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In the early 1990's I started to learn to paraglide, after a days tuition I learnt the cost of the kit and never went back for another lesson; I would never be able to afford that much money on a hobby! Then 6 months later a friend I was a ski instructor with in Europe bought a new wing and I asked what he was doing with his old one. He suggested it was only worth 1000 Austrian Schillings (£300) and I bought it off him without even seeing it! I was the proud owner of an "Inferno" with built in harness! Then I took ten days lessons with Brian Webb in Australia (flying every day!) and spent a whole season on my Inferno wing. Occasionally managing to soar, but mostly 20 minutes top-to-bottoms in the Alps.

At that point you find the money for new kit, upgrade to new wing, harness and reserve; you love the sport and money is no object....

Over the next ten years, I upgraded another four times until I had a competition wing and was flying in comp's all over the World; several over 100km's, race to goal at 126 km's (second on day, 12 made goal) and even an over 100 mile flight.

Now over 20 years later I have learnt to paramotor with Steve at Axis; my BHPA licence now has the power rating and I'm looking at the kit. I need a paramotor, wing and reserve, minimum; none of my old kit is suitable, well maybe my flytec instrument!

To buy new is out of the question. Approx. £9000 is never going to happen. Old second hand kit that has been left in a garage for 10 years is probably now heavy, dangerous and no longer suitable, especially for a beginner. There is loads of kit on ebay like this.

The 6 million dollar question is....

How much do I need to spend to get kit that is suitable? Is it possible for 2-3 thousand pound? I hear about people that buy a whole set up for £1000, and actually get to fly with it.

If in a years time, I have clocked up a good amount of time and still enjoy paramotoring, then I can upgrade and spend a small fortune, knowing I will make the most of it. I'm really not in a position to spend £5k to put it in the back of my garage and never use again....

How do people afford this hobby?

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Hi Mark,

Well done for completing your power conversion (I trained with Axis and always recommend Steve and his team).  Trying to find the money for this sport is never going to be easy but it is worth it.  Personally I would think a better chance of buying non-lethal second hand kit would be through a club rather than Ebay but people do occasionally find these amazing deals which prove us wrong.  New kit comes with full provenance and support of the retailer and in one's early months in this sport, the reassurance this brings is worth a great deal.  If you buy second hand then you would be wise to factor in costs for getting your kit examined/serviced professionally - you might find out that you have bought a lemon but at least you won't be flying on dangerous kit.

My final point would be that as soon as you have your own kit, you will be out there flying your @rse off at every opportunity;  very little likelihood of it sitting in the back of your garage gathering dust.  Even if the initial outlay is quite steep, the more you fly the cheaper your hourly rate becomes and it must still be the cheapest form of aviation available.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Mark.:fail:

I think the simple truth is that hobbies are only affordable if you have the money/can scrape the money together. I am not sure i'd fly some old £1000.00 lump and wing as I don't think i'd want to put myself/family in the situation of using old/outdated kit/heavy /impossible kit.

I have bought the best kit for me second hand. £3200 Paramotor (One hour) £700 reserve (new) 2000 wing (second hand - five hours ) - I don't have the paragliding background that you've had and I wanted to make sure I had reliable useable serviceable kit and a wing that would launch and fly without me having mad skills or the mechanical brains of an F1 mechanic to get the motor started.

I've seen both extremes in my short time in the sport - people spending 12.5K and not being able to ground handle....... and people who turn up with £1500 worth of motor wanting to fly...(it was 45/50kgs with electric and pull start etc etc o.O)

Many of the Ebay motors just get recycled between people looking to get into the sport - ( Ebay...."Ahh theres a paramotor"...... CLICK BUY) then they turn up with the heavy out of date trying to get it started then try and carry it....then give up and put it on Ebay going "this sport is not for me"

I don't think you need to spend a huge amount but i think you need to realistically need 4/5k IMHO for good airworthy modern kit.

The good news is there are people who have bought new stuff - and then need to sell it at a big loss as they don't like the sport  - if it the right kit for you then thats when you can get a bargain. As Hamish said - once you've got good kit you will use it - i've done 5 hours in the past month despite the weather ! 

Good luck 

 

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Yes, I have started my para-kit kitty, but I'm only up to £300 so far ! It is going to take a while.

Annoyingly at the same time I have £12k scheduled for a second hand family car; my wife has just ordered the new, small, Nissan Leaf 2, which is due out in February next year, so we'll wait for the March number plate change over. This means the family needs a larger car for 4 adults and two Labradors. My wife will quite happily pay our funds towards family cars, but not to my expensive (SILLY) hobby. She does earn four times my salary and generally keeps me in a manner to which I've become accustomed. Looking for a 3 year old Nissan Qashqai but just found out the 1.5 l diesel does not come in automatic!

I remember those perfect carefree days of bachelor-hood, where my money was spent quite happily on my toys. Times change and not always for the better. I will struggle and slowly save up the money, I will have to buy cheap, thinking £2k on motor, £500 reserve (mine are both well over twenty years old) and £750 for a wing. That means getting at least £3k together minimum. Heh, I'm 10% of the way there!

