Falling with Style

I’ve recently taken up the extreme sport of skydiving. Most people ask the question ‘why jump out of a perfectly good plane?’ I always reply, ‘why not?’. Falling from the sky at speeds of over 200km/h is a thrill everyone should experience at least once in their life. It is safer than ever, with procedures in place for any complication possible. As a male-dominated sport, I have been attempting to advocate this fantastic sport to women to get involved, or even just to give it a go once and tick it off their bucket list.

Talented skydivers have hours of fall time under their belts and can perform amazing manoeuvres both in free fall and under their canopies. As a novice, I’m still learning the ropes and enjoying the freedom it offers. I have a tough decision ahead to make regarding which discipline I would like to pursue as a professional skydiver. Those who enjoy the gentle relaxation of canopy can focus on landing accurately or even increase their speed to participate in swooping, which involves travelling at high speeds across the ground, covering horizontal distance while within reach of the ground. Freefall focused skydivers can enjoy flying with friends, doing flatwork, learn to fly facing all sorts of directions and get into wing suiting as well. With so many options within the one sport, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Participating in a tandem jump just requires the person to be over the age of 12 with no health issues that would affect them during a jump, such as heart issues. A short video brief is done, then a harness brief, before you’re ready to jump! We offer heights from as low as 6,000ft to 15,000ft, weather dependant. The flight up can take anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes before the jump. Falling at 220km/h, the free fall only lasts up to 60 seconds at the maximum height, before the canopy is deployed. A 6-minute canopy flight down, safely to the ground is always a favourite as you get to take control of the canopy and enjoy the views.

Many people come out to the drop zone for a one-off jump and fall in love with the rush it gives you and the beautiful views, then decide to come back to get their solo skydiving licence, like myself. A solo jumping licence takes 9 jumps, performing different tasks to learn how to control yourself correctly. Each jump has instructors briefing before the jump and holding onto you while falling to help keep you balanced too. The jumps are judged on a pass/fail basis and if failed the same jump has to be repeated. Once all 9 have been passed, 10 canopy landings must be completed within 15 meters of a target for you to be qualified to jump anywhere around the world.

I highly recommend taking a day out to head to a drop zone to take a tandem jump, start solo skydiving or even just to watch the professionals fly in. The sport in Australia is currently a small community and could use more adventurous people, willing to learn a new skill and enjoy the beautiful views that our drop zones have to offer.


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