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Skydiving: discover all the different disciplines

Skydiving is one of the most stimulating and exciting sports. It is the ideal activity to disconnect, leave the everyday behind and enjoy a unique experience. It doesn’t stop there. As a skydiver you can constantly challenge yourself and learn all sorts of fun disciplines, both in free fall and during the parachute flight. Do you know them all?

In this post we will explain which skydiving disciplines exist, how they differ and the main characteristics of each one. Are you ready to plunge into the mysterious world of skydiving?

The main skydiving disciplines

Skydiving can be performed from any type of aircraft, whether it is an aeroplane, helicopter, hot air balloon, etc. When the jump is made from a fixed object, it is known as B.A.S.E. It should be noted that BASE is a different sport to skydiving.

In some disciplines, the parachute opens immediately after the exit, while in others, a controlled freefall is performed for a few seconds before activating the parachute. Depending on the type of equipment used for the jump, determines if a manual or assisted opening is carried out.

All the different skydiving disciplines require a lot of preparation and training to be able to do it safely and accurately.

There are competitions for all disciplines, for both freefall and parachute flight. The most spectacular to watch on the ground are the high performance parachute landing competitions called “Swooping”.

In order to clarify the classification of the different skydiving disciplines, we will divide them into 3 main groups: freefall, parachute flying and special jumps.

Freefall disciplines

These are the different disciplines that are performed during the freefall, before the opening of the parachute.

  • Freestyle: In this discipline, the skydivers perform manoeuvres that may resemble Olympic gymnastics in the air.
  • Free fly: free fly allows the combination of all positions, shapes and directions of flight such as sitting, head down, etc.
  • Angle: the skydiver flies the body at an angle, creating speed and lift, covering more horizontal distance than in other types of skydiving such as freestyle, free fly, etc.
  • Tracking: the flight is performed by adopting a horizontal position, creating resistance in the lower part of the body to generate a forward movement, allowing for horizontal displacement in the air while minimising the vertical speed of the fall. (Similar to Angle, the skydiver can fly a great horizontal distance.)
  • Sky Surf: it is practised using a skyboard (board connected to both feet) with which you can perform rotations, various movements and horizontal displacements.
  • Relative Work (RW): In this type of skydiving, several skydivers perform together various formations or figures during freefall.
  • Wingsuit: to practice this type of skydiving, a special suit is used. The suit has material that connects the arms to the sides of the torso as well as material between the legs, creating more friction/resistance with the air, making it possible to reduce vertical speed and facilitating horizontal movements. Depending on the suit used and the skill of the skydiver, it is possible to quadruple the time in freefall and to cover long horizontal distances in the sky. This discipline is divided into different modalities such as acrobatic, speed and distance. It is also used in BASE jumping both to fly away from the fixed object from which you are jumping and also to fly very close to the ground, which is called proximity flying. 
  • Tandem Jumping: this is the perfect modality for beginners as it allows two people to jump together joined by a harness. In this type of skydive, a skydiving instructor can accompany the beginner so that they can enjoy and experience the adrenaline of this experience in complete safety and without the need to take any kind of risk.

Parachute flying disciplines

These disciplines are performed once the main parachute has been deployed.

  • Relative Work or CRW (Canopy Relative Work): in this mode a group of skydivers perform various formations with their parachutes.
  • Swooping: is basically performed during landings and the modalities are divided into Speed, Distance and Precision. Swooping competitions are usually very exciting as the skydivers land in high performance canopies, making radical manoeuvres close to the ground and levelling the parachute with the ground at the last moment to generate speeds of over 100km/h. Swooping competitions are usually held over a pool of water.
  • Mountain flying: this type of flight is performed following the contour of the mountains with high-performance parachutes.

Special jumps

As with all skydives, these jumps require a lot of preparation and training to perform safely. Normally these types of jumps are performed by military personnel to reach strategic locations.

  • A.L.O. (High Altitude, Low Opening): the skydiver jumps from an aircraft at an altitude of over 22,000 feet and freefalls to altitudes below 4,000 feet.
  • A.H.O. (High Altitude, High Opening): typically the flight is performed at an altitude of approximately 30,000 feet. In this mode the skydiver activates the opening of the parachute after 10-15 seconds of freefall, opening the canopy at about 27,000 feet. Normally the skydivers carry a GPS to navigate to their destination point.
  • A.L.O. (Low Altitude, Low Opening): in this mode the aircraft flies at a very low altitude. Exiting really close to the ground the skydivers must open their parachute almost immediately and land in a very short time.

Get into skydiving with iJump

We hope that this post about the different disciplines and modalities of skydiving has made you curious about this wonderful sport and that you decide to live this unique experience.

At iJump we have an enthusiastic and highly experienced team of professionals who will ensure that you have a safe jump and experience a unique adventure that you will always remember.

Jump solo, with your friends or partner. We also offer you the possibility to do your jump for a special occasion: birthdays, marriage proposals or bachelor/bachelorette parties.

Do you dare to live an unforgettable experience? Contact us, we are waiting for you!

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