Friday, March 24, 2017

Tips for the First-Time Skydiver

Dr. Mickel Malek, a dental surgeon with iSmile Spa, balances his professional responsibilities with a love of the outdoors. An avid horseback rider, angler, and camper, Dr. Mickel Malek also enjoys skydiving.

A skydiver's first jump is often tandem, which means the new skydiver goes through the entire dive attached to an instructor or experienced skydiver. The new skydiver wears a harness that connects to the instructor, who is thoroughly trained in the skills to guide a dive. The instructor wears both a parachute and a drogue chute, which slows descent to a speed at which the parachute is safe to operate. 

The jump itself typically takes place at 10,000 feet, with the new skydiver and instructor falling together at 120 miles per hour. This falling stage lasts approximately 45 to 60 seconds and feels more like flying than falling because of the wind pushing up against the descending bodies.

Most new skydivers feel a falling sensation only after the instructor deploys the parachute. This part of the ride is often the most enjoyable because the parachute has opened, the wind quiets down, and the new skydiver can relax. Just before reaching the ground, new skydivers must pull their knees up to the chest and keep them up until the instructor has made ground contact.

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