Many people have asked me this question and for some reason, I always get a kick out of answering it. Maybe because it’s always funny to me when I think about how much effort people will go to just to shave a second or two off of their hot air balloon rides.
If somebody asked you what is the shortcut to get to the top of a mountain, what would your answer be? Would you say, “Just climb it” or would you say, “You have to find the right route”? I bet you would answer the second one, because it’s generally not as easy as it looks. You have to find the right way to go up and you have to find the right way to go down. You can’t just climb the mountain. So in the same way, there is more than one way to get to the top of a hot air balloon.
The most direct route to the top of a hot air balloon is to simply attach a sail to the balloon and let nature take its course. As the wind catches the sail, you will eventually reach the top. This is how most people normally achieve their hot air balloon goals. However, there is another way to do it, and you’ll be surprised by how many people have tried it – and how much it can help you reach your goal a little faster!
The Secret to Shaving Off Seconds
In my experience, the majority of people who ask me this question are trying to shave off some seconds from their hot air balloon ride. They’ve seen the videos of people driving on water and they think that’s what they need to do to go faster. While it is true that you can drive on water (using hydroplanes), it’s not really the same as driving a boat under sail. There are several important differences.
- No steering required – you just sit back and enjoy the ride
- More efficient – instead of burning fuel to move, the boat’s momentum gets transferred to the water
- No danger of crashing – if you do have an accident, you can always sink the boat and start over again
- No limits to how far you can go – with a small motorboat, you have limits as to how fast you can travel.
These are just a few of the advantages of sailing on water. The biggest takeaway is that there is more than one way to go about getting somewhere. When you are trying to shave off some seconds from your trip, what would you do? Would you try to go as fast as you can? Would you try to find the smoothest and fastest route? Or would you try to find the best route that doesn’t require as much effort? If you go the latter route, you will find there is more than one way to the top of a hot air balloon. Want to know how? Continue reading.
The Top of the Hot Air Balloon
Like I said above, many people have asked me this question and for some reason, I always get a kick out of answering it. Maybe because it’s always funny to me when I think about all the effort people will go to just to shave a second or two off of their hot air balloon rides. For those who are wondering, the top of a hot air balloon is not at the very peak, it’s more like the middle. From the ground, it’s hidden by the balloon’s blimp. From the air, you can only see it if you are right next to it. So yeah, the top of the balloon isn’t at the very peak, it’s more like the middle. In the photo above, you can kind of see it. Look at the bright spot on the side.
When you get to the top of the balloon, you will find there is actually a little pavilion with a table and chairs for you to rest and enjoy the view. Depending on the weather, you may even see other hot air balloons nearby.
How to Get to the Top of a Hot Air Balloon
While there is more than one way to the top of a hot air balloon, let’s take a look at how to get there quickly and with only a little effort. The reason why I say this is because when you are trying to shave off some seconds from your trip, you don’t want to have to expend too much energy. You’ll just end up slowing down the process. You want to get to the top with as little effort as possible. The best way to do this is use the Wind – your body’s natural air current. When you are flying a kite, you automatically start feeling the wind on your face. When you are a native English speaker, this is something you are probably very familiar with. It is generally accepted that if you want to go fast, you should aim to ride the wind. So let’s do this!
The first step is to figure out where the wind is coming from. This can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where you are going. Once you do know where you are going, it’s easier to figure out where the wind is coming from. In most cases, this will be from the south or the southwest. In my experience, this is where most of the wind is coming from. If you are going anywhere near or above the equator, you can expect the wind to come from the north or the northeast.
The next step is to find a place where you can tie off to. You don’t want to do this while you are flying. While you are in the air, you will want to keep your arms close to your body so that you can operate the sail and go with the wind’s current. When you are on the ground, you can find a branch, limb, or large tree to tie off to. If you are going to be near water, you can tie off to a boat (but not a power boat), a dock, or a large buoy. Just make sure that whatever you tie off to is secure and won’t move around during high winds. Also, make sure the ground you choose isn’t too close to any electrical lines or other point sources of electrical current. If it is, then the electric company could get pissed off and decide to shut off your power.
Once you have secured your spot, you are ready to put your kite in the air. Remember, the wind comes from the south or southwest, so you want to raise your kite in that direction. After you do this, you can either sit back and enjoy the ride or you can watch the scenery go by. If you do watch the scenery go by, make sure you are aware of where you are and what is around you. This will help you avoid any accidents. If you want to get to the top of the balloon as quickly as possible, do your best to keep your arms by your sides and track where the wind is taking you. You should find that after you get going, the balloon will start moving faster and faster thanks to your body’s natural air current. If this sounds like something that would be useful to you, then consider giving it a try. I bet you’ll like it!