Are Parachuting And Skydiving The Same Thing?
Skydiving and parachuting, they are the same thing aren’t they? Or are they? The answer is a not that straight forward. They both involve the same equipment and obviously you wouldn’t want to try skydiving without a parachute but they do differ. They both have pretty obvious similarities but solo Skydiving is really only suited to the more experienced jumpers. So which is the right one for you, and what are the differences? Apart from the level of experience and training required there is also the type of experience you are after. Free falling is an important part of skydiving and adds a whole new dimension to the jump. This is why it needs more training and instruction than parachuting alone.
Let’s start with parachuting. Almost anyone can take part in this sport. You can buy experiences for you or for a friend and can book your experience at a time to suit you. There are even schemes to raise money for charity which can result in the actual cost of the jump being covered. Obviously there are safety considerations and no one is going to let someone jump out of a plane without making sure that they are fully instructed and all necessary precautions are taken.
Sometimes this will be Static Line Parachuting. This is where a person jumps from a plane and the parachute is pulled automatically on exit. The parachute is joined to the inside of the plane, so that as the jumper exits the plane it is pulled. For most people the first jump is likely to be on a static line. If you’ve seen images of soldiers leaving a plane in turn they are jumping using a static line. The key thing is that this can be done alone from the first jump.
Then there is the sport of skydiving. This is when the parachute is pulled manually after you exit the plane and after a period of what is known as “free fall”. You are quite literally falling through the air reaching speeds of up to 120 mph as you hurtle towards the earth. This is for some the ultimate thrill and they build up the amount of time spent in free fall as they become more experienced.
For the novice skydiving is done in tandem with an experienced instructor timing the jump and the time spent in free fall. This leaves the novice free to experience the full sensations of the jump. Many reputable companies offer this experience. This adventure is great for your first jump. You are directly attached to the instructor and parachute system. You free fall with your instructor, you (or they) pull the ripcord and your instructor helps you guide the parachute down to a safe landing.
So there you have it, the difference between skydiving and parachuting is the free fall element but ultimately the difference is in the experience. Free fall is often described as the closest thing to flying and weightlessness that most people have ever experienced.