Parasailing: The Thrill of Flying with Less Risks
Parachuting is not for the faint of heart. Although modern parachutes are now safer than they were decades before fear of heights will always permeate through society. Up in the air anything can still happen. When you’re free falling up in the air you only have a parachute to help you from falling to your death.
Let’s just hope that your reserve works when your parachute fails. Fortunately for those who are extra cautious, there is a recreation that will still give the opportunity that is harmless.
Most parachute skydiving involves a lot risk. Jumping off an aircraft thousands of feet from the ground already strikes fear. Fortunately parasailing eliminates that for a more comfortable ride. This recreational activity is usually offered at resorts for vacationers and tourists.
Harmless fun by the beach
The concept of parasailing began in the 60’s. Pierre Lamoigne unintentionally started the sport. He attached a parachute to his moving car to help his training for safe landing techniques. He used this method because it’s the easiest way to raise the pilot without having to use an aircraft. He was a parachute teacher and used this method to instruct his students.
The intention was to raise the pilot high enough and then set him free to float. However when he did not set the pilot free this contributed to the start of the sport. Colonel Michel Tournier flew behind a tractor using his parachute in 1961.
In the 70’s Mark McCulloh used the parachutes at sea. He started raising the parachutes on the shore. After that he used a motorized platform he designed and later on a boat to raise his parachute. Water provided safer landings so parasailing were done at sea since then. He later on created the parasail winchboat.
In 1963 the Parachute Pioneer Company began making parasails. Jacques-Andr? Istel bought the license from Pierre Lamoigne who made the first parasail to able to manufacture and sell it. Brian Gaskin also made some of the early parasails. He experimented with parachutes that were made in the 60’s and later on created the “Waterbird”. It’s the first true parasail that became the template for modern ones used today. In 1975 Brain Gaskin founded “Waterbird Parakites”, a company that makes parasails for commercial and recreational use in United Kingdom.
McCulloh’s parasail winchboat (which was introduced in the 80’s) along with Brian Gaskin’s “Waterbird” created a combination that made parasailing widespread. All parasailing operators use winchboats that are equipped with a power take off. The boat’s engine serves as a hydraulic winch. Parasails are annular and pull down apex type of parachutes. It is originally a variant of the round parachute with suspension lines and a hole in the apex that can be opened.
Water parasailing is mostly recreational while the ones done in land is a competitive sport in Finland. In land parasailing, instead of using a boat, they use a car or a snowmobile to raise the parasail. The vehicle towing the parasail controls the height and speed while the parascender controls lateral movement.
If you are looking for a safe thrilling ride then parasailing is for you. The faint of heart does not need to jump of a plane into dizzying heights. The water provides soft landing and a life vest comes as standard equipment.