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Holiday Gifts: Parachute Jump

If you are looking for a gift for someone who isn't afraid of heights, has a good amount of daredevil in them, and doesn't find anything wrong with jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, this is one gift that will earn you eternal gratitude. This is just the holiday gift for that special someone who you know has always wondered how it would feel to just jump out of an airplane, let alone fall 10,000 feet. A single tandem sky dive session will run you an average of about $200.00 which includes instruction that runs about half an hour and one jump. That is also what makes the tandem jump such a great gift, since it is a one-day event, you get the opportunity to see how much you really enjoy it without investing a lot of time and money learning to dive on your own, then if you complete the jump and find yourself wanting to get back up there and do it again you have the option of signing up for classes where they will teach you everything you need to know from packing your own chute to landing in your target. The tandem jump is done while you are harnessed to a professional diver who helps control the fall.

You will undergo on the ground training and perform the jump the same day. You start out taking a plane up to around 10,000 feet. At that point you will jump and free-fall for several thousand feet at approximately 120 miles per hour. Contrary to what most people think free falling doesn't make your stomach roll like a roller coaster might. It's more like floating on a cushion; similar to the feeling of buoyancy you get in the water but to a much greater degree.

After the minute or so of free fall you toss the toggle, which is attached to the pilot chute, into the airstream, deploying the canopy and float to the ground. There is no worry that you will forget or freeze and not open the chute. If you don't open it when you should the instructor will use hand signals to let you know what you should be doing. If you still don't react the instructor will deploy the chute. Most schools also have a device that will automatically deploy the chute at a certain point if it hasn't been manually opened. Now that you are floating downward you have time to relax and enjoy the scenery, while the instructor helps you guide both of you down to the target where thanks to new technology you can make a nice soft landing. This wonderful holiday gift of skydiving will provide you with an entire spectrum of emotion. You start with the anticipation as your plane climbs. Then there is the excitement and adrenaline rush of the jump which is followed by the exhilarating yet tranquil feeling of the descent, ending with the pride and satisfaction of accomplishing something that up until now has only been a pleasant daydream.


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