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Parasailing on Lake Erie

You can ride the wind just off the Cedar Point Peninsula with North Coast Parasail.

With looming silhouettes of undulating and twirling amusement rides, Sandusky has a skyline like nowhere else in Ohio. The view is especially striking from Lake Erie while hovering in the air 800 feet above the water.

If you’ve ever spent a summer day at the world-famous amusement park, you may have caught wind of North Coast Parasail as it unfurled its colorful tethered parachute from a powerboat several hundred feet off Cedar Point Beach. From May through September, the company launches passengers skyward for unforgettable rides that last between eight and 14 exhilarating, yet tranquil, minutes.

“Anyone from the age of 4 to 93 can do this,” Doug Ebner assures me when I call to book the trip with my 5-year-old daughter. “All you have to do is sit back and relax.”

A brief chauffeured ride on a Jet Ski delivers us to the boat and to Ebner, already at the helm. After attaching a tandem harness to the parasail, Ebner’s assistant straps us in. My daughter is completely silent; her eyes wide open as if she were a flushed-face emoji. The boat begins to accelerate and we’re gently lifted into the air, slowly climbing toward the stratosphere like a single kite slow-dancing in the wind. The hum of the boat’s motor drifts away, and the only sounds we hear are the distant cries of gulls, wooshing roller coasters and their screaming riders.

For those who imagine parasailing to be a total adrenaline rush, it feels just the opposite. If I were drifting any longer than the allotted time, I would be lulled to sleep by the utter tranquility of the experience, especially given my daughter’s lack of words the entire ride. When we reach terra firma again, she finally opens her mouth and says, “Mommy, I want to do that again.”

North Coast Parasail is located on Cedar Point Beach, outside Cedar Point Amusement Park near the beachfront admission gate. For more information, call 419/627-2279 or visit northcoastparasail.com.

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