Powered paragliding (AKA paramotoring) is classified as a recreational/competitive adventure sport. The activity is picking up as a fan favorite in sports and seeing it through the eyes of a paraglider will make you see why the appeal is great.
Simply put, the activity entails a motorized steerable wide canopy, that looks like a parachute. The paramotor is then attached to someone’s body using a harness. This harness is what enables them to glide mid-air.
There are so many paramotors to choose from in the market. As a new pilot, it may be a task to determine the best paramotor. Not to worry, we have a list of not one, but 7 tips that will help you want to buy a paramotor.
How to Find the Best Paramotor
The first thing you should do before you get down to the technicalities is to focus on quality paramotors whose spare parts are easily accessible. The best way to do that is to shop on a credible website where you are assured the manufacturers are legitimate and if you will not have a hard time in the eventuality that you need parts or servicing.
Once you know that you are buying from a trusted source, you can determine what type of paramotor to choose. Having the best paragliding experience can easily turn into having the best paramotor experience when you have the right paraglider motor. Here are 7 tips to help you decide:
1. Thrust and Power: Motor Weight Ratio
Body weight and launching altitude are linked as they determine the thrust needed. Generally speaking, the heavier the motor, the more power it will have. But do you really need more power? You want just enough but not too much. Talk to a flight instructor or to other pilots and you’ll start to understand what works for you.
If you don’t want to get too technical, many companies have a list of the recommended maximum weight range for different motors that they sell. Do your research and settle on a motor that has enough thrust to enable easy launching when there are light winds.
It is important to note that the list does not normally take into account your flying altitude. At higher altitudes, if the power is too little, you will have to run longer and harder at each launch attempt.
Do note that more isn’t necessarily the best thing. Remember that more weight equates to more power which could make the motor a task to launch. Finding the right balance for your paraglider with motor is key.
2. High Hang Points and Low Hang Points
Some paramotors are configured with high hang points while others have low hang points. High hang points may feel more stable in the air but they are less dynamic in how they handle. With high hang points, it’s difficult to weight-shift in your harness (leaning into the direction you want to turn). This will require the pilot to use brake inputs to turn. With low hang points, the pilot can lean into the turn and use less brake pressure. This translates into a more efficient turn.
If cost is a factor, be aware that wooden propellers are generally more inexpensive than carbon fiber. The downside is that they are normally a little heavier and noisier than their hollow composite counterparts which are lighter, quieter and more expensive. The biggest difference you’ll notice is that carbon fiber props are more responsive to throttle inputs.
Both wood and carbon fiber props can be repaired for minor knicks and dings but it’s not uncommon for newer pilots to It is not uncommon for newer pilots to go through a couple of props before gaining confidence.
When selecting a paramotor frame, take into account how you plan on transporting it. How do you plan to move around with it? Will you disassemble it and drop it in the trunk of your car or do you have a trunk that can fit the entire unit without having to break it down?
Most frames come with their own set of complications during assembly so ensure that you try it yourself before heading out and finding the one that works for you.
Most paramotor brands offer their frames with one of five popular motor brands: Vittorazi, Polini, EOS, Air Conception, or Cors-Air: These brands are reliable, powerful, and lightweight. The advantage of choosing a well-known brand is that you will easily find tips, maintenance advice, and tutorials online and in person within the paramotor community.
There are many brands out there and many models within each of those brands. While there are people who will tell you that one specific brand or model is the best, the truth is that there are pros and cons to all of them. Instead of searching for the “best” paramotor setup, look for the setup that is most suitable for YOU. Your skill level, weight, flying style, elevation, budget, and other factors will determine which one is the best for you.
We couldn’t possibly leave this out. This is based on an individual perspective. Check out reviews or personally try out as many paramotors as you possibly can.
Lift it off the ground and move to a standing position with the unit on your back to test how easy it is to make the transition. Are you comfortable walking or standing with it?
Prepare to Fly
With these tips, you should be ready to pick the best paramotor for you. Take your time going through the different tips and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If still in doubt, visit our website to find out more about paramotor gear, servicing and financing information.