During a skydive, the body freefalls and reaches terminal velocity. Because of this, it helps to think of modern day skydiving as different than parachuting because the focus is on body flight rather than the parachute.
Skydiving came about as something done for fun rather than for military operation. Pretty quickly, those early skydivers discovered that people could fly their bodies in multiple ways in freefall. This opened up a whole new world, and several skydiving ‘disciplines’ have since emerged. Individuals can fly their bodies relative to the ground (stomach to earth) creating shapes and formations in what is called formation skydiving or relative work. Some jumpers prefer to operate on an alternative axis and ‘freefly’, which, simply put, is flying in orientations other than belly to earth (think feet to earth or even head to earth!) There are even quite a few jumpers who cover pretty impressive distances horizontally with the use of wingsuits or at an angle with just their bodies.
Skydiving and parachuting are inextricably connected, and the improvements in parachuting technology are what paved the way for skydiving as we know it today. And whether its parachuting or skydiving, really, in the sky, there is something for everyone to enjoy!