Falling from 10K Feet: What to Expect When Skydiving

Ahhhhh! After our skydiving experience Sunday, I have received a great deal of inquiries on what to expect, how I felt, what to wear – deets on the whole gig! Why not write a post that will further explain all of that?

Now, let’s keep in mind that everyone’s experience is different.  You will be working with a different company.  You will have a different crew.  You will have different air conditions than I did.  You will have different reasons as to why you want to complete your jump so how you internalize your time in the sky will different.  I’m sharing my feelings, my personal experience and how I prepared for my first jump from 10,000 feet in the air.

So, first things first: the type of skydiving I completed is called tandem skydiving. During a tandem skydiving experience there will be two people completing the skydive: you and your instructor.  You are the student in this instance and the instructor will teach you how to prepare for jumping out of the plane, how to hold your body during freefall, what to expect when the parachute deploys, and how to land. It costs a little more than skydiving on your own, but I haven’t seen one place that will allow for you to skydive without proper training! Because you are connected to the tandem instructor, you won’t need much instruction besides the afore mentioned lessons.

Before you go skydiving:

Research the company that you will be jumping with and don’t be afraid to call them and ask them any question you can think of! You want to know that you’re going to be safe and in the hands of professionals. 
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Also, read up on what to expect (as you are doing right now) so that you can better prepare in your mind what will be happening. You will be required to get into a plane, not to mention you will be jumping from it and be moving so fast that you can’t even scream, so if you know you experience motion sickness make sure you prepare for that (and let your instructor know).
Schedule a morning time to complete your jump.  Because weather conditions are never what the weatherman predicts, it is best to schedule a morning jump.  Just in case you have to wait because of a delay due to weather (like we had), you may still have a chance of jumping in that day. We had an hour and a half delay but it was fine – better safe than sorry, right?
Eat light.  If you are nervous that this will be your last meal, eat it the night before.  While you will need nourishment, know your limitations.  Do you eat full meals right before you go swimming or on a roller coaster? I can’t so I don’t. To each its own, though.
Pack light.  You don’t need to bring anything other than your ID and some cash.  That’s it.  Leave everything else at home.  You won’t need your wedding rings (will be required to take them off), jewelry of any kind (especially dangle earrings, necklaces or bracelets), and even clothing that has a lot of loops/zippers is discouraged (more of a chance it can get snagged onto something). Well I brought a bottle of water, too… but you know what I’m saying! Leave your kitchen sink in the kitchen.
Wear comfy clothes and dress for the occasion. Acceptable clothing would be long sleeve t-shirts, sweats, yoga pants, leggings, jeans, sneakers… comfy wear.  You are jumping out of a plane, not making a fashion statement, so avoid low-cut shirts, tank-tops, shorts, flip-flops/sandals… yea.  None of that.  We ended up going to Wal-Mart (only store in town) to purchase sweatshirts and jackets.  Not only was a cool that day (around 63 degrees F), but you will be falling from a high altitude which means it will be cold up there, too! We’re thinking around 32 degrees, give or take.  Pack a sweater.
If you want video, be prepared to pay a little extra.  Companies typically charge anywhere between $50-$100 for a video of your experience in the sky.  We got our jump captured on tape and it’s simply magical looking at everything – I saw my fear dwindle before my eyes! How cool is that?! Reliving that moment is something else, I tell you…
When you arrive:
Pay attention to the video.  Take it all in, understand what is required of you and adhere to all safety precautions.  It’s better to be safe than to be sorry… especially if the sorry is preventable on your part.
Be prepared to sign your life away. 13. Pages. At minimum.  You literally are signing your life away – they own you. And if you are injured or worse case scenario you die, no one can sue on your behalf. All rights to your life have been relinquished.
When it’s time, you will be introduced to your tandem instructor.  Become his or her best friend!  I asked sooooooo many questions, asked for him to make sure I fully understood what was required of me by practicing, and just imposed on his personal space.  We were going to be latched together on a 10K drop from the sky, he literally had my life, so why not?  My tandem instructor jumped more than 2,200 times and had 17 jumps to complete that day.  He also has a family, more than 10 years of experience, and had jumped from 17K before.  I learned all of that because it made me feel more comfortable and he understood.  I said all of that to say BE IN OPEN COMMUNICATION WITH HIM OR HER! If you are uncomfortable, tell them. If you ever decide that you don’t want to jump – TELL THEM! They aren’t there to make you do things you don’t want to do, they are there for your safety. 
It’s time for take-off:
Enjoy the moments.  Harnessing up.  Walking to the aircraft.  Riding in the aircraft. Standing on the aircraft.  Free-falling.  Deploying the chute and coasting.  Landing.  TAKE IT ALL IN!  All of those instances hold magic and new perspective.  Enjoy the moments leading to the big leap.  Take it all in and subside your nerves.  
Conquer your fear. Was I nervous?  Hell yea I was!  Did I let that stop me from taking it all in? Hell no I didn’t!  We all have fear the unknown, but I knew my FAITH had to be LARGER THAN MY FEARS! 
This whole experience has increased my faith and made me a better person.  Maybe it will have that effect on you, maybe not, but I know there are no limits to what I can achieve in life.  If I can jump out of a plane, what is there in life that I can’t do? 
Should you decide to embark on this experience, I pray that you enjoy it as much as I did.  Put your fears on the menu and DEVOUR THEM!
More questions?  Leave them below! Have you been skydiving?  If so, share your experience(s) below!
  • Great Post! Looks like a great experience. I’ve always wanted to try skydiving but been to afraid to. Hopefully I’ll get up the courage to try it soon. Thanks for the info.