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Hi from the Rand of the Lising Sun!

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I've been lurking for a while... Finally got around to introducing myself.

I'm a Brit that's been living in Japan for more than 20 years (studying martial arts). I'm new to paramotoring, but find myself in an interesting position. Paramotoring is a very fast-growing sport here. In fact there are 3 clubs within 30-minute driving distance from my house. Japan has lots of rivers and the land along the rivers is used for all kinds of sports activities... paramotoring being one of those. My club is on banks of the Tone River, quite close to Tokyo. My city has a Sky Sports Association and the city hosts a pretty big 'Sky Festival' at our flight area every year.

The interesting position I find myself in is that although I'm new to the sport, being a native English speaker, I have the advantage that I can keep up with the latest technologies and news in the paramotor world.... much more than the average native. The average Japanese doesn't speak much English, and in fact, nobody in my club speaks any more that a few words. The club newbie gets asked to check prices etc. of gear, and even his opinion on the different kit. There's MUCH more info out there in English than there is in Japanese.

The folks here are a little insulated from the rest of the world, so they tend to stick to the kit they know (all the vets at my club are hardcore Silex fans!), although many of the youngsters are keen to get their hands on some of the latest stuff. Motor-wise, Fly Products rule here... I myself have a Max 130. Wing-wise, apart from the Silex, the one that they tend to 'push' students toward is a Silex 'clone'... (Yeah... I know! Not good for beginners!). Myself, I'm dying to get my hands on a Paramania Revolution (not popular here), but will probably finish up getting an Apco Thrust as my first wing instead, as we have a dealer just down the road. I see some tempting used wings in the classified section, but I am a little apprehensive about buying something I can't look at and touch first.

This position I find myself in pushes me to study harder so as not to let everyone down, and I have to say that this forum is my main resource. I've have learned a lot already from the members of the forum, and would like to say thanks to everyone. I'm sure I'll ask some stupid questions on here in the future, but I am confident that I will get some good answers.

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu (a difficult to explain Japanese greeting)

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