Skydiving Anxiety and How You Can Prepare

Skydiving Anxiety and How You Can Prepare

Published: November 20, 2018

The wild blue yonder is waiting. What's holding you back? If it's a little bit of skydiving anxiety, you aren't alone.

While skydiving is a fun and exciting experience, it's definitely outside of most people's comfort zones. At its core, fear is an adaptive behavior that ensured our ancestors' safety. It provided a safeguard for our prehistoric predecessors to be appropriately hesitant whenever they encountered new things. Anxiety arose as an anticipation of those fears - and as an adaptive attempt to avoid that potentially fear-inducing saber-tooth tiger. Basically, it's human nature to feel the stirrings of fear when confronting something outside of your regimented routines.

But here's the thing: While there are times our fears and anxieties are well-founded, these days, more often than not, fear and anxiety arise from feeling a lack of control and less so from any legitimate danger.

Skydiving anxiety doesn't have to prevent you from making a jump. All it takes to manage your skydiving anxiety is proper preparation. Read our list of tips below to say sayonara to your skydiving anxiety, and hello to the adventure of a lifetime.

1. Read all about it!

One of the best ways to manage skydiving anxiety is with research! Much like preparing for an exam, studying and feelings of preparedness, help boost your confidence when it is time to take the test. Help quell your fears by studying up on your chosen skydiving center. Read their reviews on Facebook, Google, and TripAdvisor; check out their website; speak with someone from the facility, or speak with someone who has made a skydive with the company before.

2. Ask lots of questions

In this sport, there's no such thing as a dumb question. Skydiving is an entirely different world. You cannot prepare for what you do not know. Proper skydiving preparation is the product of thoughtful inquiry. Don't fret that you're asking too many questions. Instead, you should feel confident and comfortable with the knowledge that your questions are setting you up for a successful skydiving experience.

3. Understand the Itinerary

A key part of skydiving prep is understanding what happens when you arrive at the dropzone and being aware of the sequence of events from check-in to departure. A myriad of factors go into getting you in the air, so come ready to spend a few hours with us. Skydiving isn't like an amusement park where you arrive and can immediately get on a ride; it's a process.

Here's how the day typically goes: At check-in, we review your paperwork to make sure everything has been properly completed. After we ensure the I's are dotted and the t's are crossed, you will watch a video and receive training to make sure you are prepared for the skydive. You will be paired with an instructor using our manifest system, and then it's just a matter of waiting your turn to meet with your instructor and to begin gearing up. It's important to remember that for each plane load that takes off and lands, there is gear to be checked, parachutes to be packed, and students to debrief. Ensuring everyone has an excellent experience takes a little time. Trust us, though, the wait is well worth it!

4. Weather Makes a BIG Difference Whether Your Skydive Happens or Not

The sky is our playground. It's a fantastic frontier to explore, but it makes our sport incredibly susceptible to weather and leaves us with a particular window of conditions that are favorable for jump operations. If the weather is looking iffy, it is possible that you may not be able to skydive on your reserved time and date and may need to reschedule. In the business, we have a saying: "It's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than in the air wishing you were on the ground." Many guests may feel inconvenienced by the ultraconservative stance we take on inclement weather. But remember - things can go wrong when appropriate precautions are not taken. There are some inherent risks with an extreme sport like skydiving. But by taking precautions, we mitigate those risks. To us, it simply is not worth it to put you or our instructors in harm's way.

5. Inhale. Exhale.

While it seems simple, remember to breathe! Like with anxieties of other kinds, focusing on your breath will help you manage some of the skydiving anxiety you are feeling. Leading up to your jump, you'll go through stages of highs and lows, excitement and fretting, laughing and (almost) crying. Your tummy will flutter with butterflies. You might even wonder what in the world you've gotten yourself in to, but it's all alright. We've felt it all before. Just remember to breath.

6. Visualize

To manage skydiving anxiety, try to visualize just how amazing the experience will be. Before your jump, take time to watch videos of people having a great time skydiving. As you watch, put yourself in their place, and visualize those moments of peace and freedom. Combat your skydiving anxiety by focusing on the rewards and not so heavily on the risks.

7. Accept the Challenge

Making a skydive and conquering your skydiving anxiety presents a challenge that is more mentally taxing than physically arduous. Embarking on this adventure is mind over matter. As you've heard before, where there is a will there is a way. After all, "boundaries" are imaginary confines you create; exploring the world from an enchanting, new vantage point is well within your reach. Accept the challenge.

You're in charge of your story. Will you add this adventure to it?

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The freefall is not as bad as I thought it would be, rollercoasters are much much worse. Freefall feels like you're going through a giant wind tunnel and you can't be scared because you're too high up. Fantastic experience and I can't wait to do it again.

» Art T.

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