Archive for the 'Tandem' Category


How to book a skydive! (and be satisfied by the whole process)

Easy! turn on that shiny mac book and google skydiving or skydiving in london etc. etc. Maybe your looking to do a charity parachute jump for a current uk charity or a cause that is close to you personally. Many 1st time jumpers opt to make a tandem for charity to raise funds for the cause that may have affected a family member or close friend. Of course you may wish to purchase a gift or voucher for a friend or maybe even just feel the need to take to the skies for yourself.

Well as most of us have already realised the world wide web can be a tricky and frustrating place to navigate as everyone with access to a computer seems to have a website! The most difficult part is to know exactly what you want as generally it’s all going to be new information at this stage of the process. Does any of the following form part of your “I am looking for this to go skydiving” list:

  • Professional and helpful voice on the phone who know what they are talking about because they really skydive not just sell skydives.
  • Prompt and concise reply when you e-mail your questions and inevitable concerns (everybody is a little nervous when thinking about making a jump from a plane)
  • A good feeling about the people you are booking with.
  • A competitive rate for either yourself or your group
  • A company that are looking to make that skydive a fantastic experience not just treat you like just another Tandem or AFF student once they have taken your credit card details.

We feel the same when we book services online so we do understand how it feels to be ignored and frustrated when you require information about something your looking to do for the first time that you want to be 100% right (no-one wants to do a 98% correct skydive ūüėČ

So where do you look? your favorite web search engine is most peoples first port of call! Enter your desired question and bam! a list of providers of the service your looking for.. Well, generally most people start on the top of page one and go to the sponsored links.. Why look any further right? after all these are the top on page one, they must be the best. Actually the sponsored links and most of the page one are the companies with the large marketing budget, not necessarily the best staff or experience, the more you pour money into ad-words the higher up the list you rise, it’s all about the money!

Scream louder...

Here are some tips to help you end up with a great Tandem or AFF experience and not end up sitting in a field with a styrofoam cup of weak coffee wondering what is going on whilst all the people in the colourful suits buzz around having a good time.

Rule number one above anything else is to find a parachute centre or skydiving centre that are the providers of the skydive you wish to make. Not an agency that take your credit card details and then sell the product to the centre taking a chunk of your money for the privilege, usually £50 or more. Yes they have fancy headed paper and nice envelopes but is that worth the extra money. We too have some pretty fancy headed paper as it happens.

Rule number two check whether there maybe any further charges for the day, if the Tandem skydive is only ¬£150.00 whilst everyone else seems around the ¬£220-¬£250 range it’s probably to good to be true and other charges may “suddenly occur” on the day.

Rule number three ask questions, we expect you to ask a lot of questions after all you are looking to put your life quite literally in our capable hands. If you don’t get the answers you are looking for, make a call elsewhere, customer service should be a main priority.

Continue reading ‘How to book a skydive! (and be satisfied by the whole process)’


London ink take to the skies

If your a fan of tattoo’s the ink in the skin kind and not the military brass band spectaculars then you may have heard of louis Malloy, for the last 24 years Mr Malloy has been practicing the art of tattooing and is seen by many to be at the top of his profession, being the artist who created David Beckham’s Guardian Angel.

Mr Louis Malloy and entourage of like minded artists are currently working with The Discovery Channel on the aptly named Sky TV program “London Ink” and in show number 6 Mr Malloy takes to the skies on a Tandem skydive with one of his “customers” Mr Toby Goodchild ¬†before later returning the favor with some awesome artwork on Toby in the studio.

Tandem Instructor Loz Cross along with Toby jumped from 13,000ft with Infinite Skydiving Camera flyer Andy Ford to film for the series.. 

Here are some of the images of the sharply dressed and very laid back louis Malloy making the descent.. 



Andy Ford

Infinite Skydiving Solutions ltd.



Skydiving milestones

I guess the first skydiving milestone would be the 1st Jump whether on an¬†AFF¬†course or a¬†Static line jump¬†it is the most exciting, terrifying but amazing experience, once completed there are plenty more “milestones” along the way (although every jump from the first to the 10,000 th and beyond are precious memories)¬†


h22.jpg h38.jpg



The first freefall for a static line student is certainly a huge step as is category ¬†8 for both S/L and AFF students. For AFF the need for an instructor in free fall is no longer required. For S/L a pre jump instructional brief is no longer necessary and the students can work towards ‘A’ license. (yep! another milestone) once achieved the student can move towards formation skydiving 1 (FS1) and freedom to choose what they do in freefall.

