Did you know, that one of the key exercises in skydiving, is that you use your core muscles to stabilize your body in midair?
It’s not as easy as it looks.
When you’re in the free fall position, your core musculature shields your spine and prevents injury. The exercises you do before jumps must be designed to strengthen and stretch these muscles.
Training with explosive movements, followed by quick recover and instant stabilization provide the unique set of skills that a skydiver should possess.
Here are 10 Things I didn’t know, which I learned about tandem Skydiving:
1. When in doubt, Belly To Earth!
If you ever tumble out of a plane, the experience can be disorientating. The best way to find your balance is by arching your hips and splaying out, like how a cat lands on its feet. Some refer to this position as belly to earth. The most stable, and first lesson in freefalling technique, is to arch at the hips. Essentially making a U shape with your body, having the waist as the bottom of the U. As long as you find this lovely arch, you will find the right position in relation to earth.
2. Just roll on out, of the plane!
I used to think I’d be so scared, I’d close my eyes and hope the experience ended quickly. Not true – keep you eyes open because the scene before you will just be breathtakingly beautiful. Words cannot describe it!
3. How do you roll out of the plane?
You should cross your hands to your shoulders, and keep your head back. Once you roll out, after 2 seconds, find the Belly To Earth Position, and let gravity do its work.
4. You get only 35 seconds of free fall
Jumping form 10,000 feet, one accelerates at 200km/hr during free fall, but one only gets 35 seconds of this blissfull feeling! What a shame.. we wanted more of it!
5. There are 2 chutes
Pilot chute.. A pilot chute is released which acts as a mini-parachute. The pilot chute catches air and pulls out the parachute which opens and unfolds as it catches air, a 10-20 second process.
6. You don’t go up when the Parachute Opens
It feels like it, but it’s actually just your body changing position. Your fall rate is also slowed so dramatically that your body moves to a stand up (feet down) position. You can glide like that for a longer time than free fall, before you land
7. At what altitude do you open your parachute?
No lower than 3500 feet. If you are very skilled, the lowest is 2500 feet.
8. You may do some fun stunts, once your parachute is deployed
Using two attached hand controllers on strings, you may steer the chute left and right, and up and down. These also help you fly around and choose your landing area, land well/softly. You may even do some daredevil stunts like dive, spin and pivot on the spot, much like paragliding.
9. The Hill
The hill is the beginning of free fall, once you exit the aircraft. At this point you are moving forward with the momentum of the aircraft, as well as falling downwards. After clearing this bit, you are falling down faster than moving forward. Then you are in free fall proper.
10. Free Fall
I always thought that free fall would be this sudden, lurching feeling you get, sort of like when you wake up from a nightmare or a drop from a roller-coaster ride. Well, it was quite the opposite. Free fall is a unique felling in itself – you need to experience it to understand it. You actually feel rather weightless up there, when you are free-falling from 10,000 feet for approximately 35 seconds, before the parachute is deployed. And don’t be mistaken the speed is incredible – we plummeted at a rate of over 200km per hour! If you want to get technical about it, during free fall, your body experiences zero acceleration, because of the retarding force known as air resistance. Air resistance exists because air molecules collide into a falling body creating an upward force opposite gravity. This upward force will eventually balance the falling body’s weight. You will continue to fall at constant velocity known as the terminal velocity. Anyway, it was a terrific experience – something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. Me, I don’t mind doing it again, really!
We were visiting the Sunshine Coast as part of #room753 & #thisisqueensland campaign, in conjunction with Tourism Queensland. Skydive Ramblers made this tandem skydive an amazing experience. For more info please check out Skydive Ramblers (tel: 07 54488877)