Visit any busy beach on a summer day and you’ll see bright parachutes flying high above boats as they zip across the water. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched those parasails and wondered what it would be like to float in the air like that. Scary? Exhilarating? Cold?

Flying high above Lake Coeur d'Alene
Flying high above Lake Coeur d’Alene

Since my daughter is a bit of a daredevil, I knew she’d be game to try it out. So on a chilly September afternoon, we went for it over Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho.

Parasailing is amazing, and actually pretty easy to do whether or not you can walk. We did a tandem ride 800 feet in the air, and even though I’ll admit to holding on pretty tightly at first, I soon realized that I didn’t need to hold on at all. The harness completely supported me for the ride.

Getting ready to launch for parasailing in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Getting ready to launch

Launching and landing both took place from a large deck at the back of the boat. The fully automated tether released us quickly up into the sky and operated so smoothly that we barely even noticed as we were being pulled back in.

Being up under the canopy of the parachute was surprisingly peaceful. I expected noise from the boat or the wind; instead it was quiet, and warmer than it had been on the boat. We lifted off from a sitting position and landed the same way and nothing about it was jarring or uncomfortable. The entire experience was awesome. To quote my daughter, “Ten out of ten recommend. How soon can we do this again?”

Accessibility: 4.5 out of 5. Getting on and off the boat was the only challenge, and a small one at that. The driver was ready and willing to help and said they’ve even taken quadraplegics out to parasail. You can make reservations online (and see sample videos) at Coeur d’Alene Parasail. They operate through the spring, summer and fall, as long as the weather is good.