Remember the favorite line in the movie, Toy Story, that says “This isn’t flying, it’s falling with style!”? Well this is definitely true of skydiving, an experience that sets your adrenalin incredibly high. There’s no limit when it comes to using various styles of falling, not to mention the thrill of simply falling through the air.
Diving styles may vary, from falling with hands stretched on the air to more complicated maneuvers like somersaults, flat turns and formation skydiving. It can be so much fun, whether you do it alone or as part of a team. It is open for individuals who are 18 years old and above. Those who are over 40 may require a medical certificate from a doctor, and the activity is limited to individuals not heavier than 220 lbs.
Those who have disabilities, but would really love to experience the thrill of skydiving, can go tandem skydiving. Tandem skydiving is when one person is attached to the other (mostly a teacher attached to a student), with only the top person pulling the cord on the parachute and both people floating down together. It allows people who are handicapped to feel more alive and frees their minds of their own limitations for a while. It’s truly a beautiful moment!
There is a pure adrenalin rush brought about by the extreme joy of total freedom once you’re up there, falling from the sky. It’s like dancing with the wind and being one with universe. Once you learn how to control your body to perform some maneuvers in mid-air, the thrill is unimaginable. The first few jumps can be daunting and scary, but remember that all skydivers were once beginners as well. Groups of skydivers are a happy and exciting bunch, willing to give some tips and share their experiences if you are really serious about pursuing skydiving.
If you are up to it and willing to experience this breathtaking jump from the air, then be prepared for the fact that skydivers jump out of the plane at about 13,000 feet. People with a fear of heights (who most likely wouldn’t be doing this anyway) will have a hard time with this. But the thrill will be well worth it. After pushing yourself to jump to freefall, stay in the air for a period of time, open your parachute, then descend slowly until you are at a safe landing speed. Timing is very important, as you don’t want to land at a fast speed and injure yourself.
Here are some skydiving terms to know:
Formation Skydiving is combining and holding different formations before breaking off and opening the parachute.
Freestyle Skydiving is considered the most entertaining one, where skydivers perform acrobats in the air, like tumbles, rolls and other formations before opening the parachute and landing.
Free Flying is the art of controlling your body to move in different ways while in freefall, like back flying, sit flying and head down.
Accuracy Landing is the kind of skydiving where the diver earns points by landing on or very close to a target on the ground.
Base is considered the most extreme and dangerous. BASE stands for building, antennae, span and earth. Divers jump off of a structure, like a tall building, but this may result in entanglement and a collision.
Skysurfing is when the skydiver has a board attached to his feet, while falling from the sky. Control is difficult, especially when standing up, since this requires skill and balance.
Wingsuit Flying is when a skydiver wears a specially designed suit like an airfoil, lifting the diver to an advanced level of control and descent speed.
So go ahead and feel the thrill of flying and falling that only skydriving can provide. Now that you know the basics, you can decide for yourself whether you want to do it. If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to go tandem skydiving with a teacher or a friend who’s experienced. Know the dangerous situations so you’ll know what to do in an emergency, and ask a lot of questions. Good luck with your exciting adventure!