Skydiving Facts: What You Don’t Know

Skydiving Facts: What You Don’t Know

Published: February 28, 2023

Going skydiving for the first time can raise a lot of questions ... what does skydiving feel like? ... is skydiving scary? ... can I go skydiving with a fear of heights? ... does your stomach drop when skydiving? These are all such normal questions to consider that they're addressed in our frequently asked questions page! After all, jumping out of an airplane is like nothing your mind or body has ever experienced before.

Not knowing what's ahead can certainly bring up stressful feelings, including anxiety over things you don't even have to worry about when jumping out of an airplane. Instead of wringing your hands over how scary is skydiving, check out these little-known skydiving facts to find out just how (not) scary it is!

tandem skydiving with an instructor

The Actual Skydive Isn't Scary!

Most of the emotional discomfort related to skydiving comes before the actual skydive. It's the anticipation that gets you! Fear of the unknown is one of the most intense varieties of fear, and not knowing what to expect when you exit the plane will do a number on your nervous system.

Sure, careening toward Mother Earth at 120 mph with nothing but string and a sheet of nylon to save you sounds terrifying. But in reality, that's all it is: scary sounding. Doing it is a completely different story.

The hardest part of the skydive is mentally preparing for the jump. Quieting the voice in your head that's constantly reminding you how crazy you are takes some strength. Once you override that, though, the rest is easy peasy!

Crossing the threshold of the airplane door into the wide open sky is liberating in many ways. Not only are you physically free, but your mind will also let go of any anxiety it was harboring about your choice to jump out of an airplane.

And after you leave the plane, there's no going back in! Your mind will recognize this and focus on how amazing the experience is instead of dwelling on fear. You'll acknowledge how incredible the skydive feels, and then you won't be able to think about anything else!

It's Not As Dangerous As You Think

When most people think of skydiving, they think of adrenaline junkies throwing caution to the wind (pun intended). Sure, we love a good adrenaline rush, but that's about as far as that stereotype goes for describing real skydivers. Especially instructors.

Skydiving training, safety protocols, and equipment have come a long way since the beginning of the sport. There's half a century of research and progress invested in both the person and parachute that you will be wearing on your back.

skydiving out of a plane

Your instructor has met a long list of requirements to achieve their tandem rating, including logging a minimum of 500 jumps, completing a rigorous training course, and acing the certification tests. Likewise, the equipment you will be using during your skydive meets all of the required safety standards and has multiple built-in redundancies to act as a backup in case of emergency.

At Skydive Ocean City, we are committed to a culture of safety. Our dropzone has a full-time Safety & Training Advisor, and we adhere to all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and United States Parachute Association (USPA) safety regulations.

According to the USPA, there has been an average of one student fatality in every 500,000 tandem skydives over the past 10 years - and in 2021, there were zero student fatalities. The truth of the matter is, your skydive is statistically less risky than your drive to the dropzone!

Afraid of Heights? No Problem!

It's understandable to think that if you're afraid of heights, there's no way you would be able to climb out of an airplane thousands of feet above the earth. But guess what? There are a ton of licensed skydivers who jump every single day who are afraid of heights!

A fear of heights is typically linked to a fear of falling, and while skydiving technically is falling, you aren't falling completely unsecured. Knowing that you have a parachute and an experienced instructor to catch you minimizes the reaction most people have when they are up high and untethered.

Your mind also perceives skydiving differently than climbing a ladder or standing on a ledge. Because you are SO high up when you are skydiving, your brain doesn't process the height in the same way it would if you were closer to the ground. With no continuous reference from your body to the earth (like a ladder or a cliff wall), it's harder for your mind to recognize the distance. It's like you're flying over a map or a painting!

skydiving with parachute

But, What About The Stomach Drop?

Are you someone who won't ride on a roller coaster because you don't like that falling feeling in your stomach? Then skydiving is perfect for you!

Despite the fact that you're falling through the air at 120 mph, you don't get butterflies in your stomach. (Maybe it's because butterflies can't fly that fast?! Don't ask us, we're skydivers, not scientists.)

In all seriousness, skydiving freefall doesn't feel like falling. Why? Unlike when you're on a roller coaster, where you go from moving slowly or from a dead stop to plummeting down, when you skydive you jump from a fast-moving plane and continue moving mega fast. And then, the lovely laws of physics begin to work their magic. You hit terminal velocity - meaning the force of gravity pulling you down is equal to the air resistance keeping you up - and you feel like you're floating on a column of air. It truly does give the impression that you can fly for the minute that you are in freefall.

OK, now that you can answer all of those daunting questions you were kicking around before, what about booking your jump?! We can't wait to teach you even more about the life-changing awesomeness that skydiving provides!


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