How many ways to jump do you know? Probably not as many as there are in skydiving. The disciplines in skydiving are enough to be separated in two main categories – Base Jumping and Free Fall. It’s not that you should specialize in Freeflying and not do Base Jumping or the other way around. All the disciplines can be applied together and some even have to.
Photo by divemasterking2000 at Flickr
Let’s explore some of the most interesting ones:
As the name suggests, this discipline imposes very few rules – typically the skydivers fly in head down position to achieve higher speed, but can do anything else they want.
Free flying can be practiced alone or in groups. This is relatively new discipline which is getting fairly popular the last years. It’s great way to learn the basics of skydiving.
If you have ever been impressed by the skydivers watching some parachuting show, chances are you have been watching a formation skydiving performance.
Formation skydiving is practiced in groups of 4, 8 or 16 participants who perform specific figures and are usually video-recorded by another skydiver.
Formation skydiving is a sport with specific rules – each figure the participants perform is worth certain amount of points and these points are used to calculate the ranking in the competition.
Formation skydiving is considered the most popular parachuting discipline.
Here’s something you can do on your own. The Base Jump consists of jumping from an artificial or natural obstacle – building, tower, cliff, bridge etc.
For more information on the Base Jump it’s better to check the Wikipedia article.
This discipline is mostly practiced individually or in groups of 2-3 people.
The first base jumps have been done in the very beginning of 20th century.
This discipline is different than Free Fly discussed first in this article. It’s a sport discipline with rules – typically there is one performer and one skydiver who video-records his partner’s performance.
The Freestyle skydiving includes all kind of movements and acrobatics in the three dimensions during the fall. Freestyle is considered one of the dangerous disciplines.
Not “free”, just Style. This is a very different, high speed discipline including a lot of movements in series. The performer aims to make as many movements as possible in a short time.
This is clearly a competitive skydiving discipline and one of these who allows you to achieve world records.
Style is activity loved mostly within old-school skydivers.
Accuracy is one of the oldest skydiving disciplines. The performer jumps from the airplane and tries to land as close as possible to a predefined target.
This discipline is practiced individually or in groups of 4 skydivers. The performers usually land on their feet.
These were just some of the most popular skydiving disciplines. There are all kinds of crazy ones like Canopy skydiving, Blade Running, Sky Surfing and so on.
If you want to skydive just for fun, you may not be interested in following specific disciplines – they are for sportsmen who often compete professionally.