What Goes Up, Must Come Down
As children, we may have dreamed of what it would be like to fly. As adults, we fulfill those curiosities with perhaps flying an airplane, base jumping or even skydiving.
“Odds in favor of an event compares the number of successes to the number of failures.” – Thought Company
Most of us are not Statisticians that scrutinize the potential risks of skydiving. When you defy gravity, there are inherent risks. In challenging the natural state of gravity, there will always be the chance that something could happen, but that occurs in everyday life as well.
Researchers noted that of 3.2 million jumps made within one year, only 2.3 injuries were reported per 10,000 jumps.
Risks of Skydiving
There are risks in skydiving, however, to have a successful jump, it is essential to know the safety guidelines in place and follow them. 92% of fatalities in skydiving were a result of poor judgment and overestimating one’s capabilities.
- Equipment: There are rare occasions when equipment fails to operate. Parachutes may not open, but a seasoned skydiver will have a reserve to rely on.
- Weather: A sudden shift in wind can whisk a skydiver away causing a sudden downfall and crashing. Always be aware of the surrounding climate.
- Health Issues: Those with medical conditions (heart, lungs, ears, bones, mental) should not skydive without permission from their physician. The high altitude and impact of landing forces additional stress upon the body.
- Landing: This may perhaps be the most common point of a skydive where injury may occur due to not following instructions. The wind also forces a high impact landing.
- Bravado: Some skydivers have an embellished image of themselves as being experienced, when in fact they are not. Attempts to do tricky maneuvers end up in either injury or death.
Riskiest Aspect of Skydiving
Landing is the most dangerous part of skydiving. 83.8% of injuries have been caused at this stage of skydiving while 9.3% were due to parachute issues. Inexperience and ignorance have lent to the noncompliance of safety guidelines.
Most Dangerous Form of Skydiving
HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) skydiving is the most dangerous form of skydiving. Originally developed for military operations, HALO provided the ability to jump in zones undetected by the enemy. This extreme sport has caught on to civilians, and while it poses more risks than traditional skydiving, the cost to do a HALO jump is costly.
- 28,000-30,000 Feet Tandem Jump costs $3,700
- 28,000-$30,000 Feet Solo Jump costs $560
Jumpers freefall for up to 2 minutes at a speed of 126 mpg. Oxygen is required to be worn due to the high altitude. The risks of hypoxia (lack of oxygen in the blood) and decompression sickness (the “bends”) can happen on any HALO jump.
Safety Above All Else
You want to have a fun and successful jump. Do your homework before you go!
- Dropzone should be a U.S. Parachute Association Member.
- Read up on reviews of the Dropzone.
- Be wary of low prices – you get what you pay for!
- Ask questions! Reputable Dropzones and Instructors welcome inquiries.
- Trust your gut! Ultimately, your safety is your responsibility.