Chinese toddler tries out paragliding

A two-year-old boy whose nickname is Shi Tou, meaning “stone”, reportedly has a hobby a little different from other babies his age. The toddler is, according to his mother and father, a huge paragliding fan, and recently completed his first flight accompanied by his father in February at an altitude of 600 meters. Shi Tou, who thankfully did not live up to his nickname and floated like a feather rather than sank like a stone, reportedly developed a huge interest in paragliding thanks to the influence of his father, Yan Hua. Yan first tried out paragliding in 2012, and went on to become a certified glider.

The boy’s mother Li Jing, obviously concerned that the tiny tot would be scared of accompanying his dad on one of his flights, asked him over and over again if it was what he wanted to do. Li said she agreed to let him take part “only when he said yes, and then we took him to the paragliding base. I wasn’t afraid because I trust my husband’s skill.”

Shi Tou’s father Yan Hua rejected any criticism that he had put his son in danger, adding that paragliding is not too dangerous. “According to an assessment in Europe, paragliding is safer than mountain biking,” Yan said. From the video it is clear that Yan Hua loves it – it remains unclear whether or not Shi Tou is actually as big a fan as his parents claim him to be.

Shi Tou, according to his parents, is a youngster who loves the great outdoors. His passion comes from his mum and dad, who are big fans of hiking, swimming and running. Li said that they never try to interfere too much in what Shi Tou wants to do, and encourage him to do what comes naturally. They are more than happy to let him try and do anything that he shows an interest in.

For anyone shocked at the young age of Shi Tou and wondering how he was even allowed to try paragliding, China did introduce regulations covering the hobby in 2000, ruling that the minimum age for people looking to take part is 16 years old. Although we admire Shi Tou’s drive to be a young daredevil, and perhaps question his parents’ judgement, it seems that he really should have waited another 14 years before his first taste of gliding above the world below.

Shi Tou is not the first toddler to go paragliding. Last year 3-year-old Luisa Broschart took her first paragliding session strapped to her father’s chest as they flew at an altitude of 1,981 meters in Germany.

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