Published: January 16, 2019
Would you ever jump out of a "perfectly good airplane"? Yes? Excellent answer! Okay. Now: Would you ever jump out of a "perfectly good airplane" without your "perfectly good clothes" on? Stumped ya? Riiiiight. Believe it or not, naked skydiving been part (albeit a fringe part) of skydiving culture for as long as anyone can remember. Let's talk a little about naked skydiving: what the huck, why the huck, how the huck and more.
Why Skydive Nude?
There are three major reasons why people skydive in the buff: to talk about it, to have the associated totally-gonzo skydiving photos and videos, and because they just particularly like how it feels. Let's address each separately.
To talk about it: Imagine bringing up at a bar somewhere that you've jumped out of a plane without a stitch of clothing on. That'll make an impression!
For the footage: One thing is for sure: Naked skydiving isn't, like, a sexual thing. In fact, the human body looks a little... well... upsetting, under the jiggly, ripply pressures of freefall. Naked skydiving videos aren't really flattering for anybody if we're being honest. You have to be a bona fide supermodel to pull it off, and even then only the screengrabs look good. That said: check out this naked tandem student playing his violin. Some videos, as you see, are worth it.
Because it feels nice: We're not sure we're down, but hey! Some people really like it. The guy who founded SANS, the Society for the Advancement of Naked Skydiving, for example, has more than 700 naked jumps under his non-existent belt - many of which he did in the Michigan winter. We think OMG OUCH OUCH, but he -- along with the many many members of the Society -- clearly loves ditchin' his stitches for a jump.
Where Can You Skydive Naked?
While naked skydiving isn't allowed everywhere, lots of dropzones take part in this cheeky (tee hee!) tradition. Take Skydive Carolina, for example, where your 100th jump is a naked jump, and the entire plane full of people is expected to jump naked right alongside you. Skydive Orange, in Virginia, was voted "Best Naked Dropzone" by Blue Skies Magazine, based on a series of key points. At Skydive Sky Knights near Milwaukee, they even do winter naked jumps (to which we say nope thank you) and have a separate landing area specifically for nude skydivers (where they're able to stash their clothes for a more dignified return to the hangar).
What Are the Special Considerations for a Naked Skydive?
Skydiving is all about gear, and taking away the layers of fabric between your skin and the outside world necessarily adds a few variables. It's cold up there at altitude, first of all. The parachute gear was made to sit against clothing, not delicate skin. Freefall speeds of 120 MPH and over subject your mortal coil to some seriously brutal flapping. And landings aren't always -- well -- Tinkerbell-gentle. Check out this article about rigging for naked skydiving to get a more specific idea of what we mean.
At the end of the day, making a naked skydive offers entry into a very small brotherhood of other skydiving lunatics who cheerfully bear this idiosyncratic torch of skydiving's wild-and-crazy early days. Make your first tandem skydive at LISC and get on your way to getting certified so you too can play along!