Skydiving is the original extreme sport, and it is perfectly natural to be nervous about doing it. Evolutionarily speaking, we have only just climbed down from the trees, so jumping out of an aeroplane makes your monkey brain ask a lot of questions. Despite what your instincts insist, many decades of continual refinement mean that skydiving is really very safe. Here are a few ways the wellbeing of skydiving (and skydivers) is looked after.
Skydiving Rules & Regulations
Every country that has active skydiving is governed by a selection of highly experienced people who have often been involved for decades. Organisations such as the Parachute Association of South Africa are tasked with managing and overseeing every aspect of parachute operations, such as the training of instructors, procedures relating to the maintenance of equipment, and also gathering any and all relevant statistics relating to the safety of the sport. Nobody likes to be hit over the head with endless rules, but a proven safety record with details that can be analysed keeps the safety level high and people acting responsibly – especially when we want as many new people to experience skydiving as possible.
Skydiving Equipment Safety
The very early days of parachuting – when ex-paratroopers were basically using trial and error to see if they could turn skydiving into a hobby – are now a long time ago. The techniques and materials used in the production of skydiving equipment add up to mean that parachutes are very good at what they are supposed to do. When squaring up to the idea of jumping out of an aeroplane for the first time it is perfectly natural to wonder, “is it worth the risk” or “what if my parachute doesn’t open?” Parachute equipment is actually highly reliable and undergoes documented maintenance every six months to ensure it is being looked after correctly. Also, every system, or ‘rig’, contains two parachutes, so even in the uncommon situation of a malfunction you can just use your reserve instead.
All of the equipment at Skydive Mossel Bay goes through regular safety checks and everything you need to get going is included in the cost of your skydive!
Skydiving’s Safety Record Has Made It A Sport
The repeatability of modern skydiving, combined with the continual advancement of our ability to do it, means that it has become a competitive sport. From the balletic freefall moves of ‘freestyle’ to the swooshing velocity of ‘canopy piloting’, the practitioners of the various disciplines treat their training much the same as athletes of other sports. As such, it is possible to pick up injuries – a pulled muscle here or a twisted ankle there. In reality though, sustaining any kind of injury while skydiving is quite rare and infrequent.
Tandem Skydiving Safety
By far the most common way to experience freefall for the first time is by tandem skydiving, meaning when a brand new skydiving student and an experienced instructor are harnessed together piggy-back style for the jump. Of all the different types of skydiving available, tandem offers the opportunity to experience it with little training, and a good safety record. It is quite common to hear it described that driving to the dropzone is the most dangerous part of your tandem skydiving experience, and indeed this is true. Over the last ten years, the fatality rate for a tandem jump is just 0.003 per 1000, which means you are more likely to die from a coconut falling on your head while walking down the beach or be eaten by a shark than you are to die skydiving. Additionally, tandem skydiving is a great way to experience for the first time what it is all about, as you get to savor the feeling by having someone else do much of the work.
Although your brain wants you to believe that leaping from an aircraft wearing a backpack made of canvas and string is a dangerous thing to do, it really is not. Modern skydiving allows you to indulge in something unrivaled in thrills and excitement, and do so in a managed and responsible way. Even knowing the above things in advance, you still may be nervous up until the point you make the jump, but the anticipation just adds to how great it feels to get out of the plane and into the sky.
If you’re ready to go, book today!