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Published: May 23, 2021
If the length of a skydive is on your mind, what you might actually be asking is: How long does the freefall part of skydiving last? This is an important thing to know, and it depends on how high you jump from. Here at Skydive Long Island we jump from 13,500ft (the highest altitude generally used for skydiving) which means you freefall for about one minute. Jumping out of an aeroplane is a sensory bonanza, and while it might seem brief when you say it - one minute is long enough to really soak up what it feels like to skydive at terminal velocity. There is more to it than just this part though, and it all adds up to an amazing experience. Let's investigate a little bit...
The whole process of joining us for a skydive takes up to half a day. This is because there are a few important things that need to happen before and after your actual jump. Even though this involves some formalities and a little bit of paperwork - it is all interesting and engaging stuff. Skydiving facilities run on a precise schedule, and each step of the process has been refined throughout the many decades that commercial skydiving has been a thing, into an efficient and smooth operation.
Everyone needs a booking, so we will be expecting you. As well as a thrilling bucket list experience, skydiving is a sport and a hobby - not a stunt performed by lunatics. There is still some risk involved though, and so completing a waiver is standard practice for all USPA dropzones (United States Parachute Association). If you haven't already decided, this is also when you can add a media package to your skydive (you should).
Briefing and Gear
Tandem skydiving is all about getting people up in the sky with just a small amount of training. Although it is quite short (15-20 minutes), the briefing contains important information that you need to know. Throughout the tandem skydiving process you are a student and not just a passenger, and engaging with the process to get it all exactly right adds to the whole experience. After meeting your instructor and getting briefed, you will be given the appropriate gear and fitted into your harness. Depending on how warm it is you might be given a jumpsuit - but sensible street clothes are fine (think sport) if your instructor says so. Depending on how the day is going, you might be heading right for the plane - or you may have a little time to watch others land first - which is great for getting extra excited.
The only part of things we cannot control are the weather conditions. To do skydiving it needs to be not cloudy and not too windy or we have to wait. We are good at making the right calls though, so if we are getting you ready then chances are very good you will jump - even if it might mean standing down for a bit for the wind to drop or the clouds to open up.
Traveling up to altitude on the plane is also fun. Everyone clambers in and sits on the floor facing backward, then it takes about fifteen minutes to get to 13,500ft - during which you can enjoy the scenery and talk to your instructor a bit. They will give you information on the way and probably tell you terrible jokes to ease the mood - and then go over the final preparations with you as you near the top.
A minute in freefall feels like ages when you are doing it, and over really quickly once it has finished. Getting into skydiving is all about chasing the feeling that freefall gives you, as once you land the only things you want to do is go straight back up again. Good news! If you do want to go again - we can help!
Following a tandem freefall, it is normal for your instructor to deploy the parachute at around 5,000ft. This much altitude means you have another few minutes to enjoy the flight as you head back to the landing area. The parachute part is a perfect complement to freefall. At terminal velocity everything is thrills and noise - under a canopy things are quiet and graceful. Your instructor might also let you steer.
Touching down in the landing area means hugs and high-fives. After this, it just takes a few minutes to gear down and you are done! At this stage, you will feel awesome, as all those good chemicals released by what you have just achieved work their way through your body. It can take a minute to process your photo and video package, but our dropzone is a nice place to hang out. If you want to know more and do more, we will supply you with all the information you need before you head back to the real world - now as a person that has done skydiving!
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