Parasailing and Parascending

Parasailing, also known as parascending, or “parakiting” is a recreational kiting activity where a person is towed behind a vehicle (usually a boat) while attached to a specially designed canopy wing that reminds one of a parachute known as a parasail wing. The boat then drives off, carrying the parascender or wing and person into the air. If the boat is powerful enough, two or three people can parasail behind it at the same time. The parascender has little or no control over the parachute.

There are six parts of a parasail. The harness attaches the pilot to the parasail, which is connected to the boat, or land vehicle, by the tow rope. The activity is primarily a fun ride, not to be confused with the sport of paragliding. In land based competition parasailing, the parasail is towed to maximum height behind a 4 wheel drive vehicle and then releases the tow line and flies down to a target area in an accuracy competition. The sport was developed in the early 80’s and has been very popular ever since. The first international competitions were held in the mid 80’s and continue to run today. Parasailing is a unique sport and you must not miss this fantastic ride over the Aegean sea . Its an adventure and you can share this moment with a friend, or you can propose your engagements!!! You can use you camera and take beautiful photos, you don’t get wet.
In Greece, especially in the islands the turquoise waters and golden sands create a beautiful scene.

The the most popular parasailing spots in greece are:

1. Santorini island-It is located at the Perivolos Beach in Santorini  and is attached to the well-known “Chili Beach Bar”(photo parasail1). This marvelous beach of Santorini is towards the southern end of the island of Santorini. The beach is conspicuous by its sparkling azure blue waters and is among the most tranquil beaches in the whole of Santorini. You can parasail either in the morning or take off in the afternoon to enjoy the famous sunsets of Santorini.You will take off from the boat and soar to 300 feet (100 meters) high over the sea with breath taking views over the island.

2. Rhodes island-Located in Tsampika beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches on Rhodes. A long, broad beach with fine, golden sand and dozens of colorful little flags marking out the various eating establishments and beach sports center. Apart from these, and a mini-market next to the bus stop, there is absolutely nothing else here – nothing except crowds of people of all ages and nationalities, who come to swim in the emerald crystal-clear water and admire the imposing rock with the Monastery of the Virgin of Tsambika.

3. Skiathos island-Stefanos ski schools. (www.stefanosskischool.com) It is located in Vassilias beach 2 km from Skiathos town.You can fly up to 300 feet ( 100 meters ).The views for up there is unique. You will be able to see Tzaneria beach ,Ahladies beach Vassilias beach ,Skiathos town and Megali ammos beach. The ride lasts 10-15 minutes.
4. Lefkada-Kavvadas watersports,which is located in Nydri. You will fly high in the sky and enjoy the breathtaking view of the old church St. Kyriaki, Scorpios and Madouri islands and the rest of the green islands of area (http://watersportsinlefkada.gr/ )

5. Corfu island-Corfu’s parasailing sites will satisfy adrenalin junkies who can spend an action-packed day admiring the island’s beautiful landscape from above. Popular sites include Agios Gorgios (where you can find an instructor) and Mount Pantokrator if you’re more experienced but always ask a local teacher for all the relevant information.

Here are some tips to look at before you parasail:

1. Is the boat a winch boat, this is easy to establish as these boats operate by taking their guest out away from the beach and any objects before the parachute is launched. The participants take off and land on the back of the boat. Most commercial operations use winch boats however there are still some companies that run guests off the beach and with experience this can be done safely but parasailing if much safer when done with an experienced captain from a professionally built winch boat.
2. What condition is the equipment in? Use your common sense before parasail and make sure that there equipment is well maintained and in safe working order. Look for badly faded and weathered parasails, is the rope old and frayed? Are the harnesses in good condition, do they have any frays and do the clips on them snap back together? Is the boat clean and tidy? All of these a sure signs of old and incompetent equipment and should make you question whether or not you want to parasail with this company.
3. How much experience does the captain and crew have. The more experience the captain and crew has the better of you are. Parasailing can be achieved in all types of conditions and while learning to parasail captains will encounter all types of winds and sea’s. The more experience the captain and crew has with high winds and rough sea’s the better off you are, as dealing with these conditions can only be perfected with experience.
4. What are the weather conditions? Parasailing can be safely executed in high winds but there is such thing as to much wind or bad wind. Too much wind will depend on the size of the parachute, the captain’s experience and comfort level. It is hard to give you an exact wind speed for when parasail operations should be shut down, so my best advice is that if you a little nervous and tentative then wait for a nice calm wind day. Bad wind is best described as gusty wind or my personal favourite thermal air, which means there are many different air temperatures in the one area (usually found above lakes surrounded by rock and mountains).Gusts and thermal air is not necessarily dangerous so long as they are not to extreme and trips can be safely conducted in these conditions but you are not going to get a smooth ride as if it were calm winds. Once again parasailing in these conditions will depend on the captains experience and comfort level, It is very hard for you to be able to tell if these conditions exist so my best advice to you would be to ask the captain if it is going to be a smooth ride today or if there would be a better time to come back. Then it’s up to you.

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Posted by TEO
Editor: Suso

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