PARA-SAILING is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation, and you can join in the fun. Although recreational para-sails have been around for more than 30 years, more efficient modern designs make it an ideal purchase for the family sport boat owner.
If you've been to a beach resort destination, you've probably seen para-sails lifting riders skyward. All across the country, more of the brightly colored sails can be seen behind personal sport boats. If you have never flown, the freedom of flight awaits you.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR PARA-SAILING?
Almost any boat capable of pulling multiple skiers at 25-30 MPH will pull the Para-Sail. Some folks report success with 50-75 HP engines, but in order to get the full range of enjoyment, we recommend a boat with a minimum of 100 HP. With 300 feet as the standard tow rope length, expect altitudes up to 200 feet. You may tie off any length, for initial flights 150' is recommended. The take-off and flight area must be clear of obstructions, trees and rocks. A skilled driver and observer, a two man ground crew, favorable winds, and you're ready.
OK, WE'RE READY!
A preflight inspection of all the gear is required and insures its flight readiness. All take-offs must be into the wind, which should never exceed 15 mph. After several successful practice flights with a dummy weight, it's time to start having real fun. The flyer should wear a helmet, approved life vest, and foot protection. After stepping into the harness and hooking onto the Para-Sail the flyer is ready. With the help of the launch crew the boat idles out into the wind until the tow line is taut and completely extended. The sail is spread and held up on both sides by the flight crew. When all is ready, the signal is given to power up. The flyer does not run towards the boat or jump up, but resists the pull in a tug-of-war fashion to keep the line tight and maintain balance. It normally takes three to five steps before the exhilaration of lift-off.
Once aloft, flyer gets comfortable in the harness by sitting in it rather than hanging from it. Steering right or left is achieved by pulling on the right or left rear risers, located within easy reach. Altitude is controlled by boat speed. Using 300' of rope, expect a maximum altitude of 200 feet.
Initially the boat travels into the wind, the boat speed must be adjusted to maintain the desired height. When turning to cross wind or down wind, speed is increased to maintain the relative air speed and desired flying height. The average boat speed will range from 15-30 mph (more during turns). The flyer gets a grand view, and so do people for miles around. The beautiful para-sails attract attention and interest.
TIME TO LAND!
The flight is finished while heading into the wind, landing will be in the water. The driver reduces the throttle and the flyer gently drifts downward. The boat should be stopped completely just before splashdown to avoid dragging the flyer and chute through the water. The para-sail traps air and floats, no need to worry about sinking. After landing, the flyer unhooks from the sail and awaits pick up. The para-sail is pulled into the boat fabric first, then lines taking care as to not tangle it to be ready for its next flight (does NOT need to be dry for re-use).
Welcome to the world of PARA-SAILING. It's a fantastic way to enjoy your time outdoors and on the water.
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