T Nation

Been Skydiving?

My best friend’s brother is throwing a bachelor party for him in a few weeks. Part of the plan is going skydiving (the place is Skydive the Ranch, outside of NYC).

I’ve never been skydiving (I’ll be hooked up to a “jumpmaster”) and while the thought is pretty exciting, 13,500 feet is a lonnnnnng way down.

Can anyone here tell me what their first skydive was like?

I’ve never been & there’s absolutely NO WAY I’d ever try it. If the chute gets messed up, I’ll probably have at least a couple minutes to wait before I die. Forget it!

I dived a few years ago in San Diego. It was a tandem jump like you are comtemplating. It was awesome! During the free fall it feels like there is a viciously strong wind blowing right at you. I didn’t really have the sensation of falling until after the chute opened and we were getting close to landing. My favorite part was after the chute opened. My jumpmaster asked me if I wanted him to do tricks and manuvers on our way down. It was a helluva ride and I hope to someday do a solo jump.

Yeah there is nothing like skydiving. I went on a tandem the first time and afterwards went on 4 jumps where you aren’t tied to anyone but you have instructors jump out with you. On the tandem jump you are probably safer jumping out than driving to the place you will be jumping from but when you’re at the door of the plane it sure doesn’t seem so. The two hardest parts are probably the plane ride which will take about 15 minutes and gives you way too much time to think of what you are going to do and of course when you are at the door. When you look out and see a whole lot of nothing it sure seems like there are more enjoyable endeavors you could think of doing. But the great thing is you only have to be brave for half a second because once you’re out there is no turning around:) The sensation of speed is unbelievable once you are out the door. When the chute opens is probably going to be the happiest moment of your life. Most of these places offer to videotape your jump and you should definitely do that. Skydiving is quite an accomplishment and you will want a reminder. One thing you should be aware of is that on the tandem jumps there is a weight limit I believe of 225 or 230 pounds. If you are over that weight I don’t believe they will let you jump tandem at least not where I jumped out of in California.Good luck and I hope you have a good time.

I have never been - but my room mate is addicted. she has her own shute and goes just about every weekend in the summer time. every time she see’s blue shy in the summer thats all she talks about. it must be fun because she has no money but always finds the dough to go skydiving.

GO!!!

Back in '78 I was a freshman at OU and had a suite-mate from Ecuador. He was a cocky kid and basically dared me to jump. No problem there so to celebrate my 18th year of being we got a group together and headed off to the Green County diving center. Back in '78 the world was a far less litigious place (though there was the form signing away any and all liability on the operator’s part) and so after a short (less than 2 hours) training session we were in the air. (With fairness to complete disclosure I was a bit ‘suicidal/depressed’ having at that time not figured out that I was gay so there was no big ‘ooooooops-what if it doesn’t open’ conflict). The plane had the wings above the fuselage and when it came time to jump (at 3,000 feet) you climbed out onto the strut held on for a moment until they said ‘jump’. As stated, things were different in '78 and there were no tandem jumps. It was just you. And when you jumped (just let go of the strut) your static line was pulled and off you went. The first bit I just recall a grey blurriness-it’s a bit disorienting. Then the realization that you’re floating-the plane long gone. I recall the silence and the amazing breathtaking beauty of the whole thing. I was floating over cornfields (above birds flying below) and farms with cows. It was fall and as such the colors were in full blaze. I figured out how to ‘steer’ myself and treated my self to several 360 panoramic spins. Surreally off in the distance were the cooling towers to some distant nuclear plant. As I got closer I could actually hear the cows. Then I had to rember and concentrate on where to land and managed to pretty much bulls-eye it-avoiding landing in the corn stalks. Stefano (the Ecuadorian) landed not soon after and congratulated me on completing the ‘dare’. He said that he expected me to be panicked on facing the jump and was amazed that I had no fear at all. Which was news to me as climbing out onto a plane’s wing struts at 3,000 feet was not exactly staus quo in my life. The head-rush of that jump lasted for hours.

Two things to remember: They told us not to look down when you land-very counter-intuitive. But of course I did look and then instantly realized why the admonition. When you are very close to landing the ground rushes at you and it is extremely disorienting. Take heed. Second thing to remember? They taught us landing by having us jump off a 3-foot high platform and keeping our ankles loose. They were right. Landing was no more stressful than that.

And I had no obligations. If I had a wife and kids to support I’d think twice and make sure my life insurance would cover an accident-CHECK-because often sky diving is NOT covered.

I jumped once and won’t do it again. It didn’t give me the adrenelin rush I expected, and I got racked beyond all belief because of a crotch strap being too loose. Seriously, “righty” was sore and bruised for about a month. The first 2 or 3 seconds were the best part and it was a little boring after that. Once the shoot popped I was racked and wanted to puke. For the maximal adreneline rush I’d much rather ride a motorcycle way too fast or bungee jump. The place I jumped had a 200 pound limit (dressed).

I’m curious, what if you ran into a bunch of birds on the way down?

Thanks for the info, it’s been helpful. One thing I forgot to add, should I take any dramamine or not eat/drink anything a few hours beforehand so I don’t end up barfing on the way down?

I have parachuted but never skydived. As far as I’m concerned you do it IF necessary but not for kicks.

Catch the little birdies, bite their little heads off and pass them around like turkey drumsticks for protein on the way down! (I am having a heavy T-Morning :slight_smile:

I had someone tell me once his lanyard got caught and he hung from the aircraft while they tried to pull him back in! Not to deter you, he made it okay. Just a little shook up. And that was a military jump from a C-130, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger!

You will not nee dramamine or anything like that. The ride up in the plane is painfully slow and after you jump you’re basically going with gravity and shouldn’t have stomach problems. Just enjoy it and also before you jump ask your jumpmaster if you can control the chute and do some tricks on the way down. There should be a while when you are high enough and he can let you take over. Have fun.