Zion Susanno is a 22 year-old professional paragliding pilot from Costa Rica. Zion has over 5000 hours of flying experience and holds the distance record for Central America. He founded Zion Paragliding in 2014, a successful tandem business and flying school. Zion is actively looking for sponsors and partnerships to support him in competitive paragliding and paragliding adventures through out the world.
Growing up between the Chirripo moutains of Costa Rica and the ski resort of Bariloche in Argentina, Zion has been a lover of the great outdoors from a young age. At the age of 7, Zion moved from Costa Rica to the surrounding mountains of Lake Nahuel Huapi in Bariloche. He excelled in snowboarding and spent summers hiking trails and kayaking on the lake. Leaving school at the age of 14, Zion moved to Sweden for one year to live with his Grandparents where he learned about gathering food in the forest such as mushrooms and medicinal herbs.
It was on Zion’s return to Costa Rica at 15 that he found the sport of paragliding. After taking a one week beginner course a young Zion was hooked on the feeling of flying. With little experience but a lot of confidence, Zion spent his time figuring out how to fly further distances through trial and error - learning from his own mistakes with each flight. Zion holds his expertise down to ‘doing everything wrong’ whilst starting out but ultimately becoming a better pilot for it.
Distance Record for Central America
The current linear distance for Central America is held by Zion at 152 km. Flying from the Chirripo mountains, over primary jungle, to the boarder with Panama at Pasa Canoes
Highest Foot Launch in Costa Rica
An 8 hour hike along an ancient indeginous trail through jungle brings you to the peak of Uran in Costa Rica. Zion was the first pilot to ever take-off from here
License Administrator for USHPA
At the age of 21 Zion become the youngest basic license administrator for the United States Hanglidng and Paragliding Association (USHPA)
Zion started paragliding in 2011 at the age of 15, since then he has matured into a professional tandem instructor, business owner and competition pilot
2014 - Present
Zion combined his passion of paragliding into a successful tandem paragliding business Zion Paragliding. Each year Zion and his team share the skies with over 600 passengers on tandem paragliding flights.
Gin Gliders Distributor
2017 - Present
In 2016 Zion Paragliding became the distributor of Gin Gliders for several Central American territoires, including Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua.
USHPA Basic License Administrator
2017 - Present
Following years of dedication and training, Zion became the youngest USHPA License Administrator at the age of 21, enabling him to expand his paragliding business with a flying school. Zion now teaches exclusive paragliding courses in Costa Rica and Iquique, Chile.
Competitive Paragliding Debut
Zion made his first appearance in a cross contry paragliding competition in 2017 at the Rat Race (now the Applegate Open). With no formal race training, Zion was new to the game and came away knowing what he had to work on. Since then Zion has refined his racing technique and competed in competitions across the world.