Paraquedismo – Brazil’s Parachuting
November 3rd 2005
Ready. Set. And you don’t even wait
for go. In this high speed sport, your adrenaline is pumping at
equally high speed, and the thrill of free falling just can’t wait.
From your vantage point, you’re flying towards a mapped-out Earth
below, which is smiling wide at you. You can scream any profanity,
sing an aria from your favorite opera, enjoy the view in Zen peace
and quiet – you are anything you imagine at this height, where you
own the world below, and the only thing that world below knows about
you is that you’re a tumbling speck high up in the sky. Suddenly, it
feels as though mom (because in this state, you are as carefree as
any happy 5 year old) has grabbed you by your collar and brought
your wild freedom to a sudden halt. Then you realize that your
parachute has opened, and in your newfound comfort zone, you enjoy
the rest of the ride and the view.
Such is the experience of parachuting, a sport rapidly gaining
popularity in Brazil. The locals are not the only ones taking
advantage of Brazil’s world-class parachuting facilities and natural
beauty to admire from so high up in the sky. Travelers to the
country are now also adding the exotic Brazilian natureza to their
experience of this action-packed sport.
However, as the first word of this article
states, being ready is essential to parachuting. As with any action sport,
training is an imperative component of a successful parachuting experience.
In Brazil, you will find three different ways to begin your journey learning
to parachute. The first type of jump is called o salto duplo, known as
tandem in English. This jump takes the least training, and is a good option
for those who think they are interested in trying parachuting just once, to
cross it off the “things to do before I die” list. In tandem, you are
sharing a parachute with a trained instructor on your back – fortunately
he’s only on your back in the literal sense, to control the situation and to
pilot a safe and enjoyable ride for you. Tandem is the safest and simplest
way for the novice jumper to experience parachuting.
For those who are may be interested in learning to parachute with the aim of
eventually being able to perform their own jumps, the other two types will
be more interesting. Of these, the Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) will likely
come first. After intensive training, this jump involves two instructors
holding you upon jumping, eventually leaving you on your own to release the
parachute and land safely. High levels of confidence, fitness, and training
are necessary to perform this well, and the AFF course is intense enough to
prepare you for this.
A step further beyond the AFF is the Static Line jump. This jump is
performed completely solo, and is sometimes only recommended or allowed for
those who have successfully completed AFF training and jumping. Naturally,
jumping alone means the jumper has complete control of what he is doing.
While the parachute will automatically release, the skydiver must know how
to manually release the line if a problem arises, and must be able to land
smoothly to avoid injury. Static Line, therefore, takes the most training
Armed with this knowledge, the last
step left is to choose the site where you will jump! To maximize
safety, be sure the company you go with provides parachutes,
airplanes, and instructors of only the best caliber. Checking that
the club you are interested in parachuting with is a member of the
United States Parachute Association will confirm that this
particular club upholds the safety standards of the USPA.
Be ready to enjoy one of the most exhilarating times of your life,
when you become absolutely extraordinary, taking part in one of the
most radical activities a human can participate in.
About the Author: On request of Pára-quedismo Boituva. This article may be
published only with active HTML links to http://www.boituvaparaquedismo.com.br