How to skydive
Skydiving, despite its fearsome image, is actually one of the safest extreme sports. It involves jumping out of a plane, freefall, breaking the fall with a parachute, and landing safely. Skydiving is also very popular, and something that many people long to experience.
If you are considering skydiving, then be aware of restrictions. You must be over 18 and less than 18 stone. You must also be generally healthy (freefall is not the best place to be taken ill). Most people can skydive without any problems.
Do your research. There are a number of skydiving sites on the internet; most of them run by fans that are only too happy to talk at length about their hobby.
Look up your local skydiving clubs, and join one. Support can be essential once you actually have to step out of the plane. Most skydivers are friendly sorts, and very welcoming. Find a group you like and become a member.
You can also visit the airfields and talk to the instructors, and perhaps arrange a tandem jump, where the student learns to steer the parachute under guidance from the expert. Instructors are expensive, but a good one is worth his weight in gold. Don’t take the first instructor that you come across, even if everyone thinks he’s the best. Find someone you’re comfortable with. The most important word on your list is ‘trust’.
Arrange a course. It’s the only way to find out if you really are suited to skydiving, and you can talk openly about your fears. No-one will laugh, because they have all had similar experiences.
If skydiving is for you, get your license. Practice, practice, then practice some more. Sport parachutists often make 10,000 jumps during their career: your licence is only the beginning of something big. Get advice about what sort of rig to buy, shop around, and find something that suits you.