Some parasailing fun may be in order if you’re looking for a high-flying experience, depending on the level of excitement you’re looking for.
For some, flying 1,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico could be the thrill of a lifetime, for others, it’s not something they would consider.
But this is one of those adventures that is not for the faint of heart, in my humble opinion, even though I’ve been "flown" a few times myself.
The most exhilarating part about this Sarasota activity is the “take off,” made quite easy by using the back platform of the boat as a launching and landing pad.
It really is pretty simple. You just stand there and up and out you go as the sail pulls you into the air behind the boat.
Landing is about the same, as the boat captain or crewman will have you pulled in, by landing time, to almost a slow crawl so that you set down gently on the platform on the back of the charter boat.
While it is a lot of fun, I did notice, the first time I ever parasailed, my pulse increase the higher the boat and parasail pulled me into the sky over the water.
Once the flight settled in the sky I was able to relax and enjoy all the sensations that something of this experience can bring forth.
And after you experience this sensation once, I can tell you that you’re inhibitions will quickly fade the second and third times you parasail. By then you’ll be an old pro.
This is definitely one sweet ride! 600' to 1,000’ or more over the Gulf of Mexico gives some great views of both the water and on shore.
And while parasailing is promoted as being a fun adventure for all ages, for those with young children who want to give this a try, I would recommend that mom and/or dad go along on a tandem or triple ride: This is not quite like the Ferris wheel at the county fair that younger children may fearlessly enjoy.
By the way, take along a water-proof camera and shoot breath-taking photos of the Gulf of Mexico and nearby landscapes while floating over the sea at 1,000 feet above the gulf.
Most parasail crews will custom make the flight how you like it, meaning that you can stay dry or they can get you wet by letting you gently float down into the water for a dip.
It is a lot of fun.
And the one thing you will notice while you’re 1,000 feet in the air over the gulf, in your parasail harness, is the sheer quietness, peace and stillness while you float, unless there’s more than a slight breeze.
You won’t experience high winds because if there are high winds, a responsible parasail charter captain will not even be on the open water.
So this leads me to the recommendation that whomever or whatever person or company you choose to parasail with, make sure they have a USCG Licensed Master Captain aboard the parasail boat.
You might want to ask about their safety record and number of years of experience. (There have been occasional accidents and some have been fatal. So checking on their safety record and their safety prevention practices is important. I don’t mean to scare you out of the experience, because it is fun, but you may want to check about things regarding safety.) Please note: If you’re under 18 years of age you’ll need a parent or guardian to sign a waiver of liability.
This is truly a unique experience and can be a lot of fun with an experienced and professional parasailing outfit.
You will find parasailing out over the water off of Siesta Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island.
It’s not hard to find where the outfits launch from on Sarasota’s surrounding Keys.
Enjoy and have fun!
Maybe you'll soon be singing, "Off we go into the wild blue yonder..."