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 Paragliding vs. Parasailing - Paragliders Do Not Parasail Off Mountains

You might think that paragliding and parasailing are one and the same, but they’re actually two very different sports. Parasailing is a passive activity, one in which anyone—even a complete beginner—can suit up and be flown through the air, suspended underneath a large parachute and propelled by a speedboat. Paragliding, on the other hand, is an active skilled sport that requires a bit of instruction and a lot of practice. Paragliding involves an inflatable wing that the pilot is harnessed into and then sets aloft like a kite. When the pilot is ready to launch, the flight begins. Although the two sports sound similar and both involve an inflatable form of a parachute, the nature and level of skill required for each activity distinguish paragliding and parasailing into different leagues altogether.

A Look at Parasailing
Parasailing is an activity that is great for those who love the water but may not have the ability or desire to take on a more extreme endeavor, such as jet skiing or kneeboarding. Parasailing offers the rider a thrilling ascent over the ocean and a blissful ride featuring scenic views, all with the safety and security of a parachute. Most parasailing occurs over large bodies of water like oceans and lakes, and the vast majority of parasailing companies launch their passengers from a special dock on a boat. Some parasailing companies feature takeoffs from a pier or dock, but this practice is frequently linked with parasailing accidents. Tips to Avoid a Parasailing Accident

A Look at Paragliding
Paragliding is another activity altogether. It is possibly the closest man can currently come to independent flight. Paragliding wings are controlled solely by the rider, who thereby is technically a pilot. The wings are set aloft much the same way a kite is, and the pilot can choose how and when to take off at his or her discretion.

You can paraglide nearly anywhere the weather conditions are right, but many paragliders choose open fields, exciting cliffs and mountain ranges for their intense scenery. This makes paragliding a unique extreme sport. Most paragliding accidents occur due to pilot error and misjudging weather conditions, that’s why it’s crucial to undergo training from a certified instructor before attempting your first paragliding flight. The more practice you have, especially under the watchful eyes of an instructor, the better you’ll get at judging weather conditions and learning when it’s safest to fly. If you’re flying anywhere near water, you should wear a life vest; if you’re planning to fly over a hundred feet in the air, you should also add a reserve parachute, even if it is not required in your country.

Whether you choose to go paragliding or parasailing depends greatly on your level of involvement in the activity. Those who yearn to be in the driver’s seat, with a sense of adventure and knowledge of his or her limitations, should take lessons to become a paraglider. Those who prefer to let others take charge—enjoy taking the back seat—should stick to parasailing. Each activity can be immensely rewarding and thrilling for the right person.

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