Skycom Parasail N.Y.

Latest in New York City Sightseeing: Parasailing Along the Hudson Waterfront. Located at the North Cove Yacht Harbor on the Hudson River at the World Financial Center.


1997 | First Mate / Tour Guide / Sales / Creative Consulting / Marketing / Promotion / Public Relations / Press Relations / Weddings / Repair / Parachute Repair / Optimization / Fun Guru

ParaSail New York, Casey Gobbi

ParaSail New York – Let Your Spirit Soar!

The Jersey Journal, Casey Gobbi - Swept Off Their Feet

The Jersey Journal | 8/23/1997 • Swept Off Their Feet – Cover Story

The Jersey Journal | Swept Off Their Feet, Wed While Parasailing

The Jersey Journal | 8/23/1997 • Swept Off Their Feet, Wed While Parasailing

The New York Times, Casey Gobbi - Latest in Sightseeing

The New York Times | 8/17/1997 • Latest in Sightseeing: Parasailing Along the Hudson Waterfront – Casey Gobbi keeping an eye on a customer


Latest in Sightseeing: Parasailing Along the Hudson Waterfront
The New York Times • Published: Sunday, August 17, 1997

For those who have seen the sights of New York City from the upper deck of a bus, the top of a skyscraper or through Lady Liberty’s crown, there is now another option: floating above the Hudson River while tethered to a speedboat. Parasailing is the latest indication that New Yorkers have rediscovered the waterfront.

Beginning on July 4, a company called Skycom Parasail N.Y. began offering parasail rides on the Hudson from the marina behind the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan. ”It just sort of fits in with the waterfront development in the Hudson,” said Alex Santoriello, the president of Skycom Parasail. ”It seemed a good marriage for the mix.”

Seven days a week, from about 10 A.M. until nightfall, the Nordic Ascender motorboat pulls riders 350 to 450 feet above the Hudson under a bright yellow, orange, blue and purple parachute.

Parasailors are strapped into a harness at the end of a tow line to the boat, and they ascend and descend from a small platform at the rear — or stern — of the boat. Upon request, however, customers can leave their shoes on the boat and dip their feet in the Hudson as they are being reeled in.

Last week, Elmer Cheesman, a retired bank vice president from Belleville, N.J., tried parasailing for the first time. He said that he saw the parasailors a few days before his flight when he was walking along the piers and that it seemed like just his kind of adventure. ”I like to do a lot of exciting things,” Mr. Cheesman, 61, said. ”I’ve jumped out of a plane before, I’ve done river rafting, hiked the Appalachian Trail, all that stuff.”

And with the attitude of an adverture seeker, Mr. Cheesman said that he was not afraid as he was strapped into the harness. In fact, he said, the worst that could happen would be a broken tow line, which he would not have minded a bit.

”If the line broke from the boat, then it’s an enjoyable accident,” he said of the prospect of parachuting into the Hudson. ”Then it would be a thrill.”

For the wary, there are harnesses that allow people to parasail in pairs, either side by side or one in front of the other. Children have gone up, with an adult providing the ballast needed for the chute to rise.

Mr. Santoriello said his clients had run the gamut from intrigued passers-by to people who work in the financial center and are looking for a little excitement on their lunch break. For that clientele, Skycom Parasail offers a brown-bag lunch and a ride in the sky for up to six (one at a time, of course), which costs $250.

A ride for one person usually takes about about 30 minutes — 20 minutes on the boat and about 10 in the air — and costs about $55, although the company is now running several promotional discounts. For reservations, call (212) 691-0055.

The parasailing season runs through mid-October, or as long as the weather permits. After Labor Day, Skycom Parasail is planning to begin a year-round advertising business, using the boat and tow line to carry ads on fabric billboards. And the company hopes to have nine more boats operating in the metropolitan area next year.

But for now, Mr. Santoriello hopes to capitalize on one of the world’s greatest views. ”This kind of business usually runs and operates in the island resort places,” he said. ”Out there, there’s one thing you can look at. Here, there’s a plethora of things to look at. Who wants to look at the water when you can look at the skyline?”

Photos: Casey Gobbi, the first mate, keeping an eye on a customer. A parasailor, tethered to a speedboat, gliding by the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. (Photographs by Frances Roberts for The New York Times)