Is Parasailing Worth It?

You have a family vacation coming up. You’re going to a tropical destination or maybe even Disney World. One activity you thought would be fun for your partner or family is parasailing, but you’ve gotten a mixed response. Is parasailing worth it, and if so, how do you convince someone that it is?

Parasailing is definitely worth it for these great reasons:

  • You can say you did it 
  • It’s less expensive than you probably think
  • You can parasail in groups
  • You get stunning views of the ocean without being in it
  • It’s a completely safe experience
  • It’s a low-speed way to fly
  • It’s exciting but not too exciting

In this article, allow us to wax on our favorite parts of the parasailing experience so that you may discover as well why this is such a preferred activity for so many people. Whether it’s your kids who are reluctant to parasail or your spouse, we think this article ought to convince them! 

Is Parasailing Worth It? Most Definitely, For These 7 Great Reasons!

You Can Say You Did It

It doesn’t matter what age you are; everyone has a bucket list of activities they’d love to check off. Each year, you might use these bucket list goals as the basis for your New Year’s resolutions, deciding to do something that scares or excites you. Perhaps you just want to try a bit of everything the world has to offer.

If so, then parasailing is a great way to cross off another item on that bucket list. Once you get up into the sky, you may decide you love parasailing, or you might even dislike it. Parasailing does have detractors, even though many parasailing companies we researched for this article are highly-rated with nothing but happy customers leaving reviews.

But hey, let’s say you somehow didn’t have fun up there. It’s not likely, but it could happen. At the very least, you can say you went parasailing. It’s one more experience under your belt, and for that reason alone, it’s worth doing. 

It’s Less Expensive Than You Probably Think

Perhaps it’s not so much about the doing of it, but it’s your vacation budget that has your partner or family saying no to parasailing. They want to reduce spending when possible so you can stay in a nice hotel suite or afford a few romantic dinners.

Budgeting for a vacation is always a great idea, and it probably means you’re coming home with fewer kitschy souvenirs as well. Yet parasailing doesn’t cost what you think it does, and definitely not what your partner thinks it does.

Before we go any further, we do want to state one caveat: how much money you spend on parasailing is completely dependent on factors such as how many riders will fly, what season you book your trip, and how long you fly. Where you parasail is also hugely important. If you’re visiting a tourist trap, expect to pay more for parasailing.

Here’s an article on our blog outlining costs for parasailing in parts of the world such as the United States, Australia, Thailand, and South Africa. Assuming you’re staying on US soil for your vacation, it’s about $75 to parasail for an hour in exotic Honolulu, $107 an hour in Maui, and $74 for an hour of guided parasailing in beautiful Waikiki.

Florida parasailing prices tend to be a little higher because of the aforementioned tourist trap thing. Parasailing at Disney World is extremely pricy, up to $200 for tandem parasailing.

Even still, that’s the high end of what you’re paying for parasailing. That Disney parasailing quote is for an hour of sky time too, so it’s not like you’ll be up there for only 10 minutes or something. You will get your money’s worth and see the Disney park like never before! 

You Can Fly in Groups

Tandem parasailing, you ask? Yes, indeed. As we just discussed in another recent blog post, tandem parasailing is a parasail ride for two. You can decide to sit side-by-side with your partner or back-to-back.

Your other option is triple parasailing, where you and two other riders ascend to the sky. For three riders, you’ll likely ride in a tandem bar harness with an extra seat, which means you’ll be side by side by side. 

Sometimes this information is all you need to turn around a partner or family member’s views on parasailing. It’s not like you have to watch someone fly in the sky for an hour while you’re down on the shoreline grousing about how bored you are. You can fly together, which is a far more memorable and entertaining experience. 

You Get Stunning Views of the Ocean Without Being in It

When you go parasailing, you get to see the ocean in a way that you never do when wading into it during a summertime beach trip. Even if you went boating in the ocean, you still don’t ever achieve the same vantage point that you do when parasailing.

That’s because a parasail takes you up over the ocean, not out into it. You’ll gaze down at its sheer mass, its waves gently cresting and its color a perfect, almost translucent blue (well, that depends on where you go parasailing!). You’ll feel the breeze that comes off those ocean waves and your respect and admiration for the ocean will go up in a major way.

If you never want to touch the ocean during your parasailing trip, that’s more than fine. Most parasailers don’t, and your captain (who acts as the boat operator that pulls your parasail) will absolutely respect that. Yet if you’d like to dip your toes in or get splashed by those cool waves, your captain can also arrange for that to happen. 

It’s a Very Safe Experience

One of the biggest protests you’ve gotten from your partner when you mention parasailing is how dangerous it is. After all, you’re suspended way up in the air, connected by only a piece of rope that could snap at any time, right?

It’s not like that at all. Yes, your parasail is attached to the captain’s boat with a tow rope, but it’s not some flimsy, cheap rope that can snap. We recommend you read our article on parasail rope, aka tow rope, to learn more. 

This rope is made of polyester or a durable polyethylene called Spectra, sometimes even both materials in one rope. Most tow rope is 12-strand, double-braided, and coated in urethane so it’s very durable. The rope may have a strain weight of up to 10,000 pounds!

That’s a big part of why parasailing is regarded as such a safe activity, as we’ve written about. That post includes safety statistics from the Parasail Safety Council. The organization found that, in 30 years of data, only 70 fatal incidents occurred when parasailing. 

Yes, that’s right, 70 deaths in 30 years. You know what’s more dangerous than parasailing? We wrote about that too. Everything from scuba diving to riding an elevator, skydiving, going on a cruise, rock climbing, riding a motorcycle, going on a roller coaster, hiking, and driving your car will lead to more accidents and deaths.

Your spouse or partner might have told you they think you and the family weigh too much altogether and will bring down the parasail. Parasail companies have weight limits for this very reason, which is another safety measure.

It’s a Low-Speed Way to Fly

Even after alleviating all their concerns to this point, your partner still has another gripe about parasailing. They don’t want to fly through the sky too quickly and lose their lunch. Fortunately, that’s not something that will happen when parasailing. 

Although some people liken parasailing to riding a roller coaster, the two experiences couldn’t be more different. As we’ve already established, parasailing is far safer than getting strapped into a coaster. You also go so much slower, between 15 and 30 miles per hour. 

The average speed of a wooden roller coaster is around 65 MPH, which is a difference of more than 30 MPH!

At 15 MPH, which is closer to the speed limit the captain will maintain, you’re parasailing more slowly than you would when driving your car on a residential street. Even at speeds of 30 MPH, you’re moving at a steady pace, but it’s not a pace that we would ever call fast. 

It’s Exciting but Not Too Exciting

That brings us to our last reason why we think parasailing is so worth it. With moderate speeds and an overall chilled-out pace, parasailing is not a physically taxing activity. 

Sure, your heart will undoubtedly start pounding as you ascend from the dock, but once you reach max height (between 500 and 800 feet), your tense muscles will relax and your heart rate will come down.

By the time your parasail journey draws to a close about an hour (or several hours) later, you might not even want it to end! 

Children as young as six years old can parasail. With far fewer thrills than a roller coaster and other sky-bound activities like skydiving or paragliding, we can say with confidence that parasailing is fun for the whole family! 

Final Thoughts

Parasailing may have some detractors, but more than likely, those people haven’t taken the time to educate themselves on this activity. Once you do a bit of research, such as reading through our blog, you’ll realize that you’re safely strapped in when parasailing. You also don’t go that high or fast, and you don’t have to get wet either. 

If you have a vacation coming up, we’d most certainly say that parasailing is worth it!

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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