Skydiving Abbreviations, Terms, and Colloquialisms


AAD

Abbrev. n, "Automatic Activation Device". A altitude sensing device used to automatically activate the opening sequence for a parachute. Most commonly refers to their application to sport reserve parachutes, but also used in other non-sport scenarios such as ejection seats, etc.

AFF

Abbrev. n, "Accelerated FreeFall". A training program for first jump students where the skydiving skills development rate is accelerated over that of the older static line program.

Boogie

n, A gathering of jumpers for the purposes of jumping and socializing. Typically, boogies will have large aircraft, unusual aircraft (balloons, helicopters), special events (record attempts), or some sort of competition as a focal point to attract jumpers from widely diverse regions.

Canopy

n, parachute.

CFS

Abbrev., "Canopy Formation Skydiving". The new "official" term for a discipline of skydiving in which jumpers *under canopy* fly their parachutes together to form various formations. However, most skydivers still refer to it as "CRW". (See CRW.)

CRW

Abbrev., "Canopy Relative Work". Describes the maneuvering done by jumpers *under canopy* to fly their parachutes together to form various formations. Sometimes referred to as CReW (Crew). See CFS.

DZ

Abbrev. n, "Drop Zone". A place where parachuting operations take place. This is may be a designated area, or frequently, a commercial business which supplies aircraft, instruction, gear sales and services.

Flare

v, to pull down on both of the canopy's steering toggles in order to lower decent rate and forward speed just prior to landing. The forward speed is traded-off for lift. A flare performed too late has no effect, a flare performed too early can result in a stall in which the canopy looses forward speed and drops straight down. A correctly performed flare results in an exceptionally soft landing.

FS

Abbrev., "Formation Skydiving". The new "official" term for a discipline of skydiving in which two or more jumpers fly relative to each other *in freefall* in order to form various formations. However, most skydivers refer to it as Relative Work, or "RW." (See RW.)

Hook turn

n, A high-speed turn with either the steering toggles or the front risers performed at very low altitude in order to build up speed before landing. See "turf surf."

JM

Abbrev. n, "JumpMaster". A jumper trained and certified to supervise students and/or novices during their jump.

Main

n, the primary parachute.

Opening shock

n, The force experienced by the jumper due to the sudden deceleration from terminal velocity due to the deployment of a parachute.

RW

Abbrev., "Relative Work". Describes the freefall maneuvering whereby two or more jumpers fly relative to each other *in freefall* in order to form various formations. See FS.

Reserve

n, the secondary, or backup, parachute.

Round

n, a class of parachutes designed to simply decelerate a body in a fluid medium. The classic parachute.

Square

n, a class of parachutes designed to inflate and take the shape of an airfoil. These are more accurately rectangular in shape and are semi-rigid wings.

Turf surf

v, (also, to "surf it") a high-speed style of landing. The jumper builds up speed (see Hook Turn) and then flares mere moments before touchdown, resulting in a spectacular landing in which the jumper skims mere inches above the ground at 30-40mph, for up to 100 yards. Or, if the jumper flares too late, resulting in a spectacular landing in which the jumper impacts the ground, leading to medical bills, orthopedic surgery, and/or death. Attempt this maneuver at your own risk!

USPA

Abbrev. n, "United States Parachute Association".

Whuffo

Colloquialism, n, A person who is not a skydiver (from the often-asked phrase "Whuffo you jump out of them airplanes?").