If you are ready for a totally awesome experience with a bird’s eye view of Englewood Beach, it’s time to give Parasail Englewood a call. Often seeing the boat with the multi-colored parasail in the waters around Englewood Beach and wishing I could see Manasota Key from the air, I booked a parasailing adventure as I am not getting any younger and want to start having bucket list experiences.
I didn’t know what to expect so if this is something you might want to experience, here is a little about my adventure. I wore my swim suit under a top and joined four other people at the dock. None of us had done this before and we were excited but a little nervous. The crew, Captain Kizza Mathews and Mate Joe Guzman, immediately put us at ease with laughter (did they do stand-up comedy in their free time?) as we traveled over Lemon Bay and out through Stump Pass to the Gulf. I realized that the humorous focus kept everyone relaxed, excited and not worrying about what we were going to do. We were given clear instructions about the take-off and landing so we knew what to expect.
A friend and I went tandem. We were securely fastened into our harnesses and life vests before making our way to a platform on the back of the boat where we sat and were secured to the parasail. The boat picked up speed and we were soon pulled gently up into the air. It was a smooth take-off and soon we were floating upward to our gliding height of 450 feet. What a view! We could look down into the water at the miniscule boats, kayakers and jet skiers, see dolphins (another couple saw manatees,) look over Stump Pass and Manasota Key with Englewood in the distance and view ant-like people walking the beach. Definitely a million-dollar view! Surprisingly it was a very smooth flight, peaceful and quiet – not at all like I expected – and we could even carry on a conversation.
After enjoying the freedom of parasailing for about 10 minutes, we were slowly lowered to the water where we got to dip our feet before rising again and then were slowly reeled in for our landing. Again, it was very smooth and with our feet stuck out in front of us, we gently landed on our bottoms on the platform. The whole flight was extremely well-orchestrated. I had pictured missing the back of boat and ending up in the water but the safety lines put us right where we needed to be. During the flight, a crew member keeps a watchful eye and you have a distress signal to use if something unforeseen happens when air born.
Everyone on board loved the experience. As Mate Joe Guzman said, “This is a way to break out of your comfort zone in an easy, safe way.” Children ages 5 and up can enjoy it, too, and there was a family ready to take to the sky when we returned to the dock. Right now there is a summer special for just $79 until September 1st and you can save an additional $10 per person with the coupon in this paper (page 13) if you book a flight before 11am. Observers are welcome on the boat (if there is room) at a cost of $35. Photo packages are also available so you can fully participate in your experience without worrying about taking photos.
I chose Parasail Englewood on Beach Road because of their 100% safety record (I wanted to live to be able to cross the next item off my bucket list!) Their boats are inspected twice annually by the U.S. Coast Guard for safety and security plus safety checks are performed daily by the crew. The captains & crew hold a USCG Merchant Marine Masters Captain’s license and participate in ongoing training programs. Captain Kizza has fifteen years experience and he expertly maneuvered the boat and parasail in perfect harmony.
Parasail Englewood has operated in Englewood for six years and is located at 1271 Beach Road (near Beach Road Bistro) and can be reached at 346•8300. You can also book an appointment on their website at parasailenglewood.com. All of us on my tour had a great time, were energized by the experience and would do it again without hesitation!