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【Paragliding vs. Parasailing】 | Comparison between these two aerial sports

Welcome back to our blog! Today at Overfly Tenerife, we are going to compare these two aerial sports: paragliding vs. parasailing. Although it may sound quite obvious, there are many times that people confuse both sports because they are very similar somehow.

Down below you will find all the information needed and related with paragliding vs. parasailing. However, if you are interested in discovering more information related with paragliding, you must take a look at our blog:

Paragliding vs. Parasailing

The main difference between these two sports (paragliding and parasailing) is that paragliders are not attached to a vehicle. Parasailers are usually attached to a motor boat that generates impulse enough at the same time that it connects the parasail pilots to safety.

On the one hand, paragliding is a recreational and competitive aerial sport in which the pilot uses a paraglider — it is a free-flying, foot-launched aircraft.

On the other hand, parasailing is a recreational activity where a person is towed behind a vehicle (usually a boat) while attached to a specially designed parachute, known as a parasail.

There are two types of parasailing — the terrestrial and the aquatic. The terrestrial way of practicing parasailing is over land and you are attached to a jeep. Meanwhile, the aquatic way to practice parasailing is over water, where you will be attached to a motorboat. Anyway, if you use a paraglider, you will have the chance to fly like a bird.

Safe conditions of paragliding and parasailing

Safety is the highest priority when it comes to paragliding. Apart from the paragliding safety equipment, such as the helmet, safety conditions include being at the right place at the right time, such as being at a high cliff during a sunny day. You should pay attention to the speed of the wing because it can vary by the minute.

A paraglider should never take off into winds more than 24 kilometres per hour unless highly trained. Never fly in winds of 40 to 48 kilometres per hour. Never take off in wet conditions such as rain, storms or snow.

Bear in mind that you must never practice parasailing if the wind speed exceeds 80 kilometres per hour. Everyone who flies using parasail needs to wear helmets to prevent head injuries and life jackets in order to prevent drowning.

Basic principles of both sports at launching time

One the one hand, we could say that there are 3 basic principles to paragliding: how to launch, how to turn, and how to land a paraglider. If you want to launch the paraglider, you can run into the wind and down a slope with the paraglider behind you. This is one of the many paragliding launch techniques, which is called “hopping” or “jackrabbit”, and it lets you get a feel for the lift the paraglider receives when it encounters air.

On the other hand, we find that in parasailing, the rider or the riders (2) are put into a harness which is attached to a parachute. As the vehicle starts to speed up, the air fills the parachute and the parasailer is lifted up. However, they keep attached to the vehicle by a tow line.

Origins of paragliding and parasailing

In this section, we want to tell you a little bit about the origins of paragliding and parasailing. However, we have already talked about the origins of paragliding in another post of our blog, so we invite you to read it for getting more complete information — Paragliding History ➞ Let’s take a look over the origins of this aerial sport

With regard to parasailing, the first time that someone practiced this sport was in 1961. That flight was performed by Colonel Michel Tournier — from France —, who was flying attached to a tractor. Later — in 1963 —, Jacques-Andre Istel from Pioneer Parachute Company bought a license from Lemoigne, who invented the paracommander parachute. He bought the license in order to manufacture and sell the 24-gore parachute canopy. That canopy he had developed for towing received the name “parasail“.

We hope that you have enjoyed our comparison between paragliding vs. parasailing. Anyway, if you have any doubt or you need any further information, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be here to help you anytime! Remember that we are waiting for you in the south of Tenerife to fly higher than you have ever done before.

We want to fly with you; we want to be your wings.

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Judith Escudero

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Judith Escudero

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