Published: March 28, 2017
What does it feel like to jump out of an airplane? How does it feel to skydive?
It's an experience that's unlike any other. Skydiving is new and thrilling and exciting and a whole lot of fun! Of course, the best way to find out how skydiving feels is to try it for yourself... in the meantime, let us try to explain how it feels to us.
The journey to altitude
Every skydiving experience starts with the journey to altitude. You'll spend around 15 to 20 minutes on the airplane traveling to heights of between 8,000 and 10,000 feet ready for your jump.
This is a very peaceful time, where people think about their skydive; you may see formation skydivers silently practicing for their jump by visualizing it with their eyes closed, for example. Other skydivers choose to use this time to chat and relax with their friends - skydiving is, after all, a social experience!
As you get closer to the exit altitude, people start to move around and there's an air of excitement. Those people jumping with their own kits will check that everything's in order and tandem skydivers will start their own preparations. It's very common, here at Long Island and the whole world over, for skydivers to wish each other luck with fun handshakes and high fives.
At this point, everyone's really happy. You're about to jump out of an airplane! It's exciting! Smiling, laughing and all round joviality are the order of the moment as you reach your exit point.
Getting to the airplane door
Once it's time to jump, each skydiver will move toward the door in an exit order agreed prior to takeoff. If you're making a tandem skydive, it's likely you'll be one of the last people jumping, so you'll get to see everyone else leave the airplane ahead of you - it's a surreal and awesome view!
Moving toward the door, you'll probably find your senses become highly alert and in many ways, your body's telling you to stay in the airplane! It's facing that fear and overcoming that 'fight or flight' reaction that makes it such a great experience!
As you get closer to the door, you'll hear the rush of the air outside and the sound of the engines grows louder. It might feel a little colder up here too - that's why we advise wearing layers for your jump.
Making your skydive
Now's the time to jump! As a tandem skydiver, you will be briefed prior to takeoff on how to arch your body for the exit and the position to adopt once you're out of the airplane.
First, your instructor will move you to the edge of the door, where you'll hang in front of them with your legs pulled back and your arms across your chest. If you've opted to have your skydive filmed, your videographer will be hanging on the outside of the airplane, so you'll be able to give them a wave at this point too.
The next thing you'll feel is the rush of the wind in your face as you leave the aircraft and enter freefall. There's really no way to describe the feeling you get as you travel toward the earth at speeds of around 150mph!
Perhaps counter-intuitively, skydiving doesn't feel so much like falling. It feels far more like you're being cushioned by the air. This is because you reach a terminal velocity at which you no longer accelerate, and everything feels almost still. The sound of the airplane disappears, replaced with the drone of the wind passing by your ears. You're able to breathe freely and to look around and enjoy the view - or smile and wave some more at your camera flyer!
The parachute ride
After around 60 seconds in freefall, it's time for your instructor to open your parachute.
The sensation of going from freefall at 150mph to gliding gently under an open parachute is unlike anything you've experienced before. All of a sudden, the rush of freefall is taken over by the calm of the parachute ride. Everything slows down, including your descent rate, and with it comes a quiet and peacefulness that is difficult to describe.
The views around Long Island are breathtaking, and the parachute ride is the best time to enjoy them! Your instructor will take the lead in steering the parachute - though they may let you have a go if you'd like - and you are free to enjoy the scenery before you.
The final thing you'll need to think about is the parachute landing. Again, you'll be briefed prior to takeoff on how to lift your legs for landing. Your instructor uses the controls of the parachute to slow it down and finally to bring it to a stop as you both rest, usually in a seated position, on the ground. This is where the sense of achievement takes over; you've done something amazing, and the adrenaline rush wears off, leaving behind a great feeling of pride and happiness.
Do you want to find out for yourself how your skydiving feels? Find out about our first time skydiving courses here, or get in touch if you'd like to speak to any of our team about skydiving Long Island.