Skydiving Safety Tips for Beginners
Parachuting, also known as “skydiving” has become one of the most popular extreme sports in the World today. From its inception in 1797 when Andres-Jacque Garnerin made jumps out of hot air balloons, to the use of them in fighting wild fires and wars, and now as a recreational extreme sport, it has come a long way.
United States Parachuting Association has over 30,000 members, some of whom will take well over a thousand jumps this coming year, but it does not come without extreme risk to the skydiver. Though the risk is small, over the last ten years skydiving averages thirty-three deaths per year. This can be helped by taking the time to follow safety instructions, which may save your life:
Start on the ground! Most cities have ground training provided by the local jump master of the U.S.P.A. Be sure you are comfortable operating all of the equipment prior to ever diving solo in the air.
Once in the air if you make a mistake or blackout make sure you are familiar with all your safety equipment. More than likely there is a piece of equipment somewhere on your chute that can save your life.
Before you ever leave the ground be sure your parachute has been packed properly and you are knowledgeable on where all safety gauges and equipment are, and be sure to strap the parachute on correctly. Once in the air be sure to pay attention to your gauges and the way your body is feeling. One of the worst things you can do is blackout while hitting terminal velocity, so simply paying attention to how your body is feeling may save your life.
All-in-all skydiving can be a fun and exciting way to spend your weekend afternoons with your friends, but you must make sure to follow all the safety guidelines outlined by the U.S.P.A. and your jump master. Only jump on days and in areas where you feel comfortable – no matter how much your jump partner(s) want to explore a new jump site. Also keep in mind the weather for the day, some skydivers do not do well starting off in windy or choppy environments. The most important thing though is you enjoy yourself, so be safe and enjoy the wind in your face!