What to Expect From Your Parasailing Experience

Once you witness other people sailing in the air, it’s hard not to be intrigued and to want to try out the parasailing experience for yourself. For many, the sight of other people parasailing off the shore at the beach is mesmerizing. Soaring through the air with a beautifully colored parachute just looks like so much fun! Unfortunately, the fear or uncertainty of not really knowing what to expect can prevent some people from having a once-in-a-lifetime experience they will never forget.

What to Expect From Your Parasailing Experience

Although any recreational activity carries some degree of risk, this is one of the safest ones you can participate in. In fact, even kids aged six and older, as well as young-at-heart adults in their nineties enjoy the recreational activity safely!

So, what should you expect from your parasailing experience? The best way to explain it in full detail is to break it down into phases from start to finish. The part you’ve already seen is the middle, the part of the experience where you’re sailing in the air. Having your questions answered about what comes before and after may help put your fears to rest.

What to Expect From Your Parasailing Experience –

Planning Your Parasailing Adventure

If you’ve seen parasailers at the beach, you probably already know that a number of parasailing companies exist up and down the shores. You may have even seen aerial banners advertising parasailing services. The first step to ensure a positive experience is to find the best parasailing company San Diego has to offer.

The right parasailing company uses quality equipment, has a great deal of experience, and has the right attitude to make your personal adventure a positive and safe one. All companies aren’t the same. Take some time to find the one that will put you the most at ease. The less you have to worry about, the more fun your flight will be.

Parasailing is a popular sport in San Diego. On days where the weather is just right for flying, boats fill up quickly. It’s a good idea to check the weather and plan ahead. Otherwise, you could have to re-schedule, leaving you yearning for your time in the air and having to find another day to mark parasailing off your must-try list. 

Once You Arrive

You won’t be the only one going out on the boat but most boats carry a maximum of twelve people. Of these, any number may be fellow parasailers or onlookers who came along for support. Generally, it takes about one-and-a-half hours on the water for everyone to get their turn.

One detail that sets a good parasailing company apart from the rest is the captain and crew’s dedication to providing the best parasailing experience possible. This means that they take the time to explain what will happen and how it will feel. Since they have no other way of communicating with you during the flight, they will show you some hand signals to use in case anything goes wrong. Although it is highly unlikely that anything will go wrong, you’ll know what to do if something just doesn’t feel right.

A crew member will fit you with a life vest. Again, this is a safety precaution and not a reason for concern. Modern methods of parasailing allow for takeoff and landing on the deck of the boat. It’s up to you how wet you get or whether you don’t get wet at all.

Once it’s your turn to take to the air, the team will place you in the seat and secure you in place with a harness. The harness is strictly for holding you in your seat and doesn’t have anything to do with steering the parachute.

When parasailing in tandem or as a trio, your friends will be fastened alongside you. This is one detail of parasailing that may vary from your plans. In addition to weight limits including minimums and maximums, the captain also considers the current condition of the water and wind to determine the optimum weight for sailing. He has the responsibility of determining whether it is safer to fly fewer or more people together.

What to Expect From Your Parasailing Experience


The launch is one area of the parasailing experience that differs a great deal from what people imagine. Although they’ve watched other people parasail, they may have nothing more than their imagination to rely on for how the launch takes place. Many find the process a much smoother one than they imagined.

A winch, which works much like a fishing pole, lifts the chute from the boat and into the air without jerks, bumps, or jolts that make you lose your breath. It isn’t like a roller coaster that speeds up over hills and drops off. Instead, it’s “steady as she goes” and you’re in the air before you know it!

Parasailing technology has been rigorously tested and improved over the years, with the Winch Direct Parasailing system being the safest method used today. It makes parasailing a fun experience without the need for any level of skill or athleticism on the part of the participant. You don’t even need to know how to swim!

The Flight: The Ultimate Thrill of Your Parasailing Experience

Most people find this part of the experience to be the most amazing, magical experience of their lives! Once you reach the destination height of several hundred feet, everything around you takes on a new perspective. It’s thrilling to see deep into the water and spot dolphins, sharks, or schools of fish moving below the water’s surface.

It is difficult to describe the amazing view that you have at every angle. The beach, the people, and the incredible beauty of nature are nothing short of breathtaking. Many people find the experience to be a peaceful and relaxing one; not the same kind of excitement that you may get from daring adventures.

Suddenly, you can see everything beyond the trees, the buildings, and the landmarks that confine your views on the ground. It feels as though you can see everything at once and the world becomes a much larger and more impressive place.

