If you are a sucker for adventure sports you may have already thought of trying both paragliding and paramotoring at some point of time in your life. The adrenalin rush you will experience can turn out to be quite addictive, making you travel to destinations where these sporting activities can be performed. While many people are keen to give these a try, not many know the exact differences between paramotoring and paragliding. So, what are these major differences between the two adventure sports?
- Launching: In terms of launch, paramotoring uses an engine from level ground while paragliding needs you to run from a hillside which obviously needs a lot of training. This is why paragliders typically start off with tandem jumps to learn the ropes. Paramotoring is therefore more versatile as launch is never an issue; you can take off on any open field; the only concern is that you must ensure that there are no obstacles in your way like trees and power lines that can harm you. Incidentally, you cannot launch paramotors when you run up any hill. In paragliding however, it is important to find the right hilltop for a perfect and safe launch. So, one often needs to drive quite a distance to reach a place where conditions are suitable for a jump.
- Maneuverability: In paramotoring the motor helps to make the glider far more maneuverable. You can gain height faster and take off easily. The latter is a huge advantage over paragliding because you do not have to travel for miles to locate a suitable spot to try paramotoring. Paragliding, of course, enjoys some advantages because they paragliders are easier to carry around since there are no motors making them cumbersome. Moreover, you do not have to spend money buying and maintaining motors.
- Technical aspects: When you do paragliding, there are far more technicalities involved which is why you must be skilled and properly trained. You need to know the right launching technique and consider factors like wind direction and speed. In paramotoring, on the other hand, you can ascend or descend simply by controlling the motor. Paramotors also have more flexibility compared to paragliders when it comes to facing wind conditions. While they can function best with speeds ranging between 0 and 12 miles per hour, they can also handle higher wind speeds comfortably. Paragliding depends on the wind speed completely as there is not motor for propelling it forward. Ideally, wind speeds ranging between 2 and 12 miles per hour are most conducive for paragliding and they do not operate well in zero-wind conditions. Paragliders can gain height through thermals which happens when the sun heats up an air pocket that rises up above the cold air surrounding it; so, if you can catch one of these, you can ascend much higher. Paramotoring also uses this technique besides the use of motor but paragliders will rely on this completely for gaining height after their launch. This explains why wind and weather conditions are extremely important for paragliders as these thermals need to form to help you achieve elevation.