What Is Skydiving and Why It’s Different Than You Think
6 months ago
Skydiving is something everyone knows about but can’t really describe until they’ve experienced it first-hand. People are often surprised when they land from their first jump: “That was crazy!” and “I can’t believe I just did that!” or “That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done.” Every and all variations of this sentiment are expressed after skydiving for the first time (many not G-rated) because it truly is unlike anything else on the planet.
Looking for New York tandem skydiving? We’ve got you covered – here’s all the info you need to feel prepared for the ride of your life!
What is Skydiving?
Skydiving is a sport that involves jumping from an aircraft at a significant altitude, entering into freefall, and then flying a parachute to the ground – but it’s so much more than that.
Although you are technically falling through the sky when you skydive, it doesn’t really feel like you’re falling! There is no stomach drop feeling when you jump like when you ride a rollercoaster, and the freefall actually feels more like flying or floating. Tandem skydiving typically involves 20 to 60 seconds of freefall. That may not sound like long, but it both feels like forever (because you’re plummeting toward the Earth that entire time) and also only an instant. You reach speeds of around 120mph in freefall, and then things slow down (but are just as amazing) when the parachute is pulled.
Different Types of Skydiving
There are three major types of skydiving: tandem skydiving, student skydiving, and experienced skydiving.
- Tandem skydiving is what you will do for your first jump. It is when you jump out of a plane securely strapped to a highly-trained and credentialed tandem skydiving instructor. Long Island Skydiving Center is a tandem-only operation – our focus is 100% on your experience. (In other words, we’re the ultimate destination for skydiving near NYC!)
- Student skydiving is when a person is learning how to skydive. They wear their own parachute on their back and have instructors and coaches next to them in freefall to support their progression.
- Experienced skydiving is when people become licensed skydivers. The United States Parachute Association (USPA) issues four licenses – A, B, C and D. Licensed skydivers usually have their own gear and jump with other experienced skydivers for fun.
Within experienced skydiving, there are many different disciplines of the sport. You’ve probably seen videos of people performing a number of them, including:
- Wingsuiting – skydivers wear “squirrel suits” to significantly increase their surface area
- Freeflying – falling in a vertical orientation, head-up or head-down
- Formation Skydiving – falling belly-to-earth while making patterns with other jumpers
- Angle Flying – positioning your body at an angle to move fast horizontally across the sky
- Canopy Piloting – performing super technical skills with your parachute
How Does Skydiving Work?
The formula for skydiving is pretty simple: plane ride, freefall, parachute ride, landing. With tandem skydiving, you are attached to an instructor who will take care of most everything throughout your skydive. You have a few responsibilities, but you can accomplish them easy-peasy after a brief training session before you board the aircraft.
You’ll sit with your instructor on the plane ride up (it’s usually pretty snug in the aircraft). When the pilot gives the signal, you will scooch together toward the door, and prepare for exit. This is when it gets really real. Since you are connected, you will both exit the plane at the same time, arching your backs and settling into a nice belly-to-earth orientation.
Immediately after leaving the plane, your instructor will pull a tiny white parachute called a drogue to slow you both down to normal freefall speeds. With the surface area of one person and the mass of two, things would get really fast without the drogue! It will take around 5 to 10 seconds to reach terminal velocity while in freefall, and it is exhilarating.
After about 20 seconds, your instructor will deploy the parachute, which will swiftly but gradually open. In contrast to the adrenaline-soaked experience of freefall, the parachute ride is peaceful. You will be able to talk to each other and really take in the gorgeous views that come with skydiving New York, including the glittering Atlantic Ocean!
The parachute ride typically lasts about 5 minutes. As you prepare for landing, your instructor will remind you to lift your legs up and out of the way so that your instructor can navigate the transition to the ground. This is super important. The majority of skydiving injuries occur on landing, typically a sprain but sometimes a fracture or break. Listen to your instructor!
How Much Does it Cost to Skydive?
Skydiving isn’t the cheapest activity in the world, and it’s absolutely worth it for the incredibly empowering and guaranteed life-altering experience.
At Long Island Skydiving Center, we offer a few different pricing packages. Our regular tandem rate is $298, but we have a Saturday to Sunday special online rate for $259, and a Monday to Friday special online rate for $239. We also have group rates, a repeat rate, and a few different media packages for video and photos (if it is your first time, then you are definitely going to want the video and photos).
Where Can I Go Skydiving Near Me?
There are a few options for New York tandem skydiving – but none lucky enough to be located on the beautiful South Shore of Long Island like us! If you want a real skydiving NYC experience, then we’re about as close as you can get. We’re an hour from New York City, depending on traffic, and an hour and a half from Staten Island and Newark.
As far as skydiving New York is concerned, you really can’t get better views than with Long Island Skydiving Center – we’re the only skydiving center with views of the Atlantic Coastline, Hampton Beaches, and Fire Island. We’re also ranked as one of the most scenic places to skydive in the country!
Skydiving is an awe-inspiring experience, and is probably even better than you imagine! Don’t take our word for it; come check it out for yourself! Book now!