Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Paramotoring: Para-normal skies above

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Picture this. You are trapped in rush-hour traffic near Central Festival Phuket. It’s late afternoon, the skies are clear and the temperature perfect. But you are hardly enjoying these conditions as you slowly descend into Phuket’s first Bangkok-style highway underpass.

Just before you go subterranean, however, you catch a glimpse of something soaring not too high in the sky above you. With its broad 20-meter sail it sweeps out large, lazy arches in the sky – almost as if mocking the poor gridlocked souls trapped in the traffic nightmare below.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s somebody in a paramotor – one Phuket’s fastest growing and most


thrilling new sports – also known as powered paragliding.

Those who want to experience paramotoring now have an exciting new option to take to the skies safely with the recent opening by Sky Club Asia, one of the island’s first fully-certified paramotor schools and flight centers, located at Phuket AirPark in Pa Khlok.

The new facility in Phuket is Sky Club Asia’s second in Thailand, following the success of its first operation at the Hua Hin Airfield in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

Sky Club Asia is a collaboration of two parasail enthusiasts: American Mark Silverberg and his German partner Paul Derstroff. They were encouraged to open a second operation at Phuket AirPark by Pat James, who oversees safety and air-traffic control operations at the privately-run airfield.

The center is now fully operational and gearing up for the coming high season in a big way.

The partners have very different backgrounds. Mark has years of experience in art print making, while Paul holds a degree in mechanical engineering and has 15 years of experience in marketing management for international firms. But what they share is a love of paramotoring – a sport they are now keen to introduce to Phuket.

Already, the SkyClub team has brought over 500 newcomers into the sport and despite the recent launch of the Phuket facility, they are already planning to open new centers in other parts of Asia.

Both in their mid-40s, Mark and Paul fit the typical demographic of paramotoring enthusiasts. Their firm, Sky Club (Thailand) Co Ltd, is a registered company under the US Treaty of Amity, and its paramotor school is fully licenced by the Royal Aeronautic Sports Association of Thailand (RASAT), the organization that oversees sports aviation.

While most paramotor activities on the island used to be centered near the abandoned tin mines along Chao Fa Thani Road in Wichit, that looks likely to change with the arrival of Sky Club Asia at the Phuket AirPark.

Phuket AirPark is in a great coastal location with a soft, grass runway that is very easy to reach – even during rush hour. The park also played a major support role in some of the exciting aerial competitions that were part of the 4th Asian Beach Games here in Phuket from November 14 to 23.

The Air Sports competitions alone had a total of 12 medals up for grabs in paragliding, as well as powered paragliding (paramotoring). The finals for both events, held at Chao Fa Thani on November 21, were a must-see for all local aviation enthusiasts.

“As a paramotor destination, you couldn’t ask for a more ideal place than Phuket. Beautiful weather, stunning landscapes, a perfect grass runway and sea breezes,” says Paul.

“Thai people are very interested in paramotoring and generally have a very positive view of the sport. In fact, Thailand is already one of the biggest paramotoring nations in the world.”

For more information visit

Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Para-normal skies above”, coming soon.

— Somchai Huasaikul


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Patong38 mins ago

Tar balls spreading in Phuket hit Patong Beach

Phuket2 hours ago

Officials predict 600,000 tourists to Phuket following reopening

Phuket3 hours ago

Technician electrocuted to death while trying to fix jacuzzi

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Pattaya3 hours ago

Pattaya pushes for August 1 Sealed Route reopening plan

Thailand3 hours ago

Mother alleges that Doctor mistakenly gave her 10 year old sleeping pills

Bangkok4 hours ago

1 million Sinopharm doses arrive today

Tourism4 hours ago

Full reopening guidelines for Phuket and Samui

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,682 new cases, 20 covid-related deaths, provincial totals

Thailand5 hours ago

Poll shows schools, students, parents, “not ready” for online learning

Chon Buri5 hours ago

Man returns lost parakeet, gets rewarded with BBQ

Thai Life6 hours ago

Thai Lion predicts football matches, other abilities currently unknown

Tourism6 hours ago

Reopening details for Phuket, Samui and beyond laid out

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Multiple Chiang Rai schools to close after infections found

Thailand8 hours ago

Woman falls off building on Pattaya’s Walking Street

Tourism10 hours ago

Refinements to the Sandbox as the countdown continues to Thailand’s reopening

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8