The first parachute jump is often source for good memories and jokes for years to go. After you have made it, it’s easy to tell stories. The hard part is to do your first jump. And deciding to do it is half work done.
What Can Prevent Your Jump
Before discussing your first jump, you ought to know that there are some circumstances under which you are not recommended (and often not allowed) to do it:
Photo by Lowerlighter at Flickr
- If you have used spirits or drugs
- If you have high blood pressure or serious heart disseases
- If you suffer from osteoporosis
- If you have broken leg or hand
It’s not that you can’t jump drunk or with a broken hand, but it’s highly recommended to avoid that and skydive only in good physical and mental shape.
It’s important to be calm and confident that you want to do it. Of course there will be fear just at the moment when you are about to jump from the plane. But you should remember the risk is minimal and think about the fun you are going to have rather than to picture yourself in hospital or revising your testament.
Choosing the parachute and the type of jump you are going to make is an important part of the decision process. Depending on the jump attitude you are going to use a wing type or circled/descend parachute and the jump itself will be either tandem or freefall. The freefall jump is shorter, but you are doing it alone so it’s hard to say which one will scary you more.
The first classical freefall jump is usually made at 700 – 800m attitude. If you are doing your first parachute jump in a club (which is highly recommended), the instructors will prepare all the equipment for you so you can concentrate on the skydiving.
The instructor will explain you in detail what to do: how to enter and go out of the plane, how to jump, what to do in any unexpected situation and how to land. Usually the first jump instructions include also dry training inside the plane.
When you are actually doing the jump you will again be accompanied from the instructor but only to the door of the plane. He or she will tell you when to jump… and the rest is in your hands and legs. After you jump you will have just few seconds to enjoy the free fall and then the parachute will open.
The first freefall skydiving jump is a terrific experience which you are going to remember for life.
If you don’t like to be alone in your first parachute experience, you can choose a tandem jump. The tandem jumps are more expensive because they usually occupy the best instructors and very high quality equipment.
When you are doing a tandem parachute jump your harness is tied to the harness of the instructor who also holds the parachutes. The free fall duration is much bigger compared to the “freefall” jump – it can be as much as one minute! Only the drogue starts opening after the first few seconds. This is because the jump starts at attitude of 3,000 – 4,000 m. After that there is at least another minute fall with the main parachute open.
Because of the high attitude and the long duration of the jump it requires even better physical and mental shape than the freefall jump. However the experience is even more memorable.
Freefall or tandem, your first parachute jump is going to be memorized. It’s a good idea to get a video camera or audio recorder so you can share your great moment with your friends and relatives.