Published: June 7, 2016
Thousands of people make their first jumps every year here in the US. Many of those people choose to take up skydiving as an ongoing hobby. But what is it that makes skydiving so addictive?
You've sat in a perfectly good airplane, enjoying the views and taking in the experience. For some people, this would be enough. So why do so many people decide to jump out of a plane, falling at speeds of around 120mph toward the earth before deploying a parachute and floating back down to where they started?
When put that way, it sounds crazy, right? You're jumping out of a perfectly functional plane with nothing to save you but a few dozen square feet of material.
Many first time jumpers do it for the experience, as a one off. Some do it to celebrate a birthday, others to raise money for charity. Some people are 'adrenaline junkies' seeking their next fix. Others are simply intrigued to know what it feels like to fall and to fly.
What many first time jumpers don't realize is that skydiving is so much more than jumping from a plane. It's an experience like no other, comprising great friendships, epic trust and some of the most incredible sensations your body will ever feel!
There is some science behind the sensation of skydiving, predominantly in the form of adrenaline. Adrenaline is what our body produces when we are in a situation of danger - the fight or flight phenomenon where our bodies become primed to act.
Adrenaline is a neurotransmitter and hormone which is quickly sent through your body in times of high excitement. Your air passages dilate to allow more oxygen in, causing you to feel like you're thinking more clearly and as if everything is slowing down.
It delivers signals to your blood vessels to send blood pumping to your important organs such as your heart and lungs, making you feel really alert and numbing your ability to feel pain. Adrenaline is known to produce improved strength and performance, as well as heightened senses. Your body also releases endorphins and serotonin during the skydive, known to make you feel happier.
No matter how many times you've done it, jumping from a plane gets your adrenaline going like nothing else. The associated feelings are almost drug-like in their effects, causing people to seek out their next adrenaline fix (hence the term 'adrenaline junkie').
You'll feel empowered and as if time is slowing to a standstill during your skydive, opening you up to an experience of great relaxation and control. It's difficult to explain to people who haven't tried it - but you'll get it once you've jumped!
Skydiving is, technically speaking, the action of falling through the air at speeds of around 120mph. Unsurprisingly, you'll experience wind and noise, those things are given.
What may surprise you, however, is the feeling of slowness and serenity you get during freefall and under your parachute. Rather than feeling like you're falling, you'll feel much more like you're cushioned by the air, giving you a relaxing sensation of weightlessness. Under canopy, you'll hear just how quiet it gets when compared to freefall and have a few minutes to take in the incredible views and feel what it's like to fly.
Some people suggest you can't breathe in freefall. That's a fallacy. You can breathe and the only reason people don't is that they simply forget. That's why we encourage our first timers to scream as they leave the plane, reminding them that they can, in fact, breathe normally!
Skydiving is a challenge, and continues to be so throughout your jumping career. Whether you're overcoming a fear as a first timer, or working on new skills as you progress, it can take a lot of hard work and effort to get it right.
When you complete that formation or nail that new body position, you'll get an incredible sense of achievement. Skydiving is also a competitive sport, so many fun jumpers, and professional jumpers, enter competitions with their teams in order to pit their skills against their peers.
Another aspect of skydiving that you may not have considered is the community around it. When you jump with people, there's a big element of trust and this leads to some of the strongest friendships you'll find.
It's not just trust that bonds skydivers together. There's something quite unique about someone who wants to jump from airplanes as a hobby and this means you have something amazing in common with everyone you jump with.
That's why most skydiving centers have a cafe or bar and areas for socializing. Once people are finished jumping for the day, skydivers tend to hang out and enjoy each others' company, often camping on site and staying a full weekend or longer.
If you're looking to skydive Tennessee and really want to know why skydiving is so addictive, give it a try! We welcome first timers and experienced skydivers here at Chattanooga Skydiving Company. Book online today or give us a call if you'd like to speak to the team. We look forward to flying with you!
"A memory to last a lifetime!"
» Lee L.