While the world is still full of people who think jumping out of a perfectly good plane is a joke, there is a rapidly growing segment of the population who considers this very act one of exhilaration and excitement second to none. Skydiving is an immensely popular sport that is growing faster than ever before and accumulating die-hard fans from all corners of the globe.
Many people experience their first jump using a technique known as the tandem skydive. This technique has a long history of safety, uses specialized equipment designed and developed for this type of jumping only, and in the United States it is taught by instructors who have received extensive training and certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
In a tandem skydive, your first experience floating through the wild, blue yonder isn't a fright-filled solo endeavor. Instead, you will be harnessed to a very experienced instructor who has thoroughly described the experience to you beforehand and has practiced with you enough to make the first-time jitters go away.
After jumping from a perfectly good plane flying about two miles above ground, your instructor will deploy a large drogue chute (think “drag”) to slow the speed at which you are falling since two people fall much faster than one, lighter, person. Slowing the rate at which you fall increases the amount of time spent in free fall. During this stage of the jump, the free fall, you will achieve the desired speed of approximately 120 miles per hour but you will not feel the speed. You will feel as you are merely drifting.
After a few breathtaking moments of freefall, either you or your tandem skydive instructor will deploy the main chute which will slow your rate of acceleration in preparation for landing. You and your instructor will have practiced safe landing techniques before boarding the plan and he or she will be right there with you to further ensure a safe and exciting experience.
Often one tandem skydive experience is all it takes to become hooked on a sport like none other. The first jump often leads to many years of skydiving for pleasure and some people even choose to incorporate it into a completely new career opportunity. Avid skydivers often go on to become instructors, stunt actors, and skydiving videographers.
So if your life has become stuck in the same dull, boring rut, consider climbing to a new level of excitement. Leave the tired jokes behind, call your nearest skydiving training school, and schedule that first tandem skydive. Your life will never be the same.
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