Paramotoring is a sport so some may worry that their weight will be an issue when riding and learning to ride. It’s only an issue if you have the wrong paramotor equipment.
Most paramotors can lift a passenger that weighs up to 350 lbs(160 Kg), but passengers over 220 pounds will experience better flight quality with a more powerful engine. The max capacity for quads and trikes is around 800 lbs. Anything above that can cause poor performance and strain on the wing and engine.
Whether or not a paramotor can handle your weight is not just dependent on the engine, but also the wings. Some wings are more suited for heavyweights than others.
Weight and How it Affects Flight
Weight is a big deal in paramotoring; manufacturers for paramotors are always trying to advance their designs to be lighter, sturdier, and more reliable. If you want a great lift off and landing; the lighter the better.
Why does weight matter so much? The lighter you are, the faster you are going to lift off, and the smoother your flight is going to be. (with the exception of times of uncertain weather patterns)
The reason there are so many different wings is, for a good flight to happen, there needs to be a proper balance in weight distribution. This is a safety issue, but it’s also a flight quality issue.
With so much variation in sought-for flight experiences, there is a need for several different options; as well as safe and balanced options for whatever type of pilot is going to go out and fly.
That isn’t to say that if you’re heavy you can’t enjoy flying, but it does insinuate that your flight will be a bit different because of weight.
Here is a great video explaining the importance of weight for paramotors:
As long as you have chosen the correct engine, equipment, and wings that are suited for your specific dimensions you shouldn’t have a problem with the flight. Just make sure you make the best choice before you go out to fly.
Don’t wait until you are about to lift off the ground to realize you’ve chosen the wrong engine and wings. Doing the necessary research beforehand is crucial to enjoying the best quality flight possible.
One of the best ways to figure out what wings you should get that will hold you is to consult with your trainer. Paramotoring academies/schools are experienced. Most of them have been flying for many years and have a lot of experience under their belt.
Manufacturers and certain paramotoring designers aren’t always the ones who are going out every day and flying around. Your trainer is your best bet to answer any paramotoring questions about weight and flight.
The other important thing to consider other than their experience flying is the fact that they train all sorts of people. They could probably tell you what engine and wing capacity could handle your specific weight.
Weight and Flight Time
There are a lot of engines out there for paramotors and each one has a limit to how much fuel it contains. Have you ever noticed that you use more gas in your car when you drive your friends around? It’s the same amount of gas, but the weight is different so it takes more energy for your car to get from one place to another.
Paramotors aren’t much different. While weight distribution will be different depending on the model of paramotor you use, or the fuel capacity of that motor, it remains true that your fuel will run out quicker the heavier the weight it has to carry.
It helps to know what the tank capacity is and the estimated flight time related to that tank capacity. Once you know this, you will be able to gauge what tank you want to purchase.
Your weight won’t have a huge impact on your flight time, but if you are OCD like some people, you want to know how much thrill you’re paying for.
Below are some of the most popular paramotor engines and their fuel capacity:
|Paramotors||Tank Capacity||Est. Flight Time|
|Parajet Maverick||10 L||2.5 Hrs|
|Air Conception||9 L, 11.5 L, 15 L||5.5 hrs (15L tank)|
|Scout||12 L||3 hrs|
|*Bailey V5||11.5 L||5 hrs|
|Miniplane ABM||12 L, 18 L||4+ hrs|
*The Bailey V5 gets more flight time because it’s a 4-stroke engine. You’ll get more flying time out of this baby because it’s more fuel efficient.
The flight time o these engines are based on the average flight time for paramotor pilots. The exact weight of these pilots are a little unclear, but you can use the previous weight capacities for wings as a reference for any special calculations you need to make.
Trikes as an Alternative to Running-Start Flights for Heavier Pilots
The average weight limit for paramotoring is about 350 lbs., this means that anyone above that weight is going to feel slightly nervous or uncomfortable about getting on a paramotor and going flying.
They may worry that the paramotor can’t hold them, the engine doesn’t have enough power to get them off the ground, or they don’t think they have the strength or coordination to make any of that happen. Whatever the case, there is a solution to that.
For those who are nervous about flying, Trikes which can fly in tandem or solo are a good alternative to your regular paramotor. They are unique because they have wheels, but they are still worth the fly.
The table below is a tandem/trike and its specs. If you are not interested in the weight specifications for flying in tandem then you can pass this by. However, if you want even more information, scroll down to the subheading titled, “Quads and Trikes as an Alternative to Running Start Flights”.
|Weight Capacity (Kg)||34||38|
To a lot of paramotor pilots who are heavier, the trike is a good choice. But some agree that it takes away from the adventure of flying. It depends on what you want and what your perspective is.
