Paragliding & Speed Flying
by Jérôme Daoust , revised 2017/4/28
“People who do their homework, end up here”.
4. Flying Sites
6. Price List
· Focus on making pilots. If you want a joy ride as a passenger, best to look elsewhere (easy money). If you are motivated to fly by yourself and willing to put in the effort, you are at the right place. Your first training day will be your most physical and least fun, but those skills (launch technique and wing control) will provide safety as you start adding flights.
· Highest quality instruction. I wrote Tips for Paraglider Pilots and will be your instructor (Paragliding since 1989, P5 Master rating), no dispatching to less experienced instructors. I train and certify other instructors. You will progress at your own speed and get customized instruction focused on your needs.
· Someone organized and dependable. I like to get things done, and will meet you at the time/place agreed. You will not get cancelled/rescheduled because I have a more profitable tandem flight to give to someone else. I value your time and will use it efficiently towards progressing, as I would like if I were you. Amusing fact: On 2016/5/26, this school was the 1st in the United States to complete its PASA (Professional Air Sports Association) certification among paragliding and hang gliding schools.
· Access to great rental equipment. The equipment you will use is in great condition as I would want for myself, for your safety and to benefit from the latest technology (some equipment is easier to learn with).
· Focus on instruction not sales. I will not be pushing any specific equipment brands. Instead, I can help you get (new or used) what is best for you at a friendly price. Other schools may provide discounted instruction to get you started with them, but require purchasing gear from them.
· English and French languages.
· Paragliding training:
o Basic training: Kiting, launching, landing.
o How to get out of trouble. Start by reading all L1 and L2 tips in Tips for Paraglider Pilots.
o Thermalling: Theory & practice.
o Cross-Country (distance flights): Theory & practice.
· Speed flying training.
o Theory (emphasis on differences with paragliding).
o Practice, lots of it.
o Reserve parachute: Inspection, repacking (tool showcase), confirmation extraction test, incident rehearsal.
o Unbiased advice on what gear to get for yourself.
o Help you get a good price on gear from any manufacturer (not pushing any brand).
o Small rip repair. Recommendation for larger repair.
o Speed bar / Accelerator line length adjustment. Done indoor using an Aluminum suspension frame.
· Guide to local flying sites:
o Where to fly today, setting a flight plan for the conditions, help you find lodging.
· Licenses and ratings.
o Able to issue all (P1–P4) paragliding ratings: Verify experience, administer written exam and grant rating.
o Able to issue all (M1, M2) speed flying special skills: Verify experience, administer written exam and grant special skills.
o Able to issue Basic & Advanced instructor ratings (instructor's instructor): Apprentice program, knowledge exam, FOI exam, teaching evaluation and grant rating.
o For visiting pilots from other countries: "Temporary USHPA 30-Day Membership".
Out of the typical flying sites, the ones used for instruction are:
Soboba. As of 2017/04/28 it is
just a potential future extension of this school’s operation. It offers
a nice blend of ridge soaring and thermic flights.
Directions to the club and landing zone (Soboba Soaring).
Legal note for insurance purposes:
o As of 2017/3/23, there are others schools operating at the site which are not a PASA certified school, and this school is separate and not affiliated with them, namely: Speedfly Soboba, Soboba Paragliding.
o As of 2017/3/23, there are others instructors operating at the site which are not part of a PASA certified school, and this school does not employ, nor work for them, namely: Troy Harman, David Hebert.
o As of 2017/3/28, the club offers transportation services to launches, but this school does not have a written indemnity agreement (with proof of insurance) with the provider for potential incidents involving their services. Students must avoid (no exception) currently available transportation services for their person (gear OK), otherwise no instruction will be provided. Hiking from the parking or landing zone to launch is the current only method supported by this school.
Since the school does not promote/push any brands, yet has access to everything through partnerships, you get unbiased advice, and then you make the final decision.
I want you to be happy about your gear and I will help you get a good price to make you doubly happy.
You really can’t afford new gear? I will try to help you out in your quest as I have done for many, knowing you will return when you hit the jackpot.
Your learning cost will be based on the amount of instruction you need, understanding that people learn at different speeds. Fast learners will save money and slow learners will enjoy full attention throughout. I'm retired (Ph.D. in Engineering) and I do this to stay busy and share my passion for flying. Your daily instruction fee will decrease as you progress and need less assistance. This effort-based pricing structure also benefits students arriving with previous experience. Contact me for the up-to-date details. I reward referrals.
· Flying since 1989. Photo album.
· Owner of a PASA certified school.
· Has a passion for thermalling and cross-country flights.
· Often wears an orange flight suit.
· Flying above Marshall launch →
What is a "school" anyway?
· When it has a flashy website with online store?
· When it has a cool name like "Best Paragliding"?
· Because the owner created a company that protects his personal assets?
· When you see its advertisements everywhere?
· When it has a store front and secretary?
Each instructor is his own school, beyond that it is just a marketing/financial layer.
What is most important for the student?
If I wanted to learn paragliding, what would matter most is choosing:
· My instructor: A good reputation and recommendations will help.
· The flying site: Proximity, large easy launch and landing zone, being often flyable.
All instructors and flying sites are not equal, they both usually improve over time. Finding a good instructor at a good flying site is an ideal combination.
Downsides of choosing a school's name over an instructor's name:
· You can be sold on the world's best instruction ("we" do this and that), then be passed onto a new instructor or whoever is available that day.
· Schools can have significant turnover in their instructors.
So, schools can camouflage who you will be learning from, maximizing their profit while hiring the least expensive instructors.
Reputation should follow an instructor, not a school's name.
Adam Claydon-Platt, Australia, 2013/1/24:
I just finished up one of the best weeks of my life, learning to speed fly with Jerome. His professional instruction was the perfect way for me to learn. I especially liked it how, even while I was flying towards the Earth trying to pull a 360 at low altitude, he would speak over the walkie talkie with the calmest sounding voice, to say "slow down your turn", instead of cry out "stop turning idiot, you're going to crash!!" :)
Thanks for being so thorough in your teaching method Jerome, for answering all of my (very frequent) questions in detail, and for always treating me with respect and like I was a VIP. I look forward to flying with you sometime in future when I return to Soboba!
Adam Colton, California / USA, 2014/5/19:
Very focused and organized. I like that he had a checklist for the day. Values your time and wants to make the most of the day. Calm and direct with his thoughts and critiques. Gives you his full attention and wears a killer orange jump suit. He prefers Denny's over Mexican and has a robotic vacuum cleaner.
Alex Chiang, California / USA, 2016/5/2:
I've been having the time of my life this past month! Thanks to Jerome, I soar the blue skies while staying as safe as one can be in this sport. Here is what I observed during my overwhelmingly positive experience with Jerome:
- Jerome has a vast knowledge bank of anything and everything related to paragliding. On top of his regular lessons, he will answer all your questions during lunch, while driving, while waiting, or while walking.
- Jerome is a very safe pilot and teaches you to be the same. He has never had to deploy his reserve in 27 years! Rather than being a thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie, he advocates flying within your limits and having fun while staying safe.
- Jerome is exceptionally organized and dependable. He will always be early to your meetings, and always answer your emails promptly.
- Jerome goes above and beyond your expectations for an instructor-- he gets you discounts on gear, invites you to his house for harness setup, reserve packing, or kiting practice, and gives refunds for half-day flying due to weather. Each day of instruction lasts from early morning all the way to sunset. He's calm, friendly, and has a good sense of humor. It's obvious that all the pilots at Marshall respect him.
To be honest, it's hard to imagine a better instructor and I strongly recommend Jerome to anyone thinking about paragliding!
Alex Xavier, Oklahoma / USA, 2017/3/14:
***Three consecutive days of paragliding instruction*** (This is from my experience. And, I was the only student present at the time. YMMV.)
To Person reading reviews,
There are many excellent instructors available. However, I tried to find one that would fit with my goals, learning style, future paragliding endeavors, and had a reasonable cost. (This instructor finding process took a bit of time. Location, weather consistency, instructor/school attributes, etc. Because, I figured when I was in the air, I needed to know how to deal with whatever situations occurred, and knowledge to prevent things. I can't emphasize enough how important this was to me.)
Jerome is calm, kind, courteous, and patient.
Reverse kiting seemed to be my biggest challenge area. He was attentively calm every time. As time progressed, before providing input, he would ask me what I think I did or didn't do that would make progress. One particular repeated issue was helped by his suggestion to hold a riser a bit differently. It helped. Other times, I kept making a repeated mistake. But, he was consistently pleasant in feedback. This helped me tremendously because when I'm trying to learn something new, too much positive or negative emotional input detracts from me learning the process.
Jerome is very observant and provided feedback.
