Many Americans picture themselves going skydiving at least once in their lives, and it’s a popular “try it once before you die” sort of activity. And everyone knows what it looks like: jumping out of a moving airplane, falling for a while, and then allowing the parachute to deploy and land safely on the ground. A skydiving center may be found in an interested client’s area, and a person may search “skydiving near me” to find such a skydiving center. They may find a skydiving center with their ZIP code for a more refined search, or the name of their home town or city. They may search “tandem skydiving near Boston MA” or something more broad such as “skydiving center Orange County CA”. First time skydiving may require a person knowing a few things beforehand, though, since there’s a bit more to it than simply leaping out of the plane.
Skydiving in the USA
Who likes to go skydiving? Plenty of people, and there are some statistics to show who jumps and how often, and from what height they may jump. The USPA, for one, has estimated that around 3.2 million skydives were done in the United States in 2017 alone. Most often, the jumper will leap from the airplane at about 13,000 feet above the ground, and this gives them a 60-second window for free falling. Typically, the skydiver will deploy their pilot chute at 2,500 feet, and this will deploy the full parachute. When tandem skydiving is done, a drogue chute will be used to control the fall rate for the group. A tandem skydiving fall may last from 45 to 60 seconds, and next, the tandem divers will experience a four-minute canopy ride down to the ground.
If someone wants to visit a local skydiving center and try some skydiving, what should they know about this activity first? For one thing, they may choose to check out the drop zone, or a wide patch of grassy ground that may include an aircraft hangar. These aren’t just nearby patches of ground, though; they are carefully chosen and sanctioned by the USPA. The skydiver may also be given a jump suit to wear, especially during winter months, which will protect the diver from the cold. Such a jumpsuit may be conveniently worn over their regular clothes. Naturally, the skydiver will have to sign a liability release before their skydiving session, to cover potential risks and any other safety concerns. The diver is falling thousands of feet toward the sheer ground, after all, so naturally some legal paperwork will cover things.
Who can go skydiving? One of the attractive perks of this sport is that nearly anyone can do it, so long as they are 18 years old or above and are not pregnant. Adults with heart conditions are also advised to keep their feet on the ground, but aside from that, nearly anyone can try a skydiving jump. What is more, even the disabled may try this, and individuals with partial paralysis or missing limbs can go skydiving just like an able-bodied person can, making skydiving an inclusive activity. These skydivers may need some special precautions or equipment modifications for safety and convenience, but overall, nearly anyone may try skydiving.
Falling so far to the sheer ground sounds dangerous to some, and while skydiving is not truly risk-free (hardly any sport is), this activity is far safer than many may realize. The accident and injury rate in skydiving is quite low, and a skydiver faces very slim chances of injury or a fatality. In fact, most skydiving accidents are due to human error rather than equipment failure, and trainee skydivers are given rigorous training beforehand. So long as a skydiver takes their training seriously and does what they should during a dive, the risks of an accident are quite remote. This may come as a relief, and make skydiving even more inviting. What is more, some skydivers, such as trainees, may jump with their instructors, who can help them in case of an error. Most jumpers have a backup parachute, and during tandem jumps, anyone with faulty equipment may be covered by the other jumpers. All of this can make a jumper safe during their sky adventure.