Words barked out during the First Freefall initiation ceremony, part in jest and part deadly serious. If someone had told me when I started out skydiving that I would be capable of forgetting the absolute reality of this sport I would have thought they were mad. Forget you are falling to earth at over 200 kph….not possible.
I was wrong, very wrong, it’s actually quite worrying how quickly that very thing happens. We forget we are falling and become task fixated, one more transition, one more point or one more task. We forget how limited our time is and how absolute that limitation. I will use an example.
You are a new jumper taking part in training for your first nationals with your equally novice mate. You exit a formation 2 way skydive at 11000 ft. Planned break off is at 3500 ft with deployment at 3000 ft.
Keep in mind that the first 1000 ft of the skydive takes 10 seconds as you accelerate and from then on you go through every subsequent 1000 ft in 5 seconds. So you have 45 seconds of planned freefall time. You turn 6 points during the dive. Right at the end you feel there is a seventh there for the taking and you go for it. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
You have averaged over 7 seconds per point. Completing point seven is easily going to take you from 3500 ft to 2000 ft, right into that deep dark basement where things tend to go horribly wrong. You still need to get away from your partner and deploy. You will be lucky to be under a canopy above 1000ft and now is no time for a malfunction.
Your life expectancy has just got remarkably shorter. All because of one more point that you thought was there for the taking.
Die klip kom, kyk vir die klip!
Have fun folks, and DFU.