During a 'between' time (I had this one thing left to accomplish, and we were waiting for the wind to be a bit more cooperative), In the surrounding area, he showed me signs of thermal activity that was in progress. (Even in a sort of downtime, he was still teaching!) Some of the signs were subtle, but he would point them out, and tell me how it all worked together. Another example was a small plastic loop (price tag attachment for clothing) on this top that I was wearing. I kept reminding myself that I was going to remove it but kept forgetting. At one point, he said he noticed it some time ago, then removed it. (It could snag on something. It was a possible safety issue.) Another example, with reverse kiting. At times, I would unintentionally do something that would need to be corrected. One particular thing was a slight twisting motion. He noticed this, on top of all the other things (good and correctable) that I was doing. And, informed me of this twisting, how it affects the performance of the thing that I was trying to accomplish, and how it was used in higher wind kiting and as a technique in another wing-sport. The many observations and rapid feedback was helpful in learning to observe my own positives and deficiencies, so I could progress.
He made efficient use of time, and allowed me to participate in some of the itinerary decisions.
There is a fair amount of information to know about weather, it's effects on the environment, and how that may allow or not allow particular paragliding activities.
The first day, the weather was cooperative for me. It seemed that we were able to accomplish a fair amount of things without having to give extra attention to the weather. (This doesn't mean the weather wasn't a factor! Conditions are always a factor for safety. As a total beginner, I couldn't even begin to appreciate the amount of attention he had to take in account and figure how lesson plans would fit most efficiently.) I ended up with two good flights that day.
The second day, we still had a number of various activities to cover, and the weather was a bit less cooperative. However, he still made it all fit so the day had very little downtime and made efficient use of our time.
The third day had weather that seemed less cooperative than the second day, and we only had one thing to cover. At the end of the second day, he had notified me of how conditions might limit available time to cover the one activity, and gave me options for the third day. I wanted to try to squeeze in all the possible time, and I was aware that there might be some downtime, so I opted to show up for that day and try to make use of it. (I live half of the country away from California, and changing the return time would have been not easy (work, flight, pet arrangements, other reservations, etc). I had only expected half of the time in March to be reasonable anyhow.) On the third day, weather wasn't as cooperative for the one activity.... but, he still continued to teach me things: what the weather was currently doing, and how it wasn't ideal for what I was trying to accomplish. He helped fill gaps in my knowledge. Answered questions. Talked about many other things too (his breadth of knowledge is more than I could fully appreciate... and it's not all paragliding stuff either.) In short, I still learned stuff and it nailed the thought home that to safely paraglide, sometimes we have to wait on conditions. Hmmm... similar to life.
Cost. For the quantity of information, and quality of instruction, I thought the cost was quite reasonable.
Regarding the time from the end of the three days to the next time, he offered hints and tips on things that I could do where my next instructions sessions would benefit.
Overall, I think he helped me start building a good foundation of knowledge, skills, and evaluation techniques. I think his attention to detail and how it factors into the decisions that he makes is something that I greatly benefited from... and I'm sure I don't know the quantity of thoughtfulness that was put into those three days, as well as his overall instruction.
I had an excellent time, and want to go back! I hope the adventure continues...
Alexei Smirnov, California / USA, 2016/5/3:
Jerome is an excellent paragliding instructor. He is highly organized, methodical and professional. He has a great deal of technical knowledge in the field and he is effective at transferring this knowledge to his students. As an instructor, his patience and 'bedside manner' allow his students to progress at their natural pace - fast or slow.
Ali Baghestani, California / USA, 2015/10/1:
Jerome has this amazing calmness and patience which gives you the peace of mind to really focus on your training. He is very safety conscious and teaches you to be the same, which might be the most important thing with this sport. As an aerospace engineer he not only teaches you to fly, but can also explain the dynamics and mechanics in a way even I could understand. Jerome, with his vast experience, is extremely friendly and humble and truly gets you to a safe, positive and lasting flight experience. His non fancy website is a golden chest full of information and available to all. Location: Unlike Santa Barbara/Pine/etc, Marshall is a really good place because it is flyable roughly 300 days per year. With its several height levels (750', and Marshall peak) it is also an excellent place to train and you can be in the skies for many hours. Unlike mentioned locations, there is also a nice community which embraces you with help and support. Being through some locations and flight instructors, I can really recommend Jerome / Andy Jackson Airpark.
Allen Thoe, California / USA, 2015/2/15:
Jerome has been extremely helpful throughout all stages of my paragliding career. He has the ability to teach beginners to advanced pilots and is a tremendous bank of knowledge. Thanks for all the lessons throughout the years Jerome!
Alp Tilev, New York / USA, 2013/1/24:
Jerome was my instructor for a day while I was flying in California and his attention to detail and extensive knowledge about flying made my day of flying an incredible learning experience.
Andrey Ulanov, Washington / USA, 2014/1/1:
Four of us made a one-week trip to Soboba to learn paragliding and speed-flying with Jérôme. And it was an amazing experience! Despite tight schedule and sometimes non-cooperating weather Jérôme was able to adapt the program so that we could finish our ratings in time. Jérôme is not only a great pilot, he is also an excellent teacher with immense amount of patience and did a great job of pointing out our mistakes, so that we could learn from them to become safe pilots ourselves.
Anthony Faulds, California / USA, 2013/1/24:
I have greatly enjoyed having Jerome as an instructor. He has a lot of experience and it shows. I have learned a lot, but most importantly I have learned how to fly safely. Paragliding is a mix of beauty and danger and Jerome’s instruction has basically eliminated the danger element by making me a very safe and cautious pilot. With safety coming second nature, I have been able to enjoy and learn a lot about flying and look forward to getting my P2 and on and flying in locations around the world. I would highly recommend Jerome Daoust to teach you paragliding.
Arnie Frankenberger (2012 USA paragliding champion), California / USA, 2013/2/2:
Jerome was a great mentor for me as I transitioned from coastal soaring to mountain flying. His local knowledge, years of experience, and methodical teaching style made the transition a smooth one for me. He kept me out of trouble and passed along the do's and don'ts of flying Marshall in the summer. In addition, Jerome's web site (expandingknowledge.com) is a treasure trove of information for new and experienced pilots alike.
Beau Lambert, California / USA, 2016/6/6:
During my training Jerome was very patient, sharp, quick at assessing my skill level, was efficient with our time & energy and he knows how to instill confidence. For lunch we got a bento box on day 1 and a hamburger on day 2. His Subaru brought us up the mountain 10 times and I flew down. It's evident that he can teach all levels of Paragliding. He is a great instructor to say the least, and I look forward to picking his brain next time I see him at the landing zone.
Becky Opel, Ohio / USA, 2013/4/27:
I am someone who has become captivated by the sport of flying, and yet at times am still a little intimidated. Jerome accommodated the timeframe of my trip (on short notice) and my aptitude quickly and with patience. He is obviously a natural and is able to teach intuitively. He has an ability to identify/adjust not only the physical maneuverings' needed to fly but the way your mind is processing the information as well. Additionally, he makes it affordable to learn. I am grateful for the experience!
Bill Hardesty, California / USA, 2014/1/28:
It's been great to learn speed flying and paragliding with Jerome. He has a very easy methodical approach to the sport and his teaching. He keeps everyone calm and every student I've seen under his instruction at Soboba has progressed very quickly. He is a wealth of knowledge, it's easy to ask him questions, and his website is outstanding. I can't wait to get back out there and do some more flying.
Bill Smith, California / USA, 2013/10/15:
Yesterday I spent over an hour having my reserve inspected and being instructed on proper inspection techniques and proper repacking. This was done in great detail and I learned a tremendous amount about deployment, test deployment, visual inspections of seams, stitches, finger locks, various lines, diaper connection point options, types of rubber bands to use, where the airflow was intended to be for quick even opening, and much more. If you know me, you are not surprised to hear I had many questions which were answered professionally. This gave me confidence I had never felt before in a potential reserve deployment. I had gone for months flying with the original packed reserve without the foot strap breakaway being properly installed. Yesterday I became aware of the potential for the same conflict between the speed system and reserve system and now know how to avoid that with several different and simple options. This was the smartest investment I’ve made In a while. By the way, I did this locally right near Soboba in a clean well lit environment. Our local USHPA Instructor, Jerome Daoust was the professional. I highly recommend that if you have been a bit remiss in following suggested guidelines for reserve inspection and repacking you might also benefit from talking with Jerome.
Bob Destefano, Arizona / USA, 2014/3/12:
I came out to Soboba to do a one day coaching session with Jerome at Soboba. We ended up working together for two days, one at Marshall, and one at Soboba. The evening glass-off flight at Marshall was just spectacular. As a teacher and a new P2 pilot, I have much to say of Jerome's teaching abilities. He is safe, calm and thorough in his teaching, extending my skills and pushing my ability that perfect amount. We got three launches from Marshall in one day, and four from Soboba on the second day before the weather closed us out. I learned a lot about flying, thermalling, and handling my wing in slightly more turbulent air. Jerome's instructions over the radio are calm and just what is needed when it's needed. I recommend him highly, and look forward to flying with him again this summer.
Brendan Kramer, Alberta / Canada, 2014/4/22:
Awesome experience, the instruction from you was top notch… Your knowledge of flight, and weather was extremely helpful, and the facility was great for learning different launches, and getting a good feel for the different types of wings. Highly recommend anyone interested in either speed flying or paragliding to take this course!
