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Who are the crew?

a person standing in front of a colorful umbrella


Lloyd is originally from Auckland.
Big Sky Parasail was short-staffed, Lloyd came highly recommended by our good friends at Flying Kiwi Parasail in the Bay of Islands. He came down to Taupo in 2009 to help us out. Over the years he became our head crew member and has become our head skipper. Lloyd trains all new crew and has an active role in keeping our maritime NZ safety regulations up to speed. Lloyd is a very valuable member of the team.

a person sitting on a dock next to a body of water


Stephanie started Big Sky Parasail in 2003 with Ian McKelvey. Stephanie is a professional photographer, originally from Colorado, she moved to Maui Hawaii in 1991. She met Ian, in 2002. A year later, they decided to travel to New Zealand and give Parasailing a try. They opened the business in the Viaduct Basin in 2003 and realized that Auckland was not a good location for parasailing. They traveled around the country to find a better location and choose Mt. Maunganui, where they set up shop for 3 seasons. The opportunity to purchase Pure Fun Parasail in Taupo became available, and they made a move in 2007.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, and we’ve jumped through a lot of hoops over the years. Taupo is a magical place, and I love it!”

a man standing in front of a boat next to a body of water


Ian started his Parasail career back in 1992 in Maui, Hawaii working for UFO Parasail. Because Maui has one of the largest Humpback populations from December to May parasailing is shut down during the winter for federal protections purposes. Ian decided to go to New Zealand in 1998 and help Start Flying Kiwi Parasail with one of his co-workers Rich DeRosa. In 2003 Rich convinced him that he should buy a boat and come down to NZ and give it a go. So he found a Premium 28 in Montana (The Big Sky state) and had it shipped to NZ. “We were so tight for money after the boat arrived that we couldn’t afford to re-paint it, so we named the company after the existing paint job and Big Sky Parasail was born.” Now after 25 years of being in the industry Ian along with his friend Rich and Queenstown Parasail established the New Zealand Parasail Association, helping Maritime New Zealand come up with a set of safety rules for parasailing in New Zealand making this one of the safest places in the world for this activity.