Skydiving is one of those experiences that I always said I would do but never thought would actually become a reality. After taking the plunge for the first time in January, I realized that there’s more to the leap than a cool view and bragging rights. The effects from skydiving, at least for myself, went much deeper.
If you get the chance, I highly recommend taking a dive, and here are my five reasons why:
1. Get out of your comfort zone
Easier said than done. You’re reading this from the girl who has never ridden a roller coaster and has a consistent fear of flying, so why the heck did I even consider this? Simple. My boyfriend made me do it.
Really. He did.
I always bragged about wanting to go skydiving and how it has always been on my bucket list. So when our trip to Hawaii came around I had to put my money where my mouth was. Also my boyfriend refused to let me talk my way out of it.
That being said, I’m so glad he convinced me to do it. This may sound cliché, but skydiving literally changed my view on life. Like most people, I let my fears take control way too often. Regardless of whether those fears are legitimate or if I’m overreacting, they can and have prohibited me in my personal success.
Taking that ‘big leap’ (literally) allowed me to face my fears and gave me that light bulb realization that the world isn’t as dangerous as it may seem at times. While you’re in the air, it’s surprisingly calm and simultaneously exciting. It’s the only time I’ve ever truly felt on top of the world and able to achieve anything I set my mind to.
The photos below essentially speak for themselves. Not only was I lucky to skydive for the first time in beautiful Hawaii, but you also can’t truly understand the vastness of our Earth until you’re freefalling above your comfort zone.
Flying in a plane isn’t the same as being in the thick of our atmosphere. You can literally see the curvature of the Earth, and there’s something unexplainable about being immersed in the cool air during freefall. You also may get some hilarious snapshots if you get a photo package (highly recommended) on the way down.
Post-freefall though is when I think you really can relax and take in your surrounding scenery. Typically, a tandem dive starts at 13,000ft, has a 60 second freefall and about 5-7 minutes of gliding once the parachute is deployed. Those 5-7 minutes are amazing.
I’ll never forget my instructor saying once the parachute was open “And welcome to my office”. Yeah, dude. You are winning at life, I get it.
3. Safer than you would think
Believe it or not, Skydiving is one of the safest sports you can participate in. You actually have a higher chance of getting struck by lightning than you are dying while jumping out of a plane.
According to the United States Parachute Association, skydiving is continuously improving its safety record. Get this, the USPA says that there were:
“21 fatal skydiving accidents in the US out of roughly 3.2 million jumps… one of the lowest rates in the sport’s history! Tandem skydiving has an even better safety record, with one student fatality per 500,000 tandem jumps of the past decade.”
If you’re reading this and it’s your first time, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll be doing the tandem dive which means you’ll be paired up with an experienced instructor. My instructor mentioned he does anywhere from 8-15 or even more dives per day! Needless to say, I felt safe.
4. Sense of Accomplishment
My timid mindset walking into Skydive Hawaii juxtaposed with the enormous smile plastered across my face post-dive, could not have been more different. Adrenaline is to blame, and I was totally okay with it.
Skydive Coastal Carolina’s agrees on the adrenaline front. Their article about adrenaline is spot on. They even mention “when the bloodstream is pumping with adrenaline, the brain is oxygenated, fully engaged, laser focused and set up to knock down cognitive tasks much more efficiently.”
It’s that laser focus that you get during the dive that is what most skydivers consider as critical to having a safe and successful jump. The activity itself requires careful control over the mind and leaves you with the most satisfying feeling of accomplishment I’ve ever experienced.
5. It’s fun
I don’t think people would regularly jump out of planes if it wasn’t fun. In fact, your mind is telling you the opposite all the way up until you exit the plane: i.e. you’re strapped to another human that’s responsible for your life, you’re very VERY close to that person (HR policies around closeness and personal space don’t apply), and you’re about to do the exact opposite of what they tell you not to do every time you fly in a plane.
Look at that smile, I couldn’t fake it if I tried.
Try it out! Curious to know your thoughts and feelings – have fun!
Where I Went SkyDiving:
Place: SkyDive Hawaii (http://www.skydivehawaii.com/)
Address: Dillingham Airfield, 68-760 Farrington Hwy, Box 1, Waialua, HI 96791 (there are two skydive facilities that share this strip located on the North Shore of Oahu)
Is it worth it to buy the photo package? YES, 110% YES – especially if it’s your first jump! You’ll have your own photographer jumping out of the plane with you recording the entire experience. I purchased the video too just because I wanted to remember every moment, but they give you the option at the end to watch it first, then decide.
How do I get there? We rented a car during our stay in Oahu, so we drove directly there. Skydive Hawaii also has a shuttle bus that does pickups and drop-offs to the Waikiki hotel area.
Do I need to make a reservation? No, but I recommend that you do. Not only will you be more mentally prepared, but you also will save some $$ booking ahead of time. Also, they do military discounts!
What time of day did you go? We went first thing in the morning so that A. I wouldn’t fret about jumping out of a plane all day, B. to avoid any potential weather issues during the afternoon, and C. there are less delays on your expected lift-off time when you’re one of the first to jump for the day.
Were the instructors professional? Extremely – when I get nervous, I tend to talk a lot, and my instructor was all for it. He was super sarcastic but I could also tell he was experienced and wouldn’t let anything bad happen. I mean, his colleague flat out told me on our way up in the plane that he valued his life more than anyone else (jokingly). That joke meant the world to me because it was at that point that I knew he was gonna get us down together safely regardless of what happens solely because I was strapped to him.
Would you do it again at Skydive Hawaii? Hell yes.