Para-sail Unlimited is for those with a "been there, done that" attitude.
Kent Singleton, owner of the only state-authorized para-sail business, says para-sailing is a safe and fun sport for thrill-seekers bored with bungee jumps and rock-climbing.In fact, he says, para-sailing can relax even the most uptight. Best of all, it's relatively simple to do.
"We are having a ball with this business," he said. "Para-sailing is so memorable that it lasts a lifetime."
In previous years, Para-sail Unlimited has been stationed at Willard Bay and Antelope Island. But now, the company sets sail at various state parks with bodies of water. This weekend it will be at Willard Bay, he said.
"We'll go wherever people want us to go."
His business was borne out of a vacation to Mexico. "An associate of mine saw people para-sailing in Mexico and thought it would go over well here."
He was right. Although would-be "fliers" haven't crammed the decks of his 25-foot boat in recent months, Singleton and his crew have been the featured attraction at family reunions and office parties.
The youngest flier was 3 years old. The oldest, who learned to para-sail just last weekend, was an 85-year-old woman, he said.
David Porter, from the Utah Travel Council, broadcast a live radio show while floating in the air behind the boat last week.
"I loved it and I would do it again," he said. "The thing that is exciting is that it is not rough at all. It is almost free flight. You feel like you are floating in the air but there is nothing you have to do. The boat, rope and wind do all of the work."
Porter prepares 19 radio shows featuring recreational activities in Utah. Sixteen of the shows are broadcast live on Friday.
The best part about para-sailing, Porter and Singleton agreed, is that anyone can do it.
"Anybody in any condition can fly. There is no physical hurdle that will impair anyone. We have flown paraplegics, blind people - anyone can do it," Singleton said.
Participants are placed in a harness hooked to a giant parachute then launched into the air from the moving boat. When the ride is over, the hydraulic winch system guides them safely to the boat - all without stepping foot in the water.
And because the chute completely shelters the rider from the wind, it can be done year-round.
"It's like sitting in a park swing," he says. "I've taken older as well as younger people up and there hasn't been one that hasn't loved it. In fact, I've had responsible parents take their 3-year-old children up with them on their laps."
Singleton became a full-time para-sailer a few months ago after being laid of from Morton Thiokol. But, he said, he couldn't have picked a better second profession.
"It's almost more fun to give a ride now than it is riding," he said.
And he says as long as the people keep coming, he'll keep giving the rides. "I like giving rides so much that I lost $25,000 in the last fiscal year because I kept giving rides away."
Para-sail Unlimited charges $35 a flight. Group and hourly rates are available, but the cost increases if the boat has to be hauled a long distance. For more information, call 476-7272.