Skydiving is the most common form of parachuting; involving acrobatic performance during free fall, followed by the use of a parachute to land safely.
Although the history of parachuting in general started almost a thousand years ago, the history of skydiving as a sport is quite recent.
The first person to perform his jumps was Jacques Garnerin who was dumping from hot-air ballons in the late 18th century. In 19th century, women started skydiving as well: one of the most famous women in the history of skydiving is Kathe Paulus who jumped in Germany at the end of 19th century.
With the invention of airplanes, skydiving moved to another level, as the plane made it possible to perform more spectacular skydiving displays.
Skydiving was not officially declared skydiving until the mid-1950s. Before that, everyone simply referred to skydiving as parachuting. Skydiving became an international sport in 1951 and first skydiving schools started to appear in late 1950s.
Today, skydiving is a sport as well as a popular recreational activity. A lot of people make their first jump with an experienced instructor who is trained for such jumps; this kind of skydiving is called tandem skydive. In this case, the instructor is in charge of the jump and responsible for any emergencies in the unlikely event that something will go wrong.
If interested and willing to get more of skydiving, people can decide to take a skydiving course – in that course they will learn how to skydive without having to make a tandem jump with an instructor. There are also many skydiving clubs and parachuting organisations in many countries accross the world.
The question of safety of skydiving is often being discussed. Despite the probabilities of danger, serious accidents are rare, as in most countries, skydivers are required to carry two parachutes.