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Free-fall Sports: How To Feel Better Than The Birds

Updated on March 29, 2010

The paraglider salesmen will often try to convince you that flying a paraglider is like being a bird. Indeed it's a very exciting and real experience. But even then you are using appliances that help you during your flight. Is there no option to fly only with our bodies? Well, not really - that's called falling :) Falling would be enjoyable if you could stop it at some point and land safely.

Good news: actually you can. Those "free-fall" sports are letting you fall for minute or even minutes enjoy real "flight" and at the end land like you never been "up there".

This hub is about these sports.

Photo by Curtis Morton-Lowerlighter

Parachuting/Skydiving

When jumping from an airplane, falling down for minutes and at the end you land safely, it's called Skydiving or Parachuting. The "secret" of course is that you use a parachute which you open at some moment to land.

If you want to know a lot about skydiving go straight to Wikipedia, they have a great detailed article. 

What does it cost? What kind of skydiving disciplines are there Is it safe or what are you going to do when the parachute does not open? Learn more about the skydiving risks here.

Wingsuit Flying

Do you want to be the Batman?  Sure the inventors of the wingsuit flying have wanted that! It's a crazy looking sport and some would call it the most dangerous sport although this is highly debatable.

Wingsuit flying is a mix of falling and flying but it's also considered a "free-fall" sport.  Whatever is called, it looks crazy!

Photo by sunborn child 

B.A.S.E. jumping

Yet another sport that wants you to be brave! B.A.S.E. jumping is in essence just skydiving but you don't jump from an airplane. What are the main differences?

  • It could be cheaper and easier to organize. You don't need a plane, just a birge, high tower or a natural "jump station". Don't ask me what it takes to climb up there however.
  • It is considered more dangerous. In plane parachuting you are jumping from very high attitude and away of any objects. You have more time to open your parachute. While in BASE jumping there are often objects, rocks, walls etc. very close to you and the wind or other obstacles might throw you straight into them!

I said wingsuit flying was crazy, but I am about to change my mind!

Photo by shamaj 

Bungee jumping

And here is the most popular sport. The dream of every model and teenager - to make a bungee jump! Maybe because it's much easier, cheaper and most important - a lot safer than the other free-fall sports. But don't get mislead, there have been fatal accidents too. Fortunately they are really an exception.

(Photo by DΕΠΠΙS

Bungee jumping is also cheaper and considered OK for most ages unlike the other free-fall sports. Most of the BASE jumpers, skydivers or wingsuit - fliers  may laugh at you for being excited about a bungee jump, but if it's you are considering your first free-fall this will be the best bet (and then maybe it's a good idea to do some airplane skydiving jumps before even thinking about the other two sports.

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