A Guide To Skydiving

calmyourbeans By calmyourbeans, 6th Nov 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/18w3rx5s/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Sports>Extreme Sports

Every year, millions of people skydive. Thinking of joining them? Here is a beginners guide to skydiving.

Felix Baumgartner

How great was Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking skydive from space? It certainly got the hairs standing on my neck that’s for sure. Has it got you interested in skydiving too? Obviously not from the 24 miles he did it from! Whether you just want to skydive just the once or are thinking of taking it up as a hobby, read my guide to all of the information you’ll need before stepping out a plane! Image Credit

Risks

Okay, let’s get the risks out of the way first because they tend to make or break your decision to skydive.

Now, millions of skydivers go unharmed, have no problems and have a wonderful time every year. But, like anything else, there’s an unpredictability that cannot be accounted for, no matter how experienced you or your instructor is. Complications are a very real danger and could be fatal you’ll not be surprised to hear. If an accident was preventable and you are injured, compensation claims can help pay for medical bills and any loss of work you may incur as a result.

Complications could arise from faulty equipment for example. There are some cases where the parachute fails to deploy. However, you do have a reserve parachute should the first one fail. Or it could be down to just bad luck. Bad weather conditions can tangle wires or a huge gust of wind can sweep you far away from your landing target. Skydives will be postponed in bad weather conditions. Heavy landings can also pose problems; people have sprained ankles and wrists before.

Requirements

Next we’ll look at some of the requirements for skydiving.

• The minimum age is 16 years old. Those who are less than 18 years of age will have to get a letter of consent from a guardian.
• If you’ve suffered from the following conditions and are 40 years old or older, you may need a letter from your doctor to confirm you are in a physical condition to handle skydiving:
o Fractures
o Back strains
o Arthritis
o Chronic bronchitis
o Asthma
o Liver or kidney disease
o Recent blood donation

Also, if you are on medication this may affect your mental state or your ability to judge which could affect any stage of the jump. And if you are over 55 years of age, you may only be able to take part in tandem dives. Finally, you will not be able to participate if you are significantly overweight for your height.

Types of Jumps

Okay, if you’re reading this, the risks of this extreme sport haven’t put you off and you meet all of the requirements. Great! There are three types of skydives to consider.

Tandem

Tandems are a great way to really enjoy the experience and rush of skydiving without having to worry too much. Tandem jumps are made at 15,000ft and involve being attached to your instructor who will open the parachute and land both of you to safety. Therefore, tandems require little training; some briefings take a little as 20 minutes. Great for first timers, this could help you decide whether you want to make the jump to solo skydives. Image Credit

Freefall

If you feel confident enough, you can learn to skydive by yourself. Freefall dives are also made at 15,000 and are perhaps what most people imagine skydiving to be – a solo jump where you deploy the parachute after a certain amount of freefall. Training generally takes one full day. At first however, your instructor will make the jumps with you, although not attached, to make sure you’re following procedures correctly. Only when they are satisfied will you be allowed to do it alone. This could be after as little as 7 jumps. You’ll also be on your way to working towards a skydiving license too which will allow you to skydive at centres around the world. Image Credit

Static Line

The last option is static line jumping. While jumps are only made at 3,000ft, jumps are made solo. You are connected to the plane by a line which automatically opens the parachute a few seconds after you jump from the plane. But then you are free to fly and land by yourself. This is great if you are worried about opening the parachute yourself whilst in freefall. This skydive might be more suitable for those who want to enjoy the view without the feeling of freefall. Image Credit

The Feeling of Skydiving

While it is hard to describe the exact feeling of skydiving, this should hopefully prepare you for what you’ll experience. Jumping out of a plane is not the most natural thing to do! So feeling nervous and wanting to back out at last minute is usual. For some, the adrenaline pushes them out of the plane!

Freefalling feels more like floating than the sudden dropping sensation from a rollercoaster ride for example. The thought of freefalling where you simply hurtle towards the ground is simply untrue. Despite having the word ‘falling’ in freefalling, it’s really is closer to floating.

Hopefully you’re now ready to book your first skydive! Try not to worry about it too much and enjoy it!

Oh and final point, if you have the option to video or photograph your jump, do it! You'll look back on it with fond memories.

If that still wasn't enough to convince you to skydive, check out this awesome video playlist of skydiving experiences!

Tags

Freefall, Guide, Requirements, Risks, Skydiving, Static Line, Tandem

Meet the author

author avatar calmyourbeans
The team at Calm Your Beans work for a digital marketing agency. One of the perks of the job is that we get to work with great clients from all corners of the business world.

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Comments

author avatar OneMatroid
4th Jan 2014 (#)

The last picture is not a static line - it is just a different angle of the Tandem...

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