The Waverunner— A History


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There’s nothing quite like the thrill of soaring over the water in a Waverunner— the wind whipping against your face, the taste of salty sea water, the feeling of total freedom…

The earliest predecessors to the Waverunner were called “water scooters.” They were produced in Europe in the mid-1950s, and wealthy Americans and Australians imported them. These early models weren’t nearly as fast or precise as modern vehicles, but in the 1960s, Australian motocross enthusiast Clayton Jacobson envisioned a design that he called a “motorcycle for the water.” He quit his banking job to develop his design, which used an internal pump-jet instead of an outboard motor. WithinFeatured image a few years, he completed a working prototype out of fiberglass.

Manufacturers around the world began producing watercrafts based on Jacobson’s design in the early 70s. The first vehicles fit a single rider and required him or her stand. Within a decade, companies began producing sit-down versions, and this design is far more popular today.

Yamaha released its first personal water craft in 1986: the Waverunner 500. Since then, they’ve continued to develop new and improved models. There’s a perfect Waverunner for every person and every type of water!

At Gilligan’s Water Sports, we’re one of the top locations for Waverunner rentals in Destin, Florida. All you need is a photo ID and a boater certification card, and you’re free to explore the Destin Harbor to your heart’s content. There’s no need to even make a reservation. If you’re looking to add some thrills to your beach vacation, be sure to give us a visit.


Cruise the Destin Harbor on a Waverunner from Gilligan’s


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Be it activities like jet skiing, parasailing or the like, there’s nothing we humans enjoy more than the sense of freedom and power that each sport gives us. That complete feeling of exhilaration is the reason such activities are so popular. Gilligan’s Water Sports knows that feeling; we love that feeling. We provide waverunner rentals in Destin Fl to help residents and tourists alike capture that feeling of almost leaving the confines of gravity, while remaining in total control and tethered to the earth. By renting one of our waverunners, customers are able to sail freely throughouFeatured imaget the Destin Harbor and see the beautiful Destin Fl attractions like the boardwalk and The Painting Vine. You can check out the restaurants and shops along the sprawling shoreline and plan what you’ll do next.

Here at Gilligan’s Water Sports in Destin, Fl we even have the new Yamaha VX110 4 strokes waverunner from which customers can view attractions along the beachfront like they’ve never seen them before. Drivers must have a photo ID, be 18 years to rent and 16 to drive/operate a waverunner. Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian rent the waverunner. All drivers born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 must take & pass a Florida boaters test; we give the test right here at Gilligan’s. The cost of the permit is only $3 and it’s good for one year.

Additionally, Gilligan’s Water Sports has the equipment needed to make your excursion along Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast a safe one. Our beaches have a team of well-trained lifeguards on duty to make your experience even more secure. Be sure to give Gilligan’s Water Sports a call when you visit the area and feel the urge for that boundless sense of freedom and power that water sports give you.

A Party Like No Other


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So you’re vacationing in Destin. Maybe it’s your first time, or maybe you come every year. You want to get a taste for everything the town has to offer. There are so many Destin Florida attractions to try: swimming, body surfing, volleyball on the beach, parasailing, shopping… it’s exhausting just thinking about it! Playing all day is fun, but it’s also nice to slow down, put on some music and soak in the atmosphere.

What better placeFeatured image to relax than floating on the Destin harbor? At Gilligan’s, we offer one of the best deals for renting a pontoon boat in Destin. It’s the perfect way to spend a laid-back day. Our luxury boats are 25 feet long and hold up to 12 people. Once you’re off, you’re free to explore the harbor. Sprawl out, sip on a drink, read a book, maybe even go for a swim. It’s fun for all ages. Whether you’re a couple looking for some quiet time, a group in need of a place to party or a family who wants to spend some time together, it’s the perfect antidote to vacation stress.

If you’re 18 or older, all you need is a valid drivers license and a credit card for the deposit. We do require reservations, and they fill up quickly in the summer, so be sure to call as early as possible. Every boat comes fully equipped with safety equipment, including life jackets. If you’re looking for a fresh new way to do Destin, call us today!

Destin Lifeguards Have Your Back


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If you love participating in water sports in Destin, Fl, then we’ve got a story for you that will give you peace of mind; and all you parents of water sports enthusiasts will definitely sleep easier at night while on your family vacation at the Destin Harbor

This summer the Destin Beach Safety Lifeguards took home the B division—which is the division for small beach patrols with 100 employees or less—national champion title at the 2015 Nautica United States Lifesaving Association National Lifeguard Championships in Daytona Beach.Featured image

This year the Destin team competed against 20 other teams, including the reigning champs from Smith Point in New York. After years of coming in second or third place, Destin finally reigned supreme and they could not be happier about this win. In addition to the overall competition win, they also had several lifeguards take home individual awards.

