nuno virgilio
  • Country of Origin: UK
  • Gender: M


Activity: Paragliding, Trekking, Hiking, Snowboarding, Rock Climbing

Other than Paragliding, I do a lot of hill walking and in South Wales that generally means getting very wet, given the rain that this country gets. In the past I have done Snow Boarding with a little bit of rock scrambling, but my passion switched to Paragliding and I haven't looked back.

My work is related to Search and Rescue and this gives me a unique insight into what makes good outdoor clothes. After working with military Search and Rescue pilots, I came up with the idea of adding transparent knee patches to flying suits manufactured by One Polar’s sister company, Parasupply.


How do you know about this sport? Why did you get interested in it?

I was brought up in a city and didn’t really see the countryside when I was growing up. As I moved into adulthood I moved further into the country and fell in love with rugged terrain, hills and mountains. Injuries prevented me from running to keep fit, but when I took up paragliding, I found that I loved the walk to the hills as much as the flying itself. Soon I found myself going up hills and mountains in all weather conditions.


Have you ever come across any setbacks with this sport? How could you overcome it?

I broke my back two years ago in a paragliding accident. Hill climbing and hiking helps to strengthen my back and lower limbs but sometimes the old injuries do start to aggravate. Having the right equipment is essential and this, along with determination and practice help to overcome this problem.


Do you have any fantastic experience or achievement with this sport?

I don’t compete but the sense of achievement when you’ve climbed a mountain and look down on civilisation is euphoric. I once acted as a mountain rescue for a fell race on the isle of Jura in the Western Isles of Scotland. The race had been organised by locals who were the officials, one of whom was an eighty year old man. I had to escort him to the top of the mountain and back down safely, no easy feat when the mountain was in cloud and he was so old. Seeing the look on his face when I got him to the top with the smile and elation of what he had achieved in such late years was fantastic. Thankfully, the race went without problems as trying to get an injured runner and this elderly chap of the mountain would have been an enormous undertaking.


What kinds of equipment are needed for playing this sport?

Mountain conditions can change very quickly and being ill-prepared can mean the difference between life and death. A good layered system such as Onepolar’s Glanz Tio coat is excellent as it allows for the differing temperatures one can experience on a climb. This particular jacket along with Onepolar’s Sarma trousers I have found to be essential for the cold Welsh mountains where I live.


Onepolar provides the athletes with sponsorship and collect reviews for the purpose of product development. How do you view this?

Having the opportunity to evaluate and comment on the design of a Company’s products is fantastic. I feel a part of the whole product development and able to offer my advice on how to make a product better and more importantly, safer for people taking up my sport. In my career I have worked in Rescue Coordination Centres or as a controller of aircraft and mountain rescue teams used by the Coordination Centres. Too many times I’ve heard of people climbing mountains being completely ill-prepared for the conditions that they might encounter. Sadly, some of these people have died, so any opportunity to improve the equipment available to anyone wanting to climb mountains is brilliant. I think Onepolar’s method of sponsoring athletes in different sporting fields, demonstrates their professionalism and pride in ensuring their outdoor clothing and equipment is in a manner of speaking, created for the athlete by the athlete.