BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.
At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean for a panoramic view of the sweeping shoreline.
“You get a completely different perspective of the Jersey Shore. You not only see the beach, but the lakes and waterways inland … and how beautiful everything is,” said Michele Prothers, who owns the business with her husband, Craig. “People are so surprised how quiet and calm it is — not like the roller coaster ride some expect it to be.”
Parasailing combines parachuting, ballooning, sailing and gliding all in one exhilarating ride. “Anyone can parasail, and no special skills are needed,” Prothers said, adding that children as young as age 4 to adults in their 90s have taken flight during the 1½-hour boat trip along the coast.
“You’d be amazed how many people start out as observers on the boat and then decide to go up,” she said. “They then are so thrilled to be able to say, ‘I did it!’ ”
In fact, many parasailors, including families, come back year after year. “We’ve seen so many kids grow up over the years,” Prothers said.
In addition to countless birthdays, anniversaries and graduations, marriage proposals and other milestone moments have been marked under the Belmar Parasail parachute. “One time, we were taking a couple out and when we got to Klein’s (restaurant on the inlet), we pulled up and their friends and family were right there waiting on the deck to congratulate them,” she said. “It was a really nice moment.”
For the past 14 summers, the Prothers have operated the family-owned business, which is inspected and certified annually the U.S. Coast Guard. It was originally located behind the former Havens & Hampton situated at the foot of the Main Street bridge along the Shark River Inlet. When that popular eatery and seafood market was closed — later to become the site of the Riverwalk at Belmar along the Shark River — Belmar Parasail moved to the nearby marina, where it is tucked under the Route 35 bridge and accessible from Seventh Avenue.
Parking is available at the Belmar Arts Center, 608 River Road, where Belmar Parasail patrons can take a brief walk over the railroad tracks and under the bridge — to the exact location of the dock where its signature 31-foot green boat awaits and Prothers greets everyone upon their arrival.
Since its marina location is not as visible as its original home, signage has been strategically placed to guide Belmar Parasail visitors to their destination for a memorable high-flying adventure.
And all parasailors are reminded of this: When you’re up floating in the air, and the boat passes by Belmar, make sure your friends are on the beach, so you can wave, “Hello.”
For more information about pricing and reservations, visit Belmar Parasail's website by clicking here.
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