“Skydiving is risk free!”
If someone told you this you have the full right to doubt their sanity. Yes, skydiving can be a very safe extreme sport. But safety depends on many factors – your experience, your equipment and your knowledge about the potential skydiving risks.
Yes, there are risks in skydiving and you need to know them if you want to prevent incidents. So the purpose of this article is not to scarе you to death and put you away of this wonderful sport. Its purpose is only to encourage you think twice before doing stupid “brave” things that you have seen in movies. 92% of the fatalities in skydiving are due to mistakes in judgement and procedure. If that sounds like too many kids overestimate their capabilities, it may just be the true.
The Main Skydiving Risks
Let’s explore the main skydiving risks that you should be aware of:
- Equipment failure As opposed to what most people believe, equipment failure is very rare reason for skydiving fatalities. Of course, sometimes the parachutes doesn’t open, but all reasonable skydivers have a reserve parachute. Having both parachutes fail to open is an exceptionally rare thing. The obvious way to reduce the risk of equipment failure is to choose reliable equipment and keep it in good shape. There is still something you can do if your parachute does not open.
- Working with unknown equipment The equipment can get you in trouble if you don’t know how it works. The different types of parachutes can carry different weight and have different characteristics so not knowing the specific of yours increases the risk to open a parachute too late, too early or do something else wrong.
- Bad weather conditions Here is the real reason for many of the skydiving accidents. Strong sudden wind or shifting winds can sweep away the skydiver and cause him to crash. To avoid such risks you need to stay informed about the climatic conditions at the time and place of the jump.
- Medical risks Skydiving is not extremely exhausting sport but still requires a decent level of fitness. People with heart diseases, fever, osteoporosis and similar diseases should think twice before skydiving and do it only after consultation with specialist. The first skydiving jumps can be quite stressful so you’d better be in good mental health as well. All skydiving risks do become more pronounced if you throw medical conditions into the mix. Read more about doing it with high blood pressure.
- Landing injures The risk of small landing injures is not to be neglected – you can sprain, dislocate or break a leg or hand. While these incidents usually are not fatal, it’s good to be extra careful at the time of landing.
- Fatality due to overconfidence in yourself. This is maybe the second top reason for skydiving fatalities. Young skydivers often overestimate their capabilities and try to perform jumps that are too complex or risky for them.
Knowing the risks in skydiving doesn’t eliminate them, but certainly makes the jumps much safer.
Don’t be overconfident in yourself, stay informed about the weather, know your equipment and get good skydiving education before you start jumping – that should be the motto of the reasonable skydiver.