Skydiving is an extreme sport and if you’re going for the first time you’ll naturally feel anxious and have questions about skydiving safety. Although rare, injuries do sometimes occur but this is almost always due to deviation from the rules and regulations governing the sport of skydiving. There is an element of risk. The same can be said about driving too fast, skiing, crossing the road or swimming. Believe it or not, skydiving has become much safer over the years. The equipment is now far more specialized and advanced, the training provided to instructors is extensive and intensive and better safety procedures and regulations have been produced over the many years the sport evolved. Skydiving is strictly regulated by the Parachute Association of South Africa to ensure the safety measure are correctly practiced.
You, the tandem skydiving student, can also help minimize the risk to ensure that your tandem skydive is a safe and enjoyable experience. We’ll go through the standard procedure of instructions provided by our professional instructors. If you’re still curious after reviewing these safety rules, here are a few additional tips to put your mind at ease and overcome your fears.
RULE NO 1:
LISTEN TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR
Always listen to your instructor. Not to your friend who jumped before you, not to your mom or even your uncle who used to be a paratrooper in the military 30 years ago, always listen to your instructor. No matter what, never doubt your instructor. They have been trained over thousands of jumps to be able to give you the best, safest experience. Trust them, pay attention and you will have one of the greatest experiences of your life.
RULE NO 2:
BE A BANANA
Yes, this might sound a little funny but if you look at the picture below it’ll make a little more sense why we say BE A BANANA. It is to ensure that you are in the best possible position when exiting the plane, relative to the wind. The banana position gives us optimal aerodynamics and therefore guarantees more safety.
RULE NO 3:
NEVER TOUCH OR HOLD YOUR
INSTRUCTOR’S ARMS IN FREEFALL
This rule is extremely important because your instructor needs his arms to fly his body and to safely deploy the parachute. If his arms are incapacitated then the risk of having an incident increases significantly. Try to relax and look to the horizon if you feel like going into a panic, but never grab onto your instructor’s arms.
RULE NO 4:
LIFT YOUR KNEES AND FEET UP FOR LANDING
Before you gear up to go for your skydive, your instructor will teach you how to lift your knees and feet up when you come in for landing. See the picture below. Once the freefall is over your instructor will ask you to practice lifting your knees and feet up to prepare for landing. On the final approach to the ground your instructor will command you to lift your knees and feet up and to keep them there until you’ve landed safely. This is to ensure a safe landing and to prevent your feet and legs from catching the ground while in forward motion. Failure to lift your knees and feet could result in a broken ankle, so let your instructor touch the ground before you.
If you’d like more information, check out our Beginner’s Guide for first-time skydivers.
If you stick to all these rules then you will have an awesome, safe experience with us. Don’t let fear get the better of you. These are all guidelines to ensure your safety. We want you to have the best skydive ever and that means you need to work with your instructor to make that happen. Book a tandem skydive today!