You’ve surfed Malibu, SUP’d Malibu, and lounged on its sand. Ready for the next wave? Then it’s time to paraglide down from the coastal hills, soar over the mansions, ride thrilling thermals, savor sweeping views, and then touch down softly on the beach. With Claude Fiset and Malibu Paragliding, all you need to do is strap in and enjoy the ride on a tandem flight.
Fiset, an engineer who builds and sells his own paragliders and paramotors, has been riding Malibu’s thermals since the mid-80s. You’ll meet him on Carbon Beach (aka Billionaire’s Beach) as he coolly paraglides down onto the sand in something of a superstar entrance.
Then you’ll make a quick drive up Las Flores Canyon to access the launch point he deems best, given the day’s wind direction and cloud cover.
Fiset unfurls his glider. You strap in. You stand up, walking at first, then running to catch one of the huge gusts of wind coming off the mountains. You shoot up into the air, and in seconds you’re soaring along like the hawks and kites who patrol these hills and thermals.
While Fiset masterfully controls the glider, you hear the altitude sensor beep as you ride high into the sky (up to 3,000 feet!), turn, and then zoom down across the mountain faces toward the ocean below. Soon you’ll feel at home in the air, and enjoy the view from Point Dume to downtown Santa Monica. Before you know it, you’re soaring over lavish oceanfront homes, then over the ocean itself. After a thrilling half hour or so, you descend onto the beach and share a high-five with Claude. So what’s the next wave after this? Paragliding lessons, of course. You just may become a master of the sky.
Tandem flights are $200. To reach the rendezvous point on Carbon Beach, take Pacific Coast Highway to 22125 PCH in Malibu. Street parking is ample and free.