In this post we check out some really cool paramotor accessories, gadgets and essentials that all beginners need. I’ve scoured the internet to find out what brands pilots are buying and what products they are enjoying the most, and put together a list of the 11 most important accessories all new paramotor pilots should have in their kit bag.
Paramotor accessories, gadgets, and essentials
1. GROUND HANDLING HARNESS
As a beginner ground handling is the most important part of your training, but even after completing your training it’s important to keep up your practice to maintain your skills by continuing to ground handle regularly.
A ground handling harness will be the first thing you’ll need to buy to learn forward and reverse launching, and to practice wing control.
Bare in mind that ground handling harnesses can not be flown. This is fine for those who only have their sights set on paramotoring, but if you plan on doing any free flying in the future you may be better off buying a paragliding harness.
Check out my recommended ground handling harness on Amazon HERE
2. Training wing
When you have your ground handling harness, you may also wish to buy a training wing to avoid putting extra mechanical stress on your main wing.
Training wings are much smaller and easier to handle for beginners, and they can also be used in high winds which shouldn’t be attempted with a normal wing.
Using a normal wing in strong conditions can be dangerous, so a training wing is recommended to all new students, or anybody ground handling for the first time.
In THIS POST we go over all of the things that will shorten the lifespan of your main wing, and ground handling is one of the biggest factors.
Constant inflating, deflating and large amounts of mechanical stress will increase porosity of the materials, so if you plan on doing a lot of ground handling, as you should, a training wing is essential.
Check the current price of the Ozone Groundhog training wing pictured above by clicking here (link to Amazon).
Although they do make it easier, you may not need a windsock for ground handling, but they are essential when you begin flying.
The wind can change in an instant, and without a windsock on the ground there may be no way of telling which direction the wind is blowing from.
Get yourself a nice brightly coloured windsock, but be sure not to buy one that is too large. The light winds that are needed for paramotoring will often be too weak to move a larger windsock, so try to avoid windsocks bigger than about 30 inches long.
When buying a windsock pole, go for the longest one available.
I find that during very light winds, the wind will still move the windsock attached to a 10 meter pole, while the windsock attached to a 5 meter pole right next to it will be completely still. Just that small amount of extra height is enough to find some moving air, which will help you to land safely.
Whether you’re just starting out with ground handling, or taking your first flights, a helmet is essential.
Many beginners fail to see the dangers of ground handling, but a strong gust of wind can easily drag you along the ground, or even lift you in to the air.
In 2013, a student was taking a lesson when he became airborne and crashed onto some rocks, causing fatal blunt force injury to his head and torso.
It was reported that none of the students were wearing helmets, and many were being pulled 20 feet into the air!
This incident should serve as a lesson to all of us to always wear a helmet, even if we’re only ground handling in light winds.
Check out my helmet guide HERE.
A radio is another very important paramotor accessory for all pilots, even if you don’t plan on communicating with other pilots.
When your training is complete and you’re taking your initial flights, you’ll want to listen in at all times, just in case there’s another aircraft in the vicinity.
You’ll be concentrating on so many things that are completely new to you, and your brain will be faced with an information overload. When you’re operating this way it’s easy to miss an aircraft that’s approaching from the side or behind.
If you’re listening in at all times you’ll know where all other aircraft are, and your flights will be much safer. This will also help with your confidence on those initial flights.
As you gain experience and you start flying with other paramotor pilots, you’ll also find a radio essential to communicate with one another. You can check out all of your radio options HERE.
6. STROBE LIGHT
The first accessory that you’ll want to add to your paramotor is a strobe light to improve your visibility to other aircraft.
I’ve already spoken about the near miss I had with a light aircraft because the pilot simply didn’t see me in THIS POST, but it’s happening all the time! Paramotors just aren’t easy to spot for fast moving aircraft.
This is why strobes are recommended to all pilots, not just beginners. Strobe lights are also required by law in many countries including the US if you plan on flying in twilight conditions.
There’s a few options available to you and you can check them out HERE.
