So you want to fly, not ride in a tube? You want to be free, not tethered to an airport? You want to control, not be a passenger. You want to really fly!

From sandy beaches to desert reaches, this craft can take you places never imagined, places whose beauty only leaps when seen from above. The road to flight needs no airport, no runway, not even much land from which to alight. 

The sport and its gear have many names. The scenes are truly spectacular. The experience is mind altering.

The sport: Paragliding, Paramotoring, Powered Paragliding, Ultralighting, Microlighting, Flying, Soaring, Motor Soaring, PPGing.

The Motor: Power Unit, Paramotor, Paramotors, Powered Paraglider, Powerglider. 

The vast majority are small 2-strokes spinning wood propellers through a reduction drive.

The Wing: Paraglider, Ram Air Parachute (of which this is a very specific subtype), soaring wing, Rag, Nylon Wing.

It’s made of rip-stop Nylon. The lines are usually made of finely stranded Kevlar sheathed with nylon.

About the Gear

After choosing an instructor, this is your next most important decision. Much has been written although most by someone with something to sell. Anybody selling gear will only emphasize the features and characteristics of what they offer. That doesn’t make it wrong, but will certainly be more biased.

Expect to spend between $6500 and $8500 on a new motor and wing. The best course is to go with a reputable instructor and either buy from him or use gear he’s familiar with it. Some schools offer training on their equipment – this is a wonderful option that should be explored.

The book has a very thorough section that discusses 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 is probably the cheapest way into the air and just happens to be one of the most invigorating.