Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill - 2009
South Florida Powered Paragliding
See the guys at the beach waving their metal detectors over the sand. See the guys with kiteboards flopping around in the waves. Now see those guys get owned by Carlos Segnini and Oscar Aranguren of South Florida Powered Paragliding
, who are puttering over everyone's heads in their motorized flying machines. The men's formula is this: lawn chair + motor + parachute = something like a personal jet pack, only mellower. Segnini and Aranguren have backgrounds in engineering and aviation and are even certified to teach by the United States Powered Paragliding Association; Segnini says he's flown so many times, he stopped counting 15 years ago. During a five- to ten-day course, newbies can learn from the masters how to do both a running "foot launch" and a "trike launch," how to land on the sand as though drifting onto a cozy pillow of lamb fuzz, and possibly even how to buzz their friends lying on the beach, heh-heh. Eventually, perhaps, they can break the world record of 18,000 feet — a limit imposed not by paragliders' abilities but by the FAA, designating higher airspace only for jets. The powered paragliding course costs $1,500, but it's more worthwhile, Segnini says, if you make an additional "investment" in a powered paraglider for yourself — for just $7,000 to $10,000. Of course.