Can You Pass Out While Skydiving?

Can You Pass Out While Skydiving?

Published: December 30, 2022

Skydiving is the epitome of extreme sports, so it's totally normal to be a bit weary of all the "unknowns" of your first jump! Let us assure you that passing out, getting sick, or anything else undesirable happening is extremely rare and usually totally preventable. What does skydiving feel like? Does it feel like you'll pass out? Nope! It's difficult to describe the feeling of skydiving to someone who hasn't experienced it - imagine trying to describe what coffee tastes like to someone who has never seen a coffee bean! You truly just have to do it!

How to Not Pass Out Skydiving

Fainting while skydiving occurs because of four primary reasons, starting with the most common:

  1. Dehydration or low blood sugar
  2. A medical condition (or just feeling yucky the day of the jump)
  3. Cracking open one too many cold ones ...
  4. Having an extreme fear associated with skydiving (acrophobia, aerophobia, etc.) resulting in being super overwhelmed

Let's jump into how each one of these potential instances can be prevented before doing a full-send from a "perfectly good airplane."

how to not pass out while skydiving

1. Be Sure to Eat & Drink

Not staying hydrated or eating enough prior to skydiving is the #1 culprit of causing people to feel unwell at best and flake out at worst. For some reason, many people think that they need to fast for hours before their jump - do not do this!! When we deprive our bodies of necessary nutrients and hydration, things can start to get a little wonky.

Fasting for too long releases a stress hormone called cortisol into your blood. A spike in cortisol basically throws your body into a "fight or flight" response ... spiked blood pressure, higher than normal heart rate, an upset tummy ... all these are biggg no-nos for your first skydive when you're supposed to be having the absolute time of your life! These symptoms, mixed with dehydration can lead to dizziness, headaches, and even nausea. We're not saying to chug 64oz of water and eat five corndogs right before your jump (in fact, please don't), but staying hydrated and eating as you normally would in moderation is the way to go!

2. Take Your Health Seriously

If you have a diagnosed medical condition, be sure to consult with your physician prior to your jump. Heart conditions, diabetes, and unaddressed extreme anxiety are a few of the maladies that could lead to feeling a bit woozy during the skydive. In these instances, it's always better to get the green light from the doc beforehand. Rest assured, there are plenty of seasoned skydivers who jump with stabilized medical conditions and are just fine!

If you wake up the morning of your jump feeling sick, it's recommended to reschedule your skydive for another day. Firstly, we want you to have the best possible experience and memory of jump day. And secondly, we don't want to get sick! Being sick means your body is already in an uncommon and stressed state - it's best to rest and recover instead of pushing through and potentially having a bad time.

3. Stay Sober

The FAA requires that the final sip of alcohol be at least 8 hours prior to doing a parachute jump. HOWEVER, your tandem instructor would be super appreciative if you avoided the hard stuff for a little longer than that. Drinking can lead to dehydration, an angry stomach, and headaches ... if you wake up feeling like you got hit by a bus, chucking your body from a plane at terminal velocity won't do you any favors. To be safe, lay off the sauce the day before your jump; this will ensure you're feeling tip-top to have a great skydive.

skydiving experience

4. Take Deep Breaths

Debilitating fears and anxiety rarely cause fainting. If your heart rate is through the roof and fear grips your body, we know it can be pretty rough. It's important to prepare yourself for the skydive by talking with your therapist or close friends and family, practicing being mindful in stress-inducing situations, and communicating your fear with your instructor.

NO, we will not invalidate or laugh at you. Our job is to assure you that your safety is at the forefront of our minds and that we're there to help you in any way we can. Your instructor (no matter how much of a "chaaa vibes bro dude" they look like) is a trained and dedicated professional who will be able to make sure you don't feel alone and can help you if you start to feel engulfed by fear.

What Happens If You Pass Out While Skydiving Alone?

Skydiving solo is a very rewarding feat - it's beautiful and glorious and all the good stuff in life! But, aren't we scared of something bad happening to us when we're up there all alone? What if you hit your head on the door while exiting? What if someone becomes a meat missile, hurtles towards you at 100mph and WHAM!? We have what's called an Automatic Activation Device (AAD) secured in our rig that will deploy our reserve parachute for us in the event that we can't deploy the main parachute.

Skydive parachute

Basically, the AAD is a teeny tiny computer that calculates two things: altitude and velocity. If the AAD notices that you're falling pretty dang fast at a lower than desired altitude, it will trigger a small blade to cut the release for the reserve canopy and get it above your head. That's right, if you're too out of it to deploy your parachute, the AAD is designed to do it for you. All of our tandem rigs are equipped with AADs that are checked on every single skydive.

Don't let the fear of passing out while skydiving deter you from making the leap! Book today and don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, concerns, or anything else we can help you out with.

I never thought I'd be brave enough to jump, but I'm so glad I did.

» Jaclyn Wolinski | Read More Testimonials