Skydiving is an extreme sport where you dive down from an airplane or a helicopter from the sky with some safety measures. If you're planning this activity, the following tips from Rory Angold, Extreme Sports Enthusiast, will arm you with what to expect if you go skydiving.
Skydivers typically leave the airplane or helicopter at13,000 feet. Following this exit, expect to do a freefall for some time before you would open your parachute to reduce speed.
Previously, most skydives, even your first one, would be a solo jump using a static line to open the chute. For people wanting to progress to being a serious skydiver, this is still how it is done. But for 95 percent of the first-time jumpers, those just looking for the experience and thrill, you will do what is called a tandem skydive.
Once you find and register for a skydiving school, you are given a date to show up to train and jump. After checking in and paying for your jump, you must sign a waiver. Don't worry; you would have to sign the same type of waiver to go rock climbing or most any organized adventure sport.
Next, you will begin your training. In many cases, this starts with a video that shows you what will happen and what to expect. You probably will have the option to purchase a video of your own jump, so you can experience and show off your skydive. Then you are given a short class; since the instructor does most of the work, there isn't much to learn, but it shows what to expect and reviews safety procedures.
When it's almost time to jump, you receive your gear. This consists of a jumpsuit, harness, goggles, hat, and altimeter. Once you suit up, your instructor reviews last-minute instructions, and you board the plane. Don't stress about remembering every detail. Not only is your instructor handling all the details, but as soon as you jump, you are likely to forget everything you ever learned anyway.
The plane takes off and circles the jump zone. The pilot uses wind direction and speed to determine the best spot from which to jump, so you and the instructor end up in the right place. Finally, it's time to skydive. The instructor harnesses themselves to you and then jump or push away from the open jump door.
You immediately experience the exhilaration plummetting toward the earth at up to 120 mph. The instructor will be talking to you, explaining what is going on, and getting ready to deploy the parachute. Depending on the school and instructor, you may have the opportunity to pull the rip-cord yourself, but either way, the chute will deploy at about 5,000 feet above the ground.
At that point, you go from falling at a high rate of speed to rising slightly in the space of a few yards. It is quite a transition. You and the instructor may adjust the straps so the ride down is comfortable. Next comes the easy stage of the jump, gently gliding toward the earth while you admire the breathtaking view.
Next, it is time to make slight steering adjustments. The wind can and does change speed and direction, and you don't want to end up in a tree. The instructor may allow you to do this under supervision, so you can see how steerable the canopy is and how much control you can have over exactly where you end up.
Finally, it is time to land. The instructor takes over steering to put you in the right position relative to the wind for a soft landing; he asks you to raise your legs and then flares the chute to decrease speed. You have probably seen films of old-school skydivers coming in fast and doing a tuck and roll, but you will do a soft, stand-up landing similar to jumping to the ground from a high step.
And like that, it is over. You are given any videos or photographs you arranged. You might get a logbook as well, on which you can log every jump, should you return to the sport. It is up to you to determine whether this is a one-time experience or a new hobby, but there will never be anything like your first jump.
About Rory Angold
Rory Angold, Executive Vice President at United Car Care, is the leader, the manager, the financial expert, and the insurance advisor all car dealers would want to have on their team. He has a knack for risk management, sales, and finance, all paired with a leadership mentality that makes him the ideal strategic consultant. He will help you devise and execute a detailed strategic plan to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.
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