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Skydiving in Canada

Anything that’s got a thrill of a ride, that’s a hit with the human nerves, demands it to become a sport. Such is what happens to a freefall and that’s true with Canadian skydiving. It all started with the vision of parachutes that the Chinese and Leonardo da Vinci envisioned a couple of centuries ago. Back then, we can fairly say, they were delving into the extreme. They saw the parachute thinking that maybe man would fly someday with the help of a machine, and we could freefall from it. If you don’t call that advance thinking, I don’t know what is.

The first jumps were made from balloons when someone in Paris in 1797 was brave enough to do so. And then came Charles Saunders who, shortly after the invention of the airplane, made the first ever Canadian parachuting in 1912 over Vancouver. He just beat Cecil MacKenzie who donned a bat-suit that didn’t work as well. But bat-wing suit, or wingsuiters, still became popular. And before the war, this was what everyone was thinking. Everyone thought the Icarus’ idea would work.

The first Canadian citizen who actually jumped in Canada was Frank Ellis. He dove in 1919 over Lake Eeire; every year Canadian skydiving events commemorate this historic event. After the Second World War, some Canadians who returned from Europe were so thrilled with their landing in D-day, that they decided to make the skydive a sport itself. So there blossomed dozens of Canadian parachuting clubs and competitions in the country. The oldest among these Canadian parachuting organizations was the St. Catharine’s Parachuting Club, which was founded in 1948. Then there was the Parachute Club of Canada in 1956, which underlined the control and the advancement of Canadian sport parachuting. They merged in 1962 with the Western Canada Parachute Club; together they were renamed as the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association (CSPA). They were the ones that started training instructors who will teach parachuting lessons to everyone interested. Members of this club who weren’t satisfied with their usual Canadian skydiving most often opted to accelerated freefall.

With this, Canadian parachuting became a national craze. And with CSPA as one of the first organizations to have looked into skydiving as a sports and recreation, it’s no wonder why the Canadian National Parachuting team has consistently ranked as among the top 10 in competitions all around the world.

Today, Canadian skydiving has become a mainstream hobby in the country. In Toronto, there’s this popular Canadian skydiving drop zone known as the Skydive SWOOP, which offers parachuting lessons. It’s hard to believe that it’s been in existence for 29 years. They continue to offer the safest possible skydiving experience for any beginner. They even offer tandem skydiving, the most popular of all, in which a jumper is strapped with the expert, and he or she will experience the sheer abandon thrill of Canadian skydiving. Skydive Vancouver, on the other hand, targets jumpers who are more inclined with Canadian skydiving as a sport rather than as a recreation. First-time jumpers, of course, have to start with tandem skydiving. But after that, they would delve into advanced skydiving lessons, which include accelerated freefall—at least if the jumper can stomach the ride. This Canadian skydiving drop zone is located east of downtown Vancouver.

Canadian parachuting is a self-regulated sport that is managed by the CSPA, who submits recommendations on how to train instructors, students, thrill riders, and all brands of skydiving fanatics. Because there are some drop zones that are not under CSPA, it’s best to go to a CSPA associated drop zone to assure that your Canadian skydiving experience would be the safest there is.

Quite surprisingly, the thing about Canadian skydiving is that it can be pursued by anyone over the age of 18 regardless of the person’s health conditions. This makes it the most extreme sport in terms of admission. And among the extreme sports in the world, Canadian skydiving is the one that’s still in the grey. It’s free-for-all, no-hold-barred jumping. It’s the scariest thing to get into, and yet it’s the most popular and the most open to everyone—even for senior citizens. Everyone can technically join this kind of sport.

If you're looking beyond skydiving as an extreme sport, you can explore bungee jumping in Canada. Or if you want, you can take your thirst for aerial sports from the ground up instead of jumping down-try flying in Canada.

Likewise, some die-hard skydivers also try the military version of Canadian parachuting. For one thing Canadian parachuting in a military sense means jumping out of the plane from high altitude. They call this HALO or HAHO jumps. And they jump way from thousands of feet. In a sense, they are most extreme of all Canadian parachuting.

To jump at their altitude, they’ll be needing oxygen masks, a more durable parachute, specially design jump suits for high altitudes. To be able to jump from a HALO, you’ll need a longer training that CSPA or any typical drop zones could provide.
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