Landing your parachute correctly is one of the things you need to get right for a great skydive. The good news is a little bit of the right training is all you require for a solid parachute landing, whether you are jumping for the first time via a tandem skydive, or go on to learn how to skydive solo.
Let’s start here with some information and landing tips to help you achieve the perfect skydive landing …
How Parachutes Work
A modern skydiving parachute is much closer to an aircraft wing than the big rounds you might see in older movies.
Today’s square (actually rectangular) designs give a parachute landing great precision, enabling the pilot to seamlessly touch down in the exact desired spot. This is done by controlling the same forces that allow airplanes to fly – lift, drag, weight and thrust.
Parachutes are built to always descend, but their efficient shape and the weight suspended underneath mean they have power that can be applied at the right moment. Pulling down on the ‘brakes’ (one in each hand) causes the parachute to both level out and slow down – which is ideal for when you wish your skydiving landing to be as gentle as hopping down from a single step.
Tandem Skydive Landings
When you make a tandem skydive, you are securely harnessed to your instructor at your hips and shoulders, almost like you’re giving your instructor a piggyback. As you can imagine, this makes for a creative landing strategy, which is covered in detail during pre-jump training.
When the instructor gives the cue, you lift your legs at the hips for several seconds while the instructor prepares for landing. Sometimes you’ll land standing up with your instructor, but most times folks slide into home base on their bum. As you can see from the miles of smiles on first-timers’ faces, it’s easy peasy and takes nothing away from the phenomenal feeling of flying through the big blue Long Island sky!
Learning to skydive by yourself is super rewarding. During training, you land the parachute from jump numero uno (yep!) – after receiving plenty of training and ground school practice before you go up, of course. Your instructor guides you down by radio the first few jumps too. Once you’ve got the hang of it, though, it’s all you. (Sounds crazy? Try crazy-amazing!)
How It Feels
The fun part of skydiving does not end once freefall is over and you have deployed your parachute. Canopy flight feels amazing in its own right. Some like it mild and relish in the peaceful glide back to terra firma; others like it wild and zip through the air, keeping the adrenaline pumping.
The skydive landing isn’t just the end of a jump, it’s another part of the process worth reflecting upon and celebrating! The only way you can get to the landing, though, is to take the leap! Ready? Come jump with us!