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Published: July 21, 2021
People's general perception of what skydiving involves is quite dramatic. Skydiving is an intense, thrilling experience that can very much change your life for the better. It is also an exciting way to tell stories, and as such is often used in the media we consume in overblown and often completely fictional ways. That's not to say that it isn't a wild thing to do, because it is - it is just frequently presented inaccurately. Let's have a quick look at some skydiving facts that may surprise you...
Skydiving Is Not That Risky
We have gotten very good at jumping out of airplanes. Through the many decades since skydiving for fun became a thing, we have used science and technology and lots of practice to refine every part of how we parachute from the sky. Without prior knowledge, one could easily assume that skydiving is one of the more risky pursuits available for thrills - but this is actually the opposite of what is true. Skydiving is actually far less risky than many things marketed in similar terms - in fact it is less risky than driving a car. Remember this when you are feeling nervous about your upcoming jump - you should be more anxious about travelling to the dropzone than anything that you will do once you arrive.
Landing A Parachute Is Easy
Parachutes are like magic. Technically they are just some fabric and string in a bag - but they are also precisely manufactured and very efficient flying devices that are piloted with a level of skill and accuracy you might find hard to believe. The deployment of a modern parachute system happens in stages that are designed to make the opening gentle and smooth. A skydive landing is also a measured and managed affair, whereby the skydiver flares the wing in the final few seconds to deposit their feet gently on the ground as if stepping down from a single step. With tandem skydiving the process is still very gentle, but instead the goal is to slide on the grass on your bum (an easier plan with two people harnessed together piggy-back style).
You Can Jump Without Any Experience
Tandem skydiving was invented as a way to introduce people to jumping with the very minimum of prior training. After some experienced jumpers figured out it was possible to jump together under a single parachute, tandem skydiving was born. The instructor goes on the back, handling the procedures - while the student goes on the front and gets to enjoy the ride without many tasks. The student still needs to participate in a few key things - but this can all be taught in just a short time before the jump itself. This allows for brand new skydivers to get up in the sky and feel what all the fuss is about within just a brief amount of time.
Skydiving Is Wild
How about these things for surprises? The most skydives performed in a single day is 640. That's right - six hundred and forty. The biggest formation ever completed in freefall was 400 back in 2006 - which is a lot of humans. The highest freefall ever happened in 2014, when Google man Alan Eustace jumped from 135,908ft - which is approximately five times higher up that a commercial flight. ... Skydiving is surprising in a lot of ways. Some of the most important are the ways it can cause you to be surprised about yourself. You might think that you cannot make yourself jump out of an aeroplane, but you can. You might think you won't enjoy jumping out of an aeroplane, but you will - immensely.
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