Difference between Skydiving and Tandem Skydiving

Key difference: Skydiving is a sport of jumping from an aircraft and performing acrobatic maneuvers in the air, while Tandem Skydiving is a type of skydiving where a student skydiver is connected to a harness attached to a tandem instructor.

Skydiving was initiated in the medieval period. At that time, it potentially served by rudimentary equipment. The true concept of skydiving was bought into existence by Andre Jacques Garnerin in the early 1797. He jumped from a hot air balloon with a parachute, and marked the first incident of modern skydiving. The militaries also adopted skydiving activity as a sport in the 1900s.

Skydiving is performed by those people who possess different levels of physical fitness. It is a sport in which the participants jump or fall from the aircrafts at the desired high altitudes. It is performed as an assortment of aerial maneuvers and stunts, like the acrobatics before deploying from a parachute. Generally, it may be performed individually or in groups. The parachute used in skydiving slows the descent and allows the skydiver (jumper) to land gently on earth. It is considered as a terrifying and exhilarating type of sport. Numerous companies around the world offer opportunities for skydiving.

Skydiving involves two main actions, which are, the actual freefall and the canopy flight phase. The actual free fall can be of long or short duration, which ends when a pilot chute deploys and pulls the parachute out from the container. Once the parachute is pulled out, the freefall finishes and the canopy flight phase begins, which ends with the landing. 

Normally, for safety measurement, the skydivers have to regularly check their gear in order to ensure that it is in good shape. It is found that, many of them also carry a backup parachute, which deploys automatically when they reach a certain altitude. So, both the primary and backup parachutes have to be controlled with the steering lines, allowing the skydiver to control their descent.

The word ‘tandem’ means “the arrangement of two or more persons, or objects, behind each other”. So in essence, Tandem Skydiving is the arrangement of two skydivers, which includes the student and the instructor. The student skydiver is connected to a harness attached to a tandem instructor.

Tandem skydiving (also known as tandem parachuting) is a very popular training method for first time skydivers. The instructor guides the student throughout their whole jump. The instructions includes the exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing. Afterwards, the student needs only minimal instruction before making a tandem jump with the instructor. It is more expensive, than the static line skydiving.

Equipment is the most important thing in tandem skydiving, which is totally different from the normal skydiving equipment. Mainly, the normal skydiving rigs used in the static skydiving are totally different from tandem skydiving rigs. All the modern tandem skydiving systems use the drogue parachute, which deploys shortly after leaving the plane in order to decrease the skydivers' terminal velocity. For a parachute to be proper in the Tandem skydiving, there are specific conditions, such as, it should get properly deployed and correctly lengthening the duration of the skydive. It should also allow the skydivers to fall at the same speed as that of the videographers.

The tandem skydiving training exposes the first-time jumpers to the skydiving with minimal expectations from the student. The training consists of many of the activities which are performed by the skydiving student. It includes the techniques such as: how to exit an aircraft, how to do the maneuvers at the time of freefall, and how to deploy the main canopy by themselves. However, there are tandem masters, who remain primarily responsible for the safety and timely parachute deployment. There are skydiving schools and training centers, which differ according to city, state or country. In some schools both the video and the instructor are used to teach the basics, such as the body positioning during the freefall and the techniques of flying the parachute.

Comparison between Skydiving and Tandem Skydiving:



Tandem Skydiving

Short description

Skydiving is the practice of performing acrobatic movements during the freefall phase of a parachute jump.

Tandem skydiving refers to a type of skydiving where a student skydiver is connected to a harness, which is attached to a tandem instructor. The instructor guides the student through the whole jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing. .

Type of parachutes

Here in skydiving, parachutes used are normal, and sometimes also performed without the parachute.

Here the modern tandem skydiving systems use a drogue parachute.

Performed by

It is basically performed by an individual or in groups.

There are only two people involved, the student and the instructors.

Cost factor

It is costlier in general cost factors compared to the other flight sports.

It is more expensive as compared to normal skydiving.

Taught at Centers like

There are companies around the world who offer opportunities for skydiving.

There are skydiving schools and training centers, which differ according to city, state and the countries.

Image Courtesy: travelamalfi.com, ocoos.com

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