Powered paragliding (PPG) equipment – typical setup

Southwest Airsports sells everything a pilot needs to fly a paramotor. Investing in the best equipment is wise not just because it works better and lasts longer but because it increases our margin of safety. We are dealers for Ozone powered paragliders and Miniplane paramotors and their extensive line of engines including the Moster 185, Top 80, Simonini, Minari, and Polini Thor. Our primary distributor, Miniplane USA, lists current prices for all of the basic equipment needed for paragliding.

The powered paraglider and paramotor setup costs $9,500-$15,000 for quality equipment. It varies so much due to paramotor type and size, foot-launched or trike/quad, and how many accessories are desired. Typically, a good PPG setup that is foot-launched will cost the minimum.

The wing

Gliders are rated for their ability to recover from collapses while flying. Gliders that have an EN “A” rating generally have a greater ability to recover spontaneously. Gliders with higher EN letter ratings require more pilot input in less time in order to recover. PPG pilots who never expect to fly without a paramotor can enjoy the increased passive safety and high performance of a reflex glider. Depending on the size, type, and passive safety, a typical PPG glider will cost $3,400 or more.

Why buy an Ozone? They are one of the few premier manufacturers of paragliders in the world who also happen to make reflex gliders and gliders with trimmers for the PPG market. The typical manufacturer of PPG paragliders often does not have the experience and resources to make a top quality and safe paraglider for PPG, despite marketing hype. How do we know this? We constantly fly and also observe the gliders from other manufacturers. While they may be fast and perform well, they may not have the passive safety of the Ozone.

paragliding Miniplane paramotor and paraglider

No matter how good your equipment is, proper training is still the most critical factor for all pilots, especially having the skills to “read” flying conditions. Repeat this phrase often: “I don’t know what I don’t know.” This applies especially to intermediate pilots who continue to push their limits and, too often, pay the price.

The paramotor

Miniplane has the greatest selection of engines and harnesses, the most options, and a known track record for safety, longevity, and quality. Suffice it to say, all PPG equipment manufacturers have demons and our experience has been that Miniplane has fewer than the others. E.g., for a while the Moster 185 had serious problems with the exhaust system, a major part of all paramotors. They finally fixed it but it took a year or more. Polini had even worse problems but the Thor line is, at this time, greatly improved. Why trade the demons we know for the ones we don’t? Think about it.

Bigger pilots can purchase the Miniplane Moster 185, Polini, or Minari. Pilots who weigh less than 170 lbs. might prefer the Top 80 which is lighter and quieter than its bigger counterparts. The Polini Thor 130 is the quietest motor made, has the least vibration, but weighs a little more than a comparable paramotor. Why do I recommend the Miniplane? If you go “bonk” – and every pilot, including yours truly, has – what is the cost of the repairs? If this is important, the Miniplane is, by far, the least expensive to repair. For example, if I go “bonk” with a Fresh Breeze, the bill could easily exceed $800 to replace (2) side cages and the netting. Miniplane, same accident, would be maybe $150 (a couple of rods and the netting).

What should a pilot be thinking when he about to purchase a paramotor? The most power? A comfortable harness? The quietest engine? The best fuel economy? What can be sacrificed? Weight? Reliability? Noise? Where and what type of flying is the most appealing? These are the things we help students decide. In general, stay away from any paramotor manufacturer that has not been in the business for at least (5) years. Remember the scantily clad babe with the rotary engine paramotor on her back? I worked on those engines and they were a expensive disaster for all pilot that got snookered in by brilliant advertising.

Trike/quad paramotor

Pilots who would rather not do foot-launched PPG can enjoy a trike/quad paramotor. Below is a typical trike with the Fresh Breeze Simonini 122 paramotor called the TrikeBuggy. Trikes/quads are comfortable to fly, easy to launch, and very easy to land. The PPG setup below has a reserve parachute mounted which is not typical of most setups for wheeled paragliding. The trike is more stable at high speeds (+25 mph) when on the ground. The trike frame is also very tough compared to quads – a heavy pilot can land hard and not damage it. The tougher the frame, the less chance of injury. On the other hand, the quad is more stable at low speeds than the trike. However, this advantage becomes much less important as the pilot becomes more experienced.

TrikeBuggy ultralight

The helmet

PPG helmets need to not only protect the pilot’s head but also from a high noise environment. The helmet below (an ICARO Solar-X) costs around $305 as of 2021. Communications can be added, as needed.

