Powered Paragliding - A Different Take on Paramotors
The paramotor itself is seemingly the most interesting part of this whole PPG equation. And why not? They look cool (well, some of them), they’re loud, they burn gas, they have shiny parts, they’re really expensive, and there’s a never-ending debate about which one is “best.”
Some schools of thought say the paramotor makes zero difference to the flying experience and it’s all in the wing - as long as it gets you in the air safely. While the wing does account for about 80% of the variability in flying characteristics, the facts are:
- A poorly-designed paramotor can make the best wing in the world fly like a bus.
- A dangerously-designed paramotor can make the safest wing in the world a total nightmare to fly.
- A badly designed paramotor can hinder the potential of an otherwise apt and well-trained pilot.
- Poorly designed/installed components can make your PPG experience a never-ending cycle of waiting on replacement parts, sitting around on phone calls troubleshooting, and watching your friends depart the flying field while you’re grounded for maintenance.
What we’ve learned about paramotor choice is that there is no “perfect paramotor.” What fits you perfectly depends entirely on a lot of factors; such as height, weight, age, …girth…, preferred flying style (potential or actual), location, local weather, field elevation, how you intend to transport it, how often you plan to fly it, how handy you are with maintenance, how neglectful you are of your equipment, how well you were trained (or how well you plan to be trained), etc., etc., etc.
With as many factors as there are, it seems best to seek the advice of a non-bias, experienced pilot/instructor who can steer you in the right direction. Many potential pilots take to the internet to solicit unbiased advice on paramotor choice, and they receive a metric shit-ton of half-cocked advice on what to buy given by (maybe) pilots who have failed to consider all of the variables, and are probably speaking from relatively limited experience. When you do get advice from an experienced pilot, it’s unclear whether or not the pilot has “skin in the game,” and is only making a recommendation based on bias, ego, financial reward, or good old-fashioned tribalism.
There are definitely more than enough choices out there. When we first started seeking paramotors to fly and represent, we figured it was best for us to focus on a few really good brands, and become experts in their use and maintenance. Brands that meet the sort of “standards” that we’ve come to appreciate over the years. Meanwhile, as we watched the industry change over the years, we’ve always kept our finger on the pulse and tested out all viable contenders to make sure we’re staying current and offering what is best for our team.
One thing was for certain, when we started Team Fly Halo our goal was to fly as much as possible in as many places as possible with as many really great people as possible - not to spend our days taking phone calls fulfilling parts/warranty orders with unhappy customers. We absolutely didn’t want to deal with selling something unsafe that led to accident/injury. For these reasons, we only offer our teammates what we think will help them succeed, keep them safe, and keep them in the air having fun rather than turning wrenches on the ground.
We definitely have our biases - it would be impossible to test out 40 or so different paramotors over the years and not develop at least some. But we keep a very open mind, we listen to our team, and we guide you through the process of choosing what’s right for you within that range of exceptional paramotors that meet our standards.