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History of Skydiving

The word "Skydiving" brings out different emotions in different people. While a newbie will be frightened and excited, the veterans will be full of confidence and look forward to another round of adventure. Even though thousands across the world have experienced this extreme recreational sport, the history of skydiving is yet to become well known.


The year 1797 records the first attempt in the history of skydiving. Andre-Jacques Garneris from France was the first person to invent and make a successful jump using a vented parachute. There were many variations of the parachute including the one by the famous Leonardo da Vinci. However Garnerin's invention modeled on the umbrella and proved to be steadier during the descent.

The limp parachute, one of the early versions came subsequently. Instead of the basketlike mechanism this parachute had a horizontal bar. The limp parachute was first tested successfully by Tom Baldwin of the U.S in 1987. Leslie Irvin, an adventurous American became an instant star in 1919 when jumped using a hand-operated parachute.

The World Wars - I & 2 were the operating theatre where the checkered history of skydiving was made. The countries on either side of the Wars utilized this new form of sport to drop their forces and material into the enemy areas. Right from 1930s Skydiving has become a competitive sport where the skydivers vie with each other for the cherished prizes. The sport achieved worldwide prominence in the early 50s. The pinnacle for the sport was achieved first in 1990, when the 20th World Parachuting Championships were held.

Skydiving is a recreational activity as well as a sport. The simple form of skydiving has evolved into many variations including skydive surfing. This originated in the mid 1960s when Gary Patnor became the first one in the history of skydiving to perform intricate air acrobatics. He has the distinction of also being the first one to make the first-ever "air-to-air video jump". In 1961 the Transpo 1972 International Air Show was also recorded successfully by Patnor.

While some conservative people think skydiving is a high risk sport or recreation, others revel in the heart pumping and the rush of adrenalin that accompanies a jump. Even couples participate in this sport and enjoy each others company while performing the daredevil stunts in the sky. Many groups have emerged in the world that earn their acclaim as world's renowned skydiving groups. Regular international skydiving competitions give the chance to the skydivers to showcase their skills. Along with the sport the equipment is also continuously evolving to meet the ever increasing sophisticated demands of the skydivers.

What began as a weird imagination of the inquisitive minds in search of human's ability to fly, is today an established form of recreation and also extremely satisfying experience for the adventurous, thus creating the history of skydiving.


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