Have you ever heard of parasailing? It is one of the must-try activities during your stay in Bora Bora.
Parasailing in Bora Bora is an exhilarating experience. It is the perfect way to take in the stunning views of this island wonderland. If you are visiting for the first time, parasailing is the best way to get a bird's eye view of everything that makes Bora-Bora so incredible!
Ready to take off ? :)
- What is parasailing?
- Parasailing in Bora Bora: My experience
- Prices for parasailing in Bora Bora.
- Tips to parasailing in Bora Bora
- Things to know before booking
- Frequently asked questions about parasailing in Bora Bora
What is parasailing?
But first, what exactly is parasailing?
Parasailing is a recreational kiting activity. A person is towed behind a vehicle (could be a car or a boat) while hooked to a parasail wing, which looks like a parachute. The harness connects the person to the parasail, and the tow rope connects the parasail to the boat or land vehicle. The vehicle then drives or cruises away, lifting the person into the air. The person using the parachute has no control over it. This is more of a ride than a sport, so don't confuse it with paragliding.
Although parasailing appears to be an intentional activity, it was discovered by accident. The first person to tie a parachute to the back of a moving vehicle was Pierre Lemoigne. This early version of the activity was intended to teach people about parachute control and safe landings.
Parasailing in Bora Bora: My experience
First, the crew will come to your hotel and pick you up. Pick-up from hotels on the west side of the main island is free (such as Intercontinental Le Moana, Royal Bora Bora, Maitai). If you are staying in another resort, the company can arrange a taxi boat for you, at a fee.
Safety briefing and getting ready
Following the pick-up, the team will weigh you (I'll go over that later) and hand you a card with the safety guidelines and instructions.
When the boat arrives at the appropriate location, the team will assist you in putting on your harness and blowing the parachute, which is quite impressive!!
When it's your turn to ride, you'll be directed to the back of the boat and asked to sit so that the parachute can be attached to you. The instructor was very nice and made us feel very comfortable in the harnesses. After that... Prepare to take off!!
To be honest, I expected the takeoff to be fast and scary, but it wasn't! The captain begins to slowly unroll the rope, which initially lifts you off the boat and then gradually carries you away. There are no bumps. The ascent is made slowly.
The captain blows a whistle when you reach 100 meters of rope to see if you want to go higher (300 meters of rope). If you want to go higher, you must raise both hands, which is something that I strongly encourage you to do!
Once the rope has been fully unrolled (you will be 425 to 490 feet above the lagoon), all that is left to do is relax and enjoy the spectacular views of Mount Otemanu, the hotels and their overwater bungalows, and the 50 shades of blue that Bora Bora has to offer...
It was amazing! We even saw stingrays, eagle rays, and sharks while flying through the beautiful lagoon clear waters.
A few minor bumps may occur from time to time depending on the wind, but everything runs smoothly.
Another thing that surprised me was the complete silence; all that could be heard was the wind in the parachute behind us. It was serene and wonderful!
Soaring over the turquoise waters and emerald jungles below, I felt like a bird.
The images speak for themselves...
After 15 minutes, and if there are no other tours scheduled after you the captain will whistle twice so you can let him know if you wish to stay up 10 extra minutes. Unfortunately, other tours were scheduled immediately following us, so we did not have this option... Believe me, I would have taken it. I felt so wonderful above!
The landing is just as smooth and peaceful as the takeoff. They slowly bring you back to the boat, you lift your legs and hop back on!
Prices for parasailing in Bora Bora.
Prices for parasailing in Bora Bora start at 30 000 XPF and vary depending on two factors. The length of the rope (and hence the height at which you will fly) and the time of the flight.
- For 15 minutes of flight with 330ft (100m) of rope: 30 000 XPF per couple
- For 15 minutes flight with 1000ft (300m) of rope: 37 000 XPF per couple
- For 25 minutes flight with 1000ft (300m) of rope: 48 000 XPF per couple
Parasailing in Bora Bora: Is it worth the money?
