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Parasail Safety Council Website
The worlds premiere source for parasail information
Altitude means Above Ground Level (AGL)
Approved parasail canopy means a parasail canopy manufactured under a type certificate or a Technical Standard Order (C-23 series), or
a personnel-carrying U.S. military parachute (other than a high altitude, high speed, or ejection type) identified by a Navy Air Facility, an Army
Air Field, and Air Force-Navy drawing number, an Army Air Field order number, or any other military designation or specification number.
Automatic Release Device means a mechanical self-contained release system attached to a tow bar in a flexible harness parasail system or
to the gondola/ ridged harness in a ridged harness parasail system which in the former system automatically releases the tow bar from the
parasail canopy and in the latter system automatically releases the gondola/ridged harness from the parasail canopy when the automatic
release device is activated.
Body Harness means a webbed parasailor support system consisting of a lower back and seat strap, leg straps and adjustable waist strap
which attaches the parasailor in a sitting position to the parasail
Commercial parasail operation means providing or offering to provide, for consideration, any activity involving the towing of a parasail
system by a mooring vehicle when:
(a) One or more persons are tethered to parasail system;
(b) The person or persons ascend above ground or sea level; and
(c) The person or persons remain suspended above the earth while the mooring vehicle is underway.
Flexible Harness means a combination of straps and webbing that physically secures and supports a single parasailor to a tow bar.
Flight Zone means any pre-determined area in which parasail activity is conducted
Flight Technician means a trained crew member responsible for the parasail canopy operation, parasailor assistance prior to flight and
observation of the parasail while in flight.
Gondola Support System means a rigid structure seating device which supports single and multiple parasailors in a partially seated or
reclined position using gravity restraint allowing for self-evacuate during an emergency. Such system is attached directly to the parasail
Harness Support System means a webbed support device consisting of a lower back and seat strap, leg straps and adjustable waist strap
attached to a tow bar device which in turn is attached to a parasail canopy.
Level Wind means a device attached to a winch system to assist the tow line to uniformly wrap and unwrap from the winch spool.
Manned Parasail means a moored parasail with a passenger or parasailor attached.
Mooring Vehicle means a vehicle or vessel to which a parasail is tethered
Parasail means a gliding parachute.
Parasailor means a person who intends to exit a mooring vehicle while attached or un-attached to a parasail system.
Parasail Captain means the person responsible for the operation and safety of a parasail operation and who is licensed to operate a
Winchboat-for-hire by the United State Coast Guard or other similar regulatory authority.
Parasail Crew Member means a person who is 18 years of age or older is present onboard the Winchboat at all times to assist the Captain
and be attentive to the passengers and parasailors during their excursion and while suspended above the water.
Parasail System means the combination of an approved parasail canopy, approved flexible harness attached to a tow bar or an approved
Passenger Support System means any system which supports a parasail passenger(s) by tethering it/them either directly or indirectly to a
Parasail canopy means a modified parachute that ascends when towed also referred to as an ascending parachute or gliding parachute.
Parasail Concession means a person or entity offering Commercial Parasailing.
Parasail Flight means the ascension and descension of a Parasailor and Parasail Canopy tethered to a Winchboat
Parasail Operation means the performance of all activity for the purpose of, or in support of parasailing. This parasail operation can involve,
but is not limited to, the following persons: the general public, owner or operator in command of the moored vehicle. An operation in
compliance with the parasail operation certification rules of both the FAA and Office of the Secretary of Transportation.
Parasail Operator in Command means the person responsible for the operation and safety of a parasail operation.
Parasail Winchboat means the combination of a moored vehicle, winch system, parasail, parasail line guide, towline, flexible harness/tow
bar or rigid harness, weather equipment, communication equipment and USCG safety equipment.
Ridged Harness aka gondola means a rigid structure seating device which supports single and multiple parasailors in a partially seated or
reclined position using gravity restraint and attaches directly to a parasail canopy
Sustained Wind Speed means a wind speed determined by averaging the observed wind speed rounded to the nearest whole knot over a 2-
Towline means a low stretch double braided polyester rope connecting the mooring vehicle to a parasail system.
Towline Guide means an upright structure which swivels and supports a series of pulley(s) and/or rollers which a tow line passes through
Tow Bar means a mechanical bar like device which passenger(s) wearing flexible harness system may be tethered to.
Winchboat means a special purpose tow vessel which incorporates a launch and retrieval winch systems, a release brake, rotating line guide
and level wind for the purpose of launch and recovery of parasailors(s) from its stern.
Winchboat for Hire means a Winchboat that is in full compliance with all requirements of the United States Coast Guard governing crewing
and equipment carriage for passenger-carrying Winchboats as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations or as otherwise specified by the
United States Coast Guard in the Winchboat's certificate of inspection
Winch System means a hydraulically powered parasail system launch and recovery system powered by hydraulics consisting of a support
frame, winch spool and level wind device.
Winch Spool means a cylindrical piece on which a tow line is wound.
PARASAIL CANOPY GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Apex means the open center of the crown portion of a parasail. Allows air flow which prevents uncontrolled oscillation of the canopy.
Canopy means the main fabric portion of a parasail, consisting of the crown & skirt made up of pie-shaped gores.
Center Lines means the heavy duty lines attaching the crown apex of the parasail canopy to the risers for stability
Crown means the top of the parasail canopy.
Drive Slots means the vent openings in the back of a parasail canopy. These provide lift & forward rate of speed during descent. The
configuration of these vents determine whether a parasail is high or low wind chute.
Ears means the stabilizer panels attached to the canopy sides.
Gores means the pie-shaped pieces of fabric making up the canopy. Each gore consists of separate panels, sewn together
Parachute means a "descending" canopy or wing, with a variable number of gores, depending on chute size, and shock reducing vents,
designed to gather and hold air to retard a free falling descent.
Parasail means the distant relative of the "ascending parachute". Comprised of a twenty four or sixteen gore canopy, vents and stabilizing
ears connected to risers and/or toggles for chute control by the "flier", designed to ascend and descend by gathering and releasing air, by
means towing or manually.
Parascending is the combining the words "parachute" and "ascending" A variation on the sport of parachuting in which participants are towed
by a vehicle or boat attached to an open parasail to the desired height and then released for a traditional descent.
Tow Line Quick Release means a tow line apparatus which can be detached from tow vehicle or parasail end during flight so that the flier
has complete control of the parasail for the duration of the flight and landing as in "parascending".
Riser means the webbing where parasail lines and body harness attach. Used by flier for guiding the chute right and left.
Skirt means the bottom of the parasail canopy. Suspension lines attach from here to the risers.
Suspension Lines means the lines attaching the parasail canopy skirt to the risers
Towing Yoke means the webbed area of parasail where risers and tow line attach.
Turn Slots means the vents in the side of a parasail. Air is expelled providing stability, steering the parasail left and right.
© Copyright - Glossary of Terms for Parasailing - Mark McCulloh - All rights reserved