Anything you do for the first time is bound to provoke A LOT of questions – especially when it comes to your first time skydiving! We love to answer all of your burning questions because, let’s be honest, we looove to talk about our amazing sport. Ergo, we’ve compiled this list of your top tandem skydiving questions, along with their answers!
HOW MUCH IS SKYDIVING?
A tandem skydive in New York can cost anywhere from $200 to $300 depending on at which dropzone you choose to jump, which skydiving package you purchase, if you decide to add on photos and/or videos (totally worth it), and which day of the week you decide to go.
At Long Island Skydiving Center, our tandem skydiving rates start at $239! We offer a generous discount if you book a skydiving reservation online ahead of time; for example, a weekend tandem purchased on-site is $298, but if you book it online ahead of time it is just $259. It pays to plan ahead! From there, you have the choice to add on one of four media packages; a high quality video of your entire experience from start to finish ($99), still photos of your skydive ($99), video AND stills ($129), or video/stills AND some skydiving swag ($139).
One of the biggest regrets we hear all of the time is not getting the video of their jump. Skydiving is a life-changing adventure that you’ll want to relive over and over again. With the video, you’ll always have the memory to relive and share with your friends and family. At Long Island Skydiving Center, we capture your entire experience from wheels up to feet down.
HOW FAST DO YOU FALL WHEN SKYDIVING?
The average freefall rate on a tandem skydive is clocked at a zippy 120+ mph. That number can vary depending on the weight of the object (or human) that is falling, the shape (or body position), and the amount of drag (air resistance) that is presented to the wind.
Once these numbers are all balanced, you’ll reach your terminal velocity – a.k.a. the fastest speed you’ll reach as you fall through the sky. This phenomenon is why skydiving doesn’t feel like you’re uncontrollably flailing and falling as if you were to jump off of a high dive or cliff.
WHAT TO WEAR SKYDIVING?
The best rule of thumb when choosing what to wear for your first time skydiving is to dress like you’re going to work out; closed-toed shoes and comfortable clothes that are easy to move in. You’ll also want to consider the weather outside at the time of your jump. Keep in mind that it is 30 to 40 degrees cooler up at altitude, so it’s best to add an extra layer to whatever you choose to wear. Long sleeves are nice as they add that extra layer of protection for your skin as you brace the 120+ mph winds. It’s always a good idea to bring more than you need, you can always take off whatever you decide you don’t need.
As for long hair, tying your hair back in a low ponytail, tight bun, or even braids is appropriate. Trust us, you will thank yourself later – skydiving hair can produce some pretty gnarly knots. Prescription eye-glasses are allowed and we encourage you to bring them (we wouldn’t want you to miss this!). We provide skydiving goggles that can fit comfortably over top of your glasses.
HOW SAFE IS SKYDIVING?
Skydiving is considered to be an extreme sport, therefore, there are risks involved when participating. Just like other extreme sports, there are carefully calculated risks and ways to mitigate those risks as much as possible.
At Long Island Skydiving Center, we mitigate risk by meticulously maintaining our aircraft and all skydiving equipment; investing in top-of-the-line skydiving gear; hiring only United States Parachute Association (USPA) certified tandem instructors; and following very strict safety protocols set by the USPA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
With that being said, skydiving is safer now than it ever has been. Thanks to the USPA, we’ve been keeping track of skydiving safety statistics to show a decreased trend in skydiving deaths. In 2021, the USPA recorded 10 fatal skydiving accidents in the approximate 3.57 million jumps made total. This is the lowest year on record. The safety rate for tandem skydiving is even lower with just one student fatality per 500,000 jumps on average over the past 10 years. Statistically, skydiving is safer than driving in your car.
WHAT DOES SKYDIVING FEEL LIKE?
Some people think that skydiving will give you that roller coaster, stomach drop feeling during the freefall portion of the skydive – but it actually doesn’t! You might get that sensation right when you jump out of the airplane but by the time you notice it, it’s already gone. Most people don’t experience that sensation at all.
Remember terminal velocity? Oh yeah, we’re coming full circle. The airplane is already moving at a high speed so by the time you jump out you’re only going from about 100 mph (depending on the aircraft) to 120 mph. We skydivers call this “riding the hill” because the body travels in a big arching slope rather than a straight drop. Once you stabilize and reach your terminal velocity, you’ll feel like you’re floating on air rather than falling.
We hope we covered all of your top tandem skydiving FAQs. Have more questions? Contact one of our awesome team members at Long Island Skydiving Center today. Blue skies!