ICARO Solar X PPG helmet

The radio

The radio is more than a convenience when flying. It is your connection with other pilots, weather information, pilots in distress, and other emergencies. It must be reliable and easy to operate. 2 meter FM handheld radios meet these requirements, especially ones like the YAESU FT-60R which is, hands down, the best there is (it tells you the battery voltage whenever you turn it on, an important benefit). Pilots, however, must have an Amateur Radio License from the FCC to legally use them on the amateur bands. For this reason, I recommend that all pilots get an amateur radio license. It’s easier than ever. However, many pilots have the radios modified to work on the business bands which requires a different license. As of 2022, the FCC still winks at this technically illegal use of these radios. That is, they functionally ignore the issue by allowing radios to be modified or imported that work on the business bands. It also helps that the PPG pilots are so few and the radios are low power. Most bigger cities have radio clubs and the people who can quickly train you and administer the test. USHPA has a permit to use 2 meter FM radios on the business bands. Most quality radios must be modified for use on these frequencies. We sell the modified radio.

However, if you use only the USHPA radio frequencies, you do not need a license because the station license is held by USHPA. For the details of these frequencies go to our radio setup page, 2nd paragraph down.

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All radios must be used with a helmet designed for high noise environments. It is impossible to hear the radio without ear protection and a special noise canceling microphone. The Sena setup used by motorcycle enthusiasts is easy to use.

The popular Baofeng radio is a fraction of the cost of the YAESU but it has some severe limitations. In particular, it does not have anywhere close the selectivity and sensitivity of the YAESU. Within a few hundred yards of others and away from cities, they work OK. We use them for ground traffic but not in the air. One of our students opted for the Baofeng and, once high in the air near our city, all he could hear was the paging frequency of a local car dealer.

The GPS

These are often combined with a variometer (a vertical speed measuring device) such as the Ascent H2 or the Flymaster. How fast am I moving over the ground? What is the wind direction on the ground? How high am I? Where did I go today? What does my track look like on Google Earth? All of these questions can be answered easily with a GPS. While it is optional for PPG, we highly recommend its use. With a GPS we can tell whether we are starting to slow down and in what direction we are going. If we ever get in trouble with the Authorities per “you were flying over X” but you were not, the GPS log can prove your innocence. The most common, rugged, and easy to use GPS is the Garmin 64st series (photo below). Older models in this series are also excellent and can be had for a good price on the used market. The recent introduction of the Garmin InReach is not only a GPS but a 2-way satellite communicator. It is similar to the SPOT but does much more, especially sending short text messages. Cost: $150 – $800.

Garmin 60CSX GPS

Footwear

The most common injury in paragliding is to the ankles. If you have ankles made of steel, you can opt for lightweight running shoes. If not, continue.

It is important to protect them which is why high top boots are recommended. Boots should not have lacing clips attached as they can snag the lines in and around the harness. You will probably never have a problem if you fly with boots that have open lacing clips. But why complicate a series of cascading events with lines snagged to your boots? A student who knew better got his feet tangled together while trying to land – he was fortunate he didn’t get hurt.

The boots pictured below are made by CRISPI – among the finest on the market. Yours truly has owned a pair for 15 years and have proven extremely durable, even when used to hike. They are the most comfortable boots I have ever owned. They have sturdy vertical inserts which help prevent ankle injuries and are light and comfortable. The boots also do not have any exposed metal parts that might snag a glider line. Ordering the CRISPI boots can be challenging in the U.S.

There are other boots similar to the CRISPI’s on the world-wide market, such as the German HanWag.

Unfortunately, American tort law has made many ultralight products, including wings, engines, and boots too risky to sell in sue-happy America. Southwest Airsports can supply the HanWag or Crispi boots using office in the EU. Ordinary hiking boots will also do but if you have weak ankles or want maximum protection for your feet, these types of boots are worth the investment. They are also good for cold weather. Crispi or HanWag: about $330 + shipping. Go to our shop site to order them.

Crispi paragliding boots

Other equipment

Things like a flight suit, gloves, catheters, or a hook knife can be useful, depending on conditions and where/when you are flying. Most PPG pilots do not carry a reserve. For more information on this go to the paragliding setup site. Carrying the paramotor from place to place is much easier if you have a rack like this one that is sold by Harbor Freight.

Gear size and weight

Some foot-launched PPG equipment can fit in two suitcases. Many wheeled PPG setups can easily fit in a pickup truck bed or in the trunk of a small car. A Top 80 foot-launched paramotor weighs under 50 lb with fuel. Trikes and quads can weight 125 lb. or more.

How Much Does a Paraglider Cost? How to get started!

Are you considering starting a new sport? Is paragliding your biggest dream? In Overfly we know how special it is to surf the skies and watch the whole world from above, so we want to encourage you to do it.

→Hey! You can also check out this post on how to paraglide alone when you’ve finished this one!

This might be one of the main issues you might have when starting to paraglide. How much money do you need? Is it worth it to invest in buying my own equipment? Every single paraglider has found himself wandering around this same question. Today, we unravel it for you.

paramotor price

What is the price for a paraglider?

Just like everything else, the price you pay for a paraglider will depend on what kind of paraglider you want to purchase, how much use you are planning to do of it and how much you know about the sport.

Attention, before you go ahead and start looking at different prices, you should know that paragliders require that you invest some money on them. For your safety, it is important that you make sure that the quality and the resistance of your paraglider is optimal.

Please do not hesitate on spending some extra money to get the best equipment and being able to truly enjoy your time paragliding.

Cost of paragliding

Paragliders can cost you around 3.500€ or 4.000€ depending on the brand you choose and the model you prefer. There are also some shops where you will be able to find models under 3.000€ which are also attractive.

If you want to save up some money, you can also try to buy a second-hand paraglider. This alternative is much cheaper; however, you should spend more time on finding the right one for you.

And what about the cost of the paragliding equipment?

paragliding kit cost

As you might know by now, there are many other apart from the paraglider. This includes the equipment, the safety gear and the accessories that will help you paraglide. We insist on buying good quality equipment and comparing different brands since we are talking about the materials that will make your trip safer and more enjoyable.

Here you can find a list of some of the materials you will need and their price:

  • Paraglider harness: not all harnesses are the same. Some of them have extra straps for you to place your feet while flying. Also, they might place you in a more reclined position or have different shapes. Find the one that suits you the best and that has the more accommodations. The cheapest harness will cost you about 500€ while the most expensive cant be more than 2000€.
  • The helmet: the helmet is another basic equipment for paragliding. Be sure that you choose one that feels comfortable and that covers your face from all its different angles since you never know in which position you will hit the ground. This should add to the cost of the paragliding about 300€ depending on the brand.
  • Footwear: Yes! You need special shoes to fly. Your feet will suffer from great impact during landing and it will be very easy that you twist your ankle. Choose some shoes or boots that cover them and protect them and that feel comfortable to you. The price can be around 300€ to 400€.
  • GPS: this is one of the most basic items for any paraglider. There are many different options and alternatives. If you are starting, it will cost you around 100€ but the most professional ones can be up to 400€.
  • The paragliding reserve: do not forget to purchase a paragliding reserve in case you have any problem while flying. Try to get the biggest one you can and with good aerodynamic properties. The price range is very wide, from 600€ on cheaper models up to more than 1000€.
  • Buy a variometer: inside the cost of a paraglider, you should include the variometer. This type of equipment is more commonly used among skilled paragliders, however it can be very useful for you. The price can range from only 100€ to almost 2000€.
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This is an approximate list of the things you might have to buy next to your paraglider. If you need more information about paragliding equipment or prices, we recommend you the following post: Choose the Right Paragliding Flight Instrument.

Paraglider cost: what about the training?

When talking about the cost of a paraglider, the training lessons are not that expensive, and they will help you to get you started with the help of an expert.

Some people might try to convince you that you are also able to learn to fly by yourself and that you can save up some money skipping the classes. However, we do not think this is the wisest choice.

The training lessons will give you a strong base to start then paragliding on your own. Also, you will have someone to ask for help and someone that will answer all the doubts you might have.

The cost of one of these courses is about 1500€ or 1800€.

paramotor kit cost

Try paragliding in Tenerife

Are you a paraglider fan? Do you want to have your first experience on this aerial sport? Then we strongly recommend you come to our beautiful island Tenerife and enjoy a completely different thing.

Check out our different flights and offers and find the one that suits you at best.

Also, we leave here some other entries of our blog that you might find interesting:

Powered paragliding (PPG) equipment – typical setup

Southwest Airsports sells everything a pilot needs to fly a paramotor. Investing in the best equipment is wise not just because it works better and lasts longer but because it increases our margin of safety. We are dealers for Ozone powered paragliders and Miniplane paramotors and their extensive line of engines including the Moster 185, Top 80, Simonini, Minari, and Polini Thor. Our primary distributor, Miniplane USA, lists current prices for all of the basic equipment needed for paragliding.

The powered paraglider and paramotor setup costs $9,500-$15,000 for quality equipment. It varies so much due to paramotor type and size, foot-launched or trike/quad, and how many accessories are desired. Typically, a good PPG setup that is foot-launched will cost the minimum.

The wing

Gliders are rated for their ability to recover from collapses while flying. Gliders that have an EN “A” rating generally have a greater ability to recover spontaneously. Gliders with higher EN letter ratings require more pilot input in less time in order to recover. PPG pilots who never expect to fly without a paramotor can enjoy the increased passive safety and high performance of a reflex glider. Depending on the size, type, and passive safety, a typical PPG glider will cost $3,400 or more.

Why buy an Ozone? They are one of the few premier manufacturers of paragliders in the world who also happen to make reflex gliders and gliders with trimmers for the PPG market. The typical manufacturer of PPG paragliders often does not have the experience and resources to make a top quality and safe paraglider for PPG, despite marketing hype. How do we know this? We constantly fly and also observe the gliders from other manufacturers. While they may be fast and perform well, they may not have the passive safety of the Ozone.

paragliding Miniplane paramotor and paraglider

No matter how good your equipment is, proper training is still the most critical factor for all pilots, especially having the skills to “read” flying conditions. Repeat this phrase often: “I don’t know what I don’t know.” This applies especially to intermediate pilots who continue to push their limits and, too often, pay the price.

The paramotor

Miniplane has the greatest selection of engines and harnesses, the most options, and a known track record for safety, longevity, and quality. Suffice it to say, all PPG equipment manufacturers have demons and our experience has been that Miniplane has fewer than the others. E.g., for a while the Moster 185 had serious problems with the exhaust system, a major part of all paramotors. They finally fixed it but it took a year or more. Polini had even worse problems but the Thor line is, at this time, greatly improved. Why trade the demons we know for the ones we don’t? Think about it.

Bigger pilots can purchase the Miniplane Moster 185, Polini, or Minari. Pilots who weigh less than 170 lbs. might prefer the Top 80 which is lighter and quieter than its bigger counterparts. The Polini Thor 130 is the quietest motor made, has the least vibration, but weighs a little more than a comparable paramotor. Why do I recommend the Miniplane? If you go “bonk” – and every pilot, including yours truly, has – what is the cost of the repairs? If this is important, the Miniplane is, by far, the least expensive to repair. For example, if I go “bonk” with a Fresh Breeze, the bill could easily exceed $800 to replace (2) side cages and the netting. Miniplane, same accident, would be maybe $150 (a couple of rods and the netting).

What should a pilot be thinking when he about to purchase a paramotor? The most power? A comfortable harness? The quietest engine? The best fuel economy? What can be sacrificed? Weight? Reliability? Noise? Where and what type of flying is the most appealing? These are the things we help students decide. In general, stay away from any paramotor manufacturer that has not been in the business for at least (5) years. Remember the scantily clad babe with the rotary engine paramotor on her back? I worked on those engines and they were a expensive disaster for all pilot that got snookered in by brilliant advertising.

Read Post  How to deal with twist risers in paragliding

Trike/quad paramotor

Pilots who would rather not do foot-launched PPG can enjoy a trike/quad paramotor. Below is a typical trike with the Fresh Breeze Simonini 122 paramotor called the TrikeBuggy. Trikes/quads are comfortable to fly, easy to launch, and very easy to land. The PPG setup below has a reserve parachute mounted which is not typical of most setups for wheeled paragliding. The trike is more stable at high speeds (+25 mph) when on the ground. The trike frame is also very tough compared to quads – a heavy pilot can land hard and not damage it. The tougher the frame, the less chance of injury. On the other hand, the quad is more stable at low speeds than the trike. However, this advantage becomes much less important as the pilot becomes more experienced.

TrikeBuggy ultralight

The helmet

PPG helmets need to not only protect the pilot’s head but also from a high noise environment. The helmet below (an ICARO Solar-X) costs around $305 as of 2021. Communications can be added, as needed.

ICARO Solar X PPG helmet

The radio

The radio is more than a convenience when flying. It is your connection with other pilots, weather information, pilots in distress, and other emergencies. It must be reliable and easy to operate. 2 meter FM handheld radios meet these requirements, especially ones like the YAESU FT-60R which is, hands down, the best there is (it tells you the battery voltage whenever you turn it on, an important benefit). Pilots, however, must have an Amateur Radio License from the FCC to legally use them on the amateur bands. For this reason, I recommend that all pilots get an amateur radio license. It’s easier than ever. However, many pilots have the radios modified to work on the business bands which requires a different license. As of 2022, the FCC still winks at this technically illegal use of these radios. That is, they functionally ignore the issue by allowing radios to be modified or imported that work on the business bands. It also helps that the PPG pilots are so few and the radios are low power. Most bigger cities have radio clubs and the people who can quickly train you and administer the test. USHPA has a permit to use 2 meter FM radios on the business bands. Most quality radios must be modified for use on these frequencies. We sell the modified radio.

However, if you use only the USHPA radio frequencies, you do not need a license because the station license is held by USHPA. For the details of these frequencies go to our radio setup page, 2nd paragraph down.

All radios must be used with a helmet designed for high noise environments. It is impossible to hear the radio without ear protection and a special noise canceling microphone. The Sena setup used by motorcycle enthusiasts is easy to use.

The popular Baofeng radio is a fraction of the cost of the YAESU but it has some severe limitations. In particular, it does not have anywhere close the selectivity and sensitivity of the YAESU. Within a few hundred yards of others and away from cities, they work OK. We use them for ground traffic but not in the air. One of our students opted for the Baofeng and, once high in the air near our city, all he could hear was the paging frequency of a local car dealer.

The GPS

These are often combined with a variometer (a vertical speed measuring device) such as the Ascent H2 or the Flymaster. How fast am I moving over the ground? What is the wind direction on the ground? How high am I? Where did I go today? What does my track look like on Google Earth? All of these questions can be answered easily with a GPS. While it is optional for PPG, we highly recommend its use. With a GPS we can tell whether we are starting to slow down and in what direction we are going. If we ever get in trouble with the Authorities per “you were flying over X” but you were not, the GPS log can prove your innocence. The most common, rugged, and easy to use GPS is the Garmin 64st series (photo below). Older models in this series are also excellent and can be had for a good price on the used market. The recent introduction of the Garmin InReach is not only a GPS but a 2-way satellite communicator. It is similar to the SPOT but does much more, especially sending short text messages. Cost: $150 – $800.

Garmin 60CSX GPS

Footwear

The most common injury in paragliding is to the ankles. If you have ankles made of steel, you can opt for lightweight running shoes. If not, continue.

It is important to protect them which is why high top boots are recommended. Boots should not have lacing clips attached as they can snag the lines in and around the harness. You will probably never have a problem if you fly with boots that have open lacing clips. But why complicate a series of cascading events with lines snagged to your boots? A student who knew better got his feet tangled together while trying to land – he was fortunate he didn’t get hurt.

The boots pictured below are made by CRISPI – among the finest on the market. Yours truly has owned a pair for 15 years and have proven extremely durable, even when used to hike. They are the most comfortable boots I have ever owned. They have sturdy vertical inserts which help prevent ankle injuries and are light and comfortable. The boots also do not have any exposed metal parts that might snag a glider line. Ordering the CRISPI boots can be challenging in the U.S.

There are other boots similar to the CRISPI’s on the world-wide market, such as the German HanWag.

Unfortunately, American tort law has made many ultralight products, including wings, engines, and boots too risky to sell in sue-happy America. Southwest Airsports can supply the HanWag or Crispi boots using office in the EU. Ordinary hiking boots will also do but if you have weak ankles or want maximum protection for your feet, these types of boots are worth the investment. They are also good for cold weather. Crispi or HanWag: about $330 + shipping. Go to our shop site to order them.

Crispi paragliding boots

Other equipment

Things like a flight suit, gloves, catheters, or a hook knife can be useful, depending on conditions and where/when you are flying. Most PPG pilots do not carry a reserve. For more information on this go to the paragliding setup site. Carrying the paramotor from place to place is much easier if you have a rack like this one that is sold by Harbor Freight.

Gear size and weight

Some foot-launched PPG equipment can fit in two suitcases. Many wheeled PPG setups can easily fit in a pickup truck bed or in the trunk of a small car. A Top 80 foot-launched paramotor weighs under 50 lb with fuel. Trikes and quads can weight 125 lb. or more.

Source https://www.southwestairsports.com/faqs-tips/ppgsetup/ppgsetup.htm

Source https://overflytenerife.com/paraglider-cost/

Source https://www.southwestairsports.com/faqs-tips/ppgsetup/ppgsetup.htm#:~:text=The%20powered%20paraglider%20and%20paramotor%20setup%20costs%20$9,500-$15,000,setup%20that%20is%20foot-launched%20will%20cost%20the%20minimum.

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