If you have a hard time understanding exactly what people mean when they talk about “skydiving“, here are some simple explanations that will help you.
There are a number of extreme sports that involve jumping from a plane, such as base jumping, parachuting and skydiving. Is there a difference between them? Parachuting and skydiving both mean that the person who jumps from the airplane (from thousands of feet in the sky) with a deployed parachute that allows them to slow their descent and land on the ground safely.
The sport of parachuting, however, is designed so that the parachute opens almost immediately after the jumper leaves the plane, so that the entire descent is a gradual drift downwards with the parachute slowing the descent.
Skydiving is different in that the jumper leaves the plane and goes into a free fall for a while before deploying the parachute. This is more exciting than slowly drifting down, and this excitement is what attracts many people to the sport.
Hearing this description would make people think that skydiving is more dangerous than parachuting, but this is not necessarily so. There are many safety measures in place that make sure that the parachute will open for skydivers when the time is right, so there is no more danger than there is in parachuting. Many people make hundreds of jumps in both sports over their lifetimes.
Both parachuting and skydiving are fairly expensive sports, so there is not a lot of difference between the two when it comes to the investment involved. They both involve buying specialized (and expensive) equipment, unless you opt to rent in the beginning. This would involve goggles, a helmet and a specially fitted jumpsuit. And of course, they both involve hiring a plane and pilot to take you up into the wild blue yonder. You will also need to hire an instructor from a skydiving school until you have learned to jump by yourself.
Learning skydiving with an instructor is very important, and no skydiving school would ever allow a new diver to take the plunge on his own. Besides making the experience safer, they will make it more enjoyable by taking many of the elements of risk away that make many people nervous to try this sport. First time instruction usually involves tandem jumping with an instructor to learn the ropes.
After you have done a tandem jump with an instructor and gotten over the initial fright, you will find skydiving one of the most fun and exciting sports you have ever encountered. There is no doubt that you will get hooked and find out for yourself what skydiving is all about.
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