You (Almost) Can Fly – Skydive
Satisfy your primal urge to fly. Skydive.
From Icarus to Superman, humankind has told some of its greatest stories about the joys, wonders, and dangers of free flight. People just naturally yearn for the magic power to defy gravity and soar above the earth. Until we evolve into creatures of the air, however, skydiving comes closest to recreating the exhilaration of free flight.
Although skydiving seems the most extreme among all the extreme sports, in fact, it numbers among the safest. No other sport places nearly the same emphasis on safety instruction and proper safety procedure. During your first dive and throughout the twenty lessons that lead to certification as a skydiver, your jumpmasters emphasize double- and triple-checking your equipment for safety, and they monitor your every move to make absolutely certain you are as safe as you can be. During your first heart-pounding dive, your jumpmaster parachutes with you in “tandem,” linking with you so that you may enjoy the thrills of gymnastic maneuvers and lateral flight. Once you have completed your “freefall”-a 120 m.p.h. 1500 foot flight across open sky-the jumpmaster guarantees your canopy opens, and you drift gently earthward, commanding a god’s-eye view of the whole world spread out beneath your feet.
Learn all about skydiving before you go.
The best skydiving schools orient you to your first jump before you even show-up at the landing zone. The worldwide web gives detailed descriptions and compelling video of people’s first jumps, taking away all the mystery and most of the fear. The United States Parachuting Association also offers web-based “ground school,” a great site devoted to dress rehearsal of everything you will learn and do in real-world ground school. The lessons there also offer guidance about selecting a safe, fun skydiving facility in your area; they give you specific criteria for evaluating different schools and different first-time options. Moreover, the very best skydiving schools encourage you to call with questions. Well-trained customer service representatives happily will explain everything about the cost, the danger, the thrill, and the requirements of a first jump or lessons leading to certification.
After your first jump, keep jumping.
Of course, skydiving may be instantly habit-forming, because nothing else rivals the adrenalin-pumping, mind-expanding, confidence-building rush you feel as you step out of the airplane and into your dive. No matter how many times you dive, the thrill never diminishes. In fact, as you become more proficient with mid-air maneuvers, the more your excitement intensifies; and, if you choose to compete, you add a second dimension to skydiving’s excitement.
You will discover skydiving is surprisingly affordable. For the sake of perspective, compare skydiving with some of its extreme sport rivals: Skydiving costs just a little bit more than ordinary snowboarding, a little bit less than serious mountain-biking, and a lot less than serious sailboat racing or para-surfing. And if you had some way of calculating thrills-per-pound, skydiving would emerge as the runaway winner.
First-time skydivers almost unanimously walk away from their experiences exulting, “The dive absolutely changed my life! After this, nothing will be the same, and everything will seem just a little bit easier.”