Over the past few years, skydiving has come back on the scene front and center. Between a growing amount of exposure brought to skydiving from tv and film and an increased presence of adventure influencers on social media platforms, we are willing to bet you have come across a fair share of sweet skydiving footage by now. Likewise, we are sure you have a secure handle on the skydiving “basics”: you take off in a plane, you jump from the plane, you deploy a parachute, and, if all goes well, you land right back where you started. While this is pretty much on target, there’s still a bit more to unearth.
Skydiving is what you would call a “niche sport,” and as such, there is a whole world that remains under wraps. We’re here to share the inside scoop. These are five things you didn’t know about skydiving.
The Scary Part is Not the Skydiving Part!
Honestly, the scariest part of skydiving isn’t the 120 mph fall or the ride beneath the parachute from roughly 5,000 feet to the ground. No, the scariest part of skydiving is the steps leading up to the skydive. The process of preparing for a skydive is often way more nerve-wracking than the actual freefall. This is because those first skydives are much more psychologically challenging than they are physically challenging. To come out on top, you’ve got to be ready to flex your mental chops.
Scared of Heights? You Can Still Skydive!
Generally, people are caught off-guard when they find out that tons of active skydivers have a fear of heights. That’s right. A little case of acrophobia doesn’t have to keep you grounded. Most of the time a fear of heights is exacerbated by objects at a similar height relative to an individual. For example, if you were to climb a tree, you’ve got the references of not only the ground but of other trees to tell you just how high up you are. The same goes for driving across a bridge: those buildings in the distance and the space below make it abundantly clear how far you’d have to fall.
On a skydive, there’s just you, an open expanse of blue, and the horizon. Because your brain lacks a physical reference point to tether to, it is unable to triangulate your position relative to the earth. Since you can’t tell how high you are, you get to cheat your fear of heights!
The Ride Up is As Important as the Ride Down!
So much focus is placed on the ride down that few think about the nuances of the ride up! You may be surprised to know that skydivers are often avid “collectors” and keep track of the different aircraft (and even lighter-than-aircraft) they’ve managed to jump from. This is because the type of aircraft you jump from has an impact on your overall experience. Sometimes, the difference isn’t noticeable. Between other aircraft, it’s like the difference between riding in a Maserati and a MiniVan.
Certain skydiving aircraft affords different experiences. With a Caravan, you can expect a speedy ride to 13,000 feet in the company of your other skydiving friends. But, if your skydiving ride is a Cessna 182, you’ll experience a more intimate affair and an exit from a lower altitude.
Dropzones Sell the Same Thing, But The Experience Can Be Much Different!
While all dropzones sell skydiving, all dropzones are not the same. Here’s an analogous example to show what we mean. All restaurants sell food. However, there is a big disparity between fast food and five stars. Among different restaurants, there are different elements of ambiance and certainly, differences in the quality of the meals served to the patrons.
Skydiving is similar. At certain dropzones, things begin to fall by the wayside, tandem instructors lose their passion, and the overall culture crumbles. This isn’t the type of place where you want to skydive. For the best experience possible, it is imperative to find a facility that takes pride in what it offers and, likewise, where the instructors are engaged and interested in what they are doing. To get a feel for the vibe of the dropzone, be sure to check out their Google Reviews.
Cheapest Isn’t Best
There are times you get what you pay for. Skydiving happens to be one of those times.
Trust us, we want a great deal as much as the next person, but when it comes to skydiving, it isn’t always wise to skimp. Because the cost of a skydive often encompasses the funds required to properly maintain aircraft and equipment and hire knowledgeable professional staff, doing the whole skydiving thing on the cheap isn’t such a good idea!
If you haven’t made a jump, then you still don’t know just how awesome skydiving is. Schedule your jump today with Skydive California, and let us show you!