Dingle’s diving at 500km/h

Natisha Dingle holds the world record for women's speed skydiving. Picture: JOSEPH THOMAS

Natisha Dingle is the fastest woman in the world.

The Toogoolawah Skydive Ramblers speed skydiver competed at the FAI World Cup of Speed Skydiving in Prostejov, Czech Republic in August 2023 where she set a new speed skydiving women’s world record.

In her first jump, Dingle reached a speed of 492.58km/hour in free fall, and then she re-set the record in her fifth jump with a speed of 496.22km/h.

Last month, Dingle competed at the 2024 Australian Parachute Federation National Speed Skydiving Championships at Skydive Great Ocean Road where she was the 2024 female speed skydiving Australian champion, and also placed 3rd in the open category behind her close friends, Mervyn O’Connell and Shane Turner.

“It’s always been a part of my life,” Dingle said.

Born in Bundaberg and raised in Oakey, Dingle first learned about skydiving at a careers expo and did her first solo jump at 16.

“I started my skydiving journey in Gatton at Ripcord Skydivers, that’s where I had my first jump when I was 15 and I learned how to skydive there,” she said.

“I used to compete in four-way and I was quite good at that.

“My friend Shane is the fourth fastest in the world for men and he said ‘you should come and try this’.

“I resisted for a little while and then I felt it calling me, so I got my gear modified to be safe, tried it, and I never looked back.”

The goal of speed skydiving is to achieve, in freefall at the standard jump altitude, the fastest average speed possible over a scoring time of 3 seconds between 4000m and 1700m above ground.

Dingle recently broke her own personal best.

“I just did a new PB on Sunday [31 March] and I got 504.36km/hour, and that felt different, I felt really streamlined,” she said.

“My shoulders actually felt a bit bruised the next day, they were sore to touch.”

Dingle said every competition was a chance to unlock some new skill or technique to use in her training.

“I try to keep some secrets before we get to the World Cup,” she said.

“When you get to the higher level it’s harder to get your personal bests.

“If I can do it once then maybe it was a fluke, but if I can do it twice then I try and make it my average.

“It gives me goals to work towards and confidence that you can do it.”

Dingle said she was excited for the World Championships, set to be held at Crystal Coast Skydiving in North Carolina in October this year.

“We’ve got a really strong speed skydiving team in Australia and it’s very exciting for what’s coming,” she said.

“I’m really excited this year, because we have the potential to medal a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the women’s category, and potentially in teams as well.”