Brianna Goehring, California / USA, 2014/5/29:
I was completely new to paragliding at the time that I began my three-day block of paragliding lessons. From the onset, it was immediately apparent that Jerome is not only a very experienced pilot, but also that he is a very skilled teacher who's calm, encouraging demeanor helped me get my feet safely off the ground in no time. It is evident that Jerome teaches paragliding for the joy of passing on that experience, and that makes him all the better teacher. Throughout my lessons, he was completely focused on my instruction and intuitively gave me feedback in such a way that I felt that I progressed very rapidly. With only three lessons under my belt so far, there's no doubt that I need more guided instruction, and there's no question that I would return to Jerome to receive that instruction.
Bryan Bertsch, California / USA, 2013/5/25:
Hi Jerome! Thanks for spending 3 days with me, teaching me everything I needed to know to get off the ground in a speed wing! You really made me feel comfortable and because you are so knowledgeable, I gained a quick appreciation and thorough basic education throughout the entire process and it was a blast! You’re knowledge of the sport, the gear, the wind and all other technical aspects really helped to keep me calm and as a result I learned fast and felt very competent from takeoff the landing. Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you in Soboba!
Casey Orr, Alaska / USA, 2013/3/2:
A week with Jerome learning to fly speed wings is perhaps one of the best experiences of my life. His love for flying, knowledge and understanding, and the people he instructs has formed him into the best of instructors. His methodical, professional, and joyful guidance as I learned to fly, as well as helping me find the right wing will keep me coming back for years to come. If you're looking for the path to a lifetime of safe and conscious flight Jerome is your guy.
Cathy Olsen and Tim Keogan, Alberta / Canada, 2017/4/4:
We came to Jerome as very low airtime pilots wanting to further our experience and gain more airtime. Jerome seemed like a very knowledgeable and professional instructor based on his excellent website. Our expectations were met and exceeded during the three days of instruction and guidance we received from Jerome. He is very reliable, always on time or early, and answers emails promptly. His organized manner using a checklist for accomplishing goals for the day, and his methodical approach to judging exactly when the flying conditions would be right for us made us get the most out of each day, and if only half the day was flyable he gave us a refund for the other half. Jerome is very calm and patient at launch and talks to you on the radio just the right amount while in the air (giving thermalling tips etc.). Jerome's vast knowledge of weather, and everything to do with paragliding was very obvious and he happily shared tips about flying, weather and cloud observations, and answered any of our questions while having lunch or waiting for a good time to fly. All in all, we felt like we were in very good hands and were able to safely further our paragliding skills at a great site with an exceptional instructor.
Cedric Jacquemin, California / USA, 2016/7/9:
I came to Jerome with two goals in mind. First of all, I was looking for an instructor who could help me get back in the air after 3 years without flying and secondly get an equivalent USHPA rating in regards of my French FFVL Rating so I could fly everywhere in the States with ease. When I looked around for an instructor in the SoCal area, I came across Jerome's website and found a tremendous amount of information, knowledge and tips. I thought immediately: “Wow, this guy knows his stuff”. Add to this, that Jerome is passionate about what he’s doing, then you should look no further, you’ve found the best instructor around…! (just look at his quals and how long he’s been flying. He teaches instructors and only a few of them nationwide have all the ratings he has!) And the thing that Jerome is fluent both in French and English was just cherry on the cake.
Then I went for my training day. He didn’t take long for him to evaluate my skills and then subsequently customized my training, so I wouldn’t waste my time on things already acquired.
I was his only student that day and it felt like I had my own private instructor with me. He told me that it is the way he sees Teaching. Even on a busy day, he never takes more than a few students, so he can provide a better instruction, customized to each student’s needs. He’s patient, calm, helpful, kind. He has a very methodical approach, has always safety in mind and will leave no place to chance… So if you have any intimidation to start flying, fear not, he’ll put you right in confidence. After some ground handling, a written exam and few flights, I finished my training day with a brand new shiny USHPA rating.
Being a former fighter pilot in the Navy and flight instructor myself. I can tell you that Jerome has all the qualities that make the difference between a standard instructor and a great, fantastic teacher and mentor. I will continue to seek further instruction and tips from Jerome as often as possible and definitely pass my next rating with him. Thank you Jerome for being such an amazing instructor!
Chad Cleerdin, New Mexico / USA, 2014/10/14:
Jerome is an amazing instructor; moreover, he is an example of what a teacher should be! He inspires the new pilot from day one, helping to grow one's confidence through all aspects of paragliding, thereby enabling that individual to become an independent pilot. His passion for paragliding is self-evident, and that translates into superior knowledge that is brought forth to the student in a very discernible manner. Jerome is patient, calm, and understanding, which helps to alleviate any nervousness that one may feel. He is always on time with the day planned in advance, thus maximizing each day's training based on weather predictions for various flying sites. Jerome gives great feedback after each flight in a constructive style that helps the student learn and progress safely. This amalgamation leads to excellent flight experience. It was certainly a privilege and a pleasure earning my P-2 rating from Jerome! Thank you again.
Charles Vadnais, Québec / Canada, 2015/1/1:
J'ai bien apprécié ma formation avec Jérôme, en ayant des explications claires, tout devenait plus facile. Il est un grand pédagogue, calme, patient, ce qui me convenait parfaitement. Sa grande expérience fait de lui un instructeur des plus doué, il aime son sport et aime partager son savoir. Merci encore.
Translation: I really appreciated my training with Jérôme, with clear explanations, everything became easier. He is a great teacher, calm, patient, which suited me well. His large experience makes of him a most talented instructor, he like his sport and enjoys sharing his knowledge. Thank you again.
Chris Buzzetta, New Mexico, 2016/4/6:
I came to Jerome with the goal of learning paragliding while being safe. A P2 rating is a good indicator of that and I hoped to achieve it. One thing you will notice right away is that Jerome does not guarantee any rating. He also doesn't speculate about your ability or make predictions about when you might get a P2. This is odd to the average student shopping around since most schools offer a certain number days or a time frame on when to expect a rating. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED. Jerome has the experience of working with many students. This gives him the perspective of knowing that some students are quicker or slower than others. He will progress you based on your skills and safety. On our first day, we progressed quickly. I always felt that I was learning something new and once I was "good enough" (Jerome's term) at a skill we moved on to something else. This all culminated in a 750 foot flight at the very end of the day! It was fantastic to be able to put all the modular skills together into a 5 minute flight at sunset. From a training perspective, it allowed me to start feeling out my wing and furthered my progress for the next day. You can expect to be continually challenged. You get what you pay for. One-on-one training with the best instructor, at the best site is worth every dollar. Thanks Jerome!
Cody Gauer, Alaska / USA, 2013/10/10:
For once, someone is telling me I need to go faster and turn quicker, speed flying is for me. Jerome's instruction was complete and thorough in all regards. Having no flying experience, he took me through all the necessary steps required for me to take my first flight. The course had a good mix of theory, practice, and hands on learning. My experience was great.
Coleton Ulmer, California / USA, 2013/12/4:
Learning to fly couldn't have been easier! Jerome's teaching style is just what I hoped for, it was progressive to my personal learning curve and didn't follow strict guidelines or goals. I was out of my car and in the air in no time! He could answer any question I could possibly have asked but he was so thorough without over complicating in explaining the first time around that I had few questions anyways. I would highly recommend Jerome to anyone who wants to learn to fly.
Coty Mayo, Alaska / USA, 2015/1/24:
My time spent working with Jerome Daoust to earn my basic instructor rating was highly productive. Jerome draws on his background as an engineer and is extremely organized ensuring that the vast amount of time is spent working towards the course goals which are clearly set forward. Jerome is always calm and collected whether on the radio or pouring over paperwork. He is a wealth of knowledge for those willing to listen and ask the right questions. As a PG pilot of six years, I was able to gain a new level of understanding as we discussed why we react with certain control inputs instead of blindly following what is recommended. I feel this will dramatically improve my teaching as well as my own understanding and safety. Thank you Jerome.
Dale Schneider, British Columbia / Canada, 2013/12/18:
I had a great time learning speed flying, Jerome has a fantastic way of teaching confidence and safety and on my first day we even made a launch from 1300 feet. I have never done any flying of any type before and Jerome taught me to fly in 3 days. His calm personality and positive training made it easy to feel safe and progress quickly. There is a lot of mental stress that I never anticipated and I was pretty exhausted but I made many flights and felt very comfortable and confident to continue on my own after my last day of training, thanks to Jerome's constant attention to details and compliments, and relentlessly chasing me up the mountain LOL.
Damien Germano, California / USA, 2015/1/6:
The amount of knowledge and experience Jerome possesses is truly amazing. His ability to custom tailor a training program to account for a student's strengths and weaknesses allows for a very fast learning curve. I began working with Jerome as a skydiver transitioning to the world of speed flying. He seamlessly merged what I already know of canopy flight into the world of mini-wings and launching, and he was always willing to delve farther into theory and the principles of "why" to do something.
When I decided to take on paragliding, Jerome was an obvious choice for my instructor. Once again he has proven to be an huge help. He gives advice with a critical eye for the finer points of flying, while allowing me just the right amount of freedom to learn on my own. I would recommend anyone desiring to get into the world of paragliding or speed flying to seek out Jerome and his expertise.
