing new technologies, and attracting a new generation of enthusiasts eager to explore the skies above this beautiful country.

The legacy of those early pioneers who dared to dream of flight lives on, shaping Slovenia into a premier destination for paragliding and ensuring that the sport continues to thrive in the years to come.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *