November 5th, 2010
Why Paramotor When You Can Paraglide
Why paramotor when you can paraglide?
Paragliding is one of those great US sports that few people realize was started by a US citizen. David Theodore Barish, a former co-pilot for TWA, graduate from Cal-Tech, and US Air Force and NASA man set it all of with his Vortex Ring parachute in 1955.
His work for NASA led to the sail wing, which he trailed by launching himself off gentle mountain slopes – and so paragliding was born.
Development has continued and the sport has since spawned para motoring, where pilots use motors as well as thermals to get airborne.
But what’s the difference? Why para motor when there’s paragliding? Well, even though the experience is much the same: free flying, open air and clearly a lot of fun, with a motor you can go farther, higher and faster.
A quick look at the stats reveals all: the distance record for paragliding is 224 miles, for paramotoring it’s 686 miles; the altitude record for the plain ‘chute-only’ variant, is 20,019 ft, while for the motorized method it’s 25,426ft.
Now, whichever you prefer, you can enjoy the thrill of soaring like a bird with no training! No, you won’t be taking control of your wing just yet, but in the same way you can get tandem parachute jumps, there are tandem paragliding and tandem paramotoring flights.
Definitely a gift for the more adventurous friend or family member, tandem paragliding experiences are available over Arizona, Seattle, Santa Barbara, and even over the Del Ray beach in Portland, Oregon.
With paramotoring tandem flights the instructor will have a small engine strapped to their back, so you can be sure whoever receives one of these air sports gift certificates will be going places!