Make no mistake about it: Skydiving is a BFD. Quite literally, it’s the biggest leap of faith you’ll ever make–so it’s perfectly natural to feel a little freaked-out. If you’ve made your reservation and are squaring up for a jump, you’re probably combing the internet looking for some solid tips to overcome your fear of skydiving.
Never fear! We’re here for you. We’ve taken the time to put together a thorough guide to help you get through it–and get the most out of your jump, to boot. Here’s the beta:
What to do When You’re Nervous Before Your Skydive
From the moment you decide you’re going to go for that skydive, your imagination will be working overtime. Your skull will be rattling with all of the possibilities–which is a tricksy thing, because it’s impossible to know what to expect. There’s a lot of information out there, lots of which is pretty misleading, and you’ve never done anything like this before. Brand-new experiences–it goes without saying–are inherently scary.
Here are a couple good preparatory steps you can take in the run-up to your jump-out:
- Watch videos and look at photos of skydives at the dropzone you’re planning to visit. This way, you’ll know more about what to expect–from the plane you’ll be in to the people you’ll be surrounded by to the landscape you’ll be jumping over.
- Avoid watching “scare” videos on the internet. They’ve been designed to attract your click at all costs and, essentially, make money from the fear you’re trying to slay. Statistically speaking, they’re utterly insignificant–and you know that watching them won’t do you any good. So leave ’em!
- Visit the dropzone ahead of your jump. You’ll get a feel for the atmosphere and you’ll meet some new friends. Bonus: You can ask just-landed jumpers what their experience was like and get the info straight from the horse’s mouth.
- Treat your jump like an athletic event. Get eight hours of sleep. Eat healthfully and moderately. Don’t show up with a hangover. Warm up and stretch before your jump. Stay hydrated. It all seems like simple, common-sense stuff–but a lot of people don’t bother. We say: You already know how, so take the initiative and optimize your own experience!
- Ask questions. Our skydiving instructors are highly experienced, highly passionate about what they do and highly friendly. They’re more than willing to answer your questions. Ask away! Keep adding to that arsenal of familiarity.
What to do When You’re Nervous During Your Skydive
When the time comes for you to board the plane, it’s game on. And when that airplane takes off, your nervousness will probably hit the roof. Your senses will fill up to the brim with new inputs, from sights to sounds to smells to noises. It’s a brand-new world you’re jumping into, after all.
Here are a few tips to help with that eek-this-is-totally-happening nervousness:
- Breathe. There’s about 40% less oxygen at altitude, so you’re going to need to breathe more slowly, more deeply and more regularly in order to be comfortable. Focus on it.
- Listen up. Your instructor–your new best friend, in this situation–will likely point out sights of interest through the windows. They’ll show you their altimeter so you know what height you’re at. Finally, they’ll talk you through the jump once more before you’re actually in it. Listen deeply and let your instructor’s easygoing, professional manner calm you down.
- Laugh. Let yourself be a part of the jovial atmosphere in the plane. Watch for the in-jokes. Read the helmet stickers. Take in the smiles. You’re a skydiver now, and you’re welcome here, so you’re well within your rights to laugh along.
- Look forward to the calm on the other side of the door. As you sit in the door about to jump, you’ll feel things you’ve probably never felt before. As soon as you launch, however, you’ll be amazed at the feeling of calm that washes over you; the cushion of air that will support you as you look out over the world you once thought you knew. It’s peaceful and it’s fulfilling and during your freefall, it’ll be yours. Look forward to that.
You know this instinctively already, but we’ll say it again: Once you face that fear that’s trying to get the better of you and make that jump, things will never quite be the same again–in the most positive possible way. You owe that to yourself, no? Book a tandem skydive online today or contact a member of our team with any questions you have.