Don’t wait until you experience the unique beauty of parasailing to question whether the parasailing company will document your flight. Make sure you invest in any photo packages offered to ensure you have mementos of your parasailing experience. You can also bring your camera with you and have someone from the crew snap a few photos of you taking off and landing.

The Descent: Do You Want to Dip?

Once the flight comes to an end and it’s time to start the descent, you’ve already informed the captain whether you want to dip your toes in the water before landing on the boat. Some people prefer to stay completely dry throughout the experience while others like the sensation or the coolness of dipping their toes in the water. Just let the crew know before you start. A skilled parasailing crew will give you just as much of the water as you want and no more!

In either case, the descent is just as smooth as the ascent. The winch works like a fishing pole that reels you gently back to the boat. There’s no crashing into the water or slamming into the boat; just a gentle process that sets your feet back on solid ground.

Once you return to the boat, the crew will help remove the harness and get ready for the next passenger to have their turn. Once you receive the photos of your flight, you’ll have everything you need to share your experience with everyone back home.

Hopefully, understanding the basics of how parasailing works will help to alleviate your fears and inspire you to become one of the thousands of people who know the joy of the experience firsthand. If there’s more you want to know, refer to some of the frequently asked questions below.

What to Expect From Your Parasailing Experience

What Should I Wear?

You’ve probably seen photos of parasailers in their swimwear sailing over the ocean. If that’s what you feel comfortable in, go for it! How you dress is really more a matter of comfort than practicality. You won’t be in the water and you don’t have to move about to steer or swim.

You can wear anything you want that makes you comfortable with regards to temperature and modesty. Swimwear, shorts, and even jeans are acceptable. If you tend to get chilled when there’s a breeze, you may want to bring a windbreaker or a hoodie along. Most people wear sandals or flip-flops but you can wear tennis shoes if you prefer.

Keep in mind that you will be on the boat for about an hour-and-a-half in addition to flying in the air in direct sunlight. It’s always a good idea to wear plenty of sunscreen to prevent getting burned. If you have long hair, you’ll probably want to pull it back and away from your face. You don’t want anything to get in the way of the incredible views all around you.

What If I Get Nauseous?

If riding in a car doesn’t make you nauseous, then parasailing probably won’t either! But if you are prone to motion sickness, you should consider taking Dramamine prior to arrival. The boat ride is more likely to make you sick than any other part of your parasailing experience.

What If I’m a Little Scared of Heights?

For many people who have some fear of heights, the idea of parasailing ends up being a lot scarier than the actual experience. One word that people repeatedly use to describe being in the air is ‘peaceful’. There’s just something about the unexpected nature of the view that overrides every fear and worry. Maybe it’s knowing that you have a safety net of water below or it’s just the most incredible way to get your mind off the typical mundane concerns of life below.

It’s normal for people to have some fear of heights and that’s probably true of a large portion of people who go parasailing. The fact is, only those who have control of their fears will go through with their experience. Those with a severe phobia will probably never make it to the boat!

How Expensive Is Parasailing?

You can expect to pay from $99.95 to $129.95 per person in addition to any applicable fees. Two things to keep in mind when considering price are the quality of the company and the real value of the experience. Nothing makes a bigger difference in the quality and safety of the experience than having an experienced crew manning the chute. It isn’t just the parasailing event you’re paying for; it’s the quality of the company taking care of you.

Whether you consider it a water sport or a recreational activity, parasailing differs in that it doesn’t require any special equipment or gear. The cost and fees you pay cover everything you need so you never have to worry about getting the right equipment. You just show up and have a great time!

What to Expect From Your Parasailing Experience

How High Will I Go?

It depends on the option you choose and on current conditions. Most flights range between 600 and 800 feet but they can vary according to the individual’s weight, the wind at the time of the flight, or other conditions.

How Long Does the Adventure Last?

Although the trip usually lasts about an hour-and-a-half, you will be in flight for about six to ten minutes.

Is Parasailing Addictive?

You bet it is! It’s such a humbling and magical experience that nothing else compares! Once you understand what to expect from your parasailing experience and you feel safe, you’ll want to repeat it every chance you get.

San Diego Parasailing Adventures is an experienced, reputable parasailing company that offers a first-rate parasailing experience in San Diego. They have been offering parasailing since 1989 and have a 100% success record of flights with no accidents. Contact them today to learn more about scheduling the adventure of your lifetime or purchase your tickets online. Previous customers agree they offer the best parasailing experience available in San Diego!