AFF graduate Seth Curry on his 7th consolidation jump enjoys the sunset on a photo jump with Infinite Skydiving Photographer Andy Ford 




On the same weekend Phil did his 100th jump which is also a milestone as is 200, 500, 1000th and then every 1000 onwards towards the big 10,000, which to be honest is a fairly rare occurrence. 




So we hope you have many memorable skydives whether it’s a¬†Tandem,¬†your level 1¬†AFF¬†or a R.A.P.S S/L descent


have fun and be safe




Andy Ford 



Old Photographs

Sorting through some old¬†skydiving¬†images, I came across a lot of “old” and “young” faces, mine included. Some great memories were stirred of moments in my skydiving career with Mike Frost my ¬†Team Playstation Skysurf team mate, with the many trips we made to various destinations competing in the ESPN Extreme Games pro tour and the 1997 World Air Games in Turkey representing the UK. Also found some photo’s from the helicopter jumps we did at Weston on the Green, jump after jump ¬†spent chasing the one particular image and struggling to get the ‘shot’ with the timing issue’s and peculiarities of a still air exit. Every exit we did the skysurfer was to close in the canon 15mm lens and cropping occurred.¬†


¬†¬†Mike was having a few minor complications to deal with such as trying to get the skysurf board on and safely attached in the confines of the cab, climbing or hopping onto the skid was precarious as we hovered at 8,000ft, sliding between the skid and the fuselage was a scenario that would definitely ruin the day. As the camera flyer I was having a few minor problems of my own to contend with, the interior of the helicopter wasn’t designed for Skysurfer and camera flyer to sit comfortably during the flight with the doors removed, so outside i went, 10 minutes standing on the skid on the way to altitude whilst Mike got ready, then getting my camera equipment checked and on, all the while trying not to fall of the skid, checking and helping Mike get his board on and tightened in the confined space was all part of the fun.


As the day wore on and we racked up the jumps we managed to scare the helicopter pilot witless with our antic’s, hanging two camera flyers and a skysurfer off of one skid plays havoc with the trim of the aircraft, or so the pilot scream “get off, it’s going” led me to believe, so we conceded and placed the other cameraflyer on the opposite skid, not ideal for a perfect exit shot! But better than getting a¬†helicopter¬†crashing ¬†into us on exit shot?


We strived to get the elusive image throughout the day using different exit techniques that didn’t elicit expletives from the pilot until we managed a shot that we were happy with. Amazed at how difficult the project had been, how hard could it be to leave a helicopter and take a photograph of a team mate when we had nearly a thousand skydives together, apparently only six from a nearly hovering helicopter though! At least our sponsor was pleased and enjoyed watching our efforts throughout the day, so we took him up to 10,oooft (where the helicopter was struggling for further altitude) and took him out for a¬†tandem¬†skydive in the still air of a helicopter exit, great fun to be able to share the experience.


The image we were looking for, a casual skysurf exit shot from the Jet Ranger (even managed to liner up the rotor blades ūüėȬ†


If you are looking for custom Photographic or Video Images then get in touch with Infinite Skydiving Solutions Ltd.




Andy Ford 


Welcome to Infinite Skydiving Solutions Ltd


Who we are?

  Infinite Skydiving are involved in many areas of the Sport, with the core of the business providing the military with a Parachute Rigging Service for their sports parachute centre at RAF Weston On The Green. We also provide Accelerated Freefall courses and Tandem jumps for every day people who wish to experience probably the most exhilarating experience of their life, our goal being to see every one of our students land with a huge smile on their face and the desire to jump again as soon as possible.


Our team consists of incredibly experienced Skydivers whom have worked hard to gain the necessary ratings in the British Parachute Association (B.P.A) to be able to take our customers safely through the different courses. Alongside the ratings held, we feel you would be hard pressed to find a team with more experience across the board than at Infinite Skydiving, Multi medal winning World Champions, National champions in many of the various disciplines, including Formation Skydiving, Skysurfing, Freeflying, Vertical Relative Work V.R.W to name some of them, all passionately involved in a sport they love.

AFF Student

 Why form Infinite Skydiving Solutions?

