Austria. Homeland of the Apfelstrudel. Republic of skiers and mountaineers. Some may add “country of the Kangaroos” but that’s another story.
Where were we? In Austria! Surrounded by big summits crowned by fluffy clouds ideal for free flying. Did you know that the Alps occupy two thirds of the surface area of the country? Here alpine skiing is more popular than football. Here AirDesign was born in 2011.
Founders: Stephan Stieglair and Martin Gostner. Two men, one goal. To create the gliders they always wanted to fly.
Stephan Stieglair discovered paragliding in 1988. Competing all over the globe, he became world champion in 1995. Being a test pilot since 1991, he started to design paragliders in 2000 and his friendship with Martin was determining to found their own brand.
Martin Gostner started paragliding in 1986 with his mom who was a paragliding instructor. In 1994 he left for a round-the-world-trip then moved to New Zealand when he began to practice 1001 jobs in the paragliding galaxy: sewing, teaching, testing, producing… he knows a lot!
Two guys. One garage. Tons of ideas. They had the knowledge, the know-how and above all the guts to do it. This is how it all began.
Their first wings arrived on the market: the Vita (EN-B) and the Pure (EN-D). One year later the SuSi (Super Simple) came. The young brand was growing… The range grew. Superlight versions came in. The philosophy was clear:
Performance but fun. Lightness but durability. No compromise.

Absam, nowadays. We are in Austrian Tyrol, 20 minutes from Innsbruck. The building is an old mattress factory. Wooden stairs lead you to the top floor where the AirDesign headquarters are located. The door is open and the friendly people who are working inside warmly welcome you. They also have an office right on Saint Hilaire’s take off in France. There are now several people that are building the AD story every day. All passionate about outdoor activities, each of them is committed to offer serious products for the pilots. Their motivation: to create reliable gliders allowing great flying moments to every pilot, from the beginner to the expert, all sharing this intense passion for cruising the sky.
Watching them working, going from the office to the workshop, listening to Florian, observing Martin on the phone and Jasmin behind a computer, Stephan checking a prototype with Mike; attending their brainstorming, following the exchanges between Klaus and Nico, you easily understand their motto “BREAK YOUR OWN RULES.”
Instead of focusing only on performance, they prefer to produce universal toys designed to create emotions and memories. Thinking out of the box and looking beyond classical mind-set is a permanent rebellion. They follow a plan; they change their mind, no big deal. “I never lose. Either I win or I learn” Nelson Mandela once said.


New haircut? Who cares. New car? For what? Grab your wing and hike to the take-off. Freedom. Nature. Let’s go wild for a while, would you? Deep need for wide-open spaces. Adventure. Change your plan. Think twice. Look at the sky. Dreaming. Bivouac flying in the Alps. Wanna live more intensely. Don’t be too serious. Hike up the hill and observe. Unexpected flights are the best. Would you like a cup of tea? Have fun, be a rebel. No manners here. We are mountaineers. Wilderness. Surprise yourself! Open your mind! Never compromise. Hike. Fly. Breath. Break your own rules. This is who we are. Why are you still reading? Drop your screen and get out!

Paragliding is just a leisure activity but what a fantastic one! The possibility of leaving the ground and flying offers sensations beyond all expectations. The AD team wants to give every pilot a hand to access to this mind-blowing experience by being responsible when putting a new wing on the market. To produce gadgets is out of the question. They don’t follow any trend; their new glider is out when it is ready not necessarily when the market is.
The AD products make you happy! On the ground and definitively in the air!
Their way of life? Let’s be active! Why using a car when you can hike to the take-off? Why ruin your knees to go down the mountain when you can fly instead? Why keeping a heavy rucksack when you can replace it with a compact and lightweight pack? Let’s explore other tracks, other routes. Have fun! Be a rebel!

This is AirDesign spirit. With no exception, the team places innovation at the service of pilots’ pleasure and safety.
Let’s move from Tyrol. Somewhere on the planet, a merry pilot is grabbing his/her AD wing and heads to the take-off. Are we still in Austria? Or maybe in Australia? Who cares! Just relax and enjoy the flight!