Hawaiian Parasail started business in 1977 doing beach take offs from a beach in Hawaii Kai on Oahu. The first parasail flight was met with people running out of their houses along Portlock beachfront pointing in the air. This was the first parasail flight ever in Hawaii and nobody knew what parasailing was at that time. The people pointing at the parachute thought it was an airplane pilot who parachuted out of his crashing plane.
We parasailed our first rider for about 20 minutes before landing him in the ocean. I soon was met with a huge Coast Guard helicopter hovering over us, asking us over a very loud speaker if we picked up the pilot. We all waved saying yes we have him. When we arrived back at the dock we were swamped with reporters from every news station running up to us asking about the pilot. There was police, fire trucks and ambulance waiting nearby. They were all surprised when we told them that it is a new sport here in Hawaii, that I had brought it here after seeing it in Mexico while on a surfing trip there.
There were no hydraulic winch boats then, that did not come until some years later. As they say, the rest is history. Since then parasailing has evolved into a much safer and easier activity, capable of multiple riders simultaneously. Hawaiian Parasail Inc. is now one of the biggest parasail companies in Hawaii and after being featured in such films as “Meet The Deedles” and “Jurassic Park III” the most famous.