An effort to offer perspectives on gear and other aspects of powered paragliding with minimal bias. Everybody has bias but it can be reduced.
Go here for more on the reviews and how reviews are done.
Paragliders | Paramotors | ePPG | Other | Safety Gear | Carts
Whenever possible, gear is reviewed while the manufacturer or dealer is present so they can make adjustments or explanations to help ensure a fair trial. I want to know for my own benefit. Gear can be uncomfortable, or even dangerous if these adjustments aren’t made properly.
We don’t sell gear, and don’t accepted advertisements, so bias is reduced. We only accept gear without precondition and there’s no guarantee of a particular result.
Sellers obviously emphasize the good features and characteristics of what they offer. That doesn’t make it wrong, but it will certainly be more biased.
The Powered Paragliding Bible has a thorough section on the various aspects of equipment—what really matters and how you will use it. It also includes pictures to clarify what is being described.
Powered Paragliding equipment provides probably the cheapest way into the air—fortunately it just happens to be one of the most invigorating.
Some pilots load up with gadgets and gauges while others don’t even carry a watch. To each his own. Trade offs abound—engine monitoring can alert a pilot to impending problems but you have to be watching the thing enough to know what the normal indication are to know what’s abnormal. GPS is great for cross country flying to know your ground speed, for example, in addition to easily returning home.
What Gets Reviewed
For the most part, I’m interested in trying stuff I’d like to fly myself. But “like” is a personal thing. So I do my best to put aside preferences, rather just calling the observed trait instead of whether that’s good or bad. A “solid” beginner wing, for example, means that it has rather heavy brake pressures, isn’t too responsive, doesn’t stall easy or have any untoward characteristics. All of these traits would doom a competition wing.
A full review takes a long time and so not many get done which is why there are a fair number of abbreviated reviews—where do few, if any, measurements but just give an impression. I’m not consumer reports since I can’t go out anonymously buying everything that I test, but try my hardest to be fair.
If you have something you’d like reviewed, the best bet is to get it to me in Chicago or while I’m out on a road trip. Unfortunately, I don’t do cold so, in winter time, it would be best trying to hook up with me at while in a warm climate. I’ve also found it difficult to do full reviews at fly-ins—there’s just too much going on although I can frequently get an impression of something and love trying new stuff.
It’s great that people in our sport are working on new stuff. Gear is evolving and I look forward to seeing what the fittest eventually look like.