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## How Fast Do You Come Down When Skydiving?

Skydiving is an exhilarating sport that involves jumping out of an airplane and freefalling towards the ground before deploying a parachute to slow your descent. The speed at which you fall during skydiving depends on several factors, including your body position, weight, and the air resistance you encounter.

### Factors Affecting Skydiving Speed

Body Position:

Belly-to-earth: This is the most common and aerodynamic position, allowing for the highest speeds.
Feet-to-earth: This position creates more drag, resulting in a slower descent.
Head-to-earth: This position is the least aerodynamic and results in the slowest speeds.

Weight:

Heavier individuals tend to fall faster due to increased gravitational pull.
Lighter individuals experience more air resistance relative to their weight, leading to slower speeds.

Air Resistance:

Air resistance increases as the speed of the fall increases.
It is determined by the shape, size, and orientation of the body to the air flow.

### Typical Freefall Speeds

In general, the average freefall speed for skydivers ranges between 120-160 mph (193-257 km/h). However, experienced skydivers can reach speeds exceeding 200 mph (322 km/h) by arching their bodies to minimize air resistance.

### Speed Variation During Freefall

The speed of a skydiver changes throughout the freefall:

Initial jump: The highest speeds are achieved shortly after jumping out of the airplane, typically around 160 mph (257 km/h).
Stable freefall: As the skydiver gains altitude and stabilizes their body position, the speed decreases to around 120 mph (193 km/h).
Terminal velocity: After reaching a certain altitude, the air resistance becomes equal to the force of gravity, resulting in a constant speed known as terminal velocity. This speed varies depending on the factors mentioned above but typically ranges between 110-140 mph (177-225 km/h).

### Deployment of Parachute

Once the desired altitude is reached, the skydiver deploys their parachute. The parachute’s canopy opens and rapidly fills with air, creating significant drag. This drag dramatically slows down the skydiver to a speed of around 10-15 mph (16-24 km/h).

### Conclusion

The speed at which you come down when skydiving varies depending on your body position, weight, air resistance, and the stage of the freefall. By understanding these factors, you can optimize your skydiving experience and enjoy the thrill of freefalling at breathtaking speeds.

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