“What goes through your mind when you’re skydiving?” and, “How does skydiving feel?” These are questions those curious about making a first jump often ask. The most popular question, though, is probably “Does skydiving feel like a roller coaster?”
There’s so much to think about with this engagingly complicated and yet beautifully simple sport that gives us the gift of human flight: skydiving. Learning about what happens when you skydive will answer a number of these common questions. Let’s get into it –
Training: What Goes Through Your Mind When You’re Skydiving?
When you tandem skydive, you are securely harnessed to a highly-trained instructor who guides you through the experience, from wheels up to touch down. Tandem skydiving empowers everyday individuals to access the transformational experience of skydiving with only a few minutes of training. A tandem skydive is an amazing way to learn what skydiving is all about, allowing you to savor every part of it with an uncluttered head. In other words, what goes through your mind is: WOOOHOOOOOO!
Learning to skydive solo is a challenging and highly rewarding adventure that will change your life. The USPA-sanctioned Accelerated Freefall Program (AFF) is a comprehensive curriculum that builds a foundation of skydiving skills. As you progress through the program, you assume more responsibility from your instructors. What goes through your mind while learning to skydive is a full checklist of safety procedures and protocols, followed by WOOOOHOOOOO!
Emotions: What Are the Side Effects of Skydiving?
Whether you’re a tandem student or an AFF student, a day of skydiving is a busy mixture of emotions. It is totally normal to feel both nervous and excited before you go up … while on your way to altitude … and while you’re in the door getting ready to jump. Once you’re back on the ground, you’ll feel supremely lifted and uber relaxed. You know why? BECAUSE YOU FLEW!!
Between the up and the down, there was freefall. That’s the goody. As soon as you exit the plane, that buzzy feeling you had before vanishes and all that’s left is total freedom. Your mind is clear and any anxiety you had evaporates completely.
As you fly through the air at 120 mph, your brain lets you ride high on that big old dose of adrenaline you’d worked up. And then, as your parachute deploys, you’re rewarded with serotonin and dopamine. Everything is right in the world as you float peacefully down to home, sweet, beautiful home.
And get this! The sense of accomplishment, empowerment and reclamation you land with isn’t fleeting! It lasts. Skydiving is, in fact, therapeutic in this way. The positive afterglow you have from skydiving has a ripple effect worth capitalizing on!
Sensations: Does Skydiving Feel Like A Roller Coaster?
Here’s the biggie: “Does skydiving feel like a rollercoaster?” The assumption is that jumping from an airplane will jiggle your insides around and leave your stomach behind. Buckle up, little campers … this is a shocker. Freefall does not feel like falling at all, you feel like you’re floating!!! And this is what goes through your mind as soon as you are outside the plane.
That stomach-through-the-floor feeling comes about when you’re moving slowly or not at all and then plummet down. When you skydive, you jump out of a fast-moving plane and continue moving mega fast. In fact, as the relative wind coming up at you and the gravity pulling down at you equal out, you stabilize and reach maximum speed. This speed, called terminal velocity, is 120 mph for most folks and it feels like you’re riding on a cushion of air. The wind can be manipulated with practice – you can see experienced skydivers cupping their hands or moving their limbs with intention in order to maneuver with precision.
Parachutes, or canopies, deploy in stages making the transition from terminal velocity to canopy flight smooth and measured. Once your canopy is open you are flying again but in a different way. Modern skydiving parachutes are very efficient flying machines, and can perform both gently for those who wish to soak up the scenery, and more dynamically for others whose brains prefer to get wild one more time.
Come and see for yourself what skydiving is all about! Jump with us!