Does Skydiving Feel Like a Roller Coaster?

Does Skydiving Feel Like a Roller Coaster?

Published: July 14, 2016

Most first-time tandem skydivers are pretty sure they know what the feeling of skydiving is like before they try it: like a roller coaster, of course!

See the thing is...it's not. Not at all. Not the least bit. Not even a smidgen. So, what does it feel like to skydive? Let's break it down, shall we?

1. There's No "Drop."

Y'know that feeling when you've clickity-clacked right to the top of the biggest hill on the roller coaster, then you feel the first car go over and the pit of your stomach flip flops because you know that great big drop is coming in a second?

Well, if you're waiting for that drop from the door of an airplane, you're going to be waiting a long, long time. (Likely, until you've landed from your jump, driven to a theme park and gotten on a roller coaster.) Instead, you'll be supported by a cushion of air the moment you exit the plane.

2. Your Stomach And Your Throat Will Keep Their Distance.

Along those lines, a lot of first-timers also wonder, 'does skydiving feel like falling'? The stomach-in-throat feeling is directly related to a sense of falling. A skydive, you'll note, is not a skyfall. (That's the Bond film, remember? With the ludicrous abandoned-farmhouse shootout scene at the end, where a blonde Javier Bardem is manning a helicopter and being generally creepy?)

On a skyfall--which is a totally mythological phenomenon--you'd probably just kick helplessly around the whole time. You wouldn't have relative wind pushing against you, making your descent smooth and helping you and your tandem instructor keep an even, belly-to-earth body position. On a skydive, you have relative wind helping you out the whole way. Hence: no stomach-in-throat fally feels--which is good, because freefall lasts quite a while longer than even the biggest roller coaster hill.

3. You Won't Feel A Sense Of Descent.

From the top of the hill on a roller coaster, you can see the depth of the terrain below you. You see shadows. You see the height of trees and buildings. You hear sound coming up from the ground below. In short: On a roller coaster, you have a general sense of how far everything is below you.

From the door of an aircraft, the world below looks like a map. There's no sense at all of ground rush until your smooth, much-much-slower canopy ride is well underway. Between that and the helpful hug of relative wind, you really don't feel like you're making a descent in that whee-here-we-go-down roller coaster kinda way. (That's why we skydivers wear precision instruments to track our altitude on every jump.)

4. It's Baby-Smooth.

Roller coaster rattles? Head smacking around between the harness bars? Jolting stops and starts? No, thanks. That's not going to be your skydiving experience.

Again because of relative wind, you won't realize you're hurtling 120mph through the sky. From the moment you exit, the speed tapers smoothly up. When your instructor deploys the parachute, you'll almost certainly experience a deceleration much gentler than the juddering clunk as the roller coaster pulls into the station. The landing itself, under a luxuriously big parachute, is sweet, too.

Suffice it to say: The only thing that's the same between skydiving and roller coaster ridin', if we're being honest, is the fact that both skydiving and roller coasters put a big smile on your face.

Spoiler: The skydiving smile is bigger and lasts way, way, way longer.

Give it a try! You'll see what we mean. Book your NYC skydiving adventure online today!

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I've skydived before (4 times) and this experience was by far my favorite and most memorable experience. Erika and Nick were great!

» Shoshanna

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