Do You Land in Water While Parasailing?

You’ve had a friend or family member ask you for a long time to go parasailing with them. After doing some research, maybe through this blog, you think you’re ready to agree. There’s one thing you’re still curious about though. As your parasail ride ends, do you land near water? 

No, you won’t land in the water when parasailing. Instead, the boat captain will guide you either to a platform on their boat or a dock. If you’d like to get wet during the parasailing ride, that’s an option, but you can also choose to stay dry.

In this article, we’ll talk further about your landing options when parasailing as well as how wet you should expect to get. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be ready to schedule your first parasail ride! 

Do You Land in the Water After a Parasail Ride?

In this post, we explained the landing process of a parasail in detail. The parasail captain–who drives the boat and is responsible for your safety when parasailing–is the one who guides you to your landing spot. 

They will tell you what your landing options are before the parasail ride begins. If the parasail captain doesn’t bring it up, then it’s your job to mention it. 

Once you’re several hundred feet up into the air, which you will be when parasailing, you can’t talk to the captain. You can gesture using hand signals, but there is no hand signal for “where do we land?” You must be certain before you ride. 

However, keep in mind that no landing spot is set in stone. Changing conditions can cause the parasail captain to have to make a snap decision about where you’ll land.

Although parasailing companies won’t let riders into the skies if there’s a risk of inclement weather, sometimes unexpected storms can roll in. In those instances, your landing spot might be different.

That said, for most parasailing adventures, you’ll land in one of two spots. The first is on the dock nearest the body of water in which you’re parasailing over, such as an ocean. If you launched off a dock, the chances are quite high that you’ll return there when the ride is over. 

The other landing spot is the parasail captain’s boat. The boat will have a platform where you can step onto after the parasailing ride wraps up. Then you’re brought back to shore and can make your way back to your car.

Depending on the size of your group, it’s likelier that you’ll land on the dock versus the boat platform or vice-versa. For small groups of one to two parasailers, the parasail captain can accommodate you on the boat platform, so that’s where you’ll probably land.

Larger parasailing groups of three and up will have to go on the dock. There’s simply not enough room for everyone on the boat platform.

Do You Have to Get Wet When Parasailing?

Parasailing is an ideal beach activity. Like some other beach activities such as making sandcastles or playing beach volleyball, you don’t have to get wet if you don’t want to. 

Yes, even though you’re flying over the water in your parasail, you can still stay dry. You’re 500 feet up, so it’s not like a wave is going to crash into you. It’d have to be a mega tidal wave, the kind that usually only occurs during tsunamis.

During landing, if the parasail captain is guiding you towards their boat platform, you might get a little bit of ocean spray due to your proximity to the water. That can even happen as you step onto or off the dock. Otherwise, you’ll be plenty dry.

For some parasailers, this is music to your ears. Others though might be disappointed. Well, fret not. If you’d rather get splashed during your parasailing adventure, be sure to let the parasail captain know. 

They’re usually happy to dip you into the water, which means your feet and/or some of your legs will get wet. You’re never submerged, but the splashing water around you as you dip will certainly feel refreshing! 

Should You Wear a Bathing Suit When Parasailing?

It’s good to know that you won’t get very wet when parasailing unless you want to, but you’re still not sure if you should wear a bathing suit to be on the safe side.

You can if you want to, but it’s not required. Since parasailing might take an hour or two out of your beach day, you usually have plenty of time left. Many parasailers decide to relax and play on the beach for the rest of the day, so they will wear swimwear. 

If you’d rather just go straight home after your parasail ride, then you can skip the swimwear. Even if you opted to get dipped into the water during a parasail ride and you wore your clothes, you won’t get soaked.

What to Wear When Parasailing

Should you choose swimwear for your parasail ride, you can wear the swimwear as your outer layer or as a cover-up. Women might want to wear a one-piece swimsuit over a bikini because there are lots of straps, harnesses, and buckles as part of your parasailing gear that might not feel very comfortable on bare skin.

If you wear clothes with or without swimwear underneath, moisture-wicking materials are best. This way, if you do get splashed a little, your clothes will begin drying instantly. If you can’t find any moisture-wicking clothing, then at the very least, avoid cotton.

Cotton holds onto moisture so your clothes stay wetter longer. That can put a damper on your fun day out very quickly!

As for your footwear choices, we’d recommend calling your parasail company and imploring them about their policy. Some parasail companies allow you to forego shoes entirely. Others might permit open-toed shoes and others will want your toes covered.

What Not to Wear When Parasailing 

Your wardrobe when parasailing is wide-open, but there are still some types of garments you should avoid for an optimally comfortable experience. Baggy clothes are a no-no, as your garments can get caught in the buckles or straps of the parasailing rig. 

If you can wear open-toed shoes when parasailing, skip the flip-flops, please. They will go flying off your feet and into the ocean, where they’ll contribute to pollution (plus, you’ll be shoeless). Sandals with straps are a much better option.  

How to Prepare for a Parasail Landing

What goes up must come down, and that includes you in your parasail. After enjoying your time in the sky for 30 or 40 minutes (maybe longer), it’s time to gear up for touchdown. Per our post on parasail landing that we linked you to earlier, here’s how landing takes place.

Gradually Reducing Altitude

When the parasail captain starts the landing process, it’s not a sudden thing. You won’t have to worry about the sensation of being plucked from the air then, as that wouldn’t feel very good. 

Rather, the loss of altitude happens slowly, enough so that many parasailers don’t even notice. To bring you down to earth, the parasail captain activates their hydraulic winch. The winch begins pulling in the parasail line that you’re connected to.

Waiting to Land

As the ocean gets closer and closer to you, you’ll know that you’re about to land. This is the moment where panic can strike in the hearts of many parasailers, especially those who are inexperienced. 

Our recommendation? Enjoy this moment as you’ve hopefully enjoyed everything else to this point! Your parasail ride is about to end. 

Making the Landing

Some parasailers think they have to space their legs apart and then get into a crouching position to ace the landing, but that’s simply not true. There’s no special technique we suggest for landing.

When you see the dock or the boat platform in front of you, put one foot out and step onto solid ground. Bring your other foot onto the platform and voila, you’ve landed. 


From there, the parasailing crew will help you take off your equipment. You’re then free to leave or do whatever you wish with the rest of your day! 

Final Thoughts

No, you don’t land in the water when parasailing, but on a boat platform or a nearby dock. You can dip into the water during your ride, but you’ll have to tell the parasail captain about your preferences before you take off. Otherwise, no dipping will occur.

We hope the information in this article inspires you to try parasailing!

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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