Ah, skydiving; sounds interesting, right? Jumping off a flying plane about 14 000ft from the ground, and the parachute rides back to the ground. But how does it really feel like? This depends on the individual going skydiving. It is rather challenging to capture how it feels in specific words. However, I`ll try;
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Skydiving feels like an amazing out-of-the-world experience. When the flying from the ground to altitude, you yourself can’t even believe what you’re about to do or why you decided to partake of it. But this will pass. Once you’ve reached the ideal height and it’s time to jump off, the ultimate feeling of anticipation takes over, though it fades swiftly. Your instructor will open the door, and within seconds you’ll be in the air skydiving! Faster than the blink of an eye!
You experience not only triggers new physical perceptions but also a flood of strong emotions. Skydiving is somewhat similar to a musical performance where the rhythm gradually crescendos and rises, then progressively softens.
When on the plane, the intensity gradually accumulates as you fly to 14,000 ft. For most people, this 20-minute ride is usually a reality check; you sit alone and ask yourself whether you’re really going to go through with it.
The scariest yet most exciting moment is when you reach the ideal altitude, set up the door, jump off into the air and begin freefalling. Nevertheless, the parachute ride to the ground is highly soothing, and it offers you an exceptional opportunity to appreciate the world’s beauty from an aerial view.
Why do individuals like the feeling of skydiving?
This impressive outdoor activity offers people fascinating feelings of success and empowerment. Plus, you feel euphoric and unstoppable. It’s almost similar to how superman feels while soaring through the air. Again, it gives you a feeling of being free, like you’ve finally unlocked your entire potential, and you can face anything.
After landing on the ground, most individuals feel renewed, more open to new ideas, and ready to face any difficulties that will come their way. Overall, after skydiving, you`ll feel like a new being.
How does skydiving feel physically?
Now that we know how skydiving feels psychologically and mentally, it`s time we delve into how it feels physically;
Typically, when skydiving, you have to wear a jumpsuit explicitly designed for it. It is usually worn over your clothes and can be marginally roomy or tight, depending on your preferences.
The other thing you need to wear is a harness featuring enough padding and straps that safely attach you to your instructor. The harness typically offers a snug fit when in freefall, though it will feel relatively unrestricting on your shoulders when seated in the airplane.
You will as well be handed goggles that will shield your eyes and allow you to keep them open so you can see the beauty the world has to offer. The goggles will be as comfortable as they will be tight to make sure they don’t slide off when freefalling. This is particularly vital for individuals who wear spectacles.
4. Frap hat
A frap hat is a cap made of leather, and it features a chin strap. While it is not the most charming of skydiving accessories, it is essential. They make sure your hair does not distract the instructor. Besides, it offers abrasion shielding in case you require it, and protects the ears from the wind’s noise, and keeps them warm.
5. The ascend
The flight up to altitude is usually a smooth one to avoid spooking beginners. The pilot is supposed to have a Commercial Pilot Certificate given by the FAA. Also, you have to wear a seatbelt, and if you want, you can sit near the window to enjoy the view.
6. The Freefall
We’ve talked about the feeling of exiting the plane and how it feels before jump off it. Again, as mentioned above, the freefall feels like a dream come true; it’s basically flying without falling. With your belly facing the earth, the body is usually maintained by wind resistance, leaving you ample control and allowing you to make various moves.
It’s similar to placing your head outside the window of a moving vehicle; this way, you can feel the wind resistance on your head, but you can comfortably move it around.
7. Opening the parachute
Once you’ve dropped to about 5,000 ft, your instructor will set up the parachute, also referred to as the canopy among skydivers. As you drop, you’re constantly and considerably escalating, and this is where the canopy comes in. It decelerates you from 100 MPH or more to 20 MPH within a few seconds.
It is almost similar to hitting the emergency brakes on a speeding vehicle. However, your weight is evenly distributed in a harness with multiple straps compared to a single seat belt. While some individuals feel rather uncomfortable when opening the canopy, not everyone feels this way.
8. Parachute flight
After the flush of adrenaline from the freefall, it’s now time to dial it down with the canopy flight. Once the instructor sets up the parachute, you’ll be positioned in an upright manner with the most weight focused on the extensive leg pads, almost like being on a swing.
This is the skydiving part that can be gratified only by you. Feeling like soaring through the air? Done. Feel like twisting and turning or dropping with your stomach facing up? Done. If you want to dive in a specific manner or not, you should give your instructor a heads up. Normally, most people get sick as a result of having a wild time under the parachute.
Contemporary canopies are engineered to develop a slight lift before landing, meaning that they’re incredibly soft and highly controlled. There is close to no fall before touchdown. Nevertheless, there may be a slight increase in speed before landing, but once you lift your legs, you`ll make sliding effortless.
Does landing hurt?
This is a question that most beginners ask, followed by whether it is dangerous?