Danger Charles, Missouri / USA, 2013/6/20:
Learning to speed fly with Jerome Daoust was a truly engaging and unique learning experience. I came away not only confident in my abilities, but with a toolbox of tricks and knowledge that I would never have expected to learn and that I suspect many other instructors wouldn't be able to impart. Calm, patient, and passionate I couldn't think of a better person to learn from. Thanks Jerome!
Daniel Cortez, California / USA, 2015/9/21:
Recently certified P2 but needed a sign-off for Marshall, Jerome is a fantastic instructor, very professional and made me feel comfortable throughout the process. I would highly recommend Jerome for any type paragliding instruction. Andy Jackson Airpark is a great place and also perfect for kiting. I can't wait to return for more flying. Thanks again Jerome!
Dave Berry, California / USA, 2014/6/22:
Jerome has all the qualities I could ask for in an instructor; he is patient, communicates directions clearly, demonstrated skills before asking me to do them, adjusted his lessons to my ability, punctual, humble in his accomplishments, relaxed, he "walked the walk" when he hiked and flew with me, and he gave me his full and undivided attention each day. With 25 years of experience as an active pilot, competitor, teacher, and administrator, as well an impressive professional technical background and knowledge of flight and weather theory, I give my highest recommendation for choosing Jerome as a coach and instructor.
David Pearson, California / USA, 2013/4/25:
Learning with Jerome has been extremely fun but most of all, it's been packed with knowledge from every angle. Jerome's approach is well rounded… from understanding wind on a micro and macro level, to understanding my gear and system, to the theory, and most of all the experiential. He has a knack for making the process relatively simple and he does it in a relaxed but very attentive way, which inspires confidence. Jerome's ability to understand me and the way I learn has been apparent throughout. Plus, he's an interesting guy (with a great fashion sense) to spend time with. I would recommend him to my closest of friends.
David Stevenson, California / USA, 2014/7/10:
Today, I took my first unassisted, unsupervised paragliding flight (at 57 years old). Alone, at 650 feet, I completed a successful launch and a textbook landing. I became a paraglider pilot. My instructor, Jerome Daoust, would have been proud. From day one, where I found myself more ground turtle than flier, Jerome has been there. Calm, patient and encouraging, he made the difference between me flying and packing it in and going home.
I remember one sunny day after making a perfectly awful landing (my very first training landing) I found myself flat on my stomach kissing the desert floor at Soboba. I had just completed what Jerome called a “record”, training flight down the training hill. (I had come to hate that hill - it’s the walking back up with the wing that sucks!) I’d brought plenty of water as instructed but neglected to drink it in sufficient quantities and suffered the consequence which was a full-on case of stomach cramps. Jerome, calm as ever, walked down the training hill and over to me. He looked down and politely inquired if I was OK. I said yes, and after ascertaining in fact, that I was OK, simply turned around walked back up the hill to my fellow student awaiting his training launch.
Once Jerome determined that I was ready for my first real flight, he sent me up to 250 feet and by radio, talked me through to my landing – which again, wasn’t pretty. While in flight, by radio he encouraged me in the things that I did right and after landing, again, encouraged me and asked me about what I thought went wrong with my landing. After listening patiently, he explained to me what happened, why, and how to avoid the same thing for future landings. The second landing was much better than the first and though all of my flights weren’t perfect, I can now launch and land safely. When I was committed, sure that I wanted to be a pilot, Jerome recommended gear and helped me to get equipped.
I am a pilot now, thanks to Jerome’s knowledge, skill as an instructor, and especially his patience. If you are thinking about learning paragliding or speed flying, go to Soboba and talk to Jerome.
Dennis P Coltrane, New Jersey / USA, 2014/3/5:
Jerome is an excellent instructor. His experience level and love for flight instruction is clearly apparent. He has a very relaxed, calming demeanor that makes learning fun and easy. As a professional skydiver who has just spent two amazing days learning to paraglide, I would highly recommend his program.
Dewain Baker, California / USA, 2015/12/4:
I just completed six days of PG training with Jerome. Started in late Sept and finished in early Dec. From day one I knew that Jerome was the right instructor for me. I wanted someone who was calm, knowledgeable, and had a strong focus on safety. Jerome is all this and more! He takes his time with you and explains things very clearly. He also has very good recommendations for books and equipment. He helped me pick out my equipment and pointed me to the right sellers. He answered all my questions calmly and thoroughly (as many times as I need to ask the same question!). I consider Jerome a great teacher and resource. For now, he has equipped me to fly safely at Marshall. Now, it's up to me to gain the experience and practice. I plan to use Jerome for advanced training in the future and would highly recommend him to others for PG training. Thank you Jerome!
Donald Simon, California / USA, 2013/7/8:
What a blast! [umbrella school name] provided a perfect experience. Most helpful of all was my flight instructor, Jerome Daoust. Trained as an engineer, Jerome brought that same methodical, step-by-step approach to his speed flying instruction. Learning a new series of physical action can be challenging, because there’s so many elements to keep in mind as you progress through the activity. This is true when learning to swing a golf club properly, and it’s even more true with Speed flying. Jerome made the process easy by breaking down each movement necessary for a successful and safe flight. I knew I was in good hands, and that proved to be the case. With an emphasis on safety, the patience of a grandmother and the skill of a seasoned paragliding/speed flying pilot, Jerome made my speed flying experience everything I hoped it would be. He loves the sport and helping others jump in. Thank you for Jerome!
Ed Huckle, California / USA, 2015/9/9:
I had Jerome as an instructor when I went through the check-off process to be able to fly at Marshall. He is very different from other instructors I have encountered. In addition to having an encyclopedic knowledge (and intuition) about the physics and techniques of paragliding, he is a TRULY professional guy.
He explains things in exactly the terms that you will understand, and adds extra information that would be useful in the future. He is very dependable and punctual, and has excellent judgment about safety concerns. Also, the prices that he charges are very reasonable and perhaps cheaper than others of comparable quality.
I would ABSOLUTELY tell anyone in the SoCal area to go to him first when thinking about becoming a paraglider.
Eddy Borysewicz, California / USA, 2013/10/10:
After a frightening accident and 9 years of not paragliding, I was very hesitant to get back into the sport. After meeting Jerome Daoust and taking a few refresher courses with him, my mind was quickly put at ease by his professionalism, knowledge, and overall teaching technique. He inspired me to consider flying again and to take up a hobby I once abandoned. Thanks to Jerome, my confidence is back and I can again feel the freedom of flight. Thanks again for the boost, and "Bravo" for being such a great instructor!
Erik Fryman, Alaska / USA, 2014/1/23:
Spent three days on January taking the speed wing course at Soboba flight park. My instructor was Jerome and I could not have asked for a more knowledgeable, professional and patient instructor. Jerome made me feel comfortable on the speed wing from the first flight with his detailed instruction and calm demeanor. I was able to progress quickly (I’m a P2 paraglider) and was flying the speed wing from the 800ft launch on the first day. Jerome corrected me on some things that I was doing wrong on my landing approaches, and by the end of the three day course I had all the little quirks ironed out. Soboba flight park is a great place to learn and practice your speed flying and paragliding and I highly recommend Jerome as your instructor if you do come.
Evan Mathers, Alaska / USA, 2015/1/22:
Over two separate trips I have worked with Jerome on getting my P3 rating and my Basic Instructor rating. Both times I found him to be extremely knowledgeable, and very safety conscious. He makes sure that you know what you're doing, but also has a relatively hands off approach that helps for learning and for finding the pilot within yourself.
Fedor Zhdanov, Washington / USA, 2013/10/24:
Jerome is one the best instructors I had in any discipline. He is incredibly thorough, and able to explain all the concepts in detail, separating important and less important content. This makes learning easy and understanding deep. After any surprised behavior of the wing, he is able to explain what exact move has triggered the behavior, and for the whole course has never been mistaken. He is also extremely patient and calm when a students' wing shows unexpected movements. I enjoyed a lot learning from Jerome.
Felix Castillo, California / USA, 2013/5/29:
I came to [umbrella school name] with a skydiving background and zero speed flying / paragliding experience. Within moments of the course beginning Jerome displayed a wealth of knowledge in speed flying / air sports far beyond what I was expecting before the day began. His understanding, explanation, and professionalism made for the optimum learning environment.
Felix Castillo, California / USA, 2015/2/2:
Having previously taken the speed flying course with Jerome in 2013, I returned this year for the paragliding course. Jerome kept the course interesting and at a good pace through the entire day. As with the speed flying course, Jerome displayed a wealth of knowledge in the sport and he explained the course information in a way a student could easily understand. He provided excellent debriefs and made maximum use of the time we had available. I will certainly return for future training, and I highly recommend his school to anyone interested in learning to speed fly or paraglide.
Gareth Ashworth, UK & USA, 2013/7/1:
I was looking for an instructor that could help me back in the air after several years of inactivity. It was clear to me, partly because of the detail in this website & his reputation, that Jerome knew what he was talking about. Jerome helped me gain my US USHPA rating and also repacked my reserve. Whilst doing so, he found an error in the way it was originally packed that could have caused problems with deployment. This goes to show how important good training with the right instructor is! It's obvious that Jerome has a wealth of knowledge and I learnt an enormous amount in the time I spent with him and will hopefully continue to look towards him for further direction. Merci, Jerome!
