You may be thinking, “What kind of crazy do you have to be to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?” In this article we set out some points about this bucket list sport that you may not be aware of.
Statistically skydiving is not as dangerous as you might think. In an 2021 article from the University of Witwatersrand “South Africa – bottom of the class for road safety?” they indicate that 26 out of 100 000 people died in car accidents in South Africa in one year. The worldwide average of skydiving fatalities is 1 in every 500 000 over the last 10 years. In an article about the “Top 10 dangerous sports to take part in” written by Sports Brief in January this year, skydiving doesn’t even feature. Gymnastics, cycling races, big wave surfing and rugby do.
As part of the adrenaline rush of adventure sports you will probably be afraid, especially if it is your first skydive, but did you know that skydiving can help conquer your fears and boost your confidence? Skydiving is more than just a holiday adventure. The feeling of accomplishment after a successful jump can be inspiring.
Freefall is not really “falling”. It’s a controlled movement involving a dynamic interplay between gravity, air resistance, body position, and altitude. The sensation of wind rushing past you during freefall is caused by your own downward motion relative to the surrounding air. This relative wind gives the feeling of flying. On a tandem skydive, you wear a specially designed harness that is attached to the instructor who has been expertly trained to do the flying while you get to enjoy the high-speed experience of freefalling. The freefall from 10 000 ft is about 35 seconds or if you are daring enough, you can try the 14 000 ft tandem skydive and freefall for about 55 seconds. Once the parachute is open, it’s calmingly quiet and you can chat to the instructor, admiring the views on a gentle parachute decent of about 7-8 minutes.
Skydiving may not be the cheapest of adventures, but by international standards South Africa is the cheapest:
Mossel Bay R4 500 per person, including video and photos
France 314 Euro = R6 141
US $338 = R6 196
UK 378 pounds = R8 469
Dubai Palm AED 2 199 = R10 975
Make sure that you contact a skydiving operation that will give you the necessary training and provide photographic and video footage of this wonderful experience!
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. Nelson Mandela