Tom’s Tips – Maui Parasailing

Jul 31, 2018 | Activity Information

Table of Contents
Parasailing on Maui is only done on the West Side of the island either out of Lahaina Harbor or directly off of the beach in Kaanapali. These tours are seasonal and coincide with the departure of the Humpback Whales from the Maui waters. The waters surrounding Maui are a protected marine sanctuary in the winter months when the whales come to visit and consequently it is not permitted to have the parasail boats operate between mid December and mid May. It is believed that the swift nature of these boats may provide the possibility for collisions with the whales.

All of the parasail boats these days operate using a winch system which essentially reels the parasailer up into the air from a specially built platform on the back of the boat. This is very different from the way it used to be on Maui in the early days when the passengers were flown directly off small stationary launch platforms that were moored at specific locations off the Lahaina coastline. In those days the line was already at length when the pull boat would accelerate and pull the parasailer into the air. This very often resulted in a misfire where the intended flyer would be dragged through the water behind the boat for a short time as the launch into the air was unsuccessful. The return trip back to the launch platform was equally difficult as the skilled boat pilot had to maneuver the boat just right to negotiate the delivery of the passenger directly back onto the platform amid a host of crew members scrambling to catch the parasailer. The way we do it today is a much better option.