Ask anyone who’s been skydiving what the feeling is like and they may struggle for the words to do it justice. ‘Incredible’, ‘exhilarating’, ‘surreal’ and ‘breath-taking’ usually come up a lot.
Going skydiving is one of the most memorable experiences of your life, but you don’t want it to stick in your mind for all the wrong reasons. After all, you or someone close to you no doubt forked out a fair bit of money for the jump as it’s not a cheap activity.
To ensure that everything goes smoothly on the big day, we’ve made a list of skydiving tips for beginners. Not only should these help you enjoy the experience more, but also help keep you even safer!
If it feels comfortable, wear it
Skydiving is far from a fashion contest and should be a comfortable experience. With that in mind, a loose-fitting shirt or t-shirt, jeans and trainers are the best option. Although the air temperature at such a high altitude will be colder than normal, the adrenaline will keep your blood pumping and you’ll have a jumpsuit and gloves to keep you warm in any case.
Leave any valuable jewellery at home so that it doesn’t disappear into thin air at 10,000 ft. It’s the same if you wear glasses too, don’t worry about wearing them on the jump. At the skydive centre, you’ll be given goggles to protect your eyes from the wind.
Don’t panic about your breathing
Anxiety attacks and fear of losing breath are totally normal when you’re jumping from an aircraft. But, although it’s easier said than done, don’t overthink your breathing patterns. Even being able to utter the words ‘I can’t breathe!’ shows that you’re getting air from somewhere!
That said, how you’re getting air will impact on your frame of mind just before you take the plunge. To avoid hyperventilating, which is unpleasant at the best of times, practice taking deep, slow breaths from the belly in through the nose and out through your mouth. This will fill your lungs, slow down your breathing rate and help you relax. Here are some top breathing tips from the San Jose Diving Centre in California, which you can practice at home beforehand, and of course during the skydive.
Your instructor will no doubt also give you some breathing tips to put your mind at ease. If you still experience difficulty breathing, this is probably just because your head is tilted too low and the wind is rushing at your face from an odd angle. All you need to do is tilt your head backwards, keep your eyes aimed towards the sky and breathe through your mouth if necessary.
Don’t have an alcoholic drink beforehand
The big day has arrived and you need something to calm the nerves. An alcoholic drink before you set off to the skydiving centre is fine, right? Wrong! Most centres stipulate that you must not consume any alcohol less than 8 hours before performing a tandem parachute jump.
It would be somewhat hypocritical of us to recommend optimum food consumption and breathing techniques, only then to recommend having a drink, which would only further increase heart rate and blood pressure. By all means, have a celebratory tipple after you land if you want though – you’ve earned it!
Get the videos to show your grandkids
Recording your skydive is one of the easiest things to forget and the hardest thing to get over. There are countless stories of people landing, letting out a cry of relief and then realising they didn’t document one of the most historic moments of their life.
Don’t be one of these people. You can purchase a photo and video package prior to your skydive – the prices range from centre to centre, but expect to be paying upwards of £80. This may sound quite steep (skydiving pun intended), but it’s a small price to pay to capture the moment you fall from the plane and your cheeks start flapping.
Be aware of weight limits
For safety reasons, some skydiving centres will advise you to contact them in advance if you weigh more than 15 stone. Each skydiving centre will have its own weight limits which are dependent on a range of factors, including the type of jump, the equipment used, and the gender of the jumper.
As a rule of thumb, if you weigh 14 stone or more, it’s probably best to check with the skydiving centre beforehand if you’re ok to jump. Even if it turns out your weight is perfectly safe for skydiving, it’s always best to be sure, as you’re weighed on the day itself. If you exceed the centre’s weight limit, you risk losing your deposit and having to forfeit your skydive.
If you’re planning a skydive, you need to make sure you’re properly protected with specialist skydiving insurance. Insure4Sport offers a range of cover options for skydiving, including Personal Accident, Loss of Earnings, Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, and much more.
Getting a tailored online quote is quick, easy and you should get confirmation of your insurance within the hour. What are you waiting for? Take out instant skydiving cover today.