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a man flying a kite in a large body of water

When you strap into a parasail harness and soar above the glistening waters, you’re taking part in a thrilling adventure with an intriguing backstory. Parasailing, also known as parascending or parakiting, grew from humble origins to become a popular watersport enjoyed by explorers all over the world. But where and when did this sport first take flight?

Parasailing’s origin began in the late 18th century, when innovative minds began experimenting with the idea of human flight. Early pioneers, like Frenchman André-Jacques Garnerin, experimented with primitive parachutes and balloons, laying the way for the concept of floating beneath a parachute-like canopy.

As we fast forward to the 1940s, parasailing starts to become a leisure activity. During World War II the military used parasails for a variety of purposes, including lifting soldiers and equipment across rivers. After the war, excess military equipment found its way into the hands of daring civilians, creating interest in parasailing as a recreational pastime.

The 1970s were the early formation of the commercialized version of parasailing that we know today. Mark McCulloh and Pierre Lamoigne, among others, improved and popularized the sport. Parasailing then became synonymous with adventure, providing participants with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to soar far above the sea and experience the exhilaration of flight without the need for an airplane. 

By the 1990’s, parasailing was taking the world by storm. But as parasailing got more popular, safety became more of a top priority. To protect the safety of both participants and operators, industry standards, rules, and regulations were established. Improvements to safety and control like the modern parasailing equipment we see today, including winch boats and innovative harness systems, were developed.

Today, parasailing has firmly established itself as a thrilling adventure sport enjoyed in coastal destinations worldwide. The greatest perk of parasailing is that almost anyone can take part in parasailing. If you’re looking to be treated to breathtaking aerial views of coastlines, crystal-clear waters, and marine life, then what are you waiting for? Book a parasailing adventure with Sea Rocket Adventures today!

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