Tandem skydiving is an excellent way to experience this popular extreme sport. People, though, have a number of fears about skydiving. One myth is that you can’t breathe while you’re free-falling. That is certainly not true, otherwise, jumpers wouldn’t be conscious when they reached the ground. Another concern is that your chute may fail to open. Student chutes are typically safer than other chutes, so this isn’t a real concern. Most chutes are now rigged with automatic opening devices, so not opening your chute on time shouldn’t really be a worry. Despite these assurances, people still worry about the safety of skydiving. Tandem skydiving is an excellent way to experience the sport without worrying about the nagging doubts that plague people’s minds.
Tandem is the most popular way of experiencing jumping for novice skydivers. Students are required to attend about thirty minutes of instruction. During this time, they will meet the instructors they will be jumping with, probably watch instructional videos about the jump, go over safety procedures and then get fitted to the equipment they’ll be using. Additionally, students learn how to leave the aircraft, how to free fall and what to do in terms of body position as they land.
After the training session, tandem students and instructors board the plane, for the fifteen to twenty-minute flight, to the necessary altitude over the drop zone. While waiting to approach the area where exiting will take place, instructors make final reviews about procedures with students. When the time comes, instructors and students leave the plane at about fourteen thousand feet. Free fall lasts only a few minutes. Once the chute opens, the gentle glide back to earth lasts anywhere from five to ten minutes.
Occasionally, instructors will allow students to help steer the chute to the landing zone, this helps students get the feel of the chute. This also helps students, who wish to continue their skydiving training, to become certified skydivers themselves. Tandem skydiving is a great way for novices to experience the sport, by using an experienced instructor, without the worry and danger associated with solo skydiving.
You may want to take skydiving further and wish to be certified, so you can solo skydive. For this, you will need to successfully complete a training course including exams and complete a minimum number of supervised jumps. The exact criteria depend on where you take it.