We would bet your bippy that whatever you think skydiving feels like is incorrect, that is unless you’ve actually done it! So, what does it feel like to skydive? What about skydiving for the first time? Is it different?
Describing what it feels like skydiving is a challenge – the experience is truly unique and speaks for itself. But, we want you to feel comfortable and ready, so we’ll try our best to put it into words. Let’s debunk some common misconceptions about the skydiving feeling and get you the reassurance you need to take the leap!
Negative, ghost rider. We’re not scientists, but let’s get into some physics for a minute. The aircraft that carries skydivers (called a jump plane) has forward speed. This means that when the jumper(s) exit the jump plane, they don’t actually fall straight down. Rather, they fall at an angle for a bit – like a gradient. This “hill” or relative wind that skydivers ride down as they gain momentum prevents that icky (lovely?) falling feeling. This video of the skydiving team Arizona Airspeed completing maneuvers while gliding down the hill is a perfect visualization of the time it takes for skydivers to start falling “straight down.”
How does it feel falling in skydiving? Two words: Tranquil exhilaration.
Physically? The wind is FAST and LOUD! Do you feel anything when you skydive? Yes, it’s common to have your senses be a bit overstimulated, which is why it’s important to take some big breaths! Yes, you can totally breathe while skydiving – there’s an ample amount of air, and it’s on a self-serve basis.
Mentally? Incredible! Even if you’ve had the adrenal rush of bungee jumping, jet-skiing, or zipping down the interstate on a motorcycle, nothing compares to the feeling of freefall. When we make the cognizant decision to fall from an airplane (weee!), it’s inexplicably liberating for our minds and souls.
Do skydivers ever really fall straight down? Not typically. Although you can’t feel it, at each altitude passed in freefall, the wind is blowing horizontally. This means that falling straight down would only be achieved if the wind at all altitudes was zero miles per hour.
Wait, so … do you feel your stomach drop when skydiving? Nope! The only time during the skydive that the WOOOSH of the stomach floating to your face feeling happens is under the canopy, not in freefall. When a turn is initiated while flying the parachute, centrifugal force steps in and can induce the rollercoaster-esque feeling. If you love this, ask your instructor to make some bold turns. If that feeling is your nemesis, your instructor will be able to fly the canopy in a docile manner with minimal turns for a smoother canopy flight.
Ya know that feeling when a rollercoaster zooms off so fast your body would fly off into oblivion if it weren’t for the seat? Skydiving isn’t like that. The relative wind smoothes the descent and allows you and your instructor to feel stable and secure while entering freefall.
Is skydiving as scary as it seems? Nah, just like anything, skydiving is only scary because it is new. New things are meant to be a bit daunting, that’s what makes conquering them so much fun. The feeling of completing a skydive is all-empowering and a huge confidence boost.
What your body/mind feels like when skydiving is a little different for everyone. Most would agree that profoundly freeing, enormously exhilarating, and truly momentous all describe the skydiving experience to a tee.
Skydiving has different stages. At first, you’re walking onto the dropzone, being greeted with friendly faces, signing a waiver, and gearing up: intimidating. Then, you’re getting acquainted with your videographer, boarding the jump plane, and flying up to exit altitude: thrilling.
Suddenly, someone yells, “DOOR!” and the airplane door flies open, you leave the comfort of the plane (insert: holy moly moment), you’re in freefall, and you’re DOING IT: epic. The parachute opens, and you casually chat with your instructor, take in the sights from above, and see how teeny tiny your problems on the ground really are: serenity. You and your instructor wiz in for a landing, you hug your homies, and have the biggest smile of your life: euphoric.
Do these feelings change over time or if you start to skydive solo? Not really. Skydiving never loses its mystique or power, that’s why there are so many of us who regularly do it!
Suffice it to say, skydiving is an unbridling experience that we believe everyone who is willing and able should do at least once. We’re PUMPED for you to find out what skydiving feels like for yourself!