Part 1 - So you wanna skydive?

  • So you want to learn to skydive?

    Perhaps you were bitten by the skydive ‘bug’ after watching a movie? Maybe you were playing a video game and one of the segments required you to skydive your character to safety? Regardless, you are bitten and the only ‘cure’ is to try skydiving – keep reading! Before we discuss methods to become involved with modern skydiving, lets take a look at skydiving’s origins.

    History
    According to United States Parachuting Association (USPA) the voluntary governing body of skydiving, skydiving has evolved quite a bit since, “Leonardo DaVinci’s pyramid-shaped, wooden framed parachute that Adrian Nichols jumped in the late 20th century.USPA  Parachutes were used in World War I by observation balloon pilots as a means to escape their crippled craft. Later in World War II, military infantry units jumped into battle using parachutes. After the war, excess parachutes and people willing to jump them gave birth to the modern sport of skydiving.Parachutes used to be carried and deployed from the skydiver’s belly, opened round and were hard to steer. They were relatively heavy too. Early sport skydivers didn’t stay in the sport too long as injuries were common. Stressed backs from ‘hard’ parachute openings and knee injuries from challenging parachute landing falls (PLF) took a toll on the early sport skydiver.

    Sport skydiving today
    Modern parachutes are rectangular and take on the flying characteristics of a modern airplane wing. Today’s sport skydiver carries their parachute on their back, which increases skydiver stability during freefall. Packed and deployed properly, hard openings are a thing of the past. The modern sport parachute is designed for the skydiver to land on their feet and stay standing. The PLF and injuries associated with it are issues of the past.Skydiving has been around in one form or another for hundreds of years. In the last 20-30 years, application of new technology, and modern materials has made sport skydiving a safe and fun activity. Over the next week, we will discuss different disciplines associated with skydiving and how to get started.

    What is next?
    There are multiple entry points into the sport of skydiving: wind tunnel, tandem, static line and accelerated free-fall. Lets take a look at which one is best for you!Stepping Out