Want to make a lasting Myrtle Beach memory by taking the thrill ride of a lifetime? Strap yourself into your safety harness and prepare for takeoff at one of the many parasailing adventure tours located on the Grand Strand.
The exhilarating watersport of parasailing allows brave souls to soar like a seagull approximately 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean with the assistance of a parachute pack and a power boat. Experience the beauty of Myrtle Beach's land and sea as you get a panoramic view of the Grand Strand you can't see anywhere else.
While the popular watersport of parasailing might seem like a risky endeavor, proven safety guidelines and successful track records show that it is every bit as safe a sport as fishing or jet-skiing. In fact, passengers are ferried out to the parasailing boat via Jet Ski and given a safety and how-to briefing before the ride.
Once strapped snuggly into your safety harness, passengers climb aboard a platform on the back of the boat that serves as your launching pad. As soon as you give the captain the green light, the boat gradually gains speed and your chute opens above, lifting you high into the air for a breath-taking experience.
Parasailing is a great way to conquer your fear of heights or the ocean while making wonderful vacation memories with memories for yourself or with family and friends. Passengers can ride solo, tandem, or parasail as a trio with a special three-man harness so you can share the unique experience with loved ones.
There are standard guidelines and restrictions for parasailing used by all local outfitters. Passengers must be at least 5 years old and stand 42 inches tall to parasail, and there is a weight limit of 250 pounds. Reservations are recommended at least 24 hours in advance.
Although there are many watersports outfitters offering parasailing as part of their tours, some have been in operation longer than others and have a strong track record of favorable reviews. Here are five of the more reputable operations at various points on the Grand Strand. Pick one and enjoy the ride of a lifetime:
* Capt. Dick's: Based out of Crazy Sisters Marina in Murrells Inlet, this established South Strand operator takes passengers for a thrilling ride high above the inlet. See the fishing boats and the Lowcountry scenery from high in the sky. Celebrate your accomplishment with a drink or dinner at the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk.
* Downwind Sails: Located near Springmaid Beach Pier on the south side of Myrtle Beach, this experienced outfitter takes parasailors for a ride high over the Myrtle Beach skyline so you can see not only a great view of the ocean but also the row of hotels. The sunbathers and swimmers below look like ants from the air.
* Myrtle Beach Watersports: This long-running outfit has locations up and down the Grand Strand so you are never far away from taking a parasailing adventure. After your flight, check out MBW's wide selection of jet-ski rentals, deep-sea fishing tours or dolphin-watching cruises, just to name a few of its options.
* Ocean Watersports: Go parasailing right off the coast of Myrtle Beach and see the land of the Grand Strand as well as the sea. In addition to parasailing, Ocean Watersports also offers Banana Boat rides and ocean kayak rentals for several fun ways to enjoy the day.
* Parasail Express: This outfit may be best for more experienced parasailors, offering the highest and longest flight in the local market. Parasail Express also specializes in eco-tourism activities, such as scuba lessons and tours as well as kayak and paddleboard rentals.