Limited daylight hours and long periods of inclement weather tend to restrict winter flying opportunities for hang gliding and paragliding.

Russell Winters, a member of the Petersfield-based Sky Surfing Club, said: “This time of year, better climes are a-calling!”

Responding to that call, fellow surfers Andy Ruff, Zach Hart, Roy Dobson and Goran Oberg joined Winters recently on an expedition to Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands archipelago.

Winters described some of the preparation required for the trip: “Every year I try to get away to the island, just as the conditions on our home sites refuse to support my addiction.

“Butser Hill provided the perfect place for getting ready. I had to change my gear for the trip, so checking for correct rigging and wing condition was essential. I love Butser Hill, but Tenerife is impossible to resist.

“The warm, dry conditions of Tenerife provide an awesome break from the cold, wet and windy South Downs, allowing some amazing flights from a volcano to the beach and bar where a pint is always waiting!”

One of the most popular spots to launch a paraglider from is near Mount Teide, which reaches up to 12,188ft. A lower take-off at 7,000ft still provides spectacular views.

Winters said: “The take-off areas are a dusty sprint into oblivion, followed by a calm sled-ride over the greenest forests and bluest waters while above the clouds. What dreams are made of. I love the South Downs, but for a winter treat it’s Tenerife all the way!”