Published: July 26, 2017
Skydiving takes about 5-7 minutes from jump to landing, plus 20 minutes or so in the airplane beforehand. It may not sound like a long time, but with so many new sensations happening throughout, your body will go into superhero mode, being hyper aware of every moment. It'll feel like the longest minutes of your life!
Here are a few of the factors that affect how long it takes to skydive.
How Long Does Freefall Last?
Freefall is exactly what it says - falling free through the air with no barriers and nothing holding you back. Incredible, huh?
Freefall is often the bit of the skydive that people love the most, because it's so different to anything you've ever experienced before. If you want to know what it feels like to fly, this is about as close as you're gonna get!
The amount of time you actually get to spend in freefall changes depending on altitude, weight and type of jump.
As a tandem skydiver, for example, you'll jump from 10,000 feet and open your parachute at around 5,000 feet. You'll reach speeds of around 120mph (!) during this time and cover that distance in about 40 seconds.
A solo skydiver falling head first or in a standing up position is more streamlined that a belly-to-earth tandem position, so they'll fall faster. They'll likely spend fewer seconds in freefall and reach speeds closer to 150mph.
How Long Does The Parachute Ride Take?
If freefall is all about thrill and speed, parachuting is almost the complete opposite. Once your parachute opens, everything slows down and gets quieter. The rush of the wind is replaced by complete peace, and you're left with incredible views and a chance to catch your breath and take in what's happening. At this point, your instructor will easily be able to talk to you and point out the sights!
A typical parachute ride takes around 5 minutes from deployment to landing. There are factors that change this, though, such as weight, parachute size and how you fly.
For example, a smaller parachute will descend much faster than a larger one. Heavier people on smaller parachutes will come down a lot faster than a lighter person on a bigger parachute.
We also increase our descent rate when we turn our parachutes. The sport of 'swooping' is all about increasing the speed of descent and to get faster landings and cover more ground. An experienced solo skydiver will probably be under parachute for closer to 3 minutes.
How Long Will I Be At The Skydiving Center?
Though the skydive itself takes just a few minutes, the overall experience is a bit longer.
As a tandem skydiver, when you arrive to the dropzone, one of our team members will get you signed in and sort out any paperwork.
Next, you'll need a brief from one of our tandem skydiving instructors. This lasts around 20 minutes, and covers everything you need to know, from the body position you need to adopt for freefall to the importance of lifting your legs up for landing. We'll also give you some information about the equipment and make sure you know what to expect when your turn to jump comes around.
Then, there's the airplane ride. This usually lasts around 20 minutes, during which you'll take in the views and have the chance to get involved in some crazy skydiver handshakes and pre-jump excitement!
All in all, you can expect to be at the skydiving center for about 2-4 hours, depending on how busy it is on the day and whether there are any weather restrictions. The main thing is that we'll keep you informed throughout your time with us - plus while you're waiting to jump, you can enjoy watching lots of parachutes coming in to land!
If you're ready to skydive, book online today, or get in touch with any questions and we'll be happy to help.
I cannot recommend Finger Lakes Skydivers enough. They did such a good job that I will definitely do this again and I will be returning to Finger Lakes Skydivers to do it.
» Jeremy C.