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What Does Skydiving Feel Like?

Tandem Skydiving

Have you ever watched a skydiving video and found yourself asking, “What does it feel like to skydive?” Those jaw-dropping moments captured on film – smiling faces, the insane rush of wind, and the surreal freedom of flight — seem to transport any viewer to an awesome other realm. 

If you’ve ever wondered about the sensations that the exhilarating experience of skydiving holds, you’re in luck! We’re here to unravel those indescribable feelings the best we can – from the moment you realize you’re jumping from a plane (ah!) to the breathtaking descent back to Mother Earth. Let’s dive in!

5 Myths Of Skydiving | Skydive California

Does Skydiving Feel Like Falling? 

Skydiving feels like anything but falling; it feels like self-discovery!! Skydiving is not about plummeting like a rock, but rather soaring through the skies. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each part of a skydive feels like – trust us, we’re experts!  

Ride to altitude. 

The ascent in the plane is full of anticipation – you don’t have a clue what to expect! The nervous jitters are accompanied by physical sensations: the closeness of other jumpers, the camaraderie and laughter resonating throughout the cabin, and the loud blast of wind once the door flings open. And then … you realize you’re in a plane with the door wide open for the first time ever. WHAT is happening!? 

Exit and freefall. 

Whatever you’re expecting the exit to be like, fuhgeddaboudit right now. The length of freefall feels both instantaneous and infinite. And physically? It feels like a bunch of air pressing against you because that’s what’s happening! Oh! And it’s super, super loud. But emotionally? That’s the neat part about freefall. Mentally, freefall gives you a sort of supernatural impression when you realize that you’re actually doing it. Although skydiving is a very talked-about sport, a small percentage end up taking the leap, and at this moment, you’ll realize YOU are one of them. This feeling of empowerment and joy comes across in a huge smile, which makes a picture-perfect moment you can look back on forever. 

Canopy flight. 

Once the parachute opens, the boisterous breeze halts and everything is quiet. At this point, you’ll be able to talk with your instructor* and absorb the sights from a birds-eye. The moment of suspension between the earth and sky provides a unique opportunity for reflection. Of course, the sights are almost dreamlike (especially at sunset), but the mental clarity that comes from this part of the skydive is why many people continually jump. The flight under the parachute allows you to have a moment of mindfulness and truly take in the here and now, and this newfound perspective can be life-changing. 


Swishing back into reality will feel fast – this is called ground-rush. Your perception can be a bit wonky during freefall and under the canopy when you’re higher up because you’ve never really been in that situation before. But, when you’re about 100 feet off the ground and start to see the specifics of the scenery, things get a bit more real! Landing is awesome – your videographer captures the excitement of the moment, you get to hug your friends and family (or us, your new sky fam!), and you have a huge rush of serotonin because YOU DID IT! 

*The most important part of doing a tandem skydive (besides having fun, of course), is to listen to your instructor. They are passionate professionals and want you to have the best time ever! 

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Does Skydiving Feel Like A Roller Coaster? 

Does your stomach drop skydiving? Sometimes. We won’t get all sciency on you, but after a quick physics lesson, it’ll make a lot more sense why skydiving does not feel like falling. The icky (or lovely; however you see it) stomach-drop feeling happens when someone goes from 0 to 100. Or rather, when they begin their acceleration from a point of stagnation. 

When we skydive, the plane is already moving forward, which prevents skydivers from experiencing tummy tingles upon exit from the plane. Jumpers don’t initially fall straight toward the earth, but rather down a wind gradient from the plane’s forward motion – this extra push from the prop is lovingly called “the hill.” 

Fun fact! Skydivers rarely fall straight down. That’s right, the wind still pushes side-to-side up there, even if it’s slight. 

When can you feel that stomach drop? Under the parachute! Initiating turns under the canopy will induce centrifugal force, which can result in the whooshy stomach feeling. If you love this, ask your instructor for more aggressive turns. If this isn’t your jam, let them know! They’ll be able to give you a more docile canopy flight. Communication is KEY. 

So, do you feel like falling when skydiving? Nope – more like flying, in the very best way possible. We gave it our best effort, but this description of how it feels to skydive pales in comparison to the real thing. It is truly indescribable. Come experience the feeling of freefall for yourself! Blues skies!

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