UFO Parasailing | West Maui Activities

Before the sun began peaking over the West Maui Mountains we were on our way to Kaanapali Beach for a special way to celebrate my daughter’s eighth birthday. For the past two years she has wanted to go parasailing, but I wanted to wait for her to be at least forty pounds. We arrived at Dig Me Beach in front of Leilani’s restaurant about a half an hour earlier than we needed to be there, but after two years of waiting, my daughter was quite anxious to get her birthday activity started.

We met Mark, who was just setting up the chairs and umbrellas, introduced ourselves and admitted to being a little early. Actually, it was about 6:45 and check in didn’t start until 7:30. It turned out that Mark did much more than set up beach chairs and umbrellas, Mark was also the captain of the Zodiac raft that transports us from the beach to the boat from which the UFO Parasail takes off.

My birthday girl was a little hungry, so before the UFO Parasail started, we decided to run down to Sir Wilfred’s at Whaler’s Village and share a blueberry muffin. The muffin was good; nothing special. We didn’t expect a homemade muffin, but for a prepackaged treat like what you get at Costco, it was ok.

Feeling better after the muffin, my daughter and I cruised back to the beach looking for the UFO umbrellas. Mark was in the Zodiac, and we met Tina under the umbrella. She wished my daughter a happy birthday and after inquiring about her age and her grade in school, she handed me a clipboard with a few papers — Waivers of Liability — for me to fill out and sign.

One of the other two couples arrived as we were handing the clip board back and since we still had about forty minutes before we started, my daughter and I walked up the beachwalk towards the Westin. The Westin has a very cool spot near their Starbucks kiosk where a few flamingos and some other birds hang out. If you have a chance, they are almost as cool as the penguins at the Hyatt.

We watched the birds for a few minutes before heading back to the beach for our UFO Parasail. Everyone was there when we returned, Tina outfitted my daughter with a child size life vest with red, white, and blue stars and stripes, and we joined the others on the Zodiac raft. Captain Mike made sure we were safe and holding onto the safety ropes before he took us out to the UFO Parasailing boat.

As we neared the boat, Mike instructed us on the proper method for transferring from one vessel to the other and we all made it aboard without incident. We met Bill, the captain of the UFO Parasail boat, and Whitten, the first mate who was going to help us gear up for the parasail and launch into the air. Since it was my daughter’s birthday, she was offered the opportunity to go first. She shook her head “no” and looked a little bit afraid. I was concerned that she was going to change her mind about going up and this adventure was going to have a not so happy ending.

The other couple went first and we shifted to their seats, which meant we were going to go last. This would either mean my daughter was going to “chicken out” or be “best for last”. At this point it could go either way. She asked a lot of questions as the first couple was donning their harnesses and life vests. By the time they lifted off the deck and soared into the sky, she was smiling, laughing, and acting extremely thrilled that she was going to go up for her birthday.

We watched as the first couple came back to the boat and then waited patiently while the second couple had their turn. Halfway through, Whitten asked my daughter and me to switch to the seats near the launch pad and put on the harnesses. When she began laughing with anticipation, I breathed a sigh of relief and knew that this was going to be an adventure to remember.

Once Whitten had the other couple back on deck and in their seats, it was our turn. Bill and Whitten made sure my daughter was safely hooked onto the parachute before hooking me into the position next to hers. We sat on the deck for a second and felt the parachute fill with air. We were aloft within seconds.

For the next ten minutes, we flew in the air above the waters off Kaanapali Beach and had an incredible bird’s eye view of everything from Lahaina to Honokawai. Truly, a birthday to remember.

Tiny Bubbles Scuba
About Maury Hoffman |Things to Do on Maui | Restaurant and Activity Reviews

Senior Editor of 808 Reviews and freelance travel writer, Maury Hoffman lives on Maui with his familiy, iPad, iPhone, and other gadgets. His writing proficiency is directly related to the quality of his morning coffee. He prefers Peet's Coffee, but also enjoys Living Java.

Tiny Bubbles Scuba