Gastón Nogués, California / USA, 2015/4/15:
I had been wanting to learn paragliding for over four years. In that time I did my research, visited several schools, had a tandem flight in San Diego as well as a day course in Santa Barbara to see how I liked it. I met several cool people at these schools and the experiences only furthered my interest in the sport and my desire to become a pilot, but, I felt that something did not quite click with me and how I like to learn. Then I met Jerome.
I instantly liked the fact that he never teaches more than 3 people at a time so that he can focus on the specific needs of each student, I also liked the fact that I was not required to purchase all the expensive gear prior to completing my instruction and that he has no specific product brands to push. Teaching for him is less business and more passion for sharing his extensive knowledge of the sport.
I was hooked and scheduled 3 days of instruction with him. His rates were super reasonable and far less than I personally bill people for my time!
We met at the flight park early in the morning and I came to find out that I was going to be his only student on those days...I had an instructor all to myself! How awesome!
Learning to fly can feel intimidating but I instantly felt safe under his watchful eye. We went over the gear, some theory and techniques and started playing. Before I knew it my feet were off the ground and I was making short flights down the training hill. We spent a few minutes after every attempt discussing what I did right and what I did wrong, my confidence skyrocketed and soon I was doing more right than wrong and flying from a 650' hill spending more and more time in the air. Those 3 days were amazing and before I left I already knew I wanted to purchase my own gear. He worked with me to select a glider and harness and got me a great price, I love my Buzz Z4 and WV Haska! Continuing my training with it has been a good choice and now I'm flying in the mountains from 3500'. Jerome and I will go up to the launch early and sit and watch other more experienced pilots and discuss the conditions, his knowledge of the sites is extensive and he has sat with me patiently as we wait for conditions to be just right for my skill level. During that time we discuss many topics that allow me to ascertain when it is right for me to launch. Mountain flying is different than the coast since you experience thermal activity that will move the glider about a little more than the nice ocean air. I'm glad to have learned in the mountains and had the experience of getting lift while encountering thermals, having the glider move about a little has given me more confidence in my gear. Jerome's awesome French accent saying my name over the radio and giving me guidance further makes me feel relaxed and comfortable and his cool orange flight suit makes it easy to pick him out against the green grass of the LZ!
Jerome is not just my instructor he is my mentor!
As a newly minted P2 pilot I look forward to continuing to build skills and soon to be thermal flying with Jerome.
George Beirne, Alaska / USA, 2013/2/2:
As a prior instructor, of demanding sports; I find Jerome to be an inspiration, and a wealth of knowledge. Taking the time to help me perfect my skills, and advance in techniques safely and proficiently. I would, will and have recommended his services to future pilots.
George Bokinsky, Virginia / USA, 2013/3/25:
Jerome Daoust recently taught me to speed fly at Soboba, and I can say, without any hesitation, he really is a magnificent instructor. He possesses patience and prudence - cultivating an extremely safe training environment, while constantly encouraging the trainee to challenge themselves, so that they may develop their skills quickly. He is incredibly friendly and humorous making for a unique and truly enjoyable learning experience - one which I will not soon forget. Thank you Jerome!
Giles Fabris, California / USA, 2014/6/2:
World class Speed flying instruction. After spending even just a few minutes with Jerome it's clearly obvious that he's a master at his game! His professional instruction is the perfect way for anyone to learn; He's calm, detailed oriented, patient, perceptive, a good listener and teacher. I had a great experience learning Speed flying, Jerome is one of the few who can teach skills, confidence and safety while making it fun. His instruction exceeded my expectations and I would urge anyone who's thinking about Speed flying to choose him if they have the opportunity
Graham Vickowski, Arizona / USA, 2014/2/27:
Jerome clearly brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his paragliding and speed flying instruction. His ground based teaching was helpful and easy to follow, and his communication while in the air made it easy to progress as a pilot. I highly recommend Jerome as an instructor.
Jack Urich, Nevada / USA, 2014/6/22:
I returned to paragliding after 8 years, with my vintage paraglider :) to get my P3 back with USHPA. Jerome is truly the best instructor I could have ever hoped for; he knows paragliding inside and out, has the teaching skills and patience of a real pro. All aspect of my experience was informative, exciting and very professional. I highly recommend Jerome for any and all instruction you may need. Thank you.
James Cockrell, California / USA, 2017/4/4:
If you are looking for the highest quality instruction, Jerome Daoust is your man. No amount of online resource can compare to Jerome's instruction. You're learning to do something thought impossible for almost the entirety of human history. Don't hire some trailer park trash for your instructor. Jerome is widely known and respected throughout the paragliding community. He has been doing this for thirty years. P5 flyer. Wind wizard. Jedi master. 10/10.
James Stark, California / USA, 2016/7/10:
I've had multiple instructors, not by choice, on my path to becoming a PG pilot. None of the other instructors were as efficient and productive with our time together as Jerome Daoust. My experience with other instructors provided for a profound appreciation for Jerome's efficiency, professionalism, and organization. I am a teacher, so it was very refreshing to witness another teacher at work. Jerome is an excellent teacher and a master of his subject. Enjoy your new endeavor with confidence that you are in good hands. Enjoy and see you in the sky.
Jan Schullerus, AZ / USA, 2016/9/13:
Was it a whole week? Time flies when you're flying ... in San Bernardino. What a blast! I've become a well-trained (and thrilled) P2+ in a week! 35 real flights (not counting training hill "hops") have given me an exciting introduction to paragliding. Efficient planning, concise explanations, and exceptional skill of predicting (and explaining) wind and weather conditions where the key ingredients. Let me recommend you to everyone ready to have fun and learn. Smooth rides and jaunty climbs, I'll see you in the air!
Jarred Bonaparte, Washington / USA, 2013/12/25:
I spent a few days learning to speed fly with Jerome. He was very calm, collected, and professional while teaching. He was able to clearly point out do's and don'ts while learning and because of this I was able to pick up the sport very quickly. He also took into account my paragliding background when teaching and that helped me progress as well. Overall he was fantastic to learn from and now I'm having a blast flying!
Jason Keene, California / USA, 2014/10/6:
Jerome is a great instructor; I had tried other instructors before I got to him. He assessed my skills quickly and worked with me hands off giving input when I needed it. He has a comfortable and friendly demeanor and I think would work well with any skill level of student.
Jean-Noël Michel, France, 2013/1/28. Picture of Jean-Noël on 2013/2/17.
Je suis arrivé sur le site de Soboba sans savoir qui était l'instructeur. J'ai été agréablement surpris de la qualité de l'instruction, claire, pédagogique, avec beaucoup d'attention, très bien. La bonne situation du site permet une progression facile et sécuritaire, la pente école, toute neuve est excellente. J'ai fait mon premier grand vol deux jours et demi après mon arrivée avec des conditions météo bonne au début puis une matinée pluvieuse, il faut bien que l'herbe pousse. Le même jour, j'ai passé mon niveau P1 et je suis heureux de cette bonne progression. J'espère avoir mon niveau P2 dans les semaines à venir en fonction des conditions météo, le point clés d'un bon vol. Pour finir, j'ai fait un magnifique vol de pente de plus d'une heure dans des conditions de rêve avec une altitude de plus de 1200 m, je suis emballé par le parapente, c'est génial. Merci à Jérôme pour ces très bon conseils.
Translation: I arrived at the Soboba flying site without knowing who the instructor was. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of instruction, clear, educational, with lots of attention, very well. The good location of the site provides a safe and easy progression, the training hill is brand new and excellent. I made my first high flight two and a half days after my arrival with good weather at the beginning and then a rainy morning, to allow the grass to grow. The same day I got my P1 level and I am pleased with this good progress. I hope to get my P2 in the coming weeks depending on weather conditions, the key point of a good flight. Finally, I made a beautiful flight of over an hour in ideal conditions with an altitude of 1200 m, I'm excited about paragliding, it's great. Thanks to Jerome for his great advice.
Jeff Beckman, California / USA, 2014/6/16:
Jerome has been a great teacher and coach. He's always been able to find a way to explain things in a way that I'm able to understand, and seems to know just the right balance of encouragement and advice. Thanks Jerome, for getting me into this wonderful sport.
Jennifer Cleerdin, New Mexico / USA, 2013/1/28:
A weekend of speed flying lessons with Jerome was simply incredible! I gained much confidence as a result of Jerome's tranquil nature, superb and obvious knowledge, as well as his ability to push me just past my comfort level in order to advance to the next sequential step. In addition to the knowledge gained during the hands-on course, Jerome also provided supplemental information that I was able to review and digest afterwards, continuing the educational experience. I would highly recommend this instruction to anyone interested in this sport.
