Ever since he was a child, Ocean City native Tyler Barnes cruised the waters around his nautical town on his parents' boat. His nautical knowledge culminated in a three-year stint as a mate for a parasail company. As he fell in love with the craft, he realized he wanted to start his own adventure company. By blending his skills in watery sports with training as a marketing major, he founded Paradise Watersports. Ten years later, his company now owns a fleet of four 12-passenger parasailing boats and 30 Sea-Doo jet skis, which they buy new each year to ensure high-quality performance.
Tyler leads a team of U.S. Coast Guard–licensed captains and crew, who also all hold certifications in CPR and first aid and boast a thorough knowledge of the area as well as a near-compulsive need for year-round water-bound activity. They put this knowledge to use teaching boater-safety courses on the bay and guiding jet-ski rentals and beach-hugging parasailing tours. On tours, they pilot U.S. Coast Guard–inspected boats custom-built to accommodate parasailing gear and equipped with hydraulic winches and towlines to enable slow takeoffs, steady ascents, and undisturbed conversations with seagulls. For many trips, they grant visitors waterproof Canon cameras, letting riders snap their own photos from the boat or above it.