Parasailing

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**Terminology and History**:
– Both spinnaker and parasailing involve ascending using wind force, with spinnaker allowing swinging at the front of a tow vehicle.
– Parasailing is not to be confused with kiteboating or paragliding.
– The first ascending-gliding parachute was developed in 1962, and improvements in parasail canopy designs have led to safer operations.
– Significant milestones include the patenting of the first self-contained parasail launch and recovery vessel in 1974 and the approval of the first ASTM parasail weather standard in 2013.

**Regulation and Safety**:
– The National Transportation Safety Board found the parasailing industry largely unregulated in 2014, leading to safety concerns like hazardous wind conditions and inadequate equipment.
– Florida’s White-Miskell Act imposed strict regulations on parasailing companies to address safety issues.
– Deaths in parasailing incidents often occur due to harness support system issues, prompting the need for comprehensive safety regulations and inspections.
– Safety guidelines include wearing a life jacket, checking weather conditions, regular equipment inspections, following instructions, and knowing emergency procedures.

**Comparison: Spinnaker vs. Parasailing**:
– Both activities involve ascending using wind force, but spinnaker allows swinging at the front of a tow vehicle, while parasailing involves ascending while attached to a specially designed canopy wing.

**Comparison: Parachute vs. Parasailing**:
– Both parachutes and parasails can ascend and glide, but parasailing provides a more stable ascent with minimal steering control, primarily used for recreational purposes, unlike parachutes mainly used in skydiving for full control.

**Benefits, Popular Destinations, and Environmental Impact**:
– Benefits of parasailing include a unique perspective, sense of freedom, thrilling experience, muscle engagement, and overcoming fear of heights for some individuals.
– Popular parasailing destinations include Hawaii, Phuket, Key West, Dubai, and Gold Coast.
– Parasailing has a minimal impact on marine life, but noise pollution is a concern, necessitating eco-friendly practices like proper waste disposal and monitoring in sensitive ecosystems.

Parasailing (Wikipedia)

Parasailing, also known as parascending, paraskiing or parakiting, is a recreational kiting activity where a person is towed behind a vehicle while attached to a specially designed canopy wing that resembles a parachute, known as a parasail wing. The manned kite's moving anchor may be a car, truck, or boat. The harness attaches the occupant to the parasail, which is connected to the boat, or land vehicle, by the tow rope. The vehicle 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. The activity is primarily a fun ride, not to be confused with the sport of paragliding.

Paraskiing in Cabo San Lucas

There are commercial parasailing operations all over the world. Land-based parasailing has also been transformed into a competition sport in Europe. In land-based competition parasailing, the parasail is towed to maximum height behind a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. The driver then releases the tow line; the parasailer flies down to a target area in an accuracy competition.

The sport was developed in the late 1970s, and has been very popular ever since. The first international competitions were held in the mid-1980s and continue annually to this day. Over the years, the competitions have grown in scope as well as the number of participants.

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