Modern Living: Soaring: A Search for the Perfect Updraft

On a breezy day near Torrey Pines, Calif., the air over the beach and cliffs is filled with man-made wings. A ten-year-old boy strapped to a purple and gold hang-glider—a huge swatch of fabric, a metal frame, a trapeze-like seat —leaps from a cliff and circles toward the sand. A middle-aged businessman in a stiletto-winged sailplane, or conventional glider, weaves figure eights. They have plenty of company aloft, flying a variety of craft that come in a rainbow of colors.

Just as surfers roam the world in search of the perfect wave, glider people...

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