Now that I've tried, I believe that parasailing is not an activity for those who seek intense sensations. The whole point of this practice is to be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery in a new way, to experience them from a fresh perspective. I don't see the point of parasailing anywhere unless it's beautiful.
So, then, if there is one location on the earth where parasailing makes sense, it is Bora Bora, which is spectacular from above (from everywhere actually, but especially from above).
All of Bora Bora's beauty, in my opinion, must be seen from above! There are three alternatives for this: Sit on the right side of the plane and hope for excellent weather for your take-off/landing or arrange an unmissable but more expensive helicopter flight.
The final choice is parasailing. It allows you to discover Bora Bora and its spectacular views, but the tour felt very short to me. I reserved a 15-minute tour, but if I had to do it again, I would choose the longer tour to have more time to enjoy it. In my perspective, this is the only downside, I wanted to stay up there forever!
So, sure, I believe it is worth including parasailing in your Bora Bora activity budget.
Tips to parasailing in Bora Bora
Here are some tips for those who want to go parasailing in Bora Bora.
Book the right tour, right away
If you're going to schedule a tour, you might as well do it wisely. I mentioned the cost of parasailing beforehand. Even if it costs more, I'll pick the longest rope distance to be higher and have the best views. I'll take 25 minutes as well. I did 15 minutes, and that seemed far too short. I couldn't stay any longer because another tour was arranged following; I regretted not scheduling 25 minutes directly.
Bring your camera (or regret it later)
Don't be afraid to bring your camera to capture memories. The flight is tranquil, and as long as you have a strap on your camera, there is no risk of falling.
Fly at the right time of the day
I recommend planning your parasailing experience in the late morning or early afternoon for the greatest lagoon hues that make Bora Bora famous (anytime between 11AM and 1PM). The sunset are probably gorgeous as well, but you won't be able to see the blue as good.
Things to know before booking
Parasailing is a highly weather-dependent activity. So, if there is any risk to the passengers' safety, such as too much or not enough wind, too much swell, or rain, your activity will be canceled and/or postponed. Bora Bora's weather is notoriously unpredictable, and forecasts are rarely accurate. That’s why the operator will typically notify you in the morning whether or not the tour can be done. A last-minute cancellation can be frustrating, but it happens... unfortunately, no one can control the weather.
For obvious safety reasons, there is a weight limit and it may vary depending on the wind that day. It is virtually always possible to fly if the pair weighs between 245 and 375lbs (110 to 170kg). However, if the wind is weak that day or if the pair is too heavy, the crew will be unable to send both persons at the same time.
They will be sent one by one and the tour time will be divided accordingly. For example, if you book 15 minutes for a pair, each passenger will do 7 to 8 minutes.
The maximum weight permitted per individual is 330lbs (150kg).
Frequently asked questions about parasailing in Bora Bora
Is parasailing scary?
No, even though I was a little afraid of heights, I was not scared. The ascent and descent are both quite smooth and without difficulty. Once near the top, there may be some little gusts of wind that cause the parachute to shift slightly, but nothing spectacular. There are no significant sensations to be found!
How high we’ll we go?
The height of the parachute is determined by the weight it must hold as well as the current wind force. Flights with 330 feet of rope can reach 145 to 165 feet above the lagoon, while flights with 1000 feet of rope can reach 425 to 490 feet above the beautiful lagoon.
Are we going to get wet?
I'm not sure why I expected the takeoff to be from the water, but it wasn't. We take off and land in the boat, so we never come into contact with the water. We wear a life jacket in case of emergency.
Can I take my camera / Phone?
Yes, the ride is peaceful, and we never go in the water, so the activity can be done with a go pro and a camera or phone. Use a strap to prevent it from falling. - At your own risk tho.
How to Prepare for Parasailing?
Because parasailing is not a physically demanding exercise, no particular preparation is required. People with physical disabilities are welcome to join in on the fun. Just bring a good mood :)
What to wear for parasailing?
You can parasail in a swimsuit or in a comfortable outfit.
Can my kid go parasailing?
Yes, children as young as four years old can ride with an adult!
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