It definitely takes a particular mindset to be a skydiver, but are skydivers crazy?
Well … we’re crazy about growing, learning, and becoming the best versions of ourselves while helping others along the way. But do we have a couple loose screws? Nah. Skydivers are just normal people. From school teachers to restaurant workers and college students, the skydiving community is vast. Regardless of our wide range of differences, we all have a few key attributes in common. If you want to be a skydiver, chances are:
Skydivers live by this motto: growth does not happen in your comfort zone.
The skydiving community offers a multitude of opportunities to learn. Whether it be through a class for a specific discipline or from elders in the sport, the learning never stops. And that’s one of the biggest beauties of the sport: it is constantly evolving and in turn, creating opportunities for growth for each individual jumper.
As a skydiver, you have to be humble enough to always be a student, yet confident enough to be a teacher. At the end of every jump, one of the best parts is walking back from the landing area with your sky fam. There’s time to debrief and evaluate what about the jump was good, bad, and what can be improved upon for next time. Then you go and do it all again with new, aligned goals in mind. Skydivers are goal-oriented!
Having fun in the sport is highly prioritized, coming in at a close second to “looking good,” of course. People who skydive can take a deep breath, assess a stressful situation (like jumping from a perfectly good airplane!), and make the most utilitarian decision.
A skydive has many moving parts and things to remember, from body positions to emergency procedures and landing patterns. And while this seems overwhelming at first, over time it becomes second nature—thank goodness for muscle memory! Tip: if you are a newer jumper and are beating yourself up for not getting something, remember: every skydive is a great skydive! You’ve got this.
Being adaptable and keeping a positive mindset is critical to thrive when a skydiving surprise arises and, under pressure, separate the stages of the jump to safely execute it.
Let’s say you’re falling through the sky and you realize that you missed a step in the planned dive. Do you freak out and lose all control and start wildly spinning!? No. You think, “Hmm. I know I just missed a step, no big deal, I’ll get it next time, we are all safe.”
Or let’s say you’re coming in for a landing and you notice someone is coming towards you (they obviously didn’t check the landing direction beforehand, SMH!). Do you miraculously forget everything you were taught about how to land!? No. You acknowledge the other person and safely execute a landing to end your jump … then go in for the debrief and say “what the heck dude!?”
While both of these examples presented unintended actions, the jumpers were still able to keep their cool to accomplish the correct reactions. Skydivers can keep their head on straight (and on a swivel!) and focus on the task at hand, despite the potential for the unexpected to occur.
Okay, let’s talk about fear. Skydiving presents an instinctual fear, but this anxiety can be overcome time and time again, and that feeling of empowerment never gets old!
Skydiving is not only for adrenaline junkies. In fact, we’re fairly certain that 99% of most “fun jumpers” (i.e. non-tandem students) would say that adrenaline is not the first, or even the second, reason that they skydive. This may come as a shock, but most people skydive to de-stress. Skydiving is special because it forces you to be in the moment. You literally cannot focus on anything else but the jump. The problems on the ground are left at the door of the plane; it’s a surreal feeling only this sport can bring.
We often joke that skydiving is cheaper than therapy, because you’re gifted with a true taste of freedom with every jump. And yes, skydiving does come with inherent risk – but so does driving in a car or walking down the sidewalk. People who skydive are good at understanding the potential danger, making a risk assessment and then being comfortable with it (or at least confident enough to face it head-on). Skydiving requires calculated risk, and we do it because the reward is so, so worth it.
What is skydiving like? It’s the highest form of quality time, when you’re not only prioritizing yourself but also spending time with your sky fam!
We believe some of the best learning happens after jumping concludes for the day or during a weather hold; sitting around listening to old-school jumpers talk about the good ol’ days. That’s the gold of the skydiving community. Skydivers have a deep appreciation for everything that the sport offers them, and a strong desire to give back to it. Skydiving offers the most inviting and inclusive community on the planet—none of that “picked last in gym class” feeling happening here!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.