Jennifer Cleerdin, New Mexico / USA, 2014/9/22:
I recently had the pleasure of earning my P2 rating under the mentorship of Master Paraglider Jerome Daoust. Jerome is an erudite instructor, possessing a tremendous amount of knowledge related to the sport and associated weather conditions. His training program consisted of sufficient hands-on demonstrations and transfer of technical knowledge balanced perfectly with instilling confidence to allow me to find independence. His keen ability to predict weather conditions allowed for maximum flights, placing us at the ideal location specific to the day and time of day. This allowed me to reach my P2 goal in a relatively short period of time, maximizing efficiencies. I will continue to seek further instruction from Jerome as often as possible, as it is well worth the 12 hour drive to do so, and he has so much more information to offer. The learning continues after leaving direct instruction from Jerome, as he continues to transfer a wealth of knowledge to the PG community via his personal website, ExpandingKnowledge.com/PG. I simply cannot image a more productive, professional, or rewarding experience and would submit that Jerome serves as a model of what Paragliding Instruction should entail. By the way- Jerome also married my fiancé and me at the end of our 2 week PG/ wedding trip. PG Maestro AND deputy commissioner for us on our most special day?- Truly nothing can beat that :-)
Jens Mueller, California / USA, 2015/5/6:
If your passion is to fly and you've decided Paragliding will be the way you accomplish that, then finding the right school and instructor are your next step. In my opinion, picking the right flight instructor is as important as picking the right surgeon. I believe I have found "The" #1 flight instructor in America. Jerome Daoust. I recently completed 2 days of flight training with Jerome Daoust at Andy Jackson Flight Park and was absolutely impressed with the 26 years of paragliding knowledge, his careful attention to every detail- from unpacking your wing to soaring to packing your wing properly. And your schooling doesn't stop after your flight! As you await your next flight, he teaches you about the wind and their relationship to thermals. Clouds- In 2 days, I know more about clouds and how they form and how they relate to your flying than any 1 month class I could have taken. And he does not rush. As a student with some flying experience (4 flights), I was only allowed a certain window to fly in due to high thermal activity. I got a morning session and then, weather permitting, a late afternoon session. He waited with me until the wind and conditions where just right, never risking a dangerous flight just to satisfy me and my expectations of that "big" flight. If it's not right, we were heading down the mountain. In closing, let me just say, knowing what I know now, that I would travel from anywhere to be taught by Jerome. Please feel free to call me (760-578-4139) if you have any questions.
Update, 2015/6/17: Just completed my flight requirements and called on Jerome, my PG instructor to say I was ready for my P2 test. I’m very new to flying, but I feel that with Jerome as my instructor, I can look forward to many safe and exciting hours of flight! Now I just need to get to 90 flights for my P3! Thank you Jerome!
Jeremiah Seifert, California / USA, 2013/6/18:
I took my first speed flying lessons with Jerome and have been absolutely amazed about how much fun and focus he is able to produce in a small period of time. Precise instruction that flows, relative information at the right moments. He is someone who has this incredible mixture of technical knowledge with a pure passion for the intricate nature of flight. Some people are built for instruction and Jerome is one of them, very calm and patient, friendly and funny while getting information across at critical moments in a way that builds confidence and safety.
This is an instructor to seek out, one of the best experiences I can remember!
Joe Catan, Connecticut / USA, 2016/1/18:
TOP NOTCH instructor. If you are looking for an adaptable, organized, conscientious instructor, Jerome is your man. While meticulous and procedure oriented, he is also keenly aware of your progression level. If you need more time, you will get it but if you demonstrate capability, you are moved ahead. He is conscious of the value of your time and your money. His awareness of the flying conditions and your ability are unparalleled. I started my program with another instructor back East but found that it was well worth my money (would have spent less with Jerome if I had completed the entire program just with him) to work with Jerome. I learned more in one day with Jerome than with the other instructor for the entire program. I was introduced to Jerome by my brother-in-law, another student of Jerome's, who had no flight experience. I am a commercial airline pilot. Jerome was perfect for each of us, adapting as necessary to our experience and skill levels.
John Dorrance, Virginia / USA, 2016/2/19:
Jerome was a consummate professional. His experience and knowledge speaks for itself, and his organization and clear communication skills gave me confidence as a student to digest his knowledge at a pace that worked for me. Go with Jerome if you like to know WHY in addition to HOW. In particular I like that he appears to be 'vendor agnostic' while suggesting gear choices. Also, he showed me a reasonably priced and tasty sushi place in town, so there's that.
Jordan Neidinger, California / USA, 2013/7/30:
After a few years of motoring, I'm trying to pick up more soaring experience. Jerome has helped me on multiple occasions by giving instruction and insightful critique on several issues. I appreciated that he spent a bit of Q&A time figuring out what my experience level was and what I was comfortable with before unloading the important information. I found his style to be relaxed and friendly which made it easy to process what he was saying even under demanding circumstances.
Joseph Teng, California / USA, 2015/10/3:
I had a couple of lessons with Jerome and I find he is an instructor with passion, when I ask questions he explains them to me very clearly and if I still don't understand, he will email me links about those subjects. I am very appreciative for that. I like to take lessons with him.
Julie Donohue, California / USA, 2014/12/4:
I had the pleasure of learning to paraglide with Jerome recently and had a blast at Soboba. I appreciate Jerome's attention to detail and repetition which instilled a structure to each phase of paragliding. His continuous positive feedback and his calm demeanor left me feeling as though I was progressing at a good pace and left me feeling confident in my abilities. Thank you Jerome and I hope to see you again!
Justin Thomas, California / USA, 2013/11/19:
In my time in aviation sports, I've learned to fly planes, jump out of planes, jump off mountains, and fly off mountains. Jerome was definitely one of the best instructors I've had in any discipline. He allows you enough room to learn and helps you through any road blocks. Would recommend!
Kasey Campbell, California / USA, 2014/2/8:
Jerome is as good as it gets. His calm, thorough explanation and encouragement builds confidence. With his extensive flying background and knowledge, he will make you a better pilot no matter what level of speed flying or paragliding you are at.
Kate Reiter, California / USA, 2017/2/20:
I decided to take lessons with Jerome from a recommendation and I couldn't have asked for a more patient, encouraging, and knowledgeable instructor. He was professional, very organized, and dependable. He always explained the 'why' behind everything and made the training sessions together both challenging and enjoyable. If you want a professional, intelligent, and patient instructor, I would highly recommend taking lessons with him. Jerome is simply the best paragliding instructor! Thanks Jerome!
Kent Wien, New York / USA, 2014/2/7:
I've been reading Jerome's tips for years and so when I sought out an instructor for speed flying I was thrilled to find that Jerome specialized in this skill as well. So I met with him the day after calling and managed to get in five flights on his speed glider and later transitioned to my own glider the same day. Jerome's attention to detail, his concise and clear instructions and his demeanor all contribute toward a wonderful experience. One thing Jerome does that I've never come across; he keeps track of what he teaches his students, so he doesn't forget to demonstrate anything. Other instructors should take note of this basic, and yet overlooked technique. I may have learned as much about paragliding as I did speed flying when working with Jerome. I'm a big believer in learning from as many pilots as possible, but Jerome just may be the only instructor anyone needs. Once Jerome was satisfied with my speed flying skills, he turned me loose. He doesn't operate on a 'one size fits all' course that forces you to pay for extra days you don't need. I plan on sending my friends who are interested in learning to fly to Jerome. I was that impressed.
Lance Rocker, California / USA, 2016/3/4:
I've had such a great time learning to fly with Jerome! His depth of knowledge and experience matches perfectly with his confidence inspiring and custom-fit teaching style. He has a knack for helping people learn to the best of their potential, with a no-stress relaxed but focused teaching style. I progressed so much faster and more comfortably than I had expected, the attention and care he puts into instruction makes such a difference. That can't be stressed enough, the individual care and attention all of Jerome's students experience, feels to me like his way of giving back to the sport he loves. Thanks so much Jerome -- I love being able to fly!
Marcus Wisdorf, Alaska / USA, 2014/2/7:
I was unable to complete my P2 in Maui due to weather, so a friend suggested training with Jerome at Soboba Flight Park. I completed my P2 on Feb 4-5 2014 in great conditions at Soboba. Jerome made an evaluation of my flying abilities and then proceeded to coach me on radio and post-flight for two days as I flew laps. He tells you just what you need to know, nothing more, so you quickly build confidence in yourself and your entire flight process. He also makes sure you take care of the equipment and provides a fantastic website for pilots. I could not be any happier with the training and can't wait to go back there with my own glider as soon as I obtain one!
Mark Rumsey, California / USA, 2014/5/6:
I'm sure there are a lot of great PG pilots out there but it is rare to find one that is also a great teacher. Jerome's teaching method is finely tuned to get the most out of your day and he knows how to keep you on a perfect learning curve. I never felt that it was going too fast or too slow and because he is so experienced both as a pilot and a teacher he knew exactly what I was doing right and doing wrong. You simply cannot ask for a better instructor!
Matt Magee, British Columbia / Canada, 2013/3/24:
I just completed three fantastic days learning to speed fly with Jerome and want to say what a great instructor he is. I found Jerome to be very knowledgeable in all things paragliding/ speed flying and he always had a detailed answer to my questions. His teaching style is very thorough and methodical and at the same time relaxed and I always felt comfortable asking questions. It is clear that he has a passion for flying and teaching and I would recommend Jerome as an instructor for anyone interested in learning to speed fly or paraglide.
