Since as early as we can remember, humanity has dreamed of flying. Cruising through the blue sky and surfing through the white clouds. Reaching where no other man could - until now. Skydiving offers the unique opportunity to experience what only birds can, in what can only be described as a unique activity!
What is skydiving? Simply put, skydiving is jumping from a plane and maneuvering through the sky before you open a parachute and land safely - but there's much more to it than that. It is the adrenaline and adventurous spirit of our youth pulled back into the current day!
If you are thinking about skydiving, or don't know anything about it at all, there are a couple of things you should learn before you pull the trigger and jump off the plane.
Here's a short guide explaining everything you should expect from this incredible experience: what is it, can you do it, should you do it, and what do you need to do if you decide to skydive.
The exact definition is a little bit more technical, but it'll help to understand what the sport is all about: Skydiving is an activity where a person will jump from an aircraft, engage in freefall, and finally land on the ground by parachute.
First things first: jumping from an aircraft. Most people reach the sky via airplane, but it could be anything that gets you enough altitude to practice skydiving. For example, an air balloon could be used. Once you're up there, you'll jump and start freefalling.
Freefalling is the period of time you have between the safety of the plane and the safety of the ground. It's when you're cruising through the sky, being able to do all sorts of fun maneuvers. It can last from 30 to 90 seconds.
Landing is exactly what it means. After freefalling, you will open your parachute and slowly descend into the ground. After that, you have successfully skydived!
Is Skydiving For Everyone?
Skydiving is for - almost - everyone. There are certain limitations and some people are not allowed to skydive because of that. There are age, weight, and health-related restrictions. Regardless of that, most people can skydive and should be encouraged to try it at least once!
Beyond the usual, well-known restrictions, there's something to keep in mind to know if skydiving is for you. You should answer this simple question: Do you want to skydive?
You should only attempt it if you are 100% willing to do it. This is not an activity you should engage in if you are trying to prove something to someone. It's something that should be taken seriously and done because you want to. If you dread the idea of skydiving, then skydiving isn't for you!
On the other hand, if you can't wait to surf through the clouds, experience a unique adrenaline rush, and live through a once-in-a-lifetime activity, by all means, get ready for your first jump!
How Dangerous is Skydiving?
With each passing year, skydiving becomes safer and safer. One would think that jumping from a plane is inherently dangerous and something only people with a death wish would do - but that's not the case! Skydiving is incredibly safe. Statistically speaking, you are safer freefalling than traveling in a car.
There are multiple safety measures taken into account to provide a secure experience to everyone involved. People who work in this business need to get certified after serious training and preparation. And the government makes sure everything is up to code before planes are allowed to take off.
All in all, there is a risk involved. After all, you are jumping off a plane. But keep in mind everything, even driving your car around, involves some sort of risk. So, with that being said, skydiving is risky - but it's not dangerous.
What Are the Benefits of Skydiving?
Skydiving is a life-changing experience. Nobody gets on that plane, jumps, and lands on the ground without being changed forever. And it's a change for the better!
It works as an incredible workout. Even though it's short-lived, a skydiving session is one hell of an exercise, where your upper back and arms will get more than their fair share of physical activity. It's a forearm killer as well!
Physical benefits aside, there are plenty of mental advantages to skydiving. Most people, after their first jump, will experience a confidence boost. Later on, you will be able to re-tell your skydiving experience and re-live the adrenaline rush - once again regaining that confidence, feeling like you can do anything!
It also will change your worldview forever. Once you have cruised through the skies as you freefall, you will start to see things differently. It's hard to explain - you have to live through it to understand.
How Does it Feel to Skydive?
It's nothing that can be put in words. It's a completely new experience for anyone who hasn't tried it yet. When you are skydiving, you are flying through the clouds - and your mind can't comprehend what it's truly going on, because we are not made for flying.
The moments before you jump off the plane, your entire system will be on fight or flight mode as adrenaline rushes through you - that's when your body will try to get you ready for what's next. But nothing will be enough for what's to come: when you jump, everything goes out the window - you included.
During freefall, it's impossible to think about anything else but what's happening right that instant. Your past and your future are no longer real - any mistakes, any debts, any plans, and anything else cease to exist because the present is too big to ignore. For a couple of minutes your entire life belongs to the sky and that's where it'll stay.
Finally, you land. Both your perspective and mindset are changed - in ways that can hardly be put into words but only be experienced.
How Do I Prepare Myself for my First Skydive?
There are a couple of things you need to take into account before you skydive for the first time: the importance of a good meal and sleep's worth.
For some odd reason, several people decide not to eat before they skydive for the first time. This is a poor strategy. It's incredibly important to have a good meal a couple of hours before you get on the plane. An empty stomach will leave you weak and will increase your nerves. It's not a good idea.
You should be fully rested before the big day. A lot of people have a hard time getting a good night's sleep before skydiving for the first time - and that's understandable. But try your best to get your 8 hours, it'll make the entire experience even better!
Keep in mind you won't be able to communicate with your instructor during freefall. You need to ask all questions before jumping!
What Should You Wear to Skydive?
Treat skydiving as you would any other sport. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes to do it. Anything that could easily fall off, like flip flops, is strictly prohibited. Other items, like pieces of jewelry, are off-limits as well.
If you have long hair, bring something to tie it into a ponytail. Women should consider not wearing loose clothing, like dresses.
How Long Does a Skydiving Session Last?
The entire experience lasts 30 minutes. On average, you'll spend 20 minutes on the plane and 5 to 7 minutes jumping, freefalling, and landing.
Your freefall will last approximately 30 to 90 seconds. It might feel a lot longer or a lot shorter, depending on who you are! Parachuting and landing, on the other hand, will last 5 minutes.
That's for the skydiving experience alone. If this is your first time skydiving, you might need to listen to an instructor, fill paperwork, wait for the plane and skydive. Then, after everything is over, you'll have to take a little bit of time to recollect yourself.
On average, it'll take 2 hours to go through the entire thing.
What Should You do After Skydiving?
Take a minute to collect yourself! A lot of people feel hungry shortly after because of the adrenaline pump and dump, so you can take this wonderful time to eat a snack and re-live the memories of what just happened!
How Often Can You Skydive?
As often as you want to! If you want to do it recreationally, you can skydive as much as you want with no strings attached. You should also consider taking things into the next level and try to skydive in different countries throughout the world - each place offers a different experience!
On the other hand, if you loved skydiving so much you want to become a certified instructor or start skydiving solo, you need to skydive a certain amount of times before you are allowed to do so. Unfortunately, the number is different from place to place, check your local laws and regulations to find out!
Final Thoughts on What is Skydiving
Skydiving is a release, a chance to take and stare death in the face in a very controlled manner. It allows you to get the adrenaline rush of being scared with controls to help you manage it.
I know many who are incredibly scared to go skydiving and I think a lot of it is mental stigma of being out of control and similar to a motorcycle scared that something they can't forsee will occur.
Due to this they decide not to take on the wild ride and unfortunately miss out on, at a minimum, an amazing life experience that you can tell everyone about for ages. Something they will have been too scared to try themselves....
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