How to Prepare for a Skydive
It’s as simple as jumping out of a plane … but seriously, if your nerves are getting the best of you, follow these tips to prepare for a skydive.
Go With Friends
You probably won’t get to do giant formations with your friends like on YouTube, but the ride up will be a lot more fun if you have some buddies as scared as you are.
Read the Statistics
Or don’t, depending on how you interpret the numbers. In 2015, the United States Parachute Association reported 21 fatal accidents out of 3.5 million jumps, meaning there’s a 0.0006 percent chance you’re going to die. That’s assuming you’re doing it on your own; tandem skydives are even safer, so you’re way more likely to get killed on the way to the jump site than while falling from the airplane.
It’s tempting to down a few before heading to the jump site, but most places will make you sign a waiver saying you’re sober. Plus, it’s not a good idea to be inebriated when the instructor is giving you potentially life-saving information.
Stay Within the Limits
Most skydiving facilities require you be at least 18 years old and less than 225 pounds. You’re also recommended to wear loose-fitting clothes and tight-fitting shoes.
Have No Fear
Most of the fear comes from anticipation. Once you’re falling, it’s actually difficult to get a sense of height with so much space between you and the ground. The Earth doesn’t appear to be getting closer when you’re that high, so it feels more like you’re hanging sideways with a strong fan blowing in your face. Once the parachute opens, divers often report being overcome with a sense of peace.
Consult Your Doctor
If you have a heart-related illness, consult your doctor to make sure you can take the adrenaline. For those who are sensitive to motion sickness, consider taking an over-the-counter antiemetic like Dramamine.