Are skydiving and parajumping the same thing? That’s a pretty common question and since the terms are often used interchangeably it just adds to the confusion. Both parajumping and skydiving use the exact same but there are some differences between the two. Skydiving is really for more experienced jumpers but that doesn’t answer the question as to the difference between the two. Let’s explore parajumping and skydiving and you can decide which you would rather try.
Parajumping is something that almost anybody in reasonably good health can do. You and a friend can both try parajumping for the first time together and schools will even offer up discounts for first timers or for charity events. There will still be some instruction that you will have to go through first where you are taught about your equipment and safety. On the day of the jump you will still do a run through to make sure that all of your equipment is in working order.
For the first jump you will probably do Static Line Parajumping, that means that your parachute will be pulled automatically when you jump out of the plane. The parachute is attached to the inside of the plane so that when you exit it is pulled. The military also uses this type of parajumping, when you see soldiers in a row all leaving a plane they are static line jumping. Here is a look at static line jumping.
Now let’s look at skydiving. While the terms have been used interchangeably skydiving is slightly different. You do use the exact same gear but when you exit the plane the parachute is manually pulled by you. During the time you exit the plane until you pull the rip cord you are in free fall. You are quite literally falling through the air and you can reach speeds of more than 100mph as you descend. For many jumpers this is the thrill they are chasing and what they love most about the sport. Free falling is what separates parajumping from skydiving and it requires more training and experience than just parajumping alone.
If you have never jumped before and still want the thrill of a free fall then you can try skydiving while in tandem with an instructor or experienced jumper. You will still have the thrills you want without having to worry about remembering to pull the cord. No matter your preference the experience is still thrilling.