Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
September 28, 1983     The Issaquah Press
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September 28, 1983

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NOIHSV..4 tom "water to a00r J Parasailing is • " b 00ghts gaznzng new e by Debbie Berto At 11 a.m. on a hot summer day. the sun is already high over Lake Sammamish. The morning fog has burned off, the serious water skiers are [on since done with their slalom course workouts, and the pleasure boaters are beginning to crowd the calm iake. There is a slight breeze to belie the true heat of 80 degrees. It is a pertect da,/to tr,, a new sport. Parasaiiing is gaining new heights. The crew of Pacific Parasail at Alexander' Reso begins early. By 11 a.m. they have tow'd the gant raft-- runway to the middle ot tne lake and dropped anchor down 80 feet. The first flight is made for a safety check by 17-year-old Chris Yglesias, one of the ten employees. His swift ascent makes parasaiting look eas.. From his lofty perch he twists, turns and does acrobatics. The orange, yellow and green chute is stunning against the bright blue sky. Chris's quick ride ends as he drops back to the raft without even a splash. My turn. At "the office,' a picnic table by the beach, co-owner Barbara Hindman meets me with a battery of liability waiver forms. "1 am willing to accept all risk... 1 state that I can swim . . . I understand that parasailing is a calculated risk activity and can result in bodily injury . . . There is the possibility that I may be injured even if I do as instructed." the form states. I interpret all paragraphs as WARNING! I don't care, I just want to go up to the sky. Parachuting is an option of course, but I want to go up, and down. Besides, parasailing does not require any prior training, any great physical condition and -- most important you don't have to step out an airplane door. I sign all the waivers. After a short ride out to the raft in a 4000-pound aluminum Alaska jet boat, driven by Tom Hindman, I am greeted by the crew. "Here comes our next victim, uh, customer," jokes raft foreman Dick Groscup. "'Just come this way. There's nothing to be scared of." rm not scared, not in the least. I keep thinking I should be. Photographer Debie Brusius, along to record the moment, thinks rm crazy. She can tell you about fear of heights! The chute we will use is the world's largest parasail, 28 feet in diameter. It was designed and made by Bill Jeswine, owner of Skywalker Airsports, Inc. and past jump master at the Issaquah Parachute Center. Smaller boats don't need a parasail of this magnitude, says Tom .Hindman, but this one is for almost anyone -- it will take up a 300 lb. person. Tops for Pacific Para Sail so far is Seahawk lineman Dennis Boyd, a mere six-feet-seven- inches, 315 pounds. On the feather side, you must weigh at least 100 pounds for Hindman to take you up. The chute is laid out on the runway with a crew member on either side, ready to 'fluff' it, or hold it up to catch the wind  step into the floatation harness, a regulation paracb,te harness with added padding and safety mechanisms. The chute is clipped to the harness when rm in position, about 10 feet from the end of the runway. Groscup gives a last word of advise. "'When you're up there, just try to forget your fear and enjoy the view," he says. I tell him rm not afraid. He doesn't believe me. "Fluff!" shouts Groscup to his crew as Hindman guns the engine on his boat. There is no time to think. "Yaaaaaaaaahooo!" The shout comes out at top volume as I take two steps forward and find myself airborne. Wow! This is wonderful! The 300-foot rope allows an ascent to about 250 feet. The view is spectacular. The boat launch and beaches at the state park are crowded. The picnickers at Alexander's turn their attention skyward as I fly by. Boating families look up and wave. rm a star! The parasail has controls. The boat turns right, I pull on the left strap, and the chute follows straight behind the boat. I can wiggle but find I cannot do the acrobatics seen earlier by young Chris it takes muscles I just don't have. Halfway through the ride, pain sets in. A 28-[oot chute full of air is a terrific force. In this case, all that force is against the two straps between my legs. There is no getting away from it. Think about something else. Suddenly I am going down. We are a long way from the raft, yet Hindman has slowed the boat. Just as my toes touch the surface of the water and rm holding my breath waiting for the coid lake splash. HIndman again gives full throttle and I gain altitude Just a little added 4 thrill, a la Hindman. All too soon for my visual senses, but not for my pain threshold, I descend again, this time toward the raft. The crew gives arm signals to pull my right cord for a right turn. I overcorrect and splash down, just two feet to the right of the nice dry raft. The cool lake water is a refreshing end to a sensual high. Within seconds a crew member is in the water beside me, releasing the chute. Earlier, Hindman had told me of the real thrill -- going up on a 900-foot rope, releasing, and parachuting down. After a 300-foot ride, I still haven't found fear and the idea appeals to me. "Okay, rm ready to try 900 feet," I boast. Only two members of the crew have gone to such heights, although they are contemplating a future 1200-foot-ride- release stunt. I get a compromise with a 600-foot rope. Prepare the chute, connect the harness, "fluff!", two steps and rm up again. No scream this time. It doesn't take long to reach the new height. The view is twice as good from twice as high. I can see forever (or at least to the north end ol the lake). All too soon the boat slows Hindman waves his arms Photos by Debbie Brusius that all is well, and I pull the release cord. The rope drops away and I am floating free. The slow drift accelerates, the lake rises up to meet me and the view blurs. Never one to choose diving in over slowly wading in, I can now think only about the cold water shock about to come once more. When it does, l'm surprised. Not so cold this time. Again, a crew member is instantly beside me to release the chute. I climb into the boat, grinning ear to ear, and am whisked back to the raft to collect my things. rm safe. Nope, never did get scared. Barbara Hindman says even acrophobics who have gone parasailing find little fear. Parasailing does have dangers, although Pacific Para Sail has never had a customer with so much as a stubbed toe. Hindman credits the mid-lake raft, away from the trees, and other extra safet\\; precautions with the good record. On a good day, Pacific Para Sail takes about 30 thrill seekers to the sky. They've had an 11-year-old girl and a 67-year-old woman, with every age in between, up tor a ride. Add one 31-year-old ver, excited, sold-on-the- show, ready-to-go-again reporter to the hst  e ,that's what you'll be with ;,\\; the friendly professionals at our shop. They can help you save time and money with all of your custom framing, /7> • ,', photo processing, film and   r , framing supplies. 392-5394 f FRONT STREET PHOTO & FRAMES 157 Front Street North, Issaquah, WA. VILLAGE FAMILY MEDICAL CENTER WELCOME TO ISSAQUAH! While you're getting ac- quainted with our beautiful town, we at Village Family Medical Center invite you to stop in and visit our office in downtown Issaquah. The decision of your family's health cae facility is an important one. We recommend that you investigate all facilities available to you, in order to make the best possible choice. I Village Family Medical Cente 4 Dr. L.J. Greenblatt 1 24 Hrs.-(206) 392-8445 | Attach this box to your phone for quick reference in case of an emergency. DR. GREENBLATT and his staff provide health care for your entire family. 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