Having Spent years taking Aerial Images and Aerial videography for teams and individuals only to see them used to promote someone else, watched countless student parachutists wandering aimlessly without guidance, Agency prices far above what we really charge the customer off the street and a general lack of customer service in our industry, I felt it would be a good idea to try and get a small skydiving team growing that would provide quality and experience for not only the first jump, but all the way through the customers career as a skydiver. Our first time skydiver is treated the same as our experienced skydiving buddies, as part of the sport, not as a one off cash cow and then discarded.

  AFF Level one 

So, if you are an experienced Skydiver with a question about a skydiving discipline or looking for that first all important set of parachute equipment, an inexperienced jumper wondering how to progress using the vertical wind tunnel training program or one on one in air coaching to get to the elusive FS1 qualification, or some one who has very little idea about the Sport of parachuting, we can help, ask questions and we will do our best to provide you with a researched factual answer based on years of experience…

Remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid times to ask them… As we climb out of the airplane to make a jump comes to mind…




Andy Ford 


Skydiving Glossary

I have amassed the terms below to help the newbie skydiver to get acquainted with the unusual terminology in skydiving.All suggestions are very welcome.



Automatic Activation Device. A device that senses rate of descent and altitude. Set to automatically activate the reserve parachute if the skydiver passes below a set altitude at a high rate of descent. Mandatory for all student parachute systems. (Also see Cypres, Vigil, Mars, Astra, FXC).




Also known as Precision Landing, this is a competition discipline in which the skydiver attempts to land on an established target. At the National level the target is 3 cm in diameter, about the size of a ten pence piece.


Accelerated Free Fall. An AFF student receives training on free fall jumps of 40 seconds or longer, accompanied by a qualified Instructors who teach in air via hand signals. Course involves eight levels. Up to 5 times faster progression than traditional static line parachuting.


Above Ground Level. Altitudes are in reference either to Ground Level of Sea Level (see MSL). Skydivers always use AGL when referring to altitude.


The speed of a flying object through the air, commonly used in reference to aircraft or canopies. (Also see groundspeed)


A device indicating altitude AGL. Generally worn on the wrist for easy visual reference.


Electronic altimeter with analogue face

Angle of attack

The angle at which the wing is presented to the apparent wind. With square parachutes this changes when the brakes are applied.

Apparent wind

The wind perceived by an observer. See relative wind.


The disciplines of Freeflying, Freestyle and Skysurfing.


An AAD made by FXC Corporation.

Aspect ratio

The ratio of a canopies span (side to side) to chord (front to back). Seven cell canopies typically have an aspect ratio of about 2.2 to one, while nine cell canopies are usually between 2.8 and 3.0 to one.

Audible Altimeter

A small electronic device that fits into the skydivers helmet, pre-set on the ground to beep loudly in freefall at a certain important altitude i.e break off, deployment.



To move backward in freefall relative to a neutral reference. Usually unintentional and undesirable, caused by poor body position.


The deployment bag in which the canopy is packed.

Bag Lock

A malfunction of a freefall system where lines have deployed but canopy is still trapped in bag.


The core around which a formation skydive is built. Can be a single person or a group of people, depending on the number of skydivers involved.

B.A.S.E. Jump

A jump made from a fixed object rather than an aircraft. BASE is an acronym for Building, Antenna, Span (bridge) Earth (cliff).


British Collegiate Parachute Association- A group run by and for college students, associated with the BPA. Runs regional and annual competitions for BPA members still undertaking education.


Short for Beechcraft, an aircraft manufacturer. Usually used in reference to a Beech D-18, a.k.a. Twin Beech. At one time these were common skydiving planes, but they are becoming obsolete.

Belly flying

Freefalling in a belly to earth position i.e. formation skydiving


Basic Instructor

Blade running

Swooping under canopy through a series of wind blades along the ground.


Freestyle move use by canopy pilots at swoop competition.


Lower leg of jumpsuit that hook over the front of the shoe creating more powerful leg drag.


Bottom of Container. Refers to the location of the pilot chute. An increasingly common position for main deployment devices, as opposed to belly or leg mounted.

Body position

Ones freefall body posture. Variations in body position are what make a wide range of freefall maneuvers possible.


A gathering of skydivers, usually focused on fun rather than competition. Big drop zones host several boogies a year, often on long holiday weekends.


To land at unsurvivable speed. Also to frap, or go in.

Box man

A neutral, face to earth body position in which the arms form right angles at shoulder and elbow, and the legs are spread at about 45 degrees from the long axis and bent 45 degrees at the knees. Generally considered the basic position for Formation Skydiving.


