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  • Published: May 13th, 2011
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Interesting Facts about Skydiving

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Space Land Big Way

Most people know that skydiving involves jumping from a perfectly good airplane, floating down, deploying a parachute and landing. However, if that is all you think there is to skydiving, you may be surprised! Though a popular sport today did, you know that it has been around since 1797? Andre-Jacques Garnerin successfully jumped from hot air balloons in 1797. It is fitting that the first woman to parachute was the wife of the inventor of the device. Jeanne-Genevieve Garnerin was the first woman to ever make a parachute jump in 1799. Here are a few more interesting facts about skydiving.

Danger

There is a common misconception that parachuting or skydiving is dangerous, and considering human beings are jumping from extremely high altitudes with little between them and certain death this is a fair assumption. However, it is also false, throughout out the United States there are only about 30 deaths per year attributed to the sport. This is approximately 1 death per 100,000 jumps or .001%.

Safety equipment and regulations are so strict that very few accidents occur. In the US, a skydiver is required to jump with two chutes, a main and backup. The backup or reserve parachute must be examined and repacked periodically by a certified rigger.

Age is Not a Factor

If you think that skydiving is only for the young, there are a couple of people you should meet. Frank Moody was 101 years old when he set the age record for the oldest tandem jump in 2004! Then there is the lady who wanted to jump for her 99th birthday and skydived from 12,000 feet. Even youth is not a barrier to this fantastic sport as a four-year-old holds the record for youngest tandem jump from 10,000 feet.

Parachute Life Saving Device

You already know that the parachute is your life saving device when you are floating through the air, but what about water crash landings? There have been numerous reports of military pilots who have been pulled to safety  underwater by deploying their chutes!

Highest Jump

The record for the highest parachute jump is still held by Captain Kittenger. He was testing high altitude escape systems for the US military when he ascended to over 100,000 feet and jumped.  His decent topped out at 714 mph and lasted 4 minutes and 36 seconds. Due to the altitude he was of course wearing a pressure suit.

Falling

Many people are concerned that the free fall from an airplane will induce a heart attack! Not so say veteran jumpers, the feeling is not like that of a rollercoaster but instead like floating and the air resistance actually provides a sensation of support.

Conclusion

These are just some fun and interesting facts about skydiving. If you have ever been interested in the sport there are numerous resources for locating a skydiving class near you. Before you will be allowed to jump on your own, most instructors prefer you have about 20 jumps under your belt. You should know of course that some of your instruction is going to take place far above the ground!

 

Eric Boyd is the owner and operator of Skydive Spaceland a skydive Houston resort and dropzone. Skydive Spaceland uses the most advanced equipment and training for skydiving and tandem skydiving.

Skydive Spaceland
16111 FM 521 Rd, Rosharon, Texas 77583
(281) 595-3772

Top 5 Travel Destinations for Extreme Sports Enthusiasts

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A scuba diver looking at a giant clam on the G...

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Top 5 Travel Destinations for Extreme Sports Enthusiasts

Whether you are a scuba-diver, sky-diver, mountain climber, bungee-jumper or white water rafter, one thing is certain: these are extreme sports that only a select few are comfortable participating in.  Chances are, you love more than one of these sports and do them every chance you get. Here are some top travel destinations for the extreme sports enthusiast.

1)      Hawaii: This is one of the most beautiful places on earth, with clear-blue beaches and an abundance of marine life. You will find many opportunities such as scuba-diving, snorkelling, sky-diving and bungee-jumping. Whether you want to jump out of a plane to see the beautiful islands and scenery, or dive down 200 feet to see ship wrecks and corals, this spot is heaven on earth.

2)      Ottawa/Quebec: Ottawa provides one of the best white-water rafting experiences in North America; if you’re into sky-diving you can go to the Ottawa/Gatineau airport in Quebec. You will see breathtaking scenery, as well as the St. Lawrence River. This is definitely an extreme sportsman’s dream come true.

3)      Australia and the Great Barrier Reef: This famous reef is a picturesque sight of beauty. Snorkel or scuba dive to see the amazing marine life: sting rays, giant sea turtles, sharks and a colourful array of fish await you here. Don’t forget your underwater camera.

4)      Niagara Falls: Since you can’t go over the Falls in a barrel (it’s illegal), the sports enthusiast will have to settle for white-water rafting, or skydiving over this natural wonder. An amazing, thrilling adventure you won’t soon forget.

5)      Mount Kilimanjaro: Located in Tanzania, this famous sight is the mountain climber’s dream, and is conquered by thousands of people each year. Go on your own or with a tour guide; this will give you long lasting memories you won’t ever forget.

There are, of course, hundreds of other places throughout the world to practice your skills and see breathtaking views and sights. Keep in mind that some of the most popular are also some of the most crowded. You will have to decide where to go based on your own preference and budget. Create a top 10 list, and make some goals to visit at least three or four of them in the next five years. Don’t put anything off; you may regret it later. Visit your local travel agent, or do some research online for guided tours or packages. A word of caution about buying online: make sure you are purchasing from a reputable company, and that any tickets you purchase are in fact valid.

You should also be sure you have a life insurance policy in place before you venture onto your next destination. No one likes to think about their mortality, but the fact is the possibility of tragedy exists. Most athletes that enjoy extreme sports understands risk versus reward so I won’t lecture anybody here but being safe should be your number one priority.

 

Johnny Guyzer is a long time extreme sports enthusiast and although he enjoys the adrenaline rush, he understands that he needs to take care of his family first. That is the reason he buys Alberta life insurance if he plans on skiing in that province and buys Saskatchewan life insurance when he rides dirt bikes out in the Prairies.

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  • Published: Apr 16th, 2011
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Diving is Too Expensive

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This is a big one. First, remember what you’re getting for your money besides just the dive: A day on the water. A day in the sun. A picnic. A chance to hang out with old friends and make new ones. Maybe one of those once-in-a-lifetime underwater experiences. The opportunity to watch members of the opposite sex struggle in and out of wetsuits.

Piggyback diving. A way to stretch both time and money is to piggyback dive trips on to business or family trips ­the travel is already paid for. How many times have you seen business people traveling with golf clubs or tennis rackets? Why not a mask and regulator?

Make your stay less expensive. Check to see if there are accommodations with cooking facilities, such as a condo or an efficiency. Buying a few groceries local and having one or two meals a day “at home” will save a bundle.

Reason for the season? High season is often simply a measure of how many people are on vacation from school and work or are fed up with winter and ready to go anywhere warmer. It does not mean it’s the best time to be there for diving, but it does mean higher prices and bigger crowds. Check your dive travel specialist for destinations where low season coincides with the best diving conditions.

Pay less­, carry a big club. Dive clubs are able to negotiate group rates for diving and travel. Resorts will often offer free spaces for group leaders and the savings can be split among the entire group.

Watch the world. Keep up-to-date on your destinations­. For example, the current global financial crisis is making some of the best diving in the world suddenly more affordable.

Tax actions. It’s about time the government paid for some of your diving. Expenses incurred while participating in diving activities like fish counts and reef surveys organized for non-profit corporations are tax-deductible. Your dear Uncle Sammy may be happy to pay for almost a third of these dive trips­. Just don’t tell him how much fun they are. Also, any cost to join a marine-related non-profit organization that is considered a donation is deductible.

Solution: Realize what a great bargain you’re getting; scrimp and save; be a smart dive consumer.

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