Paragliding vs. Parasailing (Which Is Better)

It’s always tough having to decide between two things that seem to be equally fun and interesting. In this case, having to choose which is better between paragliding and parasailing would need to be dependent on how you want to experience that adrenaline rush. These two different sports have unique appeals to people who are seeking to feel like they are soaring the sky and watching over a great view.
Paragliding vs. Parasailing

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The main difference between paragliding and parasailing is how you operate them and how much you are in control. Both sports also offer an experience that would be enjoyable depending on how you want to be involved in navigating the ride. It is important to note that in order for you to pick which one is better for you, you’d have to know what type of experience you are looking for.

What Is Parasailing and Paragliding?

Parasailing is a recreational sport that does not demand you to have training. It can, in fact, be enjoyed by people as young as 6 years old. This recreational sport is perfect if you are just looking to relax and watch the view beneath you.

Paragliding on the other hand is an extreme sport where you would need a lot of training to maneuver on your own. Paragliding requires more time to master in order to independently perform it safely—from launching, controlling in mid-air, and landing.

Are Paragliding and Parasailing the Same Thing?

Both could not be more similar to each other. As stated, paragliding is an extreme sport where you need to dedicate time and effort to train in order to perform the sport on your own. You can last up to an hour—or more if you are comfortable—in mid-air when you are paragliding. This sport can be done by oneself or in tandem.

Parasailing cannot be performed solo. Since the parasail needs to be towed, the sport requires at least two people to enjoy it – one captain, and one who would be launched to enjoy the view under them. The average duration for parasailing is only about 15 to 20 minutes

What Is the Difference Between Parasailing and Paragliding?

A quick and easy way to understand the comparison between parasailing and paragliding will absolutely help you to choose which suits you best. Both have pros and cons that may affect how you view the sport.

Parasailing Paragliding
Access Parasailing is undeniably easier to access when you are at the beach. The most common type of parasailing is winch boat parasailing. This is when a parasail is strapped to a vehicle (usually a boat) and towed. Outside of spaces that are vast though, this sport cannot be experienced. Generally speaking, you can paraglide in many places, granted that you have the ability for a lift (this enables you to fly for longer). It is more accessible compared to other extreme sports, however, there are places where you can’t perform the sport such as flight paths, schools, highways, roads, no-fly zones, and places with high trees.
Equipment Equipment for this sport is usually provided by parasailing companies. If you do want to try it on your own you would need a towing vehicle, tow rope, parasail, harness, life jacket, suspension lines, helmet, winch system, and a wind meter. Paragliding requires a paragliding wing, seating harness, lines, risers, speed bar, reserved parachute, helmet, variometer, radio, and GPS. There are also companies that offer the equipment while you are training for the sport.
Operation You don’t need to fuss about operating your parasail. The captain of the towing vehicle will be in control of how you would cruise along the sky. The captain would be well aware of how to navigate the wind direction and use a mechanical winch to send you up and reel you back in. Paragliding requires more knowledge from you when performing it. Takeoffs are launched by foot from high altitudes like mountains or cliffs with a careful and thorough examination of the speed of the wind. You are in complete control of how you would launch, glide or elevate, and land.
Training You don’t need any training when you are parasailing. A parasailing company that offers the sport would be providing you with a captain who is experienced in controlling the towing vehicle that launches you into the air. In order to paraglide by yourself, you would need about 10 to 15 days of training to fully do it independently – depending on the course and how you perform. This does take a bit of time and a lot of dedication to train in order for you to enjoy the sport unassisted.
Thrill Factor Parasailing can be considered as one of the most chill recreational sports. As mentioned, since this does not require any control from you when you are in the harness, you can just quite literally relax and bask in the view. Being an extreme sport, paragliding might just be the one to keep your heart racing. As you are in full control of your every movement, this would be exhilarating to anyone who wants to look for that thrill factor.
Safety Due to the nature of the sport being serene and calming, parasailing is considered very safe. While paragliding is considered to have one of the highest fatality rates in extreme sports, it is safe as long as you have proper training. If you are not keen on getting a course to train to perform the sport on your own, it is much safer when you do a tandem paraglide.

Which Is Better – Parasailing or Paragliding?

With any type of choice, you should need to consider a lot of factors. You have parasailing for that calm, serene, and overall peaceful experience, or paragliding if you are seeking a more intense thrill and in need of an adrenaline high. These two offer different types of experience that are fully dependent on what you prefer.

Take into account how much time you are willing to dedicate to learning proper paragliding techniques to experience the sport independently, or lack thereof to opt for parasailing. As with every sport, it’s also important to take into consideration the safety of the activity you want to enjoy. Ultimately, the choice depends on what you are looking for.