5 things you need to know before you skydive

5 things you need to know before you skydive
PHOTO: Razor TV

You can't go solo on your first jump

Unless you are already certified, your first skydive attempt has to be a tandem jump. In tandem jumps, you are connected via a harness to an instructor who will guide you the moment you exit the aircraft till you land safely on the ground.

The scariest part of skydiving

Believe it or not, the scariest part is not the free fall portion or the landing. It's actually when you exit the aircraft. Most jumps happen anywhere between 9,000 and 13,000 feet, depending on factors such as civil aviation regulations and the weather.

There are two chutes

Well actually, there are three. The first thing that opens upon your exit from the aircraft is what's called a pilot shoot. This acts like a mini-parachute that pulls out the main parachute, which opens as it is filled with air. The main parachute has to be big enough to carry the weight of two people. If all else fails (FAA) Federal Aviation Administration regulations require all free-fall rigs to have a reserve parachute which will automatically deploy when a jumper in free-fall passes below a certain altitude and above a certain speed.

The free-fall

The feeling is quite different from that you may have when you're jolted out of a nightmare because you think you're falling off the bed. For the first 30 seconds you actually feel weightless because your body experiences zero acceleration, and the only force you feel is a blast of air rushing towards you. The best thing to do is to just scream and let it all out.

The soft landing

On most occasions, skydiving instructors will take the impact of landing on the ground for you. They will tell you to pull your knees up to your chest and just enjoy the ride.

 

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