Skydiving Competition

Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) is the international governing body of the sport called skydiving and it sets the six disciplines of competition skydiving. Classic categories are free-fall fall style and accuracy landing, eventhough formation skydiving and canopy formation are the most popular ones. Freestyle and skysurfing are the newest disciplines.

The classic disciplines , free-fall style and accuracy events are the first forms of competitions to appear. During the free-fall disciplines, riders have to reach an established parachute-opening altitude and also do some prearranged acrobatic maneuvers before that. The points are awarded by the judges on the ground who use binoculars to watch the style of each skydiver's jump. Accuracy events competitors must on a clearly marked ground target that is 3 cm , that is 1 in. in diameter. The skydiver to have the smallest distance between the landing spot and the center of the target, after a number of jumps, is awarded the first place.

The most interesting forms of skydiving competition are the team events. The groups of free-falling skydivers in a formation skydiving event must hold on to one another in order to form predetermined geometric patterns. The teams have between 2 and 100 members and the goal is to form the greatest number of patterns in the given time. Jumpers in canopy formation skydiving build formations after having opened the parachutes. Both disciplines are judged in the same way, depending on the number of formations completed during a single jump, on style and on difficulty of formation.

Individual events like freestyle skydiving and skysurfing are the most recent skydiving competitions. While free-falling, freestyle jumpers perform acrobatic maneuvers, just as in free-fall style, eventhough these skydivers create their own routines and do not have any predefined moves. These moves in these routines are usually more difficult than the ones performed in the free-fall style. Skysurfing requires a board similar to a snowboard, called skyboard, in order to be able to surf while being in the air. Judges seek loops, 360-degree turns and twists, meaning difficulty and style of the maneuvers.

Once evrey two years there is a skydiving world championship. In the other years, the international competition called the World Cup is organized. Along the years, the United States and France have been the leaders in formation skydiving and canopy formation events, while Europe has led the classic disciplines.