Think positive, it will happen. I well might have 20 hours on them and absolutely love the flying..... or I might get thrown around, break a few props, scare myself stupid and decide it's not for me! But those first hours will let me know if I should spend a lot more money. There must be others who spend £10k and never use it again! Nice idea, not so good in practise.

To tell the truth, I can't imagine keeping my job for another 3 years, it's a horrible job. So finance is not an option either.

Great to have this forum, when I have saved up the money, I'm sure there will be people on here who can help me source a suitable beginner kit. MAY BE  A WHILE :)

 

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1 hour ago, Mark Pugh said:

Yes, I have started my para-kit kitty, but I'm only up to £300 so far ! It is going to take a while.

Annoyingly at the same time I have £12k scheduled for a second hand family car; my wife has just ordered the new, small, Nissan Leaf 2, which is due out in February next year, so we'll wait for the March number plate change over. This means the family needs a larger car for 4 adults and two Labradors. My wife will quite happily pay our funds towards family cars, but not to my expensive (SILLY) hobby. She does earn four times my salary and generally keeps me in a manner to which I've become accustomed. Looking for a 3 year old Nissan Qashqai but just found out the 1.5 l diesel does not come in automatic!

I remember those perfect carefree days of bachelor-hood, where my money was spent quite happily on my toys. Times change and not always for the better. I will struggle and slowly save up the money, I will have to buy cheap, thinking £2k on motor, £500 reserve (mine are both well over twenty years old) and £750 for a wing. That means getting at least £3k together minimum. Heh, I'm 10% of the way there!

Think positive, it will happen. I well might have 20 hours on them and absolutely love the flying..... or I might get thrown around, break a few props, scare myself stupid and decide it's not for me! But those first hours will let me know if I should spend a lot more money. There must be others who spend £10k and never use it again! Nice idea, not so good in practise.

To tell the truth, I can't imagine keeping my job for another 3 years, it's a horrible job. So finance is not an option either.

Great to have this forum, when I have saved up the money, I'm sure there will be people on here who can help me source a suitable beginner kit. MAY BE  A WHILE :)

 

Well damn, what motor are you going to get our of curiosity?

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I'll be buying second-hand, so don't think I'll have much choice in the make !

When I scrounge up the money, I'll be asking everyone I know in the sport/hobby to watch out for me. Realise I'll have to buy older (probably heavier) kit, but as I said, I need to buy just something suitable for a years worth of flying to see if I need to upgrade and spend a fortune. It is the thought of buying it all new (the ideal) and then hardly using it because of several factors, as it loses value in the back of the garage... I'm sure lots of people do this and I can't even contemplate the thought of the possibility of buying it all new. This is not a sport where the value of the kit appreciates over the years!!!

I'm still flying my 20 year old Edel Sector, still enjoying it and it was passed as airworthy by Aerofix, much to our surprise. Every time we fly, we take a risk, we must judge when the risk is worth it, or if we should not fly in that particular days conditions. I live too far from the hills to fly frequently, but having a motor may allow me to fly nearer home and even just in the evenings. I'm right out in the country and know several farmers who will allow me to fly occasionally. Years of shooting and metal detecting on local land.

I really started this conversation to see how much people needed to start the hobby, or see if I was completely out-of-my-depth.

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/16/2017 at 08:14, Mark Pugh said:

Yes, I have started my para-kit kitty, but I'm only up to £300 so far ! It is going to take a while.

Annoyingly at the same time I have £12k scheduled for a second hand family car; my wife has just ordered the new, small, Nissan Leaf 2, which is due out in February next year, so we'll wait for the March number plate change over. This means the family needs a larger car for 4 adults and two Labradors. My wife will quite happily pay our funds towards family cars, but not to my expensive (SILLY) hobby. She does earn four times my salary and generally keeps me in a manner to which I've become accustomed. Looking for a 3 year old Nissan Qashqai but just found out the 1.5 l diesel does not come in automatic!

I remember those perfect carefree days of bachelor-hood, where my money was spent quite happily on my toys. Times change and not always for the better. I will struggle and slowly save up the money, I will have to buy cheap, thinking £2k on motor, £500 reserve (mine are both well over twenty years old) and £750 for a wing. That means getting at least £3k together minimum. Heh, I'm 10% of the way there!

Think positive, it will happen. I well might have 20 hours on them and absolutely love the flying..... or I might get thrown around, break a few props, scare myself stupid and decide it's not for me! But those first hours will let me know if I should spend a lot more money. There must be others who spend £10k and never use it again! Nice idea, not so good in practise.

To tell the truth, I can't imagine keeping my job for another 3 years, it's a horrible job. So finance is not an option either.

Great to have this forum, when I have saved up the money, I'm sure there will be people on here who can help me source a suitable beginner kit. MAY BE  A WHILE :)

 

Mark, Have you tried introducing your missus to the sport? Maybe try finding the nearest club that is more family/wife active. Invite her along, you know, meet new people, make new friends, so on. You never know, she may enjoy it. Might even brake the ice on the old piggy bank.....

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18 minutes ago, Mark Pugh said:

Yeh, she's a fully qualified XC paraglider pilot. Got all her own kit but last flew in 2007. Thinks anyone who wants to strap a noisy engine to their back for "free" flight is nuts!

 

Well the sparks already there. You just need to turn it into a flame....

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