Then it was time for the “technical stuff” to fall (rather “float”) in place. I felt an upward jerk and realized the whizzing sounds in my ears had stopped. I could now clearly hear what I was being instructed! The parachute, my friends, is a life-saver! Not many of the novices (like me) would realize the importance of this piece of synthetic when it is being fondly packed by the pro-jumpers (on ground). My master showed me the unfolded parachute during the jump and believe me – there’s nothing more “splendid and beautiful” than the sight of this colorful piece of fiber above you in mid-air!
I was then given the two chords that control the direction of the chute. I played with this a little bit but I felt it would be better at the hands of the guy behind me than me playing with it for too long. Once he took it, he released the two lower hooks binding me to him. I know these words don’t sound very cheerful but that’s the way it is supposed to be; besides the two top hooks still bind us and I was told they could easily handle a load of few hundred kilos!
In a way this step is done to give more movement to the legs, enabling to lift them while landing – which is all the more important. When the shapes of the ground started becoming more clear I started preparing for landing. Unfortunately I couldn’t lift my legs in the way it was instructed to me on ground. Guess a life in front of computers does have an impact on the agility of the body! There was also a Plan-B which was to pull the bottom of the jump suite a bit forward so that I end up in a seating position just above the legs of the tandem master, but this seemed near impossible in mid-air.
So I was simply told to relax and somehow make sure my feet don’t hit the ground before my tandem master’s did. The speed at which I landed is still stupefying! But the guy who was controlling the show was well capable of this (and perhaps even more). The landing was a bit awkward in the end with me ending up face-down with the chute in front of me and the tandem master just a step over my shoulders! But then again it could have been worse! So in a way I was glad. I still had energy to scream and shake hands with my master and the cameraman and pose for the “thumbs-up” shots!
Now that I am back in the safety of the ground, I doubt if I’ll ever undertake such an adventure again. I think this was kind of once in a lifetime event for me. Besides this is too costly a sport in my humble opinion! But if you ask me, I’d definitely advise everyone to try this at least once – just for the “kick” of course 😉
I got my tandem jump video at last!