New to PPG - Help me get started!

I’ve been on the fence for the past year or two mainly due to whether or not I want to get into the sport. what interests me in ePPG is

  1. ‘cheaper’ introduction costs
  2. I have some skills with electronics and have built a few battery packs for my e-bike. I can build a battery pack (18650’s) and potentially re-use the pack for my e-bike.
  3. I have a 3D printer already if I need additional parts

Here’s my plan, feel free to poke holes.

  1. Flying out to BC this August to do some training here:
    Family is about 3.5 hours away so I could borrow a car drive out and train. Hoping to rent a motor and wing to decide if I want to continue with the sport.
    If I do…

  2. look at 4 bonkas to start and the next version of the Kit (V5?). build the 18650 battery over the winter.

  3. 2020 fly around different beaches, parks, etc. every 2nd weekend :slight_smile:
    eventually i’d like to get into a bit of acro, but for now safe flying.

5’,7", 150lbs
Items I will look into but haven’t yet:
a) Wing - I know I can’t get best of both worlds, but I want something I can grow into to do some acro
b) Reserve chute
c) helmet
d) optimal ePPG setup
-alarms/warnings for battery levels
e) DIY battery (18650 vs lipo pouch)

What am I missing here?

  • Concerns is flight time, even with 8 batteries… is 40min enough?
  • looking at no BMS for emergency power (I’d rather exhaust/damage the battery if I needed some power)

Start with step 1. Training is typically done on the trainers equipment. By the time training is over you should know if you want to continue and purchase equipment. I don’t think renting equipment is ever an option… you either love it and own or you don’t love it and don’t do it. This isn’t really a sport for an occasional flight… good pilots fly regularly and own their equipment.

Safe beginner wings can actually be some of the best acro wings. However, you are looking waaaaay to far ahead. You should wear out your first wing long before you are ready for acro. Since you don’t even know if you will love flying I’m quite surprised you are already thinking about acro.

A setup with 8 batteries is more than half of your own weight! That’s a lot of battery! The best and safest flying is early morning or late evenings. I never fly mid day because I don’t like the turbulence. Therefore, I am happy with short 30 to 35 minute flights on 6 batteries.

I agree with battery cell monitoring over auto cut off but in reality when the batteries are almost dead there is only seconds of power to get you over a small hurdle. Best not to cut it that close.

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I’ve been learning with Jim Reich and the gang at I just did 4 motor flights last Sunday. It was an amazing day! That brings my total to 8. I also have 15 gliding flights. It’s a wonderful place to paraglide and paramotor. The method there is to first teach you to fly then motor. Look to get at least 10-15 ‘free’ flights from the launch at Woodside (rough logging road to 670meters above the valley) and spending lots of time ground handling a wing before progressing to the motor. It really is easier this way and you get into the air sooner.

Flying will of course be weather dependent and the wind situation you want for your first motor flights is pretty narrow. Too much and your dealing with turbulence, too little and it’s really hard to launch a motor. This means potentially frustrating hours or days spent waiting for just the right wind but Jim won’t let you push your boundaries until your making that call yourself. Jim has several practice hills around the area to bus students to if the winds are not good for Woodside.

In Canada you need an Ultralight Pilots Permit. You’ll have to write the same tests as for a Basic Ultra Light airplane including aircraft knowledge and even engine knowledge even though you plan to fly an electric paramotor. Transport Canada doesn’t keep that up-to-date. :wink: You don’t have to learn to fly an ultralight aircraft of course. You can do all your flight training on Jim’s motors - He’s got a couple BlackHawk 125s and keeps selling them. You need 30 flights under supervision to obtain your Permit for Basic Ultralight - Paramotor.

Realistically you’ll know after your first few free flights if you want to be an aviator :grinning:. Some people fall in love with that and don’t bother with the motor. At that point you may want to buy a used glider and harness with reserve. I did 8 freeflights last summer and bought an Ozone Buzz3 early this spring. Jim will set you up on something appropriate for your skill and intentions but that will NOT be an acro wing for sure. Those things are scary! An enA or easy enB wing will take you far! Having your own wing after you have the flight and ground handling basics is great b/c you can take it to a nice wide open park if you have one nearby and just practice handling the wing. It’s actually a lot of fun too. Practicing on your own will save you a lot of time and money. After a couple flights on the motor you’ll really know where you want to go and what you want to do. You might find yourself looking for hour long or go somewhere adventure flying so the openPPG will not be right. You might find yourself liking the serenity of free gliding and thermal hunting with the eagles (I’ve done that!).

Best of luck and if/when you come out let me know. We may be able to get together at flybc.


I usually try to do exactly that!
It will let you fly for hours with the battery having been in use only for 10 minutes or so, to catch the first thermal :slight_smile:
I have done that a couple of times already, and I love it!

I got my paragliding license from Jim many years ago! Beautiful place to fly, great instructor/flight school.

Also to note if you have your private/commercial pilot license in Canada this automatically gives you basic ultralight, and only a check out is recommended but not required for PPG flight. Obviously if you have no experience in paragliding then it’s a good idea to get training.

This is my thought A well. At least for now. After 15 free flights my bump tolerance is increasing but I still steer into calmer air if can.

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Looks like I’m heading out to Kelowna to do a tandem paragliding flight to start! I think this would be the best way to decide if I want to proceed with the training.

If anyone is near kelowna, I’d love to talk and see the openPPG kit. Let me know! I’ll be there around Aug 2-7

I’m in Edmonton if your ever up this way let me know. Thats a good way, but i’d say the best way is to go to a paragliding flight school they have introductory courses to see if it’s really for you or not, start on bunny hill and kiting wing. The tandem will be enjoyable no doubt but you won’t get to control the wing at all

I ended up booking 2-3 Day paragliding lesson at I’m hoping i don’t get hooked on this sport :stuck_out_tongue: It would be yet another expensive hobby to get into. If all goes well, will be going back next year to get my P2 and paramotor license.

@grejen711 I’ll be out at flybc for Aug 5,6 and possibly 7th.
Thanks for everyone’s help

That’s an good start. Unless the weather totaly sucks for all the days you’ll very likely get to paraglide.

2 day training and 3 flights… I think i’m hooked! I have to look into seeing if it’s feasible to fly PG locally (tow) before I commit.

Thanks for everyone’s help!


Hey. That’s where I fly! :grinning: