The exhilaration of being able to fly and having an eagle’s view of the cerulean blue clear seas and white-sand beaches are thrills that many, both old and young, aspire to experience once in their lifetime. An activity that would be able to offer you such a breathtaking adventure is parasailing.

A little bit of history

This is a relatively young sport, discovered in the 1960s by a parachute instructor, Brian Gaskin, who created a chute, named Waterbird Parakites, specifically for parasailing. The parachute designed by Gaskin is still being used by many for this activity.

The person responsible for the development of winch boat parasailing, however, is Mark McCulloh, who in 1976 patented the first-ever parasailing winch boat. This vessel utilizes a hydraulic winch being powered by the engine of the boat. Winchboat parasailing has started to become the preferred type of parasailing since its commercial launch of the boat in the ’80s.

A glimpse at parasailing

The mechanics of aquatic parasailing is quite simple. By means of the zooming boat, you will be lifted up into the sky, helped by the parachute that is fastened to you. The height of your ascent will be determined by the combination of the following elements: the length of the towline connecting you to the boat, the wind velocity, and the speed of the boat.

Your ascent and landing will be determined by the parasailing method that your operator provides. If you manually ascended and landed on the beach, that is called beach parasailing. If you soared up and descended on the winch of a sea vessel, then you just experienced winch boat parasailing. However, if you landed and were hoisted up off some sort of platform on a beach, then you participated in platform parasailing.

So that you will have an idea of what winch boat parasailing is all about, here is a blow-by-blow account of the entire ride:


In winch boat parasailing, some operators use a body harness, while others opt to use a floating chair. Whatever the method is, you or your chair will be fastened to a parasailing-specific canopy, which in turn is linked to a hydraulic winch found on the boat.

Your parachute or canopy could either be inflated manually by trained staff or by riser lines that are attached to a hoisted up mast line.


Once you are securely in position and your canopy is inflated, the driver will start to accelerate the vessel so that you will start to soar above the ground.


After the flight, you will be reeled to the deck for landing by the hydraulic winch.

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