Published: August 17, 2019
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
In the same way playing a car arcade game isn't the same as driving a real car, indoor skydiving is a far cry from the authentic experience. Here's why:
ONE SLICE OF THE PIE
Tandem skydiving can be broken down into five distinct parts - the climb to altitude, exit from the airplane, freefall, canopy flight, and landing.
When you jump indoors, you experience only one facet of a real skydive - freefall.
Freefall is awesome, which is why wind tunnels are popular. But the other parts are awesome too. Limit your scope and you limit your potential for maximal empowerment.
Indoor skydiving does have its place, though. A confined, controlled environment provides optimal conditions for honing skills and fine-tuning techniques.
THE CLIMB UP
At Skydive Long Island, we climb to a jumping altitude of 8,000 to 10,000 feet.
The excitement and anticipation that you experience is mega thrilling. And the energy in the air from you and your fellow first timers is so palpable that it might seem that the butterflies in your collective stomachs are responsible for the ascension.
During the 10ish minutes it takes to get to altitude, you have enough time to pinch yourself and consciously recognize what you're doing, but not enough time to second guess yourself.
You can tell: this is going to be bomb.
THE JUMP OUT
As you prepare to take the leap, you feel soooo alive. You are brave. You are strong. You are a warrior.
The wind in your face. Clouds all around. Nothing but the gorgeous Long Island Sound, twin forks, Westhampton Beach, Atlantic Ocean, Smith Point County Park, Fire Island National Seashore and, if you're lucky on a clear day, even see Montauk and New York City.
You said you'd do it, and you did.
FREEFALL, GLORIOUS FREEFALL
This is the dragon indoor skydivers chase.
Ten seconds after exiting the plane, you achieve your freefall speed of 120 MPH.
Adrenaline bathes your brain. You've never felt so alive. So present. One with everything.
For 30 or 45 soul-nourishing seconds, you're damn-well flying. It lasts a lifetime and also only a moment.
THE FLOAT DOWN
Around 5,000 feet, your instructor will deploy your parachute - or canopy as skydivers call it.
Now comes quiet. You have time to look around. It's peaceful. Beautiful. Magical.
Serotonin steps up the plate in your buzzing brain and you begin to comprehend the magnitude of what you just accomplished.
You are significant. You are worthy. You just jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and life will never be the same.
When your feet touch down on terra firma, your whole body is flushed with exhilaration. You whoop and holler, scream and shout, dance and maybe even cry.
Dopamine takes over, flooding you with feelings of elation, transformation, frigging awe-struck-ation. You feel alive. Emboldened. Enriched.
You've done it. You didn't just fly, you damn-well soared.
If you think you can manufacture this cocktail of awesomeness, think again. There's nothing - absolutely nothing - like skydiving. And we can't wait to prove it to you.