Liquid courage might have been the reason you finally signed up for that skydive, but don’t expect a shot of the hard stuff to help you tackle your jitters on the day of your jump. We get the inquiry pretty regularly: can you drink and dive? The answer is a resounding no. This isn’t a rule made up here at Long Island Skydiving Center either. As parachute operations are, in part, under the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration, this edict comes straight from the top.
Federal Aviation Regulation Part 105 Sec.105.7 as stated in the Skydiver Information Manual provided by the United States Parachute Association states: “No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in command of an aircraft may allow a person to conduct a parachute operation from that aircraft, if that person is or appears to be under the influence of-
a) Alcohol, or
a) Any drug that affects that person’s faculties in any way contrary to safety.”
Can you consume alcohol before your skydive at Skydive Long Island?
As members of the USPA and an entity also under the purview of the FAA, the answer is no. The consumption of alcohol prior to skydiving activities is strictly prohibited.
Aside from violating federal regulations, there are many reasons why drunk skydiving is a monumental mistake.
Increased Likelihood of Dehydration
Alcohol is a diuretic, and as such, removes fluids from your blood through the renal system. Because alcohol causes your body to actively remove fluids, drinking and diving make you more susceptible to experiencing dehydration. As the symptoms of dehydration can mimic and even exacerbate common symptoms of altitude sickness, if you were to attempt to skydive drunk, you would experience headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Makes a Mess Drunk skydiving is a sure-fire way to really make a mess of your day. Not to be too vivid here, but drinking before a skydive pretty much guarantees you’ll meet your lunch more than once. Aside from the unpleasantness of such an exchange, who honestly wants to spend the entire skydive feeling sick to his or her stomach? We know we don’t.
Gets In The Way Of A Good Time
Alcohol can have considerable effects on the brain, and so, attempting to drink and dive interferes with your mental and physical capacity to fully enjoy a skydive. A few of the severe effects drinking can have on your skydive are slow reaction times, blurred vision, and impaired memory.
Even on a tandem skydive, you will have a role to play. If your reactions are delayed, you cannot fulfill this role. Under the influence of alcohol, you may not be able to respond quickly enough to your instructor at several pivotal moments during the skydive. This puts you at risk for injury.
Part of the fun of skydiving at Long Island Skydiving Center is taking in the sights. If you have blurred vision, that’s a bust.
Last but not least, the experience of a skydive goes by nearly in the blink of an eye. How can you expect to recall the thrill if you’ve deadened your ability to remember the experience at all?
Hopefully, with our explanation, it’s a bit easier to see why drunk skydiving is a pretty bad idea.
What Else Should You Not Do Before Skydiving?
As you’ve read, drinking alcohol before skydiving is a big no-no. But did you know there is one other activity that skydiving should never be paired with?
Though seemingly innocuous, scuba diving right before skydiving could have serious, even life-threatening, consequences. It’s important to be sure to space out the two activities appropriately. Otherwise, you can run the risk of developing Decompression Illness. If you’re interested, we’ve written an article that concentrates on skydiving and scuba.
How to Prepare for a Great Skydiving Experience
Now that we have covered the pre-skydiving don’ts, it’s time to get into the pre-skydiving do’s. Here’s how to prepare for a great skydiving experience.
Sure, it’s easier said than done, but succumbing to the whirring of your anxious mind won’t do you any good. Two great ways to help cut down on your pre-jump stress are to practice focusing on your breathing and to do a bit of reading on our website. The first will help you continue to be mindful if, at any point, you begin to feel overwhelmed. The second will provide you with the knowledge you need to ensure you are fully prepared for this adventure and, likewise, instill you with the confidence you need to face it head-on.
Catch Those Zzzz’s
Sleep is the body’s reset button. It helps keep your internal organs in tip-top shape and enables your brain to function properly. Since you’ll need to be firing on all cylinders the day of your jump, it’s important to come fully rested for your skydive.
As we mentioned above, dehydration can cause symptoms very similar to altitude sickness. In order to keep yourself feeling your best on the day of your jump, it’s imperative that you stay hydrated. There’s no need to feel like you have to chug water. Just try to emulate your normal daily water consumption.
Eat a Light Meal
Skydiving on an empty stomach is downright unpleasant. Skydiving on an overly full stomach might be even worse. On the day of your skydive, err on the side of lighter fare and bring along healthy snacks to help keep hunger at bay if your experience increased wait times.