Next week the Hub celebrates another birthday, and per usual, I have been at a loss as to what to give him. Seems like husbands are always the hardest people to shop for because guys (at least the ones I know) have the annoying tendency of purchasing whatever they want/need the minute they want/need it. As a result, my annual default gift is a golf shirt. With his closet now full of them, I really need to step outside the box.
While vacationing in Ponte Vedra the other week, an idea seemingly came down from the heavens while I was sitting under my umbrella quietly enjoying a book. Sounding a bit like an invasion from a local military base, I looked up to see these contraptions flying above the water’s edge.
Called powered paragliding (ppg), they are gas-powered parasails. The pilot can be standing up with the motor attached to his back as in the photos above or he can sit down into
which is attached to the parasail.
Wouldn’t this be the greatest way to commute to work? Of course, you can only use it when the weather is nice and the winds are low, but it sure would beat fighting the slow crawl up River Road during my husband’s usual morning commute. He could just land on top of
his office building. PPG only requires 10 feet of running room to get going, and the trike doesn’t even require wind for lift-off. With the timing of most thermal turbulence, mornings and late afternoons are the best times to use these flying machines, which fold up small enough to fit into a large suitcase when you are done.
Didn’t you always think when you were a kid that by the time you were 40 you would be taking your own kids to school in one of these?
Since the transportation industry has yet to evolve this far, ppg seems like the next best thing. At about $12,000 with necessary upgrades (you can find some for less on eBay), it’s cheaper than a boat, and you don’t have to worry about those darn rapids in the James.
After doing some more research beyond just where to buy one, ppg is a lot more difficult than it looked from the beach (what isn’t?). Even though a pilot’s license is not required to fly one, the recommended training sounds similar. It’s even a good idea to do some training before deciding on which one to buy. I did find a few guys who do ppg-commute, but they don’t need to worry about carrying a briefcase.
On second thought, maybe I’ll just get him one of those cute bow ties from Natty Beau.