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Published: January 31, 2022
How much do you really know about skydiving? If you've never done it before, chances are you're coming up short on your skydiving facts. You probably think it's cool, and you're definitely right about that. You might think jumping out of a plane is something everybody should do at least once, and we certainly agree with you there. What else comes to mind? Maybe, what does skydiving feel like? Or, is skydiving scary? Or the age- old question: does your stomach drop when skydiving?
Let's get these and some other common questions answered so that what you know starts to edge out what you don't know ...
Being that we humans are land-dwelling bipeds, our brains tell us to be scared of jumping out into the big blue sky. It's a healthy fear to carry around - but one that shouldn't be debilitating if you know what you're doing or are under the supervision of highly trained and experienced skydivers. Modern-day skydiving technology is sophisticated and the training required to fly it is extensive. We have now perfected the art of skydiving to the point that the perceived risk is greater than the actual risk involved. So, how scary is skydiving? A little bit scary, but only until you are doing it - then it's not scary at all!
Throughout your skydiving experience you will feel surprisingly secure. Being scared of heights has a lot to do with feeling vulnerable, such as thinking you might fall off a cliff or over a railing. When skydiving, you will find things reassuring as you progress through each step of the process, and your fear of heights won't necessarily be triggered in the way you think it might.
During freefall, the rushing wind creates a tangible force that supports your body position and even allows for control. You don't feel like you are falling; you feel like you're floating. While flying under the parachute back to the landing area, you're connected at the shoulders to your instructor and the parachute and you feel sturdy hanging underneath. You still won't feel like you're falling, so you can relax and enjoy the view. Pinky swear.
OK ... does your stomach drop when skydiving? No! It does not. When you exit through the door, your momentum is actually traveling forwards at the same speed as the plane. Over the next several seconds, you arc gracefully through the air as gravity takes over. During freefall, skydiving feels both fast and smooth - and there is no jiggling around that will cause the contents of your stomach to reappear.
This is also true of the parachute part. A skydiving canopy deploys in stages that are carefully tuned to slow you down from terminal velocity (around 120mph) without putting unreasonable pressure on your body. And while parachutes can be flown dynamically with swoops and dives, they are also capable of being piloted very gently.
If you feel green around the gills during your skydive, it's likely due to not eating enough (or eating too much) or not drinking enough water. Take care of your body before you jump by eating normally and getting a good night's rest.
Tandem skydiving is presented as a bucket list adventure item, but it is also a complex sport that includes a multitude of forms and disciplines that can take a lifetime to master. For many who pursue it, skydiving is a way of life and an escape from the mundane, and the dropzone is their home away from home. The skydiving community is a huge and international family that can offer you endless adventures near and far. It all starts with that very first jump, and only gets more interesting, engaging, and epic from there.
What does skydiving feel like? It feels like the best thing ever. The only way to find out is to do it. Come and jump with us! Blue skies!
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