Power Kite Forum

Powered Paragliders

Snake - 11-10-2018 at 12:34 AM

Even before I started flying kites, I wanted to fly. I got a ride in a small 2 seater plane in elementary school and have dreamed about becoming a pilot since. The cost of owning and operating an aircraft is relatively high though. The time and financial cost alone of getting a pilots license is way to high for me to afford and is still a far off dream.

There was a powered parachute pilot I talked to years ago and he mentioned he was licensed, and I misinterpreted that as you needed a pilots license to operate one. Fast forward to two and a half months ago, and I found out that you actually do not need a license to operate a paramotor. Being relatively inexpensive, about $5-10k to get a good used setup and training, it is something I will able to afford very soon. I have done alot of research and am prepared to get good training and a good setup. I do not want to trust my life to sketchy equipment

Being a kite pilot for over 7 years now, I feel very comfortable jumping with my kites and dangling in the air. I have a creeping suspicion that has built up some muscle memory that will translate into bad habits while flying a paraglider. I am terrified of the thought of actually flying a PPG, but I also felt that way kites right away, and I'm sure I will be comfortable after training.

I would love to hear about what you guys think about the sport and if any of you guys fly one.

Bladerunner - 11-10-2018 at 03:00 PM

A local Ryan has a paramotor.
He also has a lot of paragliding experience.
It is always about canopy control as you know. The only logical place to start is with paragliding lessons.

There goes the 1st 2 - 3 thousand.

Chook - 11-10-2018 at 04:38 PM

Yes as a pilot of light aircraft I agree with the expenses. Couldn't justify owning an aircraft even though I live 760kms from our capital city.
My son hang glides and I've often thought about powered paragliding.

GO FOR IT !!!! Get some paragliding lessons under way. We only live once and you will regret not having a go later on. I would do it in a heartbeat if I was younger.

Here is a quick clip of an encounter on a Queensland beach on the East coast of Australia while I was buggying in 5 knots of wind.


My son hang gliding along our local beach. 52meters above sea level with great lift.

Cheers Chook

jeffnyc - 11-10-2018 at 11:43 PM

I used to fly hang gliders, amazing feeling, nothing like it. Before you buy any equipment, go get yourself some paragliding lessons. Works exactly the same as kiting - you use the school's stuff to start off, ask tons of questions, meet lots of folks that will be happy to help you buy the right equipment. By the time I did my first mountain launch, I had done so many training launches/landings and felt so comfortable with my equipment that it was second nature, not scary at all. Exhilarating as hell, but not scary. If you have the opportunity, do a tandem with an instructor after taking a few ground lessons. That will speed up the learning curve considerably.

Chook - you son has a great spot there! I always hated top landings (rotors are brutal sometimes), but he managed it well. Used to fly in a spot at the end of Cape Cod where we'd launch off the dunes, then use the lift from the houses to make runs down the beach. Had to watch out for TV antennas :D

nate76 - 11-11-2018 at 02:01 PM

Ya so my personal quest for flight went something like certified airplanes --> experimental airplanes --> paragliders --> kites

Cost had a lot to do with it and I'd say was the primary driver. There is no cheap flying, but paragliding comes close to the cheapest. And in many ways I found it the most satisfying out of all the flying I did, including some aerobatic stuff. It's the closest sensation to being a bird you'll ever get, that's for sure. Its pretty intoxicating.

Ironically one of the 1st, longest, and most important stages of getting your paraglider rating is what they call "kiting". Its where you get used to controlling your paraglider standing statically underneath it. I was lucky to have an instructor that forced me and my brother to spend hours doing this, long after other instructors were throwing their students off the hill. I came to realize later that this was a huge blessing as I saw other students with poor ground handling skills get injured as they were drug around by their paraglider.

There is a lot of crossover between the two sports, I think you'll find paragliders are pretty intuitive coming from the kiting world. Get some good instruction and have a healthy dose of respect for what you're doing, and the limitations of your vehicle. As they say, "Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, then in the air wishing you were on the ground!" (I've been there - not fun)