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What it Means to Cutaway

Updated on February 28, 2010
This should be cutaway!
This should be cutaway!


As a skydiver, the term “cutaway” is common vernacular.  You are trained in cutting away, practice it, but pray you never have to do it!  To cutaway means you get rid of your main parachute and deploy the reserve parachute.  The term originated during the day when skydivers literally had to use a knife to cut the lines of their main parachute in order to get rid of it before they could deploy the reserve parachute.  Deploying the reserve parachute with a main parachute still attached can result in the two canopies getting tangled up…this is not good.

The term cutaway is also used to describe a major lifestyle change. The idea is you cutaway all the bullshit in your life, all the complexities, all the material possessions, etc., in order to live a simpler and more fulfilling life. It takes nerve to cutaway because, like skydiving, you no longer have a reserve chute…you’re riding the reserve. There’s more risk, but it can also be more rewarding. The movie Cutaway is great and covers both the topics of cutting away in skydiving and cutting away in life. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.


Fortunately, I haven’t had to cutaway yet in skydiving.  Unfortunately, I haven’t gathered the nerve yet to cutaway in life and do something less stable, yet potentially more fulfilling.  Cutting away in skydiving is a much easier decision…you either do it quickly or you may die.  Cutting away in life is more difficult.  I hope someday in the near future to muster the nerve to cutaway all the bullshit, possessions, etc., out of my life and enjoy a simpler existence!


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    • kea profile image

      kea 7 years ago

      Hello, Hello - thx for the comment!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I know how you feel. This life makes you think like that. Just to turn away and keep walking towards, hopefully, a better future. But will it be a better future? Will it not be a question of the grass seems greener on the other side? Only experience will tell. Thank you for thought provoking hub.