Six Things You Need To Know Before You Skydive
When it comes to adventure, nearly 70 percent of millennials say they’re adventurous. If you’re a millennial, you consider yourself a daredevil and you’re wanting to take part in your next great adventure, then skydiving might be just the thing to find your next adrenaline rush.
Skydiving can be a lot of fun, but before you take a plane and do a solo jump or a tandem jump, there are some things you need to know:
- All the lingo: As with many hobbies and adventurous pursuits, skydiving has something of its own language. For example, freefalling is when you fall through the sky before your canopy, or parachute opens. When you jump, you’ll be wearing a jumpsuit, a bodysuit that protects you when you jump and helps control how fast you fall. At the end of the jump, you’ll end up in a drop zone, usually a large grassy area where you’ll come to a stop once you return to the ground after your jump.
- Getting sporty: When it comes to crossing things off a bucket list, skydiving is among the most popular of activities. But for some folks, skydiving isn’t just doing a jump one time just to be able to say you did it. For some folks, skydiving is a sport and one that people participate in quite frequently.
The USPA says more than three million skydives took place in the United States in 2017. Generally, a typical skydive takes place from around 13,000 feet and gives a jumper about a minute of free fall. If you’re a first time jumper, know that free falls last about a minute with a jumper falling at around 120 mph. If that wasn’t enough, skydiving can be a lifestyle and a 150-pound first time jumper can burn about 230 calories an hour while skydiving.
- Fun for all: One of the great things about skydiving, whether you’re a first time jumper or a veteran daredevil, is that anyone can do it. Whether you’re 18 years old or 90 years old, you can skydive if you’re healthy enough to do it. People who are disabled, without limbs or paralyzed can even skydive if special precautions are taken.
- Lots of options If you’re a first time jumper you can do two kinds of jumps: a tandem freefall or accelerated (solo) freefall. If you do the solo jump, you get do it after going through quite a bit of prep work. With a tandem jump, a first time jumper can just relax and enjoy the view because an instructor will open your chute and help the two of you land. On average, a tandem freefall lasts between 45-60 seconds and ends with about a four-minute canopy ride to the drop zone.
- Very safe: Whether you’re a daredevil or not, one thing that turns people off about skydiving is the fear that during freefall, something bad will happen.
The prospect of something like a parachute not opening can be scary, but the numbers don’t support that nightmare. Studies have shown that out of more than four million jumps taken in 2015, only 21 ended in fatalities. If that wasn’t enough, every jumper, from a first time jumper to a veteran, has two parachutes in case the first one falls.
- Cost: Depending on where you go, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200-300 dollars for a chance to skydive. Depending on the drop zone, you may be able to find cheaper rates if you’re a college student or if you go early in the mornings or on weekends. You might also get discounts if you dive as part of a large group.
If you’re a first time jumper, you’re probably going to be a little nervous. That’s complete understandable, but you’ll feel at ease once your begin your freefall. The scariest part will probably come when you’re sitting on the edge of the plane right before your jump, but hopefully that won’t last very long at all. Skydiving can be a lot of fun and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for people of all ages.