British Parachute Association – The governing body of sport parachutisting in the UK. run by an elected Council of 15 sport parachutists, with a number of full-time employees fulfilling technical and administrative tasks


The brake lines of the canopy are synonymous with steering lines or control lines. Used together, they slow the parachute. Used independently they result in a turn.

Break off

To cease formation skydiving by tracking away from the formation prior to deployment.


The thin webbing strap from the pilot chute to the top of the canopy. Part of the deployment system which consists of pilot chute, bag and bridle.

Bum spot

An error of judgement by the jumpmaster, in which parachutists have been despatched at a point at which they will probably find it difficult to fly back to the PLA.


Rubber band used for stowing suspension lines onto the deployment bag.


The area of turbulence behind an object going through the air, whether a person in freefall or a canopy in flight.



Civil Aviation Authority – the body responsible for air standards, safety and operations in UK airspace


The time remaining until you are to board the aircraft. For example, a fifteen minute call means you will board in fifteen minutes.


A stage of progression from 1-8, with a specific set of guidelines for achievement, laid down by the STC.  Followed by all students undertaking training at BPA Affiliated Parachute Clubs.  Category 1-8 jumpers are classified as student parachutists


The construction of fabric and lines used to land safely after a freefall. Usually used in conjunction with a type reference (round, square, zero-p, main or reserve).


The point where two lines join together so they run smoothly into one. Cascading the suspension lines results in reduced bulk and drag.


Club (or Centre) Chief Instructor- Advanced instructor (or Advanced Instructor/Examiner) nominated as the person in charge of a parachute operation.


Square canopies are made up of pressurized cells, usually seven or nine. Each cell consists of a load bearing rib at each side to which the suspension lines are attached. A third, non load bearing rib runs down the middle of the cell. The cell is pressurized through the open mouth at the front and also through cross ports in the ribs. Adjacent cells share load bearing ribs.

Center point

The point around which movement takes place. In an individual the center point is considered to be in the middle of the torso. In a group, it is the point that the formation centers around.


An aircraft manufacturer. Single engined Cessnas such as 180s, 182s and 206s are the workhorse of smaller drop zones, carrying four to six jumpers.


Canopy Formations- Formation Work with 2 or more square canopies.  Used to be known as CRW (Canopy Relative Work)


Canopy Formation qualification, Grade 1

Chute assis

French for sit flying, or freefalling with one’s seat presented to the relative wind.


Style and accuracy

Closing loop

The small loop that holds the flaps of the container closed once the pin has been guided through the loop.


A skydiver with some formal training in the art of instructing freefall technique.

Comps committee

A committee of the BPA which runs competitions


The element of the parachute that houses the canopies. Technically, the Harness/Container but usually just referred to as the container.


A canopy is crabbing when it is flown at an angle sideways to the ambient wind, resulting in a path across the ground that is sideways as well as forwards.


To creep is to practice formation skydiving sequences while laying prone on a creeper.


A board equipped with wheels on which a skydiver lays to simulate freefall maneuvers.

Cross ports

Holes in the ribs of a cell that allow air to flow from one cell to another.

Cross braced

A diagonal bracing between the ribs in a high performance wing, adds rigidity to the wing surface to aid in higher wing loaded canopies.


Category System Instructor, qualified to teach static line students through the free fall progression system.


To “be current” is to have jumped recently enough to retain proficiency in the sport. Uncurrent skydivers, depending on their experience, must be supervised to some degree when they resume jumping. See Op‚Äôs manual.


Command given to the pilot to slow the aircraft speed for exit.

Cut away

To release the main parachute, cutting away is a standard emergency procedure prior to deploying the reserve. More properly known as a breakaway, the technique involves using a simple release system activated by pulling a handle. (see 3 ring release).


Canopy Relative Work, now officially known as Canopy Formations C.F.) CRW involves flying open canopies in close formation, where the pilots actually take grips on each other’s parachutes.


A type of AAD. Made by AirTech of Germany, this is the most common type of AAD and the first modern design to be widely adopted by expert skydivers.



A common construction material for canopy suspension lines. Dacron lines are thicker and softer than so called “microlines”.

Data card

Every parachute carries a data card with information on the reserve parachute, including type, last date packed, owner, serial number, etc.


To flatten out or reverse one’s body position from the normal arched position. A de-arch results in a slower fall rate than an arch.