Even though skydiving is always a risk, the landing is usually controlled by the canopy; thus, it shouldn’t be painful. Most landings are easy, and you should touch down on your bottom or feet. If possible, skydivers are advised to land into the wind, helping keep the procedure gentle.
And while some people perceive that skydiving does not offer you any control, honestly, the modern parachutes are way more advanced and provide a softer landing. Here are some things to know about landing;
- You should decrease descent and frontward motion as you reach the ground
- Try landing on your bottom or feet
Make sure you remember these critical pointers, as they will come in handy to help attain a comfy landing. When on tandem skydiving, the instructor mainly controls this process, making it easier and more comfortable.
Note: It is vital to lift your legs when landing to make it gentler.
Generally, skydiving is fun, comfy, and safe. Therefore, when you think of how complicated your landing will be, remember it is similar to jumping from a seat or a similar surface to the ground.
In addition, depending on the weather, particularly wind, your instructor might suggest sliding into the landing zone on your bottom. Also, always remember it is crucial to follow the instructions given by your instructor.
Benefits of skydiving
Besides making you feel unstoppable, empowered, and accomplished, skydiving does come with other fantastic advantages. These benefits go way beyond the big smile on your face after you’re done. You’ll be a better person who’s done several skydives, and you’ll continue coming back for more!
Here are four excellent benefits of skydiving;
1. Healthier stress response
One of the essential keys to leading a healthy life is to prepare your body and mind to effectively, correctly, and instantly respond to stress. Considering how vital it is, it’s shocking how few individuals actually remember this information.
Instead, most people have decided to rely on other ways, sometimes unhealthy, to cope with stressful situations, like medicine and other chemicals, which are poor fixes. It’s just like using a band-aid on a gunshot wound.
Want to cope with stress in the most fantastic way? Go skydiving.
This is an excellent training ground for someone under stress. It lets you experience stress from a framework of controlling risks, which comes in handy in keeping the brain focused, flexible, and supple.
You’ll identify your coping mechanisms and tame them. Once you do, you’ll notice improved performance and more confidence at home and work.
2. Improved mood
Skydiving is a sport, and as with all sports, it helps improve your mood in lasting ways. Also, it comes with the same advantages as other kinds of workouts, including less negative thoughts, a distraction from stress, fewer stress hormones, and significantly more endorphins.
All these benefits combined, this experience sets you up for an exceptional windfall of leisure and optimism. One more thing, the relationship among the people in the skydiving community assists in manifesting these effects.
Lasting friendships and bonds are created when landing among different like-minded people who’re there for a jump. Honestly, the fast relationships developed here aid in achieving a magnificent context to a healthier life.
3. Enhanced general awareness
As mentioned above, you’re given transparent glasses to wear when skydiving to offer you a clear view. When free falling, you’ll only have one task, to focus on everything happening around you. As your awareness improves while you’re in the sky, it will improve once you land as well.
You’ll begin noticing this after a couple of jumps; you’ll be the one noticing the small things like that coffee mug that’s entangled by your friend’s headphone, that pen that’s about to drop, it’s simply amazing and a bit magical, and best of all it’s real!
4. Better sleep
This is a fantastic, life-changing activity that will put a great smile on your face for an incredibly long time. From the eagerness of your first experience to the delight of jumping off that plane to the impressive euphoria burst when landing, you’re simply setting yourself up for a couple of good naps.
Gather courage, book an appointment with a reliable skydiving company, and actually show up so that you can finally experience all these amazing benefits that skydiving has to offer.
Who can go skydiving?
Skydiving, like many other outdoor activities, cannot be done by everyone. It is a sport open to all people who’ve reached 16 years. However, participants less than 18 years require a signed approval letter from their guardian or parent.
Again, if you’re 40 years, most companies will need you to consult a doctor and come with a signed medical certificate. On the other hand, despite your age, it is always a good idea to consult your physician to ensure that you’re okay to jump.
Normally, the maximum age for many companies is 60, though while rare, people over 60 years mark special occasions by skydiving. Furthermore, skydiving is typically limited to people with less than 100 Kgs in terms of weight.
Tandem skydiving has also made this outdoor activity less scary for inexperienced skydivers and people with disability. Now anyone of age 16 or more can comfortably go skydiving without being terrified.
On top of that, you can visit the closest drop zone; the skydivers are welcoming and friendly and are always happy to entertain new members. Even though your first jump might be scary, just remember that everyone you meet on the landing zone was once a novice like you. In case you’re having doubts about this amazing sport, take it slow, and soon when you see how amazing this sport can be, you will overcome your fear.
One of the best things about this outdoor activity is that the experience is different for everyone. Each one has a different reason for starting it out, to boost confidence, to reduce stress, to overcome a particular fear, or simply love the adventure. Whatever reason you might have, if you feel you want to skydive, don’t just think about it, do it! The best way to know how it feels is to experience it.