Skydiving has a rich and fascinating history in South Africa, dating back several decades. The country is a popular destination for skydivers from all over the world. It is all thanks to its beautiful landscapes, clear skies, and warm weather. Let’s take a closer look at the history of skydiving in South Africa.
The Early Years
Skydiving first arrived in South Africa in the 1950s when a group of parachutists from the United States came to Cape Town to perform demonstration jumps. At the time, the sport was still relatively new and was considered a novelty by most South Africans.
However, by the 1960s, the sport gained popularity, and several skydiving clubs were established throughout the country. These clubs were largely run by military veterans who had trained in parachute jumping during their service.
The Formation of the Parachute Association of South Africa
In 1962, the Parachute Association of South Africa (PASA) was formed to regulate the sport and ensure safety standards were met. PASA became a member of the International Parachuting Commission (IPC) in 1964. Being a member of IPC allows South African skydivers to compete in international events.
SThroughout the 1960s and 1970s, skydiving continued to grow in popularity in South Africa, with more and more people taking up the sport. The country’s warm climate and clear skies make it an ideal location for skydiving. Several drop zones opened across the country and operate all year round.
The Birth of Formation Skydiving
In the early 1980s, a new discipline of skydiving emerged in South Africa – formation skydiving. This involved a group of skydivers jumping from a plane and then linking up in mid-air to form a specific formation before opening their parachutes.
South African skydivers quickly became leaders in this new discipline, winning numerous international competitions and setting new world records. Today, South Africa international teams still consider one of the top countries in the world for formation skydiving.
The Growth of Tandem Skydiving
In the 1990s, a new type of skydiving emerged that would change the sport forever – tandem skydiving. This involved a passenger jumping out of a plane with a professional skydiver attached to them. Tandem skydiving allowed people to experience the thrill of skydiving without the need for extensive training.
Tandem skydiving quickly became popular in South Africa, and several drop zones began offering tandem jumps to the public. Today, tandem skydiving is one of the most popular forms of skydiving in South Africa and has helped to introduce the sport to a whole new generation of people.
Skydiving has a long and fascinating history in South Africa, dating back several decades. The sport has grown in popularity over the years, with South African skydivers becoming leaders in new disciplines such as formation skydiving. Today, South Africa remains a popular destination for skydivers from all over the world.