What does it feel like to skydive for the first time?

March 16, 2017

What does skydiving feel like?

The #1 question that customers call Skydive Danielson to ask is, "What does skydiving feel like?" Skydiving has this amazing way of feeling completely different than most people's preconceived notions. Almost everyone walks off the landing area saying things like, "That was nothing like I thought it was going to be, and it was way better!" or "I had no idea how much freedom and beauty I would feel on a skydive!" Skydiving is hard to fully describe, but we'll try to explain how it feels.

Does skydiving feel like falling? 

Freefalling skydiving woman

No! Absolutely not, crazy huh? When most people think about skydiving they imagine a falling sensation. You know that dream where you feel like you are falling, only to wake up clutching your bed sheets? Those dreams can leave us restless and scared! Lucky for us, skydiving doesn't feel anything like that at all. Skydiving is just different - it is really, really windy! It takes your breath away, it brings you a new perspective on the world, it shows you beauty that you didn't know existed.

Does skydiving feel like a roller coaster?

Skydiver after landing

Skydiving does not give you that roller coaster stomach drop sensation. Why not? When you reach the top of a roller coaster, you pause for a split second before plummeting down the tracks at break neck speeds. The key to getting that stomach drop on a roller coaster is that pause right before you accelerate. That pause stalls at 0 mph and then rapidly accelerates up to 100 mph, depending on the roller coaster. 

The reason why skydiving does not give you a stomach drop sensation is because you are flying in an airplane that is moving forwards at 40-80 mph.This means that your body is already moving at that speed when you exit the airplane. Because of this built in speed, your stomach does not drop as you gradually pick up speed to 120 mph.

Ok, so what does skydiving feel like?

Tandem skydiver after landing

Skydiving feels like flying. Skydiving feels like soaring through the sky as a superhero ready to kick some supervillian butt. When you are flying up in the airplane you become very aware of the reality of your decision. It is scary and yet oh so satisfying all at the same time. You are looking adventure straight in the eye and getting yourself psyched up. Once the door opens, a sudden rush of cold wind fills the airplane and goosebumps rise up on your skin. Watching someone jump out the door right in front of you is mind blowing; they are there in the doorway for one second and then they are just gone. Poof! Vanished! It happens so fast you don't have time to process anything. Your instructor tells you to move towards the door and you listen to every word they say. Once you get to the door you look down and see the ground thousands of feet below you. It's really different than people imagine. It's not like being on the edge of a building or at the top of a ladder, there is no ground rush sensation, you just jump out. 

While freefalling at 120 mph your mind is trying to comprehend the sensations and sights you are seeing. Your brain has trouble keeping up with what's happening. We call this feeling 'sensory overload'. It's like your brain is stuck in the airplane still looking down at the ground long after your body has exited and is in freefall. Skydiving is windy, adrenaline pumping and intense. Words can not fully explain it. By the time your parachute opens your brain was just getting used to the feeling of freefall. It is over before you are ready for it to be and it's hard to clearly remember exactly what just happened. Our customers will watch videos of their first skydives and not recall all the details until they see it on video. Your mind has trouble remembering your first skydive because of sensory overload. 

How long are you in freefall for when skydiving?

The freefall length will depend on the altitude that exit the airplane from. Skydiving facilities normally exit their customers at either 10,000 ft or 14,000 ft depending on the type of airplane they have. A 14,000 ft skydive delivers a 60 second freefall while a 10,000 ft skydive is just 30 seconds of freefall. Skydive Danielson exits from an altitude of 14,000 ft.

Learn more about: How high is a tandem jump?

Why do people like the feeling of skydiving?

Tandem skydiver in freefall

Simply put, the sensations that skydiving gives you after you land are incredible. You feel like a million bucks, like you can do anything. And the cool part? You really can do anything because you just jumped out of an airplane for the first time. Skydiving gives you a feeling of empowerment. Freefall feels awesome but the after effects feel even better. It is not an exaggeration to say that skydiving has changed the lives of many people due to this feeling of accomplishment and empowerment.

The more skydives you make, the clearer your brain is able to process everything that happens. Each skydive that you go on you will be able to take in more information and see, feel, hear, taste and smell everything that is around you. Skydivers get addicted to the sensation of living in the moment because it makes them feel alive and helps to quiet their mind.

Is Skydiving Scary?

Yes and no. The lead up to skydiving is way scarier than skydiving itself - the anticipation is the hard part. Just like climbing up the track on a roller coaster, the anticipation of a skydiving leaves your tummy feeling all kinds of sensations. It is common for our customers to show up with shaky hands and nervous smiles. Riding in the airplane is really the hardest part - this is where many customers second guess themselves and find themselves wondering, "Why am I skydiving?!". 

The good news? Once you exit the airplane you are completely 100% living in the moment. There is no more time for fear as your brain is consumed with the sensations of skydiving. You can't think of fear because your brain just can not process so many things at one time. 

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