It costs a significant sum to complete all your training to the point where you no longer require formal instruction (Club Pilot level in the UK).

A realistic budget for training is in the region of £1,600 – £2,000 (2021) plus travel expenses.

Renting or hiring is not generally an option, so pilots also need to buy their own kit.
The equipment budget can vary enormously. It is possible to buy serviceable used kit for as little as £ 1,500. If you buy new, and include items such as radios, lightweight emergency parachutes, and instruments with all the latest features, it is not difficult to spend as much as £5,000. If you buy a Paramotor as well, you can expect to spend quite a bit more.

The good news is that once you have invested; the running costs of paragliding amount to travelling expenses getting to and from the flying sites, and modest annual subscriptions to your association and club. (At the time of writing an annual subscription for a flying member of the BHPA is £129 per year).

Although there is a significant initial cost; if viewed over a few years, this compares favourably with many activities which have regular overheads; and is by far the cheapest form of personal aviation.

No hangarage costs, no annual permit costs, no airfield costs, no licence renewal costs. Paramotoring is the least expensive form of powered flight.

Student pilots achieving their first soaring flights… priceless.

This is a sport that demands a considerable investment in time. Because it is so weather dependent, if you are only free on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, you are likely to be disappointed. There are probably about 100 reasonable flying days per year in the UK, and most of them will occur when you are at work. This means that if you cannot be flexible, the sport is going to be challenging.

There are ways around this, some pilots fly on the odd good day in their local club, but take one or more holidays each year based at a destination with consistently good flying weather. (The picture above was taken in Morocco in February).

Another popular option is to give up work!

You will end up sitting on a launch somewhere for hours on end and still not flying because of the weather. You will inevitably also waste quite a bit of time and fuel, travelling to a flying site, only to find you are in the wrong place. It is a “character building” sport, and patience is a necessity.

A (very) understanding partner or family is also a vital pre-requisite.

You will spend time waiting for the wind.