Skydiving for beginners


Any big busi­ness always starts small. And sky­div­ing is no excep­tion. In this arti­cle, we will tell you about some of the fea­tures of the first para­chute jumps.

So, you have firm­ly decid­ed to jump and have prob­a­bly read an arti­cle about para­chut­ing. In this arti­cle, we will con­tin­ue to look at sky­div­ing and try to high­light the basic things that begin­ners need to know and con­sid­er before their first sky­dive.

The main con­traindi­ca­tions for sky­div­ing

Sky­div­ing, espe­cial­ly for the first time, is a seri­ous stress for the body, which means that the state of health should not be an obsta­cle to this. Some dis­eases are a direct con­traindi­ca­tion for sky­div­ing. Here is their list:

  • Dis­eases of the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem and pul­monary dis­eases
  • High or low blood pres­sure
  • Hear­ing dam­age and very poor vision
  • Ner­vous dis­or­ders
  • Dia­betes
  • kid­ney dis­ease
  • Psy­chi­atric dis­eases
  • Skull and mus­cu­loskele­tal injuries

Before take-off, a doc­tor will def­i­nite­ly talk to you. It is bet­ter not to hide any­thing from him — after all, sky­div­ing is not the case when you can rely on “maybe”.

Where does sky­div­ing begin?

Of course, with a detailed brief­ing before the jump. You will be told about the pur­pose of each part of the para­chute, the prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion of the main and reserve para­chute, and gen­er­al rec­om­men­da­tions will be giv­en. After that, you will work out the main points of the jump and land­ing. And if you like the emo­tions of the first jump, and you want to take sky­div­ing seri­ous­ly, then in a few years you can go through sev­er­al train­ing cours­es, get the nec­es­sary cer­tifi­cates and … take part in nation­al com­pe­ti­tions.

But we digress, so let’s go back to the first jump. If you are afraid, but the desire to jump remains strong, then you can make the first jump in tan­dem with an instruc­tor.

First solo jump

An inde­pen­dent jump is usu­al­ly car­ried out with a round land­ing para­chute weigh­ing approx­i­mate­ly 16 kg. Dur­ing a jump from a height of 800‑1000 m, the main para­chute is forced to open. After the jump, the free fall lasts about 5 sec­onds, and then the main para­chute opens and the fall con­tin­ues for about 3 min­utes. Dif­fer­ent types of para­chutes use dif­fer­ent open­ing options, but if after 5 sec­onds the main para­chute does not open or you do not pull out its ring, the safe­ty sys­tem will auto­mat­i­cal­ly open the reserve para­chute. To land, you need to turn into the wind and reduce speed with the front edge of the canopy, and land on both feet at the same time.

The main restric­tions for self-jump­ing, apart from the state of health, are weight out­side the range of 50 — 95 kg and age under 16 years.

The cost of an inde­pen­dent jump is about 250 UAH, but it is worth tak­ing more in case of fines for throw­ing a spare tire or los­ing a ring.

Jump in tan­dem with an instruc­tor

A tan­dem jump is per­formed under a wing para­chute from a height of 3000–4000 m and is one of the safest ways to expe­ri­ence the taste of free fall. When jump­ing from such a height, the free fall lasts about 50–60 s. No activ­i­ty is required from you, the instruc­tor him­self will acti­vate the main para­chute and con­trol the land­ing. And dur­ing the descent and up to a height of 300 m, you will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­trol the wing of the para­chute.

The cost of a tan­dem jump, depend­ing on var­i­ous con­di­tions, is in the range of 130–160 euros.

Sky­div­ing train­ing

Sky­div­ing train­ing is car­ried out accord­ing to one of 2 stan­dard pro­grams: the clas­si­cal pro­gram and the AFF accel­er­at­ed freefall train­ing pro­gram. Accord­ing to the clas­si­cal pro­gram, you mas­ter para­chute jumps with a round canopy, grad­u­al­ly mov­ing to oth­er types. The AFF pro­gram is more mod­ern and effi­cient, jumps are made from a height of 4000 m with a spe­cial stu­dent para­chute sys­tem of the “wing” type, which allows you to work out one exer­cise sev­er­al times in a long time in the air. An instruc­tor jumps next to the stu­dent, who prompts and con­trols each jump.

After com­plet­ing the train­ing, you can make jumps to receive a cer­tifi­cate from A (more than 10 jumps) to G (more than 5000 jumps). The cer­tifi­cate is a world­wide rec­og­nized doc­u­ment con­firm­ing the lev­el of pre­pared­ness of a sky­div­er. Hav­ing a cer­tifi­cate of a cer­tain lev­el is manda­to­ry for par­tic­i­pa­tion in most inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tions.

Sky­div­ing equip­ment

The sports para­chute sys­tem con­sists of a satchel, a main and reserve para­chute and a safe­ty device. The sys­tems are mod­u­lar, so you can assem­ble it from parts from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers. You can pur­chase a para­chute sys­tem for $2,500 for a used sys­tem and $4,000 for a new, home­made para­chute sys­tem. The upper price lim­it for for­eign-made pro­fes­sion­al para­chute sys­tems is prac­ti­cal­ly unlim­it­ed. And in addi­tion to the para­chute sys­tem, you will undoubt­ed­ly need a hel­met, over­alls, gog­gles, gloves and an altime­ter.

It is inter­est­ing

In Jan­u­ary 2004 in Thai­land, on the sev­enth attempt, 357 peo­ple from 40 coun­tries built the largest for­ma­tion in the world and held it for 6 sec­onds. Jumps were made from a height of 11 thou­sand meters.

William Rankin made the longest jump in the world. He got into an oncom­ing updraft of air and descend­ed by para­chute for 40 min­utes.

And Joseph Kit­tinger, hav­ing jumped from a bal­loon from a height of 31,330 m, fell freely for 4 min­utes and 37 sec­onds before his para­chute auto­mat­i­cal­ly opened. Where there with the stan­dard 60 sec­onds!

Author: Vladimir Seli­v­anov

Arti­cle pro­tect­ed by copy­right and relat­ed rights. When using and reprint­ing the mate­r­i­al, an active link to the healthy lifestyle por­tal is required!


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