Looking for a fun new activity for your next trip out? If you’re going to be on a lake or ocean, consider strapping on a parachute and being lifted high above the water! Parasailing has been around for many years and is a fun, safe activity the whole family can enjoy!
The History of Parasailing
Parasailing has been around since about 1961 when Pierre-Marcel Le Moigne invented it as a way to train parachuters. This allowed them to be towed to a specific height and then practice the descend in a controlled area. Since then it has been improved upon and it has become a popular vacation activity in Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, and anywhere near inland lakes.
How it Works
When parasailing, your harness is strapped into a special parachute that is designed for an ascent and a descent. The harness is also connected to the boat that is going to pull you. Once you are fully strapped into the harness and sitting on the back of the boat facing forward, the driver of the boat gives it gas and you quickly rise up in the air as your parachute fills with air. As the boat travels around on the ocean or lake, you float high up in the air behind the boat and can enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. When it's time to come down, the boat slows and the driver typically uses a winch to pull you all the way in.
You should only parasail with the proper equipment and a trained professional, as there are some risks with this activity. The main risk to be aware of is the weather. You never want to parasail in rain or fog, and parasailing is dangerous in winds over 15 mph.
While it is the job of the professionals to inspect your equipment, give it a once over yourself, especially the towrope. If you find any frays or breaks in it, do not use it. If you’re separated from the boat it can be harder to get to safety since these chutes are not meant to be steered from the elevated position, only towed by the boat.
Who Can Go
Typically the age minimum for parasailing is 8 years old, and anyone under 18 needs to be accompanied by a parent. Weight limits will usually be imposed as well, but it depends on the parasailing company as well as the wind conditions. Some other rules that generally apply are you need to be sober, you should not go if you are pregnant, and you shouldn't go if you have a fear of heights. This activity can have you soaring at up to 800 feet, so be sure you’re comfortable with that before you strap in.
What to Wear
Since this is done over water, it’s probably a good idea to wear a bating suit or shorts and a t-shirt. Be prepared to get a little wet. Generally you launch and land on the boat and won’t touch the water unless you ask to be dipped, but there’s always the possibility of splashing or shenanigans from other boaters. Also, don't forget the sunscreen! Chance are you're going to go on a beautiful, sunny day, so protect your skin! If you do happen to end up with a painful sunburn, try one of these natural sunburn remedies for quick relief!
Parasailing offers an exhilarating experience and a view of your surroundings you can't get from the shore. Even if you have someone in your party who isn’t up for going, they can still ride in the boat with you and take pictures. On your next RVing adventure, schedule a little time for a fun parasailing experience that you'll have fun telling everyone about!
Have you parasailed before? Tell us about your experience in the comments!