As a novice pilot when should I start using variometer?
What we try to explain to our students is based on what we have seen at Let’s Go Paragliding over the last 15 years of teaching on a daily basis. We see a lot more students, before P2 completion or just after, fully geared up with high-end electronics. Sometimes with cockpits that would impress a competition pilot :-).
We just believe that it’s too much, unnecessary, and at the beginning simpler is better.
As an example, we’ve had students that cannot afford a full set of new gear and then pass on the variometer, flying sometimes one or two seasons without. We have observed that often, those students outperform, by their skills and senses, those that fly right away with a variometer. They are not as dependent on the variometer to give them information/feedback about what’s happening as a pilot who uses a variometer right out of the gate. So we often recommend that our students stage their use of a variometer.
All that said, each pilot has his/her own philosophy, and should use the tools available in the way that is most effective for them.
Happy flying to All!