Published: August 29, 2016
Skydiving is an incredible experience. But you're not just along for the ride! Find out what you can expect and the role you'll play on your first skydive.
It's Not A Carnival Ride
Skydiving isn't a carnival ride. It's a sport in its own right, one in which we as jumpers play an important role.
If your first jump is a tandem skydive, you'll be accompanied by a highly experienced instructor. They'll be the ones wearing the parachute and operating the equipment. But you still play an important part in the jump.
On the day of your skydive, you'll receive a full brief which will prepare you for what you need to do. You'll learn about the following:
Exiting The Aircraft
One of the most exciting and also the most important parts of your skydive is the exit from the aircraft.
Even if you consider yourself not to be at all afraid of heights, there are few people who can hand on heart, say they weren't nervous in that door. Looking out at the sights before you, seeing the ground so far below - it's enough to give anyone butterflies!
Your body position when you exit the aircraft influences how smooth that exit is and how easy to control for your instructor. Whether you exit from a seated or standing position, you'll be asked to ensure your legs are tucked under your instructor and your head leant back against his/her chest, putting your body into an arch.
This arch is what keeps you stable in freefall. Think of it like a shuttlecock in badminton; the heavy mid part of the shuttlecock is mirrored in the arch of your hips, meaning you fall in a stable position toward the earth. Without this, and even with your instructor, there's a chance you would barrel roll, or even spin, which can reduce the control your instructor has and put you in a far less comfortable position.
Don't Forget To Breathe Normally
It's not uncommon for people to think it will be difficult to breathe in freefall. But that's not the case. It's perfectly possible to breathe normally, even as you fall toward the ground at 120mph.
The only reason you wouldn't be able to breathe is that you forgot! It's easily done; there's so much happening that you can experience something called 'sensory overload' as you leave the plane.
We suggest letting out a scream as you jump. No, really! It's a great way to remind yourself that you can breathe. And that's the first step to doing it!
From that point, remember to breathe normally. If you have a camera person filming you, be sure to smile!
Prepare For Landing
The landing is another incredibly important part of the skydive. Again, you play a really important role in this, keeping yourself and your instructor safe.
On a tandem skydive, you're attached to your instructor, who is behind you. As you come in to land, you can basically land on the rear wheels (your instructor's legs) or the nose wheel (your legs).
The thing is, your instructor has loads of practice in landing a parachute. You don't. There's a risk that you could hurt yourself if you try to put your feet down first. That's why it's so important you lift up your legs for landing.
The easiest way to do this is to put your hands under your knees and lift up your legs to 90 degrees in front of you.
Thank you all for a great experience. It was one for the memory book!
» Mason J.