Is parasailing safe

Paragliding and Parasailing - Difference and Comparison

What are the differences between paragliding and parasailing? Many people confuse each other. Well, both involve parachutes, but parasailing is an activity that shouldn't be confused with the sport of paragliding.

Indeed, there are very few similarities between the two aviation sports. Don't worry, we will introduce you to the most important differences and make a comparison. Find out more about these two fascinating and fun activities now!

About paragliding

It is a leisure activity and can be practiced as a competitive sport. A paraglider is a light, free-flying glider without a rigid structure. Read all the detailed information about the paragliding link here

About parasailing

Also known as parascending or parakiting. This is a recreational kite activity in which you are pulled behind a vehicle (usually a boat) while attached to a canopy wing (parasail wing) that resembles a parachute.

You attach the harness to the parasailing wing, which is connected to a boat or land vehicle via a tow rope. When the vehicle drives off, it carries both the person and the wing into the air.

There are two types of parasailing:

  • Aquatic over water, pulled by a motorboat
  • Terrestrial overland, pulled by a jeep

As mentioned above, parasailing is a recreational activity but has been transformed into a competitive sport in Europe. The first international competitions took place in the mid-1980s. But the first time anyone knew how to parasail was in 1961.

In 1962, Pierre-Marcel Lemoigne developed the first ascending paraglider.

As early as the next year, Jacques-André Istel, a French-American recreational skydiver who founded the world's first private parachute company, bought Lemoigne a license to manufacture and sell the soaring paraglider. The trade name was "Parasail".

Security conditions

You are not allowed to parasail if the wind speed exceeds 80 kilometers per hour. You must wear a life jacket and helmet to avoid head injuries while parasailing. There should be no obstacles such as trees or mountains on your take-off path.

No parasailing if the towline looks worn or faded. The operators should change them often.

When it comes to paragliding, you should never fly in poor weather conditions (rain, storms, strong winds, snow). Serious accidents can happen if the wing gets wet and absorbs moisture.

The design

The paraglider wing or the canopy is also known as a ram air profile or parafoil. The wing consists of two layers of fabric that are connected to the inner carrier material and form a series of cells. The materials are not porous like ripstop polyester or nylon fabric.

When parasailing, you use a parachute.

Basic principles

The 3 basic principles of paragliding are: starting, turning and landing a paraglider. They use hand brakes to control your speed, altitude and direction. When parasailing, the passenger is put into a harness attached to the parachute.

When the vehicle travels faster, the air fills the parachute and the passenger is lifted. He / she remains attached to the vehicle via a tow line. The height of the parasailer depends on the speed of the vehicle.

How difficult is it to learn paragliding and parasailing?

Before you start paragliding, you need to acquire the basic skills that you will need. The basic techniques are pretty easy to learn. You are:

Preparation is one of the main ingredients in making paragliding safer. A beginner course for paragliding pilots usually takes place over 12 days. It is highly recommended that you start tandem flights with an experienced flight instructor.

Parasailing doesn't require any training or experience. You have probably noticed that most vacation destinations offer parasailing. There are wizards to help you take off. You will have no control over the parasailing. Everything is controlled by the vehicle.

The experience

Both activities open up a whole new world for discovery. People who fly a paraglider for the first time are often amazed at the serenity and silence that reigns in the sky. You can see the world from other, more impressive angles. Flying can make you feel tiny or like a giant, it depends on the person. So we can say that it's a very existential flight. When parasailing, the feeling is pretty much the same. The big difference, however, is that you are not in control of the flight.