Since its inception in the early 1980’s, Tandem Skydiving has seen people by the thousands participating in the experience at numerous drop zones located all throughout the world. For those who may not be familiar with the concept of a Tandem skydive, it is essentially two skydivers harnessed together performing a skydive beneath the same canopy. In the sense of the type of Tandem jump the general public can participate in, it’s an instructor jumping with a novice skydiver. The instructor assumes the responsibility of the jump from commencement until landing and is responsible for the release of the parachute. Tandem skydives are generally considered to be the safest way to attempt a skydive for the first time. They take less than ten minutes to complete, typically occur when the jump plane has reached altitudes near 14,000 feet and consist of exit, freefall, and landing.
And, with drop zones all over the country selling gift certificates you can purchase to give to friends and family, the amazing opportunity to try Tandem skydiving is being made readily available to everyone.
According to reports from veteran skydivers, it appears the concept of jumping in tandem had its genesis in early “attempt at your own risk” experimental jumps during which two people would be harnessed together with one strap coarsely looped around chests and legs. These reports are varied and rely on the recollection of various skydivers who were present at the time of the experimental jumps or those who had heard rumors of their occurrence.
Regardless, the concept of the Tandem skydive and the system utilized to safely execute a Tandem jump seemed to come about after the creative ingenuity of two individuals in particular. Bill Booth of United Parachute Technologies, formerly The Relative Workshop, and Ted Strong of Strong Enterprises were both involved in creating a system in which two skydivers could safely perform jumps under one parachute. Though it’s debatable which of these two gentlemen conceived of the idea first, the common thought is that they both had prototypes of harness/rigs to make this type of jump a possibility as early as 1983. Currently, Bill Booth is still involved in creating opportunities for the furtherance of skydiving and participates in symposiums for UPT. Sadly, Ted Strong passed away on October 14, 2011, as the result of an accident during a training exercise. He was 75 years old. Both of these men’s accomplishments and innovations in the pursuance of skydiving as a sport and hobby are too numerous to mention, suffice it to say, the skydiving community has been made safer, better and more exciting because of them.
The safety standards established and the innovations in equipment and the instructors themselves are the reason partaking in a Tandem skydive is becoming more popular which has, in turn, provided reasons for facilitators of these experiences to get creative in marketing their various services. Many drop zones around the country and abroad sell the opportunity for first-time skydivers or those with a more advanced skill set to participate in a Tandem jumps. Seeing as we are nearing the holiday season and they can sometimes be costly for some, these drop zones provide opportunities through the purchase of a skydive gift certificate for Tandem jumps to be given as gifts.
If you are wondering if anyone you know would benefit from the gift of a Tandem skydive, the answer is “yes, definitely!” Not only does a Tandem skydive provide a chance for those who already have an established interest in the sport but many a professional skydiver is made after they form an addiction to the heart-pounding rush the freefall portion provides. Many go on to become instructors, competition jumpers, packers, riggers, or innovators and pioneers in the development of equipment technologies.
Even if you don’t think the person you have mind would find it intriguing enough to change their lifestyle for it, there’s the appeal of the scenery from 3 miles above ground level. The responsibility of the skydive is to the discretion of the instructor so the passenger, so to speak, can simply sit back and revel in the experience and scan the horizon taking in the beauty of the landscape. Furthermore, many drop zones and skydive facilities offer added incentives to purchasing a skydive gift certificate, like extended validity and the opportunity to transfer to another individual if the recipient gets cold feet. Plus, gift certificates can be given on any occasion and for any holiday and gifts for skydive vouchers are guaranteed to be well received as you are giving the gift of a once in a lifetime opportunity!