Dead Centre – top score in accuracy competitions


Post skydive analysis


The period of time in freefall (used in category system I.e 10 second delay)


A parachute jump performed as a demonstration at an event (Also known as a display)

Decision altitude

The altitude at which a skydiver is trained to begin execution of emergency procedures. Usually 2,500 feet AGL for students, and 1,800 feet for expert skydivers.

Deployment system

The components of the parachute that control deployment of the canopy. Includes pilot chute, bridle and bag.


One of the methods of exiting the aircraft and can be short for skydive

Dirt dive

To rehearse a skydive on the ground by walking through each formation and grips, also using creepers to get correct visual references.

Dive floater

A dive floater is a skydiver who is inside the airplane in the exit line up, but leaving prior to the base. This configuration only occurs on large formations.

Dive loops

Many advanced skydivers have loops or “blocks” on their front risers to make it easy to grip the front risers for steering purposes. Also called front riser loops.


Anyone diving out of the plane during a formation skydiving exit.


Take up a grip on a freefall formation or the linking of one canopy to another


CF formation with 2 jumpers linking linking legs and flying their canopies pointing towards the ground. This can also occur to a single skydiver with both main and reserve deployed


Pointing the canopy in the direction the wind is blowing

Drag matt

Individual packing mat that container rests on during packing.


Dummy-pull (also known as DRCP Dummy Rip Chord Pull). Training stage, as part of preparation for freefall


Slang for Deployment of a Canopy

Door jam

To practice an exit in the aircraft door of a mock up of it prior to the skydive.

Drop zone

Common slang for a skydiving center, also DZ.


An older brand of audible altimeter.


Drop Zone – a notified portion of airspace within which skydives/ parachute descents are made



A wing shape characterized by a tapering leading and trailing edge so that the middle of the canopy is wider, front to back, than the ends. This configuration is typical of many high performance canopies.

End cell

The cell furthers out on a canopy.

Exit weight

The total weight of the jumper and all equipment and clothing.



A fabric common in mid range canopies, F-111 is slightly permeable to air and wears faster than zero-p fabric. Pronounced “F one eleven”.


Federal Aviation Administration – US equivalent of the CAA, who set standards for many items of parachute equipment


Federation Aeronautique Internationale – the International Governing Body for all air sports.

FAI License

A ladder of qualification, starting at ‘A’ up to ‘D’


Federal Aviation Regulations, the laws governing aviation in the U.S.A.

Fall rate

The speed at which a skydiver falls. Matching fall rate is essential to successful formation skydiving. This is done with jumpsuits, weights and body position.


Freeflying Qualification, grade 1 and 2

Finger trap

A method of installing a loop in a brake line without producing rough spots on the lines, the finger trap is accomplished by sliding one line into the other. The loop serves as a method of setting brakes in the desired position for the parachutes deployment.


The act of pulling down the brakes of the canopy in order to slow it down, resulting in an increased angle of attack and reduced descent rate.

Flat line

Continuous high pitched beep emitted from an audible altimeter when the lowest set decision height has been reached.


Skydivers who leave the airplane before the base are called floaters since they must use a slow fall rate to get up to the base. Floating also refers to an exit position outside the airplane.


1) A freefall skydiving formation of more than one jumper. 2) A flight of more than one jump plane.


Formation Skydiving, formerly known as relative work. In FS, skydivers attempt to go through a predetermined sequence of freefall formations.

Free bag

Deployment bag the reserve canopy is packed into, inside reserve container


A freefall discipline of any orientation other than flat flying.


A type of skydiving characterized by acrobatic individual flying, reminiscent of gymnastics.


See FS


Formation Skydiving, grade 1


A funnel occurs when one or more skydivers find themselves in an unstable body position and end up in a skydivers burble. The resulting loss of stability for the other skydivers usually causes the formation to break up.


A company manufacturing AADs. Older FXC design was common on student equipment but considered by many to be unsuitable for expert skydivers. A new FXC design, the ASTRA, went on the market in the spring of 1996 and is relatively unknown.



Acronym often used in student logbooks, meaning “Good All The Way”

Glide ratio

The distance a canopy flies forward compared to down. A canopy with a 3:1 glide ratio flies three feet forward for every foot of vertical descent.


Global Positioning System. By picking up signals from satellites, a GPS receiver can tell the user position over the ground. Used in skydiving aircraft to aid the jumpmaster to spot the exit.

