Skydiving is an extreme sport in which a person jumps out of a helicopter or plane, floats through the air towards the ground and then pulls on the cord of a parachute to make the landing softer. It is also known as parachuting or sport parachuting. The first recorded jump of this kind was in 1797 when Andre-Jacques Garnerin made his successful jump from a hot air balloon. The military used and still use skydiving as part of their maneuvers and missions. It has been a competitive sport since the 1930’s and it became an international sport in 1951.
The equipment needed for this sport involves wearing a parachute. Then the jumper sits in the open doorway of a helicopter and when the trainer or pilot gives the signal, the jumper hurls himself/herself forward into the sky. There is a chute the diver pulls out to release the parachute and just in case the chute doesn’t open, there is a second handle that can be used in emergency situations.
Skydiving has evolved as a sport so that the divers do not just simply jump and open the parachute. In competitions, Hit and Rock is very popular which means the diver has to land as close as possible to a chair on the ground, unhook the parachute and race to sit on the chair. Pond swooping is a technique in which divers try to swoop as close as possible to a small body or water so that they skim along the top of the water.
Some skydivers fly in groups, with one them filming the divers. This is basically how the sport gained popularity. Although most of the skydiving does take place in the daylight hours, there are also night dives. To take part in one of these activities, divers have to be very well trained and experienced.
There are skydiving schools in which trainers will provide instruction on all the methods of skydiving and will take students on practice jumps. The first jumps are usually not from great heights and the student is attached to the trainer, who dives at the same time. Just in case something does go wrong.