How Long Does a Parasail Ride Last?

Have you ever paid for an experience only to feel like it’s over way too soon? You’ve had the itch to try parasailing, but you’ve refrained for that very reason. Whether you want to propose to your honey or you just wish for enough time to take photos, you need to know how long your parasail ride will last. So how long are we talking?

A parasail ride lasts an hour on average, but that includes the time it takes the boat captain to take you to and from the ocean. Thus, you might get anywhere from 20 minutes to 30+ minutes in the air. Some parasail trips are two to three hours, which gives you more time in the sky.

In this article, we’ll discuss in more detail an average parasailing excursion. From how long you can expect to be in the air, how to make the most of your time, and whether you can extend the duration of your parasailing trip, it’s all coming up ahead. You’re not going to want to miss it!

How Long Are Parasailing Rides?

Okay, first thing’s first. Let’s go over how long your parasailing ride will be.

The shortest amount of time that we’ve seen parasailing companies offer for riders is 45 minutes. As mentioned in the intro, the average parasail time is 60 minutes. If you’d prefer, you can also double that time for a two-hour trip. Those who really love parasailing may be able to do so for three hours. 

At first glance, it can seem like if you schedule an hour-long parasailing ride that you’ll spend all 60 of those minutes up in the air. Yet that’s not true. The time that it takes the parasail captain to transfer you to the dock to get you ready for parasailing is factored into your overall time. So too is the amount of time that it takes you to get back.

How long will these trips take? That’s almost impossible to say unless we were to go through parasail companies on a case-by-case basis. Some parasailing companies may have a setup where they’re located very close to the ocean so the boat ride is a short one. For other companies, the boat trip might chew through 15 minutes of your sky time one-way.

If that’s true and you booked 60 minutes in the air, then with 30 minutes already spent on transportation, you’d have another 30 minutes for parasailing.

That’s just an example, of course. If you have specific questions about the duration of your sky time, we recommend you contact the parasailing company you’re booking through. Ask them how long on average it takes for the parasail captain to get you to the dock or your launch destination. Then take that number, double it, and divide that by however much total time you have booked.

Remember, just because the average parasailing trip is 60 minutes doesn’t mean that’s your only option. If you feel like 20 to 30+ minutes in the sky isn’t going to be enough for you, then book a two-hour trip. You’ll get closer to 60 minutes in the sky. If you want even more time, then schedule three hours of parasailing. You’ll have no doubt about getting the value of your money!

Are Longer Parasailing Rides More Expensive?

Hmm, after reviewing the information in the last section, you feel like you’d be better off planning for a longer parasailing trip that’s at least two hours long, maybe even three hours. You’re not quite decided on that part yet.

Is it costlier to fly for that long, be it two hours or three? Typically, yes. Flight time is not all that goes into what you’ll pay to parasail though. 

Parasailing costs accommodate for your location, how touristy said location is, and the number of riders as well. Thus, while in Miami, Florida, you could pay $200 to parasail for three hours, and when parasailing at Disney World, it’s $200 for two riders.

We talked about this in our article on parasailing costs. Let’s go a little more in-depth on pricing now. Courtesy of Viator, here’s how much you’d spend to parasail at several premier destinations across North America. Included as well is your overall time for the money.

  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – starting at $55 for 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Waikiki, Hawaii – $73 for 1 hour
  • Seattle, Washington –$129 for 1 hour to 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Madeira Beach, Florida – $87 for 1 hour
  • South Padre Island, Texas – $79 for 45 minutes
  • South Lake Tahoe, California – $80 for 45 minutes
  • Maunalua Bay, Hawaii – $79 for 1 hour
  • Miami, Florida – $80 for 1 hour
  • Key West, Florida – $81 for 1 hour
  • Cancun, Mexico – $67 for 1 hour

When you compare those prices to our list in our article on parasail costs, you can deduce that for an hourlong parasailing trip, you’d pay anywhere from $60 to $150.

Parasailing for two or three hours can cost upwards of $150 to $200, sometimes more. Keep in mind that if you add more riders to your two-hour-long parasailing ride, the costs are going to be even higher than for single riders.  

What Can You Do While Parasailing?

Whether you’re anticipating having 20 minutes in the air while parasailing, 40 minutes, or even 60+ minutes on a multi-hour ride, what can you do while spending your time in the skies? We’re glad you asked!

Take Pictures

We always say that the views of the ocean afforded to you from a parasail are unlike that which you’ll experience when swimming in the ocean or even riding in a boat. Take advantage of your awesome vantage point and snap some photos. You don’t even necessarily need a high-tech camera either; your smartphone ought to suffice!

Record Video

The sound of the ocean roaring below you, the gentle breezes all around you, maybe even a seabird passing through the sky at your altitude or a dolphin jumping out of the crystal clear waves: there’s a lot of moments you’ll want to capture in all their animated glory.

You can again rely on your smartphone for recording video or you can strap a portable camera like a GoPro to your head and body for a first-person-like view of all the beauty that surrounds you when you’re 500 feet up.


If you forgot your smartphone or you’re scared to pull it out of your pocket lest it falls into the ocean hundreds of feet below, that’s okay. You can always kick back (well, figuratively in this case) and let your eyes drink in every last sight they can behold as you parasail. Sometimes it’s nice to make active memories rather than passive ones that we take through our smartphones.

Have a Conversation

If you decided to parasail with a second or even a third person, your group can chat throughout the whole experience. The only exception to that is if you’re sitting back to back. You may have a hard time hearing one another if you don’t speak at a consistently loud volume.

The presence of someone by your side, especially someone you can have nervous chatter with, can help during those points of parasailing that scare you, like ascending or even descending.

Propose Marriage

We just wrote a whole post about how to propose from a parasail. Lots of people do it, as it’s far more romantic and intimate than proposing in a restaurant, not to mention it’s very unique as well. The most important thing is to secure the ring in a zippered pocket or pouch. Oh, and make sure you don’t drop the ring when you’re popping the question!

Can You Make Your Parasailing Ride Longer?

If you decide you’d rather parasail for closer to two hours so you get more time in the sky but you only booked one hour, what can you do? Is it too late to make your parasailing ride even longer?

More than likely, yes, but you never know! We suggest calling or emailing the parasailing company and asking if you can extend your ride. If they have a tight schedule for that day, then they’ll probably tell you no can do. The same is true if you booked the first parasailing trip of the day, as there are surely people scheduled after you.

If it’s a relatively light day or you’re parasailing later in the day, then the parasailing company may be able to accommodate you provided you get in touch a few days before your trip. You can’t arrive the day of and try to bribe the captain into a longer ride. That almost definitely will not work.

Even if you can’t make your parasail ride longer, you know for next time to book an even longer trip.

Final Thoughts

The average duration of a parasail ride is 60 minutes, but that time includes how long it takes you to get to and from the loading dock. In actuality, you’ll parasail for 20 to 40 minutes. If that sounds like it’s not enough time for you, then schedule a two-hour or three-hour parasail ride. Have fun out there!

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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