For everyone who has ever wished to fly, the answer is clear: skydiving. Skydiving means to jump out of an airplane or sometimes off a cliff while relying on your parachute packing abilities to save your fall. It is considered an extreme sport because of the danger of its adrenaline filled nature. So, what draws droves of first-timers and experts to this sport? Skydiving.com says, “Too many people live their entire lives with a shoulda, woulda, coulda outlook. So what if your flight doesn’t remain a “what if?” That is something to get excited about?” The thrill of flight is the reason why so many are lured to try skydiving.
However, skydiving is more than a recreational sport. Skydiving has several sport disciplines besides just deploying your parachute and steering to the landing zone. These different events are:
Freefly—falling with a group of skydivers in formation.
Artistic Freefly—a choreographic, competition style, which is routine between two skydivers.
Crew— similar to freefly, but with open canopies. Immediately after exiting the aircraft, teams fly with each other on or very close to each other’s canopies.
Freestyle—a very fast and entertaining version of freefly with fast changes in altitude. It is the most gymnastic form of parachute sports.
Wingsuit—the most flight-like of all the disciplines; the wingsuits inflate with the oncoming air and that rigidity provides the wing with lift. The object of this discipline is distance. If jumping from a cliff, the object is to see how close you can get to the mountain.
Swooping—Swooping is the most dangerous and technical of all disciplines. Swooping requires pilots to descend the fastest and come closest to the ground. The pilot who can stay closest to the ground for the longest time is the winner.
Skydiving is the purest and cheapest form of recreational flight. You do not have to participate in any of these to become hooked on Skydiving. Where can you find skydiving? Most flying fields let you come and jump tandem with them without a reservation. These are easily found through a quick internet search. Tandem skydiving is a fantastic way to cheaply sample flight. Moreover, larger universities like Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, The Naval Academy, United States Military Academy (West Point), the Air Force Academy, and many others, have parachuting clubs for students. For many hardcore skydivers, their passion started in a group at a local field. Flight has always been a dream—skydiving transforms it into a reality. Take a chance, go out and try something new, live extreme.