‘Cos I’m freefalling

By Joy Niemack and Robbie White

Are you an adrenaline junkie looking for something to do this weekend? Are you a fan of the song “Freefalling” by Tom Petty and often find yourself taking jumps down stairs and other long drops in order to try and reach a state of weightlessness which all people want?

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Well then here is the answer to your problems which will not only stop your heart beating for a moment, but may make your mother’s do the same too, it is skydiving. The local skydiving club has grown in numbers and popularity over the last decade, with students learning its crazy ways through experience or word of mouth and local involvement
growing in leaps and bounds (excuse the pun).

EP Skydiving in Grahamstown has been giving people major thrills as well as hosting events during this entire time and their names have become synonymous with the exhilaration that come from skydiving.

Alexis McNaughton, who works at EP Skydiving, says it is hard to describe the actual thrill of skydiving, but he explained it as, ”an amazing experience, it looks amazing on TV,
but when you try it, it feels even better.” Something, one can say, every adrenaline junkie can relate to.

McNaughton has been skydiving for three years and has recently become an instructor at EP Skydiving. If you are not ready for the actual skydiving jump but still want to experience the adrenaline there are alternatives which will still make you weak at the knees. There is static line jumping which is an automatically ridged parachute which will open as you jump, tandem jumps where you jump with an instructor, and freefall progression.

Skydiving is not just a hobby for some as there are national skydiving competitions in South Africa which see people from around the country competing up in the high skies.
The skydiving club in Grahamstown also has its share of participating, hosting and being involved as the organisers of local competitions where people are able to explore the
competitive nature of skydiving in a very meaningful and involved way.

The club usually does demo jumps at sporting events and usually gets the crowd cheering at Tri-varsity events as well as other local events, often flying in with flags or onto fields
with coloured smoke. Once you have made the decision to participate in this highly exhilarating sport you are able to get started almost immediately.

EP Skydiving provides you with all the necessary equipment and training and they are very helpful and friendly. McNaughton does however remind those of you who are under
21 to get parental consent, something which may be problematic for some, considering the dangerous nature of the sport.

This month the usual R750 course will be R500. “So go try it, it is an unforgettable experience,” said McNaughton. So lets strap up, forget about the test next week or the essay due and get the blood pumping and feel the meaning of life as your body accelerates
through the air and just think, life is journey, enjoy the freefall.


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