There are a number of routes to learn to paramotor and some are better, safer and easier than others. Here are our thoughts and recommendations.
Let’s start with what you’ll need. Paramotors weigh at least 25 Kg with a full tank of fuel. If you have neck, back, shoulder, hip or knee problems, foot launched paramotoring may not be suitable for you however you could consider learning to fly paramotors with a trike and we’ll deal with that in a separate post so don’t give up hope!
The total cost of equipment isn’t going to leave you much change from £10,000 which will buy you a paramotor, wing, reserve parachute system and a helmet with ear defenders. Of course there is second hand equipment available but it is a real minefield. Using the very latest equipment will always be easier, safer and you’ll progress more quickly. Especially with paramotors, after sales service by the manufacturer is essential and really can’t be undervalued. In our opinion, Parajet after sales service is unrivalled which is why we teach exclusively on their machines.
To start paramotoring you will need to learn some basic wing control skills. You can either do this by taking a basic paragliding course or you can go straight into paramotoring and there are pros and cons to each.
If you start with a basic paragliding course, you’ll learn to fly a paraglider and really focus on mastering inflations, launches and wing control skills. A typical course will take a week or 10 days. You’ll make lots of flights and it’ll make the transition to paramotoring so much easier and you’ll progress quicker which is the big benefit of doing it this way. Once you’ve completed a paragliding course, the transition to paramotoring is much quicker and you just might find that you really enjoy paragliding! Being able to paraglide and paramotor really does give you the best of both worlds. The Para Lab works exclusively with two of the best schools in the UK, Flight Culture and Sky Paragliding and both schools offer paragliding courses in some incredible locations such as SW France, Morocco and even the Alps.
If you decide to go straight into paramotoring you’ll still need to develop the basic inflation and wing control skills but you will do significantly less than you would on a paragliding course. Starting as a complete beginner, gaining your basic qualification (BHPA Club Pilot) will take 10 days, of which the first 2 or 3 will be spent working without the motor so effectively you’ll be doing the same as you would on the first 2 or 3 days of a paragliding course. Once you’ve mastered basic wing control skills you’ll be introduced to the motor. You’ll be taught how to operate a paramotor safely which will take time and practice.
Usually, you’ll be ready for your first paramotor flight towards the end of the third day or early on the forth and initially you’ll be flying circuits around the airfield.
When learning paramotoring, there are lots of things to consider such as group size, student to instructor ratio, age and quality of equipment and the airfield that you’ll be using. The Para Lab always teaches in small groups with a maximum of 6 students to at least 3 instructors which gives you lots of personal attention. We have a highly experienced team who have worked together for a long time and we’ll help you to progress quickly and safely. Our equipment is the very latest and we have a range to suit different different pilot weights. Everything is new or very close to it. We use the best radio headsets to communicate with you and they incorporate the best ear defenders available.
The Para Lab offers courses in the UK but most of our courses are run out in Southern Spain. Of course, for some, it’s more convenient to learn in the UK but do consider joining us abroad because you’ll not only learn to paramotor but also have a great holiday. The Para Lab offers a unique and completely luxury experience. You’ll have a private room in an absolutely breathtaking villa. You’ll be spoiled from the moment you arrive and the flying is second to none. There is a gigantic airfield and once you’re airborne you’ll have an incredible panorama open up to you. We fly over olive groves, Moorish watch towers and river gorges. Our base in Southern Spain has its own micro climate which gives us far more flying opportunities than you would have in the UK or other locations and of course, the reliable weather allows you to progress more quickly.
Give us a call and we can discuss your next steps into paramotoring.