Max Todorov, California / USA, 2014/6/26:
Jerome is an outstanding paragliding instructor. Before signing up with Jerome, I checked out several So Cal places to train, and made a great decision to train with him. One of the challenges I faced was the fact that, I could only train one day a week, and Jerome was able to work with that. I started in early May 2014, with no experience. For the first two sessions, Jerome meticulously trained me to handle the glider. He never got frustrated with my failures, and was very encouraging and guided me to achieve the proper form. By the end of my third session, we did my first solo flight. Oh, what an amazing feeling!!!!!! After that, every session got more and more exciting! On my 5th session, I got to experience a 20 min flight. And Jerome was there all along the way! One of the things worth mentioning is that while Jerome continues to watch you fly, he slowly forces you to make more and more decisions on your own. I found it very effective. It's a very good feeling to make the flying decisions on your own, but at the same time knowing that you have Jerome there with you to correct you if needed. My last training session was the icing on the cake! I got to soar for over 1.5 hours and qualified for my P2! If you are thinking of paragliding, I highly recommend Jerome as an instructor!
Michael Rapp, California / USA, 2013/10/14:
After seeing paragliders in flight on a recent trip I was instantly hooked. I have significant background in skydiving and sailplanes, but I knew paragliding was going to be my next adventure. As luck would have it I contacted Jerome and before we even met in person the exchange of information was exceptional. He took the time to answer my questions, and there were many, and provide information I needed but did not yet know I needed. We met at the Soboba flight park and I began my training. Not only is Jerome a patient teacher, he is very safety conscious. If conditions are not favorable for safe flight, we reschedule. I felt confident during every step of my training, that I have gained the knowledge and skills to fly on my own. He helped me obtain and choose the right gear for me, set it up correctly and administer the P-1 test. I know that I am a safe beginning paraglider pilot because of the thorough instruction I have received and am confident when I launch each time I have the decision making tools now to progress towards my next paragliding goal. I would recommend Jerome to anyone who truly wants to learn to safely fly paragliders, in fact, I have, my oldest son has also recently completed his P-1 training with Jerome. Thank you Jerome
Michal Maretta, California / USA, 2016/11/26:
I just finished my paragliding course with Jerome, and I have to say I couldn't choose better instructor. After I found Jerome's website I was impressed with the amount of information he has posted on it and the fact that he is one of very few pilots who has P5 rating as well as he has long flying career. I am a large build guy and my weight is over the range of XL size solo paragliders, he guided me and helped me to purchase (for a great price) a brand new small tandem wing Gin Fuse which suits me perfect. Training went very smooth and I had a great time. I would like to say that Jerome is very organized and can use every minute of the day for training, flying, kiting, theory, test depending on current weather conditions, so you get the most of every day even if conditions varies. His knowledge of local weather and flying sites is unsurpassed, and you know that he is the right guy when you see senior pilots asking for his opinion. I have great respect for Jerome and his work, for his patience, professionalism and for his friendly and respectful persona. Even if Jerome is the only trainer I had, he will always be the one I will recommend to my friends and anybody who will ask. Thank you Jerome for helping my dream become reality. I am looking forward to flying with you at Marshall.
Mike Hutton, Illinois / USA, 2013/8/31:
I just finished up one of the best weeks of my life learning to Speed fly with Jerome. He is a world class instructor and an overall great guy. We progressed up the mountain thanks in part to him safely pushing our boundaries while knowing what we were capable of. Thanks for all your help and sticking it out through the 110 degree heat and I look forward to flying with you soon!
Mitch Szpila, Arizona / USA, 2014/11/22:
Since I have had some experience prior doing PPG I had something to relate with speed flying but that being said there were still a lot of gaps that I needed to get filled in on, I learned an extreme amount in my very short time with Jerome and he allowed me to advance at my speed and always supported me with good advice the entire time to make it a lot easier to advance. Would recommend to any of my friends or family.
Nate Neufeld, Alberta / Canada, 2013/04/24:
I was traveling through the area and had an unscheduled extra day for flying. Luckily, I stumbled on Soboba, and Jerome. Being a new P2, I needed some guidance and Jerome was very forthcoming and welcoming. In addition to site orientation, Jerome had tips on my harness and flight technique. For my flights, he stayed on radio with me, and I always felt that he was keeping an eye on me without being overbearing. A great site and facilities and instructor, only wish I could have stayed longer! Thanks Jerome!
Paul Alms, Arizona / USA, 2015/2/2:
Thanks for all your help, it made so easy to gain the necessary confidence to take that first leap into the great experience that is paragliding!
Peter Illig, Alaska / USA, 2013/1/26:
Jerome was an excellent instructor as he was able to identify problems accurately and help me progress through my training. His course at Soboba was the best way for me to become confident in my abilities before heading into the mountains with my wing.
Pearce Cucchissi, California / USA, 2014/2/24:
Jerome's unsurpassed knowledge and systematic approach allows for a seamless progression while learning to speed fly. He is perfectly calm and collected while coaching the student through flights, which instills confidence in the student and allows them to be as safe as possible in the air. I would recommend Jerome to anyone and will insist my closest friends learn through him.
Petr Kalab, Maryland / USA, 2013/11/8:
Last month I was one of the many who got furloughed during the government shutdown and to make the best of the unexpected free time, I signed up for the speed wing course with Jerome Daoust at Soboba. There might be some chance for me to fly speed wings on a ski slope and I would like to be ready. Because I was a bit too busy after returning back to my job at the East Coast, only now I found some time to write here that I am happy to highly recommend this course to anyone interested in speed wings!
Although flying is not new to me (H2/P3) I was quite nervous before my first attempts with the speed wing. However, with Jerome's instruction I was able to quickly progress from the first hops on the training hill to flights from increasing elevations, all the way to 1300 ft the next day! The key to my positive experience was Jerome's training style which emphasized safety, no-nonsense and extremely useful instruction with practical demonstration and accurate feedback on my piloting. Meaning, he could immediately spot what I was not doing right and tell me how to fix it. At the same time, Jerome was incredibly calm and positive and that was exactly what allowed me to keep my mind on what I needed improve, while enjoying the experience. Focus on flying, propelled by fun! That seemed to be the effect that Jerome tried to achieve and it worked.
It was obvious that all details of what Jerome taught were very well thought through and tested. Jerome's background in high-end mechanical engineering (do think rocket science!) I think has something to do with it.
Aside from what I needed to learn for the speed wing, I picked up useful tips for my regular PG, which happened to be one of those that Jerome recently reviewed. It also helped that in the difficult Santa Ana conditions during my visit (prevailing east winds), he was able to make excellent calls for when was the right time to stop, so that I could go flying my regular PG at Lake Elsinore in the afternoon, or when it was better to stay all day at Soboba. My most difficult challenge was to learn the correct high speed approach to "swoop" landing speed wing, which is quite different from landing regular PG. It was really sweet to finally nail it a couple of times at the end of my second day! I was impressed that, after that, Jerome suggested that I could fly speed wings on my own, "without being a menace to myself or others" and that there was no need to take the third day of the course. So I took the refund and flew my regular PG for my last remaining days of the trip and I can tell you with some authority that this course is definitely above all about flying and not just about business.
In summary, this course was quite perfect for me and I think that it would be a great start for anyone who already knows that they want to fly speed wings regularly or even just testing if this exciting sport is right for them.
Phil Wessinger, California / USA, 2016/1/22:
For anyone looking for paragliding instruction in or around southern California, look no further! Jerome is a top-notch instructor who has many years of experience under his belt. He is a retired engineer who takes a very methodical and systematic approach to his teaching – extremely easy to relate to if you are a technical person. The best part about Jerome’s instruction is his willingness to go at your own pace. If you demonstrate competency, he is more than willing to move forward, but if you are hesitant to move on, he will continue to guide you at your own pace. I pride myself for usually being a quick learner, so I was hesitant of his day-to-day pricing structure (for fear that there was a set progression schedule), but it ended up saving me hundreds of dollars in comparison to other SoCal schools. I demonstrated the ability to fly and kite on day one, and Jerome did not hesitate to send me to the top of the mountain for my first solo immediately after (which was a life changing event... literally... I moved to CA permanently 6 months later so I could continue to fly). Safety is always his number one priority, which is ALWAYS appropriate in the sport of paragliding. I would highly recommend Jerome to anyone looking to get into the sport or looking to fine tune their PG skills.
2016/9/1 PG Forum comment: Check out the instruction at Marshall (Andy Jackson Airpark) in San Bernardino. I trained with Jerome Daoust at that site and it was amazing. It is flyable almost everyday during the summer/fall and still fairly consistent during the winter. They have great options in terms of different launches (training hill, 350, 750, Marshall peak (~3k vertical), and Crestline (~4k vertical).
2016/12/12 PG Forum comment: I am a proud graduate of the Jerome Daoust school of paragliding and I can highly recommend Jerome. He has been around the sport about as long as I have been alive and he has a wealth of knowledge he is willing to share. His pricing is very fair and he is always willing to teach at the pace the student is willing to learn - perfect if you are a fast (or slow!) learner. Marshall is a fantastic site to learn at, as even a "sledder" (a short flight with no lift whatsoever) is still 10-15 minutes long. The LZ is perfect for ground handling (its nice and grassy), and the people/community in the LZ are even better. I live in San Diego and the 4 hour round trip drive was well worth the trip to be able to learn from Jerome up at Marshall.
