What Is Extreme Skydiving?

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Extreme Skydiving?

For the uninitiated, it may seem that skydiving does not need an adjective such as “extreme.” Many people would ask, “Isn’t skydiving always extreme?”

The answer from those experienced in parachuting, skydiving and extreme skydiving would be, “No.” There is an important difference between skydiving and extreme skydiving, (Some have suggested that in extreme skydiving, the individual would not use a parachute. That would be extreme!) Rest assured, both continue to use parachutes.

What Is Extreme Then?

To put it quite simply, “regular” skydiving involves leaving the airplane, pulling the cord and descending slowly to earth. A short freefall may be involved in this version of the sport. The process of becoming an extreme skydiver passes through the “regular” skydiving phase. Some experienced skydivers have found that, after dozens of jumps, the activity can become a bit routine. While the general public might find it unusual that someone could jump from an airplane several thousand feet in the air and call it routine, it does happen.

For many skydivers, a next step might be to video the jumps, sometimes using two or more cameras to create videos that will be exciting and entertaining. Experienced skydivers have come up with a whole range of things to try during the minute or so of freefall before the parachute is opened. Most of these go far beyond the relative calm of video.

Team skydivers spend quite a bit of time designing patterns and movements that they can try during the freefall. Couples have planned their wedding to take place during this exciting minute. Another man actually had someone tattoo him while he was in freefall. These are just a few of the activities that have combined with skydiving to make the sport more extreme.

Flea fall

In spite of the awful play on words, this activity has become quite popular with skydiving dog lovers. According to the record books, a dachshund going by the name of Brutus holds the record for making the highest skydiving jump for a dog. He was securely strapped to his owner, who coined the term “flea fall.” According to his owner and other witnesses, Brutus shows no sign of anxiety during the session. The canine has more than 100 jumps to his credit.

While extreme skydiving is not on the Olympic card yet (even as exhibition) it is popular worldwide. Apparently the powers that be have not seen enough to convince them that extreme skydiving is a world-class sport. But perhaps the time is coming.

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