Destin’s Beach Safety program attracts lifeguards from overseas every year. The summer months see such busy beaches that mixing international lifeguards with local members is the best way to keep the bustling coast safe. Now that the members of Destin’s Beach Safety program have proved just how capable they are, local and vacationing beachgoers alike can trust that in the case of an emergency they will be well protected.

Whether you’re into dolphin tours on the Gulf Coast or you’re just looking to rent a pontoon boat in Destin, Fl, you can rest assured that the Destin Beach Safety Lifeguards will have your back. So what are you waiting for? Summer is almost over! Give us a call here at Gilligan’s Watersports and make your reservations today.

Like a Dream


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Have you ever dreamed you were flying? I’ve only had two of these dreams my whole life, and they’ve all come the night before big life events. The first was when I was about ten, the night before my class spelling bee. I was so nervous I could barely sleep. When I crossed into sleep, I was in a giant redwood forest, with trees as big as skyscrapers. I jumped off one of the branches and soared through the trees, flying faster and faster, but keeping total control. When I woke up, I was calm. I treasured that memory fFeatured imageor years.

My second dream came the night my twins were born. To think that I ever thought spelling bees were scary seems silly now. In my dream I was running on top of a rocky cliff. I kept coming close to slipping, but I couldn’t slow down. Finally I fell over the edge, but I didn’t fall for long. I soared out over the ocean, straight towards the setting sun. I watched dolphins splash in the waves below me, and I breathed in the salty air. Slowly. Calmly. Peacefully.

Every year now, we take the girls to the Destin Harbor, and every year we partake in the best parasailing Destin, Fl has to offer. It’s the highlight of every trip—the whole process: boarding the boat, strapping on the vest, and taking off into the sky. I can’t tell you how much I love the look in my kids’ eyes as they giggle with excitement and point out the landmarks below them. But what they don’t realize is that I probably look forward to the excursion more than they do. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something special about flying…

Vacationing in Destin: Not Such a Secret Anymore


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For years Destin, FlorFeatured imageida has been a hidden gem for savvy summer vacationers from all over the country. Those people who have already been vacationing in Destin over the years know that Florida’s Emerald Coast has everything you need for a first-rate summer vacation. The sunny days boast average temperatures in the mid-80s, the stunning beaches are filled with powdery white sand and the emerald green water is a breathtaking sight. But if you’ve been savoring your respite in Destin like it’s your own little secret you may be out of luck soon. TripAdvisor recently named Destin the No. 3 U.S. destination on the rise, and we couldn’t agree more.

There is so much to explore in Destin. Each delightful coastal community offers its own unique and charming character. The shoppers in your group will love the plethora of shops and boutiques and there are plenty of restaurants and beachfront cafes to choose from. Destin is the perfect vacation destination no matter what you’re into. And if water adventures are your thing then Gilligan’s is the company for you.

Here at Gilligan’s Water Sports we’ve been in on the secret since 1990. You can cruise the Destin Harbor on one of our waverunner rentals or book dolphin tours on the Gulf Coast for you and your family. Gilligan’s is your headquarters for unforgettable fun on the water during your stay in Destin. We have something for everyone! So gather your whole party and give us a call to discuss all of our fun water sports in Destin, Fl.

Dolphin Tours with Gilligan’s Watersports


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It’s a memorable part of every Destin beach experience. Someone sees some splashing out in the distance. There’s something out there. At first they worry it’s a shark, but then it jumps into the air. “Dolphins!” they shout. Everyone drops what they’re doing to watch. There’s a small group of them playfully leaping through the waves. Everyone smiles and squints into the distance, trying to see the dolphins as clearly as they can. Then, as soon as they arrived, they’re gone.

Even a brief glimpse is exciting, but how would you like to experience dolphins up close? Gilligan’s Watersports has given dolphin tours in Destin for years, and we’ve figured out the best ways to get you as close to the animals as possible. We know the dolphins’ patterns, and we find them over 95% of the time. The tours are on waverunners, which are $120 each and fit up to 4 people. Our guides will take you from the Destin harbor out to where the dolphins feed in the morning. You can’t feed or touch them, but you’ll get a closer view than ever as they swim around you.

If you’re not interested in dolphin tours or waverunner rentals, Gilligan’s offers several other watersports in Destin. Our spectacular parasailing tours launch straight off of our private dock, with no swimming or boat transfers. For more independent adventurers, we offer pontoon boat rentals. Spend the whole day at sea on a high quality pontoon boat. At Gilligan’s Watersports, you can find something for everyone, and always at competitive prices. Just be sure to make a reservation early, because we book up quickly!

Celebrate Your Graduation with Gilligan’s Watersports


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So you just graduated college and you and your buddies are trying to figure out how to celebrate… Why not head over to the Gulf Coast for a fun-filled weekend of watersports by the Destin Harbor or a relaxing day trip on a pontoon boat in the emerald green waters off the coast of Destin, Florida.