Philip Chamberlain, California / USA, 2014/11/17:
I spent a weekend working towards my M1 speed flying certification with Jerome in May 2014. This was also my first time flying at Soboba and was a great introduction the site. At the time of taking the speed wing course I was a newly graduated P2 paragliding pilot, and I would recommend some experience with other canopies before moving to a speed wing so you know what you are getting into, and have some basic skills. We started practice launches on lower, shallower launches and progressed to higher, steeper and eventually unsupervised launches over the course of a weekend. Jerome's teaching style was very deliberate and clear, which I find really helps to establish good habits with pre-flight checks etc. Jerome is obviously a great resource, and has put a lot of thought and experience into his teaching approach. I greatly enjoyed the course, and would highly recommend Jerome as an instructor.
Richard Brizendine, Nevada / USA, 2014/4/29:
I spent five days learning a little paragliding and speed flying with Jerome, his professional and calm approach really helped me progress quickly and build enough confidence to continue flying on my own. He is really great at pointing out what you are doing right and what you could be doing better in a very clear and understandable way which really helped me learn to do everything the correct way. His knowledge of the weather and theory needed for paragliding and speed flying is incredible and he does a fantastic job teaching you to recognize what is safe and was isn't. Overall I had a fantastic time learning from Jerome and would highly recommend him to everyone!
Robert Duke, California / USA, 2015/3/29, (source):
I'm a new pilot and Jerome went out of his way to keep an eye out for me on my launch. He wasted lots of his own flight time hanging out with me waiting for conditions to mellow a bit more. During the wait time he was kind enough to share tons his valuable knowledge with me. I all ready have the best instructor around (Stephen) but when any master of the sport speaks, I stop and eagerly listen. Boy, Jerome sure gave me tons of great knowledge to listen too! He, like Stephen, has a knack at putting things in a way that even the most simple mined people, like me, can understand.
The ability to pass on vast knowledge and experience to another makes one a great instructor. The willingness to do so casually for another makes one a great person. Jerome is one of the many great people I have met at AJX. What a super guy, I could never thank him enough!
Ron Gray, California / USA, 2015/10/4:
What impressed me most about Jerome as an instructor was his professionalism. Not only does he have a keen analytical mind about flying from a technical perspective, he is very practical in what is needed for each lesson. He instructs calmly and stays focused which allowed me to do the same. I was completely at ease working with him. After ground school, he narrated my test flights with precision and detail, eliminating the results of my pilot errors and misjudgments. After the lessons I had a solid knowledge of what and what not to do and knew exactly my limitations. Jerome's qualifications and teaching, both professional and personal, are hard to improve upon.
Scott Rumble, Alberta / Canada, 2014/4/22:
You were a great instructor. Unbelievably knowledgeable and very passionate. It was very easy to work with you and you were able to adapt to different learning styles. We achieved the goals for the trip because of you and we had a blast doing it!
SDHGPA (San Diego Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association), California / USA, 2014-2015:
Recommends Jerome in its list of good instructors.
Shah Kazempour, Washington / USA, 2014/11/15:
Soboba flying site is the best place to learn and also continue flying after and also get to know more new and old pilots for PG and speed flying. Jerome Daoust was my instructor for learning PG also Speed wing and in few words, he is the best and absolutely hyper knowledge about these sports. I am absolutely thrilled being there and getting my training done by him. I will definitely go back there for more flights. The flying site is amazing and has so many different options and launch elevations that are facing in different directions and makes it the best to fly no matter what. There are few ATV's there to give ride up to 650 feet launching site and there is a hike after to way up to I believe 1700 feet above. Having ride makes it easy to any PG or speed wing pilots to have relaxing flying days. In my opinion Soboba flying site and all the staff and instructors there are the best and friendliest that you would not find anywhere else. Thank you.
Spencer Dobell, British Columbia / Canada, 2014/3/10:
November 2013 marked my first flight on a speed wing. Having no previous experience with flying, I was really apprehensive about the sport. However, with the incredibly easy and detailed instruction from Jerome, my buddy and I were able to do a 1300 ft launch on our first day. We had 3 great days of flying and I have to say, it was Jerome’s professional yet encouraging approach that helped us gain competence so quickly. Jerome was so amazing at helping us see the sport as safe and most importantly fun! We now fly regularly up in Western Canada but are going back to Soboba soon. Thanks Jerome! You are an incredibly gifted instructor and others would be lucky to be guided by your great skill!
Stephen Buckingham, California / USA, 2015/11/30:
I am a new P2 from NoCal with plenty of flights from our training hill and only a couple flights at our coastal ridge soaring site. So when I was in SoCal I arranged for three days of coaching from Jerome at Marshall. What a fantastic experience for my first mountain flights. Between Jerome's vast knowledge and mentoring and the friendly atmosphere of the CSS, It was a big boost to my confidence in tasting my first thermals. I will certainly be back to fly with Jerome again. Thank you!
Stephen Jalickee, Washington / USA, 2014/2/9:
I spent three days with Jerome learning paragliding and felt very confident of my abilities at the end each day. He is a very patient and proactive instructor, truly analyzing any problems you might have and then coming up with a solution. Besides making sure you know the how, he will make sure you know the why. In addition, Jerome is a very friendly person who truly enjoys teaching and seeing his students being thrilled by a safe flight. Soboba is a great learning location in addition to being a great place for advance flying and you can camp there and enjoy an almost nightly bonfire with other pilots. I live in Seattle and will be taking more trips down to Soboba Flight Park - next up is speed flying with Jerome.
Steve, USA, 2015/11/29:
Based on his reputation and recommendations from several friends, I engaged Jerome for two days of post-P2 instruction. I wanted to obtain my sign-off to fly at Marshall, and also believe strongly in continuing education from a variety of instructors. I was very impressed, not just by his depth of experience and knowledge of foot-launched aviation, but also by his sharp eye for recognizing problems exhibited by students and his patient, calm and friendly teaching style. He was able offer easy-to-implement corrections for some problems I had launching and kiting. He also offered analysis of some in-flight video I provided that led me to a much more efficient turning technique, along with some important safety tips for the landing pattern at Marshall. I greatly appreciate his background in physics and aerospace. He provided free of charge valuable tips and real-time radio guidance for thermalling on a day when I was not even paying for instruction! Whether you are working on your P2 or a more advanced pilot looking to sharpen your skills, you can't go wrong with Jerome.
Steve Alessi, California / USA, 2016/11/28:
If you are considering paragliding instruction in the Southern California, you must learn with Jerome! Jerome has been flying since 1989, he is one of few people who have a P5 certification, he is the instructor who teaches instructors, he's flown all over the world in a multitude of conditions and has never deployed his reserve, he has a PhD in mechanical engineering which means he is smart about all things technical including aerodynamics, flight and weather, he's patient, calm and has a good sense of humor making learning fun/funny. For me, Jerome was the perfect instructor tailoring the pace of learning to my abilities. Throughout the day(s) he is constantly teaching but it feels more like conversation with a good friend. I learned how to safely fly, how to read flying conditions, obtained an understanding of weather (wind, clouds, etc.) and was certified as a P2 pilot all under Jerome's care. He is meticulous in his approach, calm in his delivery and will keep you safe. Jerome is a terrific person who instructs because he loves the sport and wants to share it with others. Keep in mind, he doesn't need the job! I can't say enough about Jerome, if you would like a reference please ask Jerome to get you in contact with me. You'd be making a mistake if you went to another school/instructor.
Steve Rohrbaugh, California / USA, 2015/6/26, (source):
If you are set on Soboba or Marshall, Jérôme Daoust would be a good choice. [other school] has a slick website but is more focused on speed flying. Jérôme would be more well-rounded and Engineer-like highly knowledgeable instructor vs adrenaline junky.
Uriel Dostie, Alberta / Canada, 2014/3/1:
Jérôme is an excellent instructor, he is focused on his student's safe success. Thank you Jérôme for these three intense days, you made practice and theory very easy to apply and understand. You were able to pinpoint my issues and gave me the tools I needed to fix them. Now I feel comfortable and ready to progress in this new sport [speed flying].
William Schram, California / USA, 2013/12/30:
Jerome has a masterful combination of technical competency and capable piloting skill. I was pleased to find an instructor who was as willing to train a student in speed-flying as paragliding. His decades of experience enabled me to rapidly progress from a complete novice to independently launching and landing an 18m speed-wing in three days.
Willie Willenbrink, Alaska / USA, 2014/1/23:
I am a new student with a limited amount of kiting and some ground instruction. I had a few days available near Soboba and Jerome fit me in to his schedule with a very short notice. I found him to be an excellent instructor who easily explained the basics to allow me to get my first several flights off the 650 AGL launch, that was awesome. I found his calm demeanor on the radio very relaxing and reassuring while I was in flight. Additionally his Mechanical Engineering background allowed him to provide some excellent fundamentals of flight ground instruction that everyone in attendance could follow. I live in Alaska, and I will be flying back to Soboba for additional instruction by Jerome!
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