When deciding whether parasailing is right for you, you’ve factored in things such as your budget and the available parasailing locations in your neighborhood. Is your weight something else you have to take into account? If so, what’s the weight limit for parasailing?
Parasailing weight limits are between 100 to 500 pounds, with the latter usually the limit for two to three riders. These restrictions are in place for rider safety, as exceeding the weight limit could cause the parasailing line to snap.
In this article, we’ll answer all your most burning questions about parasailing weight limits that you might be too embarrassed to ask your boat operator or parasailing instructor. We’ll even share some weight requirements from real parasailing companies all over the country, so make sure you keep reading!
What Is the Max Weight Limit for Parasailing?
When parasailing, you can sail alone, with a second person, or with up to three people. How much the weight limit is for a parasailing group comes down to each company offering the services.
For most of these companies, 450 pounds is the max weight limit, but we’ve seen some services that allow riders up to 500 or even 600 pounds. We recommend getting in touch with the parasailing company you’re booking through and asking what their weight allowance is provided the information isn’t available on their website.
How Much Should Each Parasailer Weigh?
By the way, that 400+ pound limit isn’t for one rider, but rather, two or three. Just as parasailing companies have restrictions on the max weight permitted for groups, they also prefer that single riders are a certain weight. This is at least 100 pounds but often higher, such as 120 or even 140 pounds. Some companies even allow single riders to weigh 300+ pounds, but this is rare.
How do you know if you’re over the weight limit as an individual? It’s easy, just do some math. So let’s say you get in touch with a parasailing company while on vacation in Florida. The company says their max weight limit is 425 pounds. If there are only two of you, then each rider cannot weigh more than 212 pounds. If you plan on riding in a three-party group, then each rider must weigh around 142 pounds max.
The allowable weight limits may be even several pounds fewer, as the parasailing company could also accommodate for the weight of each rider’s equipment, adding that to the overall total. We’ll say it again then: check out the parasailing company for concrete information before assuming you’re within the weight limit.
Real Parasailing Weight Limit Examples
We pulled together a comprehensive list of parasailing companies and the respective rider weight requirements for each. This information should come in handy as you proceed with booking your parasailing adventure.
- Traverse Bay Parasail, Traverse City, Michigan – 35 to 350 pounds for single riders, 450 pounds for groups
- Marina del Rey Parasailing, Marina del Rey, California – 160 pounds for single riders, 450 pounds for groups
- Dewey Beach Parasail, Dewey Beach, Delaware – 125+ pounds for single riders, 425 pounds for groups
- OC Parasail, Ocean City, Maryland – 120+ pounds for single riders, 400 pounds for groups
- Long Beach Parasailing, Koutsounari, Lasithi, Greece – 110+ pounds for single riders, 450 pounds for groups of two
- South Beach Parasail, Miami, Florida – 180+ pounds for single riders, 450 pounds for groups
- Island Water Charters, Avalon, California – 180 to 250 pounds for single riders, 450 pounds for groups
- Adventure Parasail, Virginia Beach, Virginia – 600 pounds for groups
- Point Pleasant Parasail, Point Pleasant, New Jersey – 125+ pounds for single riders, 500 pounds for groups
- Paradise Parasail, Fort Myers Beach, Florida – 90+ pounds for single riders, 500 pounds for groups
- Pinky’s Parasailing Adventures, Lake George, New York – 180+ pounds for single riders, 550 pounds for groups
Are You Weighed Before You Parasail?
Okay, so you did some basic numbers-crunching and you think your group should match the allowable weight limit set by your parasailing company of choice. If you happen to be a few pounds more than what the company requests, is anyone going to be there to weigh you when you arrive?
No, of course not. If parasailing companies carried scales that they forced each customer to step on before flying, these companies would go out of business because of discrimination.
However, that doesn’t mean you can get off scot-free. Parasailing companies must still know how much you weigh, but they often ask for this information more discretely. When you’re filling out your paperwork for the flight, you will be told to state your weight.
If you haven’t weighed yourself in a while, then make sure you step on a scale before finishing the registration form. The best time of day to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning. By this point, you’ve digested your food from yesterday and have yet to eat, so your weight is more accurate.
What if there’s nothing about your weight in the paperwork? Then you can be assured that the staff at the parasailing company will ask when you arrive for your flight.
Should You Go Parasailing if You’re Over the Weight Limit?
You really want to go parasailing, but you exceed the weight limit. Knowing what you do now about how parasailing companies will use an honor system of sorts to gauge your weight, surely it’s okay if you fudge the numbers a little, right? Who will tell? After all, it’d be very embarrassing to be sent home because you’re over the weight limit, even if it’s just by three pounds.
There are some cases of riders who are slightly over the solo parasailer weight limit being allowed to parasail, but this is usually only permitted to balance out a second rider who’s underweight or very close to the minimum allowed weight limit. Otherwise, the limits are strictly enforced.
Why do parasailing weight limits exist in the first place? We hadn’t talked about that before, so it’s worth bringing up now.
For the lower weight limit, you need to be at least 100 pounds–often far more–so your weight is sufficient to prevent you from getting battered around by the wind when sailing. Parasailing is a thrilling experience, but for some riders, it’s also relaxing. Being sent to and fro because of the wind is not exactly relaxing, nor the right kind of thrilling.
As for the max weight limit, that’s in place to preserve the integrity of the parasailing line. You know, the tow line that connects you to the boat and thus allows all the fun to happen. Most tow line is made of heavy-duty, high-quality materials such as polyester yarn reinforced with double-braiding.
Even still, as secure and strong as a parasailing tow line is, it has its limits. All rope can snap, even double-braided polyester yarn. By putting too much strain on the line, such as by sending someone over the weight limit up into the air, at any point, the line could come undone.
When the line snaps, what do you think happens? You’re not attached to the boat anymore. Sure, you have the parachute, so that will prevent a quick descent into the ocean. Don’t be mistaken though, you will fall into the water, it just takes longer.
You’re then strapped into a harness in the ocean, not to mention you have the weight of a soaking wet parachute. If the parachute doesn’t cover you when you hit the water, then the harness will make it difficult to stay afloat.
Parasailing deaths are uncommon, as we’ve written about, but carelessness can cause you to become a statistic. The weight limits are there for your safety, not the boat operator’s, not anyone else’s. Please abide by them.
Why Do Parasailing Weight Limits Change?
If you have a parasailing company of choice, you might be surprised to arrive for a flight only to find that the weight limits are different than usual. You hadn’t parasailed in about a year, so maybe something had changed between now and then. Why?
Parasailing companies have to adjust their weight limits depending on the weather, so it has nothing to do with how long since you’ve last visited. If it’s an especially windy day, then the captain might decide to tighten the weight limits.
This can be disappointing if you’re on the higher side of the allowable weight spectrum, as you may not be able to ride that day. Our advice is to wait until a less inclement day and then come back.
Since you may ascend to heights of 500 feet when parasailing, the companies that offer this service cannot take any risks. Besides using quality equipment and strapping you in tightly, parasailing companies also set weight limits. These limits accommodate the weight of several riders, up to three, and are often quite generous.
We want to reiterate that weight limits exist to keep you and your fellow passengers safe. If you’re over the weight limit, it’s not a good idea to parasail right now.
Parasailing looks like so much fun, and the videos you’ve seen on YouTube of people doing it almost make it seem easy. Admittedly, you have some fears, okay, make that a lot of fears. You’re so high up in the sky with nothing but water below you! What if something happens? Is parasailing as dangerous as it seems?