Grand prix

Regional competition organised by the BPA


Using the hands to hold onto another skydiver in freefall or during the aircraft exits. In formation skydiving, the formations are scored as complete when every skydiver has taken the correct grips.


Hand holds built onto formation skydiving jumpsuits to make it easier to take grips.


The illusion of the ground appearing to accelerate towards you.

Ground speed

The speed of an airplane or skydiver over the ground, as opposed to through the air.


Half series

A succession of manoeuvres, two alternate turns and a back-loop.

Hand deploy

To activate the parachute by manually deploying the pilot chute as opposed to pulling a ripcord.


The webbing and fabric holding the main and reserve canopies to the skydiver.


The direction an aircraft, skydiver, or parachute is facing. The ability to recognize and maintain heading is crucial to jumping with others successfully. “On” or “off” heading are terms commonly used to describe exits and deployments.

HMA Line

Line used on high performance swoop canopys.


When a parachute is flying directly into the ambient wind, it is said holding. See running and crabbing.

Hook knife

A small knife carried in the jumpsuit or on the parachute harness, the hook knife is designed to cut lines or webbing. A small razor blade is recessed in a hook shaped handle to prevent unintentional cuts.

Hook turn

A turn of 90 degrees or more executed close to the ground. Because of the high risk associated with this maneuver, hook turns have an unfavorable connotation.

Hop & pop

Slang for a very short freefall delay.

Hot fuel

When the airplane does not shut down during fueling. Do not board the aircraft while fueling is in progress.



Individual canopy qualification, grade 1


Individual style qualification, grade 1

In date

A reserve packed within the previous 180 days is said to be “in date”. If more than 180 days have elapsed since the reserve was packed it is”out of date” and illegal to use. (120 days in U.S.A.)


Holder of a BPA rating or overseas equivalent


The International Parachuting Commission oversees sport parachuting. It is a committee of the FAI.



Jumpmaster – an experienced Skydiver, or Instructor, responsible to the CCI and pilot for the parachutists on each lift.


Joint Services Parachute Centre. Centres around the world. skydiving for service personel


Coverall type garment with grippers used in various skydiving disciplines i.e F.S. and freefly


The nominated jumper on each load responsible in case of an aircraft emergency, also designates exit order, spotter. Jump run. The flight path taken by the jump plane to put the skydivers in position over the airport.



A signal to move on to the next formation in a skydive.

King Air

A turbine aircraft made by Beechcraft and common in medium sized drop zones.

Kill line

A line through the bridle which collapses pilot chute after canopy opens to reduce drag



Two or more jumpers leaving the aircraft together (stable)

Line of flight

An imaginary line corresponding to the jump plane’s path over the ground, the line of flight is a useful reference line on larger formation skydives. Also, during the jump run the skydivers will be distributed along this line of flight.

Log book

Like pilots or sailors, skydivers log their activity and achievements in order to document their experience.



Mean sea level. Used by pilots when defining altitude, MSL refers to feet above sea level as opposed to above the ground. Pilots always use MSL when referring to altitude.


The primary parachute.


1) The list of skydivers on the jump plane. 2) The act of going to the office where this list is maintained to put yourself on a plane. 3) The location where manifesting takes place.


A modern type of suspension line considerably smaller than Dacron line. (also see spectre line)



British Open National Championships, an annual event organised by the BPA


National Coach and Safety Officer – an employee of the BPA responsible to Council for the safe conduct of parachuting in the UK, and the training of Instructors



Popular container from Sunpath inc.


Someone with leadership skills and skydiving expertise who plans formation skydives.


The DeHavilland Twin Otter, a very popular (U.S.A) turbine jump ship carrying up to 23 jumpers.

Opening shock

The force felt due to sudden deceleration as the canopy opens


A reserve manufactured from very low bulk material (Performance designs)


An audible device used by canopy pilots to help set up for swoop landings.

Out landing

Landing off target.

Out of date

See in date.


Packing data card

See data card.


Pea gravel, used in the landing area as a target reference and because it is forgiving of hard landings.


1) The skydiver who first gets to the base. Base/pin are the two people around which many formations are built. 2) The act of docking on the base. 3) The closing pin of the main or reserve container, which should both be checked prior to jumping.


The pea gravel area.

Pilot chute

A small, round parachute that acts as a drogue to extract the main parachute from the container and deploy it.


The area where it is intended skydivers/parachutist will land (sometimes mistakenly called the DZ).


