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Fears and Fitness


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Everybody has fears and concerns when starting a new hobby. The following are my two greatest fears about powered paragliders- I'd appreciate to hear experienced pilots' thoughts:

1) the idea of using my own legs and ankles is a bit daunting. I also fly airplanes and I say that seeing some of the landings I've made. A few weeks ago I was watching paragliding people flying, and was surprised by how gently they touched down- and just took a couple of steps after touch down to come to a stop. The reason I am looking at paramotors, though, is because of the lack of soaring opportunities where I live.

2) how fit does a paramotor pilot need to be? I am able to walk and do a short, brisk jog, but I don't do extended jogs or runs because of one of my kneeds (osteo-arthritis). Does not bother me on a day to day basis but if I run too much the knee becomes painful. Do you foresee any problems?

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My dads 66 yrs old. He is of reasonable fitness. No gym or anything just doing stuff.

The training is the hard bit till you learn to control the wing. Then it's a lot easier as your not doing practice runs up and down.

He takes off after half a dozen steps so no long runs for him, technique and right kit counts here.

On landing it's a couple of steps again with the right technique, if it's a bit quick you can just slide it out and sit down.

So basically if you in reasonable condition you shouldn't have any problems at all.

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My dads 66 yrs old. He is of reasonable fitness. No gym or anything just doing stuff.

The training is the hard bit till you learn to control the wing. Then it's a lot easier as your not doing practice runs up and down.

He takes off after half a dozen steps so no long runs for him, technique and right kit counts here.

On landing it's a couple of steps again with the right technique, if it's a bit quick you can just slide it out and sit down.

So basically if you in reasonable condition you shouldn't have any problems at all.

I'd second all of that, training will be the most arduous bit, but definitely do it, the rewards are more than worth it.

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Can you run for five seconds?

That`s all it takes most of the time to take off...

Landing can be a bit of a jolt on the legs sometimes, until you gain enough flights to fine-tune your technique (may depend on wing type/loading whether you come in fast or not).

Paramotors generally land at faster speed than those paragliders you saw as we tend to load our wings nearer the top of the weight range for speed and stability.

If you f-up a take off or landing though, that`s when injury is most likely to occur, and you are likely f-up whilst still a learner - i know i did/do...!

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Whether there is wind or no wind will affect your take off running requirements, especially until you develop launching skills.

You should get something like these: http://www.hanwag.com/super-fly-gtxr They feel like you have Frankenstein's monster's feet to start with but they will protect your feet and ankles very effectively (plus they are very good in the cold).

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  • 1 month later...

Foot launch and land is far more easy for a person who is not over weight. I'm 6' tall and weigh 215 lbs. This means I have to fly with a larger heavier paramotor. Big disadvantage. I had to pic days when the wind was blowing at least 10 to 12 and of course steady.

I'm over 55 and didn't pick up on the training as quickly as a 20 something does. Kiting is everything. Until you wing handle like a Ninja. Your not ready to fly. The minute you strap that pak on your back you lose quite a bit of your ability to control the wing. Whole different feel and everything happens quickly. I kite like a Ninja it has probably saved me from expensive lessons I've seen so many take. Maybe my life. I didn't solo until my instructor thought I was ready.

So launching went well for me every time I flew on my first flights. Not so for the landings. Many hard landings had me fearful in anything under 8 kt wind.

Even now I'm stiff on landing but moved into a very light weigh trike and can launch and land in zero. If it blows I can foot launch but don't really find the conditions around here.

Al

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