Gilligan’s Watersports has been offering the finest watersports in Destin, Fl for 25 years and we would love to be a part of your college graduation celebration. You spent 4 long years concentrating on your studies and working hard to get to this day, so you deserve a little fun now that you’re done. What better way to let loose and celebrate than spending a day—or two or three—on the Emerald Coast? When you book with Gilligan’s you have a plethora of watersport activities to choose from. Our 100% safety record means you will never have to be concerned about your security. We will always keep you safe and do so with a smile on our face.

As you plan your post-graduation festivities keep this option in mind: Gather your fellow alums and spend a day out on the Gulf Coast on a pontoon boat. We rent the finest quality luxury pontoon boats in Destin, Fl. gilligans pontoons destinOur boats are all 25 ft and hold up to 12 people depending on weight. Can you think of a better way to celebrate this life milestone? We can’t.

Boating not your thing? If you plan to spend the majority of your celebratory trip relaxing on the beach or playing on the Destin Harbor Boardwalk but you want to get out in the water for just a few exhilarating hours we have the thing for you. Our waverunner rentals are the best in Destin, Fl.destin jetski rentals We provide all the safety training and equipment necessary so you can just enjoy yourself and let us worry about keeping you safe.

However you decide to celebrate this momentous occasion, Gilligan’s Watersports wants to be a part of it. We are the best place to go for all the watersport rentals and/or guided tours you could possibly want. So give us a call today to make your reservation.

Adventures in Destin


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The summer months are fast approaching and what better way stay cool than by taking a family vacation to Destin, Florida to experience the Emerald Coast. While in Destin you will want to experience the adventures of parasailing, riding a wave runner/jetski, taking a dolphin tour or enjoying family time on a pontoon boat.

Gilligan’s Watersports has been in business since 1990 in Destin, FL. Attractions are plenty in Destin and it is best to enjoy them with the most experienced watersports business in Destin. Call 850-650-9000 to make reservation for days of unforgettable family fun on the clear waters of Emerald Bay.

Parasail at an elevation of about 800 feet and enjoy a 10-12 minute breath taking view of the emerald coast waters. Our photo and video packages will allow you to keep the memory forever and also share your adventure with your friends and family. Load the photos to Facebook and videos to YouTube. The cameras are state of the art and we also use high powered zoom lenses to photograph your parasailing experience. Your memories will be given to you on a cd so that they never fade.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you need experience?   No you do not. Parasailing is easy, but there is a minimum age limit so no one under 6 may sail, even with a parent. All children under 18 will need their parent or guardian to sign their permission forms.

Is there a weight limit?   The captain makes the final decision, but typically it is a minimum of 90lbs and maximum of 450lbs.

Do I have to parasail alone?   No. You get to share you experience with up to two more riders.

Do we start on the beach?   Boat technology has changed, therefore the specially built boats will allow you to take off from the deck and also land back on the deck.

Will I get wet?  It is your choice. Let the captain know what you want.

Can people join us to watch?   During the busy season it is not possible to carry spectators. If space is available we will try to accommodate spectators, it is the captain call.

How long will it last?   Plan to be on the boat for an hour to an hour and a half. The boats hold up to 12 and people take turns.

Are reservations required?   Yes please call 850-650-9000 to make reservations. We need your name, how many fliers and a major credit card in order to hold your spot.

So make your way to the Emerald Coast this summer and let Gilligan’s show you how to have a  grand adventure – Destin style!

Soaring over Destin


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If you are vacationing in Destin FL and have never had the opportunity to go parasailing, be sure to make a reservation at Gilligan’s Watersports located at the Destin harbor.

Nothing can match the serenity of sailing 800 feet above the water while enjoying the view of the city and blue water that seems to go on forever. You can fly alone or share the experience with 1 to 2 people, who are a minimum of 6 years old. Featured imageParasailing is one of our most popular attractions in Destin, FL, and Gilligan’s Watersports has been doing it since 1990. If some in your party do not wish to sail but want to ride along, they can join us as long as we have space on the boat.Featured image

Besides parasailing we have other activities for the whole family. We have pontoon boat rentals that can seat up to 12 people, depending on weight. Bring your coolers full of food and drinks and travel along the calm waters of the coast while absorbing the rays of the sun. Reservations are required.Featured image

We also provide wave runner rentals for those who wish to be a little more daring. We carry the Yamaha VX 110 4 strokes, which are seaters. Children under the age of 18 must have a parent rent the waverunner/jet ski. Take a ride along the coast, feel the breeze splash water on your face but make sure to wear sunscreeFeatured imagen.

You can also participate on the Dolphin tours.  You must be on a waverunner to participate on the tour and reservations are required. We have been doing the dolphin tours for many years and we are very good at finding dolphins.

Having been in business since 1990, Gilligan’s Water Sports is the most experienced watersports company in the Destin, Florida area. Call us at 850-650-9000 and make reservations for days of unforgettable family fun on the crystal clear waters of the Emerald Coast.