If you would feel more comfortable on a trike, then I say go for it! Paramotoring is an extreme sport. There will always be dangers and it’s important that the pilot feels confident when flying.
If you’re going to spend a good portion of your time worrying about how your weight is going to affect your flight, you won’t have as much fun. The adventure will go out of your experience.
Even if you are not a heavier person, the trike is for everyone. There are some great perks to the trike. The landing and take-off are quite smooth, and a lot of older men choose it because they have a bad back or knees.
(Even if you are not old, but you have a bad back or knees, the trike is a good choice. )
If you are more unfamiliar with the trike, here is a video of a trike launch and why some prefer it:
Whatever option you choose, your weight shouldn’t be an issue for flying paramotor. Anyone who tells you that you are too light or too heavy does not know what they are talking about.
How Weight Affects Paramotor Wings
Most people worry about the strain on an engine when we focus on weight limitations. However, when it comes to paramotors, the biggest issue is whether the wings can hold the pilot, not the engine.
Don’t get me wrong, engine power is important, especially when you want to have a great flight. It’s not the only component. If you make the mistake of only worrying about whether your engine can handle heavy weight, you’ll end up being disappointed.
The reason there are so many different models of wings is that paramotoring is for everybody. It’s super diverse. If you think you’re too heavy to fly, you’re probably mistaken.
Do your research on the best paramotor for your weight, find a trainer, and get started in the paramotoring learning process. You’ll not regret a great flight. You’ll be glad you did all that research.
Weight shouldn’t be a determining factor in whether or not you’re allowed to get that great thrill of flying. It is true that weight changes the flight experience, but that doesn’t mean that your flight experience will be better or worse if you are too light or too heavy.
Paramotoring is worth it no matter what your age or size. Who doesn’t want to have that exhilarating feeling of free flying? Man wasn’t born with wings so we had to create our own. The paragliding world is totally worth giving a try if you want to feel alive.
To help you understand and show you how possible it is to fly, here’s a video of paramotor students of different sizes taking off in their paramotors:
Weight Capacity for Different Wings
A paramotor’s capability to hold the pilot is contingent upon the engine capacity as well as the wing capacity. If you choose the right wing, you will not have to worry about your weight. In fact, the only time you have to worry about your weight is when you are first purchasing your wings.
But that’s easy! Most paramotoring websites have a specifications portion on their site to let you know the wing capacity. It’s simple and easy to understand even if you’re not super familiar with all the specifics when it comes to paramotoring.
Below is a rough estimate of weight capacity based on the wings available on Flyozone.com. All the wings in the charts include information about four different styles of wings; Easy, Sport, and Competitive.
For more details visit Flyzone.com where this information was pulled from. (The list is more extensive and even has information about flight weight and wingspan and other important specifications.)
|Wing Size to Weight- Level Easy|
|Weight Capacity (Kg) (based on wing size)||XS||S||M||L||XL (XXL)|
Depending on what gear you choose to use, that will calculate into how much you weigh as well. When figuring weight, there are components such as equipment, engine, and also in-flight weight. However, we’re not going to worry as much about that information.
The next table is your sports wings and their weight capacity. This is just wing weight capacity. (This means how much the wing can handle carrying.) Your weight, the weight of the engine, and your equipment need to all fit within this range.
|Wing Size to Weight- Sport|
|Weight Capacity (Kg) |
(based on wing size)
The next table is the weight capacity for competitive wings. These tables are just to give you an idea of wing weight capacity. There are a lot of different models and styles of wings, this is by no means an extensive or complete table/list.
Note: These wings are made for speed. They are not meant for free-flying unless speed is your idea of a great everyday flight. When time is an issue, these are the wings you want to get.
|In-Flight Weight Capacity (Kg) |
(based on wing size)
Competitive wings probably shouldn’t be your first choice of wing if you are heavy. Remember, as stated earlier, the lighter the pilot, equipment, and everything else, the quicker your flight speed will be.
I’m sure you could purchase competitive wings if you want, but you’re better off using something a bit more balanced and suited to your weight. If you want a good flight, then make sure you choose balanced equipment.
Besides, this table is merely a weigh to gauge the differences in weight capacity and the diversity of the paramotoring world.
Note: Keep in mind that when you are calculating weight you are including in that weight: pilot, equipment, wings, and engine.