If you are considering – or have already booked – that first skydive, you are probably feeling nervous about the unknowns. Not in the least about the fact that skydiving will most definitely change your point of view about many things, and possibly even your life.
BUT – we get it. You got the jitters. A big factor in getting yourself to the dropzone and into that airplane is to be well informed. Here are our top 7 Tips to making your day at the dropzone as relaxed as it can possibly be:
1. Practice Basic Self Care
Everyone has personal techniques and habits for dealing with nerves and stress. Part of basic self-care is showing up to the dropzone hydrated and well rested. Make sure you’ve eaten something, and pack a lunch and snacks. Make simple informed decisions like what to wear for comfort and safety. Decide before the big day if you want to purchase photos and/or a video package to relive and share your big adventure so you don’t have to make that decision at the dropzone.
If you have never been to a dropzone or seen skydivers in action, make the time to visit. Get to know the layout and the general area. Sometimes finding the location is the biggest hurdle when it comes to trying new things. Also – Long Island Skydiving Center is super easy to access – here are directions.
If possible, spend some time at the dropzone a few weekends ahead of your jump. Being a spectator is a great way to understand that EVERYONE is nervous on their first jump. Watching the tandem skydivers getting ready as they load into the plane will help you understand some of what you will be experiencing. Even better is seeing those tandems come in for landing and feeling the shared sense of celebration and excitement on the field. That will be YOU, celebrating in just a few days or weeks!
3. Review The Risks of Skydiving
There will be a lot of forms to fill out. Some of them might make you want to reconsider your jump. Yes, there are risks. And you will be asked to sign your name, and you will be required to accept the risks of jumping out of an airplane. You need to understand that things can go wrong.
But – you can comfort yourself with the reality that skydiving goes on all day, every day, all over the world. And the statistics are definitely on your side for a safe and awesome experience.
4. Watch Tandem Skydiving Videos
Make an effort to fill some of your spare time with fun videos of skydivers doing their first tandem jump. There are lots of YouTube videos out there for your viewing pleasure (a bunch of them on our very own YouTube Channel).
Leading up to your first jump, you can only imagine yourself in those scenarios. Videos help you visualize what the experience will be like – and help you calm the jitters by being in the know. Check out Stephanie’s jump for example:
5. Ask Questions
Dropzones are in the business of creating an unforgettable experience for their customers. They know you likely have zero bandwidth for understanding the regulations around skydiving, the gear, suits, and planes.
But your first tandem skydive is designed to be a safe learning experience for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is not clear or you are just curious to know more.
6. Your Instructor Cares
Tandem instructors have jumped hundreds (and often thousands) of times, and they have a real passion for sharing this extraordinary experience. Remember that your instructor is there for you. Their entire focus is on your individual and positive experience. It is your instructor’s job to make sure you feel completely safe and secure before, during, and after exiting the plane and landing back on the ground.
So take a deep breath and feel the nervous tension melt away. Know some awesome human has your back. Acknowledge the intensity of this new experience. Then just live the moment.