Getting air has never been so easy or so much fun with Ski-Mazing this Haw

Ski-Mazing Water Sports is coming to Haweater Weekend and offering parasiling over the North Channel as well as hydroflight experiences. photo supplied by Sky-Mazing

LITTLE CURRENT—There are two exciting opportunities for fun on the water coming to the Little Current Lions Club Haweater Weekend this year and both involve taking to the sky.

“We will be bringing two watersport opportunities to Haweater Weekend,” said Craig Bowker, owner/operator of the diversified water sports company Ski-Mazing Water Sports, billed as “Haliburton’s premier ski, wakeboard and barefoot water sports school.” Those opportunities are parasailing and hydroflights.

With 16 years under their belts safely instructing people in the mysteries of parasailing and hydroflight, Ski-Mazing provides people of all ages an opportunity to sample these exhilarating sports.

“The youngest person we have had up parasailing was 18 months and the oldest was a 92-year-old with a pacemaker,” said Mr. Bowker. “Of course the 18-month-old went up with a parent.”

It’s that safe? “Absolutely,” assures Mr. Bowker. “It isn’t ‘scary’ at all, but it is one of the most exhilarating experiences you could ever imagine. If you have ever wanted to experience what it is like to fly like a bird, this is your chance.”

The minimum lift weight is 100 lbs, and the maximum combining a number of parasailers is 400 lbs, explains Mr. Bowker, and you don’t have to know how to swim. “If you can sit, you can you can fly.”

In parasailing, from one to four people are lifted into the sky from a dry platform below a giant kite-like sail, pulled aloft by a winch operated by a commercial purpose built powerboat. “Winch direct parasailing is the most widely accepted form of parasailing in the world today,” he explains. “The winch allows you to smoothly take off and land from the boat deck, not off the beach or a floating barge as seen in Mexico and many other tropical resorts. It’s like flying a kite with a fishing pole. Utilizing a hydraulic winch, you are slowly reeled out from the flight deck located on the boat and after an incredible and scenic flight you are then reeled back to the vessel’s flight deck.” That would be a fishing pole able to reel out 600 feet of line—in parasailing you can get a lot of air.

Try your hand at the jetovator this Haweater.

Although you must wear a life jacket while parasailing, “You probably won’t even get wet, unless you want to,” he laughs, going onto explain that parasailers often want to “paradip,” basically dipping their legs in the water at the end of their flight before coming in.

The second sport involves hydroflight, going aloft either wearing a pair of specialized boots or aboard a bike-like vehicle called the jetovator—both powered by hoses attached to the nozzles of a jet-ski. “It was made famous by the film ‘Iron Man’,” notes Mr. Bowker. “The goal is to go straight up. For the beginner it is all about how high and how balanced you can get.” But after about 10 minutes of the 30-minute session aloft, most participants seem to be able to find their air-legs and are soon trying out a few tricks and dives.

Feet and legs are the control mechanisms on the hydroflight boots, but the jetovator has controls much like those of a bicycle, explains Mr. Bowker. The jetovator is somewhat less tiring for those who might not be as athletic of frame.

As for the cost, there is a variable scale. For a single flight it’s $100, a double flight is $160 (or $80 each), a triple flight is $210 (or $70 each) and a quad flight is $240 (or $60 each). For those just wanting to go along for the boat ride it’s $30. The vessel can accommodate a total of eight passengers, fliers and observers combined. But since the trips tend to be very popular, Mr. Bowker strongly recommends reserving your spot. For reservations or more information call 705-457-8359. Book early, book often.