Types of Hike and Fly

By Logan Walters


The Sprint Race is a single day race that can cater to all levels of pilots. We use these events to introduce the sport of hike and fly show the importance of moving fast in the air and on the ground. The fit athletes push hard from start to finish using any bit of flying to recover their legs for fast paced running/ speed hiking. We love to see the intermediate pilots show up and have an awesome adventure, often something you may never do without an organized event

Out and Back Races -

These fun races leave a lot to the imagination and can be any length of time. Depart the Start/Finish and race by foot or paraglider as far as you can, but make sure you make it back by the time the finish closes. A loss of points will be given to those that don't make it back so plan wisely.


An unsupported race is just that, after the start you may receive no assistance other than what the race organizer gives you or what you purchase along the route. Land at a taco stand for tacos? Awesome, a friend brings you a taco, not so awesome. It makes it more challenging, and fair.


There are so many ways people have talked about doing this format but this is my favorite. You start with your team mate (at least one) and must tag every turn point as a team. It is also required that your teammate and you must link up by sundown, and if there is not a rest period you must start the following day with each other.

Supported Multi Day-

For the bigger races this is the most common format. The racer can have a team that supports them on the ground by carrying the non required equipment. They can assist in route choice, weather, and other updates often making most of the big decisions for the athlete. Normally team flying is the only thing out of the capability of the team though that must be determined by the organizer.

Stage Race-

Multi day events where all the participants start together at the beginning of each day. There may be a different course every day or the event can run as a best ball format meaning you link up with the leader. It's fun to start together and does not allow for compounding mistakes. Everyone gets another chance every race day.

Month Long Challenge-

A course goes out for participants and at any point during the month they can attempt the course. This allows for choosing the best weather window or getting around a busy life schedule. Side bets are encouraged however USA Hike and Fly does not score these events, you either do it or you don't.

Have another format? Email your idea to us.