Most Popular Skydiving Terms

Leslie Fritz Skydiving

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the sport of skydiving takes a certain level of courage and determination that not many people have. Because of that, there is a deep-rooted sense of family when it comes to the skydiving community. This community even has its own language in regards to skydiving terms.

These are the most common:

  • Accelerated Freefall: A progressive skydiving course that is performed without an instructor attached via a harness. 2 instructors will accompany the student during their jump to ensure that the skydive goes as planned.
  • Altimeter: A device that measures the skydiver’s current altitude. Altimeters are used to judge height above the landing zone and allow the instructors to deploy the parachute at the proper altitude.
  • Automatic Activation Device (AAD): A device that is connected to the reserve parachute container. AAD’s automatically deploy the reserve parachute at a predetermined altitude, speed, or time.
  • Canopy: Also known as parachutes, canopies allow each and every skydiver to land at a safe and comfortable speed.
  • Drop Zone: Any area that skydivers reserve to land. Drop Zone can also refer to the skydiving establishment, as a whole.
  • Freefall: The time during a skydive that the skydiver is falling without the parachute deployed. Freefalls typically last anywhere from 45-60 seconds.
  • Harness: The equipment in which holds the skydiver securely inside the parachute system.
  • Pack: To properly fold the parachute system before a scheduled jump.
  • Pilot Chute: A smaller parachute that is used to allow the main parachute to open correctly and promptly.
  • Tandem: Refers to the sharing of one parachute system with another person. Tandem jumps are typically performed by newcomers and students.
  • Wing Suit: A jumpsuit that is designed specifically for the act of gliding horizontally until parachute deployment.

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