Water sports are my all-time favourite activities, especially whilst I’m travelling. So parasailing was high up (‘scuse my pun) on my water sport bucket list! I managed to indulge in some parasailing fun at a resort in Fethiye, Turkey, and can whole heartedly tell you – it was amazing! But what is parasailing, exactly? And is parasailing safe, I hear you ask?
What is parasailing?
Parasailing is an awesome kiting activity, where you’re towed behind a boat whilst attached to a specially designed parasail wing – a bit like a parachute. You’re strapped into a harness and pulled behind the boat by a hydraulic winch system.
You’ll get on the boat with other passengers and make your way into an empty area of water. You start on the boat and get strapped into the parasailing harness that’s based on your weight. This bit is pretty important so be honest! Your weight will also determine whether you can sail with someone else, or whether it’s safer on your own. You’re then clipped onto a bar with the sail and to the boat. Sitting on the edge of the back of the boat facing inwards, the instructors will start to count you down and start hitting the gas. Eventually, you’ll be pulled steadily and gradually off the boat backwards and launched into the air. Your stomach won’t drop like it does on rollercoasters, it’s actually more of a peaceful experience but it’s still exhilarating!
Flying free in the air
When you’re up in the air, it’s oddly quiet. You can’t hear the music or the hum from the boat. Just pure peacefulness as you take in the views. It feels like you’re floating and drifting through the air for the 10 minute duration of your excursion. More often than not, as you’re about to slowly descend, they’ll have some fun with you by dipping your toes into the water! If you want more of a thrilling ride, ask your captain before you take off for extra dips. From there, you’ll be safely and gently pulled back onto the boat. The rest of the 45-minute boat ride will be observing others have their go.
Do I have to hold on for dear life?
Do I need to know how to swim?
No swimming is required! You’re either on the boat or floating in the air. The only time you’ll be near the water is when your toes are being dipped into the ocean before you fly up again.
Can I take my camera or phone?
Absolutely! As you can see below, I took my phone and videoed the experience on my gimbal. It is entirely your responsibility for your item though. If you drop it into the deep depths of the ocean, the parasailing company will hold no blame – so hold onto it tightly!
Watch my video below for a full representation of parasailing!
Is parasailing safe?
If you’ve Googled ‘is parasailing safe’, you’ll obviously see that there have been deaths whilst exploring in this activity. However, there have been deaths involving EVERY activity! And from the millions of parasailing trips that take place every year, there’s actually only a small percentage that don’t make it back onto the boat alive.
Most cases of injury or deaths occur when the tow line breaks. Tow lines can wear from long-term exposure to weather, wind speeds and salt water, which weakens them with every use. Before you get strapped in, I would just check the tow line for wear, fadedness and damage. If the weather’s too stormy, it may be cancelled, but if it isn’t and you don’t feel comfortable, re-arrange for a calmer day. If it’s too windy to put up a beach umbrella, it’s too windy for parasailing. You don’t want to be playing tug of war with a boat and a parachute in a storm. Make sure the operator gives you a full briefing of the risks and what to do if the line was to break.
I believe that most of the time parasailing is safe. Still, don’t blindly trust anyone with your own safety if just a few questions can help you avoid trouble.
Benefits of parasailing
You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy this water sport. My trip was €25, which is a bit more expensive due to the company being part of the resort, but the price included two of us to sail.
There’s no skill involved! Just let the instructor strap you in and enjoy the ride. Once you’re in the air, you can relax and enjoy the views.
The pressure of the air on your body helps to release stress. Plus, the rush of adrenaline stimulates your entire system in a positive way, therefore creating a sense of wellness. Breathing in salty sea air gives a positive energy to your health!
If you’re feeling ready to book your awesome parasailing experience on your next trip abroad, find some inspiration from the links below. I hope you have the best time flying free and safe!