Parachutes for Beginning Skydivers

Skydiving is a thrilling sport that captivates many people around the world. As thrilling as it is, it is also incredibly dangerous, especially if you do not have a quality parachute. There are many types of parachutes suitable for beginners. Let’s take a look at the parachutes that people can use during their initial jumps.


This type of parachute is mainly a drag device. This means that it does not provide any lift. This is the type of parachute that is used by the military. They are assembled from triangular cloth gores put together in a single layer. They are recognizable for having a big canopy shaped like a dome, and are often referred to as “jellyfish ‘chutes.”

Cruciform or square

Oscillation is decreased by the unique design of these parachutes. Oscillation simply means the back and forth swinging motion of the person. There are also no violent turns when using this type. It was originally developed by the military, but it has now become popular with the general public. The military system that developed this parachute is called the Advanced Tactical Parachute System (ATPS). This system has the ability to lower the descent rate by as much as 30 percent. The T-11 model has a descent rate that is 15 percent slower than its T-10D counterpart; this reduces the number of injuries associated with landing.

Annular and pull-down apex types

The pull-down apex is a modified version of the round parachute. It is sometimes called a Para-Commander canopy. The parachute is round. However, the canopy apex has suspension lines leading to it. This applies the load, pulling the apex toward the load. This flattens the previously shape. The fabric is removed in the apex in certain designs. This allows air to exit through a hole, making the geometry of the canopy more angular. The horizontal drag has also been reduced because of the flat shape. When this shape is combined with rear-facing vents, the forward speed the parachute can generate is quite considerable.

Ram-air types

Many of the modern parachutes are ram-air airfoils that are self-inflating. Direction and speed are controlled by a parafoil. This type of control is similar to that of paragliders. These parachutes are designed to mitigate, spread, and handle the stresses associated with deployment at terminal velocity. They are made of two layers of fabric that are connected by fabric ribs that form cells. These cells will allow high pressure to enter. The air comes from vents on the front of the airfoil’s leading edge. The parachute’s lines are trimmed and the fabric is shaped under the load that the fabric balloons up and inflates into the shape of an airfoil. Airlocks are one-way fabric valves that are sometimes used to maintain the parachute.

Rogallo wing and other types

The Rogallo has been experimented with occasionally, usually in an attempt to raise the forward speed while lowering the landing speed at the same time. The invention of the ram-air parachute and the sail slider has reduced the use of the Rogallo wing. These parachutes are known for being difficult to build.

Ring and ribbon parachutes have many things in common with annular designs. They are made for deployment at speeds that are supersonic. A traditional parachute would be destroyed under these severe conditions. The ring shape hole releases the pressure, allowing the parachute to function without being destroyed.

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Ron Paulson is a freelance writer who concentrates on sports, outdoor activities, snowboarding, extreme cycling, hiking & camping, skydiving and other subjects. Looking at skydiving in wa? Check out a respected and established company for more information.

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JR Olson
J. Rex Olson is a freelance writer based in the greater metropolitan area of Seattle. He enjoys writing for the sake of writing, and likes to contribute material on a wide range of topics and issues. When not writing he loves playing basketball and taking in a symphony.

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