By Valerie Arias
I consider myself up for most any adventure, but soaring 800 feet above Santa Monica Bay? Even I felt butterflies in my stomach at that thought. It wasn’t enough to keep me shoreside though, so a friend and I joined one of Marina del Rey Parasailing’s excursions.
up, up, and away
I was nervous to be lifted 800 feet above the ocean, but as one of the guides said, “In the event something does happen, you have a huge parachute that will glide you to the ocean’s surface, where we’ll already be waiting for you.” I was promised an experience described as “tranquil” and “peaceful,” which seemed impossible from so high up.
Our boat carried a few other parties – a total of 10 brave souls – and I watched a couple daredevils fly first. Then it was our turn. No turning back now! The crew locked our harnesses and mere seconds later, the boat accelerated. The wind pulled at the yellow smiling face parasail, and we suddenly lifted off the platform.
We were floating in the sky with nothing but air between our pedicured toes and the ocean. And you know what? “Peaceful” it was! It was so calming to feel the coastal breeze against my face and to see the glowing sunset shine on the water. Not to mention how remarkably quiet it was, despite a bustling city as our backdrop. We could carry on a conversation just as we would over the dinner table.
It was also fun to play tourist and spot popular landmarks like the Santa Monica Pier, the downtown skyline, Catalina Island, and the Hollywood Sign. Ten minutes of drifting along the Los Angeles coast…is there a better way to spend an afternoon?
The Marina is the only place on the Los Angeles coast where one can enjoy the thrill of parasailing. So, even if you’re staying in Santa Monica, come over to L.A.’s Marina and play for the day!
Located in Fisherman’s Village, the blue parasailing booth is easy to find: look for El Torito restaurant and your dock is on the waterside of that building. The crew runs several daily excursions during the high summer season, and a reduced schedule in spring and fall; the attraction is closed between mid November and mid February. Riders can choose between single, double, or triple flights, depending on weight and weather. Advance reservations are recommended. 310-306-9222; marinadelreyparasailing.com.