Parachute landing fall. A technique used to minimize injury during rough landings, a PLF distributes the landing.


The amount of air that will pass through a given area of canopy material


Parachutists Over Phorty Society; an association for the more mature skydiver


A single engined turbine aircraft carrying up to ten jumpers.


A type of altitude warning device which gives additional freefall speed and distance information


A way of folding a square canopy whilst standing up.


Deploy main parachute (also dump)

Pull out

A type of hand deploy pilot chute where the pilot chute is packed inside the container and pulled out using a handle with a lanyard to the pilot chute.

Pull up cord

A piece of cord or line used to pull the closing loop through the grommets of the container.


Slang for the handle on a pull out pilot chute system.




Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom – the UK representatives on and of the FAI


Ram-Air Progression System –¬† A programme for beginners using static line deployed square parachutes from jump one.


Regional championships, also known as Grand Prix.

Relative wind

The apparent wind felt by a jumper in freefall, relative wind is the result of the skydiver’s speed through the air.


The auxiliary parachute carried on every intentional parachute jump.


Removable deployment system, used by canopy swoopers to help remove drag after the canopy is open to aid forward speed.

Rip cord

The deployment system on all reserves and most student parachutes. The ripcord is a piece of cable with a handle at one end and a pin at the other. When pulled, the pin comes out of the closing loop holding the container shut, and the pilot chute is released.


Skydiver slang for the entire parachute, including main and reserve canopies and the harness/container.


Someone with a certificate from the FAA stating they have successfully met the requirements to be a parachute rigger.

Rigger’s certificate

The certificate possessed by a rigger as proof of competence. Parachute riggers may make minor repairs and pack reserve and main parachutes. Advanced riggers may make major repairs and alterations as well as packing parachutes.


The webbing that connects the harness to the suspension lines. At the bottom of the risers will be a mechanism for attaching and releasing the risers and harness, usually in the form of a three ring release. On the rear risers are the brakes/steering lines. The suspension lines attach to the top of the risers with connector links, also known as rapid links.


1) A formation where each skydiver has grips on the arms of those next to him, also known as a star. 2) A round parachute, as opposed to a modern ram-air “square” parachute.


Reserve static line. This is a line from the main risers to the reserve cable. In the event the main is cut away, it may pull the reserve pin. Note: this system is only effective in malfunctions where the main is at least partially deployed.


When a canopy is flying with the ambient wind it is said to be running. This produces the greatest possible ground speed.


Final line that the aircraft flies to reach the pre determined spot for jumpers to leave. Also called the jump run


Relative work, the term used to describe formation skydiving until a change in nomenclature made by the International Parachuting Commission in the early 90s. (see F.S.)



Skydiver’s Information Manual. Published by the USPA, the SIM is a comprehensive manual on USPA policies and training methods. It also includes FARs pertinent to skydiving.

Skydive University

a world-wide training system for formation skydiving


New type of RSL that uses the cutaway main canopy as the drag to open the reserve, designed by Bill Booth of Uninsured relative Workshop.


Skydiving on a surfboard


Single Operation System. This system simplifies emergency procedures by combining the functions of the cut away and reserve handles in a single handle.


Reserve parachutes have a small lead seal on a piece of red thread around the closing pin. This seal indicates the reserve has not been opened since it left the riggers hands.


An older type of AAD.


Skydiving in a seated head up orientation

Single operation system

See SOS.


Although on the surface this term refers to a superior skydiver, in drop zone use skygod is a derogatory term for a skydiver whose ego has grown faster than his skydiving ability.


A rectangular piece of nylon fabric with a grommet at each corner through which the canopy’s suspension lines are routed. Packed at the top of the lines, the slider controls the opening of the canopy by preventing the parachute from expanding too rapidly.


A position in the skydive or on the plane. Uses: “dock in your slot”, or “two slots left on the next Otter”.


Part of the canopy opening sequence before the inflation has taken place.


A material from which microline is made.

Speed star

A competition where jumpers build a formation as quickly as possible


The position of the aircraft when the jumpers exit. Spotting (selecting the spot) is done by a skydiver and may be aided by the pilot.


Skysurfing qualification, grade 1 and 2


A ram air parachute as opposed to a round parachute.


The vertical strips of material beneath the end cells of the canopy. Stabilizers improve the canopy’s ability to fly straight ahead and enhance efficiency by reducing tip vortices.


