Can you breathe when skydiving? Of course! We want your experience with us to take your breath away, but not literally!
People often ask us how to breathe when skydiving, and the answer is simple: the same way you breathe on the ground! Because jumping from a plane for the first time is overwhelming for most people, it’s easy to forget to do the things we often take for granted, including - believe it or not - breathing! There are a number of skydiving techniques that can make it easier for you to breathe naturally on your first jump, and the good news is these techniques will help calm your nerves all around.
Once you read through our tips for breathing while skydiving, you, too, will be able to answer the question of, “is it hard to breathe while skydiving?” with a confident: “No, it’s simple!”
The first thing you can do to ensure you are comfortable on your skydive actually happens before you even board the plane!
If you find yourself worrying about having trouble breathing when skydiving while you’re still on the ground, practice some breathing techniques while you wait. Take slow, measured breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth to keep yourself calm, focused, and full of oxygen. This technique is also good to use on the plane as you head up to altitude, as well as during the jump. Practicing in advance will make it more natural for you to do before exit and freefall!
Note, those who say they couldn’t breathe while skydiving probably mean that they didn’t breathe. Holding your breath is a natural response to fear - but you have the power to override it!
During the jump, make sure to keep your chin up and your eyes on the horizon. Not only does this make for the best view and the most stable body position, it also helps control the airflow over your face. Once you exit the plane, you will be traveling at 120 mph. Looking straight down will both limit your perspective of the landscape below and cause you to get hit with a blast of 120 mph wind square in the face. It’s much easier to breathe if the air is passing over your nose and mouth instead of into your nose and mouth!
Pro Tip: Keeping your eyes on the horizon also helps those who are scared of heights to keep their head in the game.
Another way to ensure you are breathing during your jump is to do something you might already be doing - screaming! If you are feeling like your breath is caught in your chest, force out a nice loud yell to kickstart the cycle of breathing again. Screaming reminds your body and your brain that if you can breathe out, you can also breathe in! It feels fantastic, and your instructor won’t even hear it over the wind. Shout, shout, let it all out!
Truth talk, when you’re skydiving it’s difficult to even try to think about something other than skydiving! It’s an all-encompassing experience, body, mind and spirit. Be present in the moment. Focus on what’s going on around you - the beautiful landscape, the feel of the wind on your body, or the bird’s eye view that only a fraction of the population gets to experience.
Another way to be in the now both during and after the skydive is to get video of the experience. Smiling at the camera will help you loosen up and not focus so much on whether or not you are breathing, it will just come naturally.
It may seem hard to fathom when you’re doing something as extreme as skydiving, but the main thing to remember before and during your jump is to relax.
Your tandem instructor has at least 500 jumps and is super experienced and credentialed - you’re in great hands! Trust that they’ve got your back, and breathe. The less you actually think about breathing, the easier it will be.
Keep in mind too that freefall will last only about a minute - which, while you’re in freefall, feels like a split second and also an eternity. In reality, you’ll only experience “big wind” for a short time. When your instructor deploys the parachute, you’ll slow down to about 12 mph and breathing will feel normal again.
If you are ready to experience what the air smells like at 14,000 feet, take a deep breath and book now! Blue skies!