Summertime is water sport season. Boating, jet-skiing, tubing, water-skiing and parasailing are just some of the many ways water and sun-loving fans enjoy sea, wind and surf.
In the height of the summer season, seaside and lakeside resorts handle crowds of summertime thrill-seekers, looking to get harnessed up and hitched to a slender nylon rope attached to a floating dock or a fast-moving boat, as they are transported aloft for a scenic parasail ride overlooking the vista below.
Others, who want to stay closer to mother earth, but who have a “need for speed,” may opt for wake-boarding, wind-surfing, water-skiing or tubing.
It goes without saying that those harnesses and slender nylon lines that keep skiers, boarders, parasailers and others tethered to their boat or dock are crucial to the safety of sport. Unfortunately, we’ve all heard of connections that break, boat drivers who don’t pay attention and lose their riders, or equipment malfunction that results in injury or even death.
That is why it is important to make sure your equipment is in good working order and “up to snuff.”
Skis, wake-boards and tubes
In addition to making sure that the boots and hardware on your skis or boards fits well and are in good working condition, it is important to check the nylon lines that connect your riders to your boat. Make sure there are no knots, kinks or frayed sections. If you’re pulling your precious cargo behind your boat with a tube, make sure that the dacron/nylon blend straps are in good condition and the safety Dee-rings and snap hooks are not rusted, bent or otherwise damaged. Those rings and hooks are all that’s holding your tube, board or skiers to your boat.
The cleat on the aft deck of your boat is really the first line of defense against aquatic mishap and mayhem. All cleats should be checked for loose screws connecting the cleat to the body of the boat. This is particularly important if you have an older boat. It’s far better to err on the side of caution. Have a screw driver handy and double check every cleat.
If you happen to be towing a jet ski around on the water, it is even more important to examine all quick connecting snap hooks, D-rings and O-rings before heading offshore. You don’t want to lose your jet ski in a rough surf now, do you?
While parasailing is an activity that involves relying on commercial providers, that doesn’t mean you can’t check in advance to make sure your parasail company has a good record and is up to date on their licensing.
Even on the day of your parasailing trip, don’t be shy about checking the body harnesses, D-rings and snaps to make sure they are in good condition.
Henssgen Hardware is a leading distributor of marine and sporting goods hardware. For more information, please visit our website. And, while you’re there, check out our catalog to see our complete line of products.