A basic FS formation, with 3 or more skydivers linked in a circle by their arms


A group of canopies in the sky stacked vertically above each other


When the angle of attack of a wing becomes too high to sustain lift, the wing is said to be stalled.

Stand up

Vertical freefall position, feet to earth, crucifix style. Also a type of landing

Static line

In static line deployments the parachute deployment system is attached to the airplane, with a cord ten to fifteen feet long, resulting in deployment immediately after exit.

Steering lines

The lines that run from the steering toggles on the rear risers to the trailing edge of the parachute.

Steering toggles

Handles attached to the end of the steering lines to facilitate their use. Toggles and lines are configured so they can be stowed in a partially down position to enhance the opening of the parachute.


Safety and Training Committee (of the BPA).  A sub-committee of Council, made up by CCIs who make appropriate decisions on safety and training.


To neatly arrange suspension lines on the deployment bag or steering toggles in their keepers


When the main canopy has left the bag but not inflated at all. Also sometimes a slang name for a WDI


A type of freefall competition where an individual skydiver attempts to execute a predetermined sequence of maneuvers in the shortest possible time.

Suspension lines

The lines from the risers to the canopy. They are normally in four groups, labeled from front to back as A, B, C and D. They can be further divided into right and left or front and back riser groups, and by type of material.


1) To dive down to a formation or individual in freefall. 2) To aggressively approach the landing area in order to produce a long, flat flare and an exciting landing.



(1) An introduction to skydiving by a Tandem Instructor, in which the student is strapped to the Instructors front, and conducts a free-fall descent from altitude, and a long canopy ride under a very large parachute, remaining attached throughout!! (2) Another name for the piggyback parachute system, in which the main and reserve canopies are in the same container

Terminal velocity

The speed at which drag matches the pull of gravity, resulting in a constant fall rate. Typical terminal velocity for formation skydiving is in the 120 to 135 mile per hour range, but speeds as high as 300 miles per hour have been reached.

Three ring

A parachute release mechanism that utilizes three rings of separate size in a mechanical advantage system. Invented by Bill Booth in the late 70s, the three ring release is almost universally considered the best cut away system available.

Throw out

A deployment method in which the pilot chute is stowed in a pouch on the belly, leg of bottom of container.


Handles on the steering lines.


Type of malfunction where there is nothing out of the container


To assume a body position that creates a high forward speed. Used to approach or depart from other skydivers in freefall.


Technical Officer – an employee of the BPA responsible to Council for technical and overall running of the Association on a day-to-day basis


Technical Standard Order. A technical standard that all American parachutes must meet before they can be marketed. Unless specifically exempted by the FAA, a parachute must have a TSO placard to be legal.

Turn around load

When the aircraft does not shut down between loads, but lands and picks up skydivers for immediate departure.



The upper winds, or winds at exit altitude. The “uppers” are often much stronger and occasionally from a different direction than ground winds.


The United States Parachute Association is a non profit skydiver’s organization. USPA offers guidance and assistance to skydivers in training, government relations, competition, and many other fields. Most drop zones require USPA membership of individual skydivers because such membership includes third party liability insurance.



line used on high performance canopies, non stretching or shrinking


Very Good All the Way


Vertical relative work, a competitive point competition on the vertical orientation, team members fly head up and head down whilst taking grips in various formations


Wave off

Prior to deployment a skydiver should make a clearly defined arm motion to indicate to others nearby that he is about to open his parachute. A good wave off is essential to the avoidance of deployment collisions.


Wind drift indicator. A paper streamer thrown from the jump plane to estimate winds under canopy and determine the spot.


Many lighter skydivers wear a weight vest to allow them to maintain a fast fall rate.


Skydiver slang for people who don’t jump, from “Wuffo you jump out of them planes?”

Wind line

An imaginary line from the desired landing area, extending directly along the direction the wind is blowing.

Winds aloft

See uppers.

Wing loading

The ratio of weight born by a wing to its surface area. In the US, divide your exit weight in pounds by the square footage of the canopy.

XY & Z


Common slang for a type of fabric relatively impermeable to air. The less air that flows through the fabric wing of a ram air parachute, the more efficiently it flies.


A jump that didn’t go quite as planned!


If you have any suggestions to add to the above then please add them in comments so I can make this the largest most concise directory of skydiving terms available. 


Andy Ford

Infinite skydiving Solutions ltd 



April 2021

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