People tend to be avid lovers or vehement haters of the stomach drop feeling. If you’re in the hater camp, you’ll be pleased to know that skydiving does not induce tummy jiggles as you leave the airplane, although it can occur under the parachute. Let’s jump into the hows and whys of the jiggles, and debunk the common question: does your stomach drop when skydiving?
Nope! But, then why does your stomach drop when you fall? The gross (or maybe awesome) stomach drop feeling occurs when our bodies go from “0 to 100” real quick, or when we go from a really slow to a really fast velocity in a matter of seconds.
We have two skydiving aircraft (jump planes) that we use, a Cessna-182 and a King Air. Both of these airplanes are staples in the sport of skydiving and go around 80 to 100 miles per hour during exit, when skydivers leave the plane.
Terminal velocity during a skydive varies a bit based on the total weight (you + your instructor + the gear), but stays around 120 miles per hour. This means that when you exit the airplane, you’re not actually accelerating that much.
This isn’t to say that freefalling isn’t crazy exciting – it most definitely is – but it also isn’t the cause of the stomach drop feeling.
Another reason that the stomach drop will not intrude on your freefall is that you don’t immediately go straight down. When you exit an aircraft going 100 miles per hour, there will be a good few seconds of a downward gradient – we call this “the hill.” This happens because the plane is not a stagnant object, but is moving forward, so you’ll be caught up in that force as you leave the door.
Despite the name, freefalling doesn’t give you the scary feeling of actually falling. It is surprisingly very relaxing – kind of like floating on the wind from a gigantic fan. You’ll just have to trust us on this one and find out for yourself!
Once the canopy inflates you’ll be cruising at around 15 miles per hour. Although the parachute is designed to open gently, it can cause a bit of a stomach drop, simply due to the change in speed.
The most common time that people experience tummy tingles is when the instructor instigates a turn. While a few turns are necessary to safely land, you can definitely ask your instructor to take it easy! And if the belly jumpies are your thing, then ask your instructor to turn it up to 11 and give you a true washing machine ride!
Your breadbasket can feel a bit wobbly when skydiving, but this is usually because of the adrenaline and excitement for this incredible experience – your first skydiving jump!
Here are some other frequently asked questions when it comes to the body effects of skydiving.
Yes, you should definitely eat before going skydiving!! We cannot stress enough how important it is to eat and stay hydrated on the day of your jump. We’re not expecting you to do a full send at the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet; eat as you normally would and in moderation.
Think of it like this: how much, when, and what would you eat before going for a run? Not eating can actually lead to feeling pretty lousy. Low blood sugar, plus hunger, plus nervousness is not a good look. If you’re having too many butterflies before your jump, try a few crackers to get something in your stomach!
Motion sickness while skydiving is a lot less common than you probably think. There are plenty of devoted skydivers that struggle with motion sickness on the ground but are just fine soaring through the skies. It’s a true rarity! The majority of people who experience the yuck factor during their jump didn’t follow these tips to prepare for skydiving.
The most effective thing you can do if you’re worried about getting sick is to communicate with your instructor. They can help you slow your breaths on the ground and in the plane, talk with you under the canopy, and be sure to give you the calmest parachute descent possible. If you still feel the need to eject, don’t worry!! You will still get to the ground, it will eventually be over, and it is not the end of the world (even though it feels like it). Skydiving instructors see it all – there is absolutely no judgment!
Skydiving is one of the most blissful experiences your body can have. While the intense speed, fast wind, and strain on your muscles can be difficult at first, it is extremely rewarding.
The mental benefits of skydiving are unmatched. Skydiving allows you to gain a new perspective and a new lease on life. It takes you out of your comfort zone, pushes you beyond your limits, and gives you newfound confidence. Big things happen when you annihilate your fears!
Ready to ‘drop’ into the biggest adventure of your life? Book now or give the most epic present on the planet – a skydiving gift certificate! If you have any questions, concerns, or fears, don’t hesitate to contact us.