The perfect beginner paramotor looks a lot like the perfect paramotor (tips on the perfect beginner WING). But given how risky training is, some traits are way more important than others–as in the difference between success and serious injury. These traits are:

  • It has good body/prop protection and other safety features as described in “A Better Paramotor.” It should not have a CRUISE CONTROL which contributes to several body maimings yearly by virtue of making the throttle stick during start.
  • Torque is well managed. Twisting effects regularly cause severe accidents, more so for lightweight pilots. I’ve been told many times that a machine “doesn’t torque,” but when flown by my 150 pound self, it’s a twisty experience. If I’ve done a review on it, I’ll report how much twist it causes. It’s easy to see: I launch, ease the brakes up, go to full power, and look up at the wing, noting how much my heading differs from the its heading. While twisting CAN frequently be mitigated by adding fins, limiting power, or adjusting the harness, I write about the experience I had.
  • It’s lightweight. Heavier machines make falling more likely, although it should be strong enough to handle simple falls without a prop strike or other major damage.
  • It doesn’t require reaching down with both hands to get in the seat. At least one student has died by forgetting to let go of the brakes while doing so.
  • It doesn’t “scoop” the pilot at liftoff into a leaned-back posture. This is usually a matter of adjustment.
  • It doesn’t have too much thrust and has a mellow throttle response. It shouldn’t be jerky (overly sensitive). This also reduces torque effects.
  • It doesn’t push your legs out when the wing comes overhead. If the seat can lay flat against the frame while you’re standing, that’s usually enough to avoid the problem.

High hang points are slightly easier to learn on but have fallen out of favor because they incur a slightly higher hand position, are slightly harder to reach the risers, and have less weight shift ability than lower hang points.