7. HOUR METER
From your very first flight it’s important to keep track of the amount of time you’re spending in the air. Knowing this information is important for a number of reasons:
Firstly, you’ll want to keep track of how many hours you’re putting on your paramotor and wing. This is important to know for your regular services, wing inspections and reserve repacks.
If you ever come to sell any of your gear, knowing the amount of hours it’s done will ensure you get the correct second hand price for it. The buyer will also want to know how many hours you’ve placed on it so that they know how much longer it’s likely to last them.
Another reason to keep track of your hours is for your own progression. It’s recommended that you’ve flown a certain number of hours before flying some of the more advanced wings, and before taking more advanced training, or tandem training for example.
Without an hour meter (link to my recommended hour meter on Amazon) it’ll be very difficult to keep track of the time spent in the air.
If you prefer a more traditional approach, or if you’d also like to record other things about your flights, then you can also fill out a paramotor logbook like THIS ONE.
There’s a lot of instruments to choose from, and which ones you need will depend on where you fly, and what type of flying you do.
If you fly around a lot of airspace and height restrictions for example, you’ll need an altimeter.
Or if you do a lot of cross country flying you may want a GPS, or a moving map.
Of course, the functions you get will depend entirely on the price you pay, but there are some great options that are designed specifically for our sport and have all of the options you could possibly need.
9. VFR CHART
You’ll learn all about the importance of checking a VFR chart before taking flight during your training. A VFR (Visual Flight Rules) sectional chart is the primary means of navigation, and they contain a lot of important information.
They’re designed for visual navigation of slow to medium speed aircraft, and you’ll find visual and radio aids to navigation, airports, controlled airspace, restricted areas, obstructions and related data.
For paramotoring you’ll mainly use them to check for special use airspace, and to make sure you’re not flying into any airspace restrictions. You’ll need to check your VFR chart every time you fly somewhere new, so it’s important to keep one in your kit bag at all times.
You should also bare in mind that airspace is always changing, so these charts are updated every six months. You don’t want to be relying on outdated information, so replace your chart at the release of every update.
You can buy paper charts to keep in your kit bag, or you can download digital charts to store on your device. You’ll also need to buy the correct map for the area that you will be flying over.
US pilots can find VFR charts HERE.
Gloves are a bit of a no brainier, but many beginners don’t realise just how cold their hands will get while flying.
You’ll have a few options depending on where in the world you fly. In the UK I use a motocross glove for most of the year, but a heated or skiing glove during mid winter.
If you’re only planning on flying low in warmer weather you may be OK without gloves, but higher altitudes will get super cold, even during the warmest summer days.
11. FLIGHT SUIT
Unless I’m flying low or for a very short amount of time, I always wear a good flight suit. Without one you can guarantee you will get cold, and your flights will be uncomfortable and less enjoyable.
Try to get a flight suit that is designed especially for paramotoring or paragliding, as they are made of tough windproof materials, unlike some of the cheaper alternatives that may let cold air through.
When paramotor flight suits are designed, the manufacturer will also take into account that the pilot will need to run for take-off while wearing it. I’ve tried some of the alternatives, and they are much tighter around the legs and have no freedom of movement, which makes this difficult.
Look at flight suits by well known paramotor manufacturers like Parajet and Ozone, as these will be the best well tested flight suits. Take a look at what Ozone has to offer here on Amazon.
When you get into paramotoring you’ll see so many little gadgets and paramotor accessories that are on offer, but all you really need to get started are the things listed above.
Of course you’ll eventually need tools, and when you start flying you’ll need the obligatory torque wrench that’s often overlooked (SEE HERE TO FIND OUT WHY), but most paramotor accessories are just gimmicks that will never leave your kit bag after their first use.
There are a few things that you can buy to help you out in the field or in the air, all listed HERE in my tips and tricks post.
And there’s also a few things you can add to your paramotor to make it safer, like flotation devices etc, but these items won’t really appeal to beginners, and they will be covered in a separate post.
Thanks for checking out this post, if you’re just starting out then check out my best selling information packed paramotor pilot’s book of knowledge HERE.