Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Parasailing

What a great thing to do, and one I happily managed to tick off my Bucket List last year. Late last Autumn I took to the air with Smile High Parasailing and had a go at Parasailing in Fuengirola.

Here’s a little more about what it’s all about!

What is Parasailing?


Parasailing is basically being towed behind a boat under a parasail (basically a specially designed parachute!). The speed of the boat into the wind gives the Parasail lift, and this in turn lifts you up into the air, allowing you to cruise along the coast while taking in great views.

Is Parasailing easy?


If you are a fan of 'You’ve Been Framed', the UK TV show which makes its money from showing the amusing mishaps of people, from their holiday videos, you may have been put off parasailing by the sights of numerous ‘parasailors’ being dragged along beaches! Well rest assured things have moved on a lot from the days when these grainy old home videos were being shot. In the bad old days you were strapped into the parasail on the beach, and then on the given signal had to run like the clappers, into the wind, behind a speed boat which was taking off like a scolded cat. Sudden gusts or changes in wind direction, could see you being bounced along the beach, or crashing through several picnics, before being dragged unceremoniously into the drink! And that was just the take off, the landing was always a wet drop into the water!

Thankfully things have moved on a great deal, with specially designed Parasailing boats now the norm. These are great, as you stand on an integrated raised platform the back of the boat, strapped into the sail as the boat heads into the wind. You are then gently lifted from the back of the boat, and the winch lets out the necessary length of line as you take off up into the blue skies. And after your ride, the boat heads slowly into the wind again and you are gently winched back down, landing gracefully on the back of the boat without a hair out of position. Well this is of course possible, but generally you are there for a bit of a laugh, and the captain may, usually with your permission, ensure you get a gentle ‘dunking’ on your way in!

How is the flight?


Please bear in mind that I am talking with experience of one flight, but we found it superb. The wind in your face, and the boat out in front of you, as you cruise along way up in the sky enjoying the views all around you.

Is it uncomfortable?


Obviously this depends on who you fly with, and their equipment, but our experience was a good one. No discomfort, and more importantly no insecure ‘I am going to fall out’ feeling during the flight. We were sat comfortably in our harnesses as we glided over the Costa del Sol.

Can you feel the jerks of the boat pulling you, as it skips across the waves?


Ever so slightly but this was not in any way uncomfortable or worrying.

How high do you go?


Again depends on the location and the operator – we were a majestic 200m up.

Can more than one person fly at a time?


Depends on the operator and their equipment, but yes it is possible. It’s a great family or group activity. The boat and parasail we used was capable of flying 6 people together. We flew as a family of 4 and had a great time.

Where can I try Parasailing?


This is a fairly common activity, and popular in sunny beach areas around the world. Take a look at this global list of Parasailing opertors or try these link for

Parasailing in Canada
Parasailing in Croatia
Parasailing in Greece
Parasailing in Portugal
Parasailing in Spain
Parasailing in the USA

So would you recommend it?


Absolutely Yes! Get in on your bucket list, and get it ticked off! My flight has left me with a desire to Parasail more often.

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