If you’re frantically searching, “Is skydiving scary!!?!?!?” And, “Is it normal to be scared before skydiving!??!?!” If you’re on a manic hunt for reassurance, look no further! Skydiving anxiety is totallyyyy normal. In fact, we’d be a little spooked if you didn’t have any pre-jump jitters. Let’s put your mind at ease, look into our top tips to overcome skydiving anxiety, and help you confidently answer, “How do I mentally prepare myself for skydiving?”
First, let’s get a common misconception out of the way…
1000%, yes! Skydiving holds some magical properties that decrease anxiety. Wait … what? We see it like this: Skydiving forces you to be mindful and in the moment. Although this can seem scary or intimidating, it’s very freeing. When else does your brain have to fully engage? We would bet your mind is already starting to wander reading this, hehe!
We want to reiterate that being nervous about skydiving is normal and expected. Here are our top five tips to smash your fear of skydiving:
1. GET IN THE KNOW.
Knowledge is one of the best defenses against skydiving anxiety. Doing your research to become familiar with skydiving centers (referred to as “dropzones”) in your area will address any hesitations you may have. Diving into Google and Tripadvisor reviews from people who were previously in your exact position can be comforting and give the inside scoop.
2. BE INQUISITIVE.
Ask away! Skydiving is a new universe for you – it would be weird if you knew anything about it. That means, no question is a stupid question. By asking questions, you’ll naturally gain confidence and a sense of comfort before booking your skydive. Our staff is happy to guide you in your search for answers.
One of the most common questions surrounding skydiving is: Will I die skydiving? We’ll openly admit that yes, you can die skydiving. But you can also die from walking down the sidewalk, driving to the grocery store, or just existing – no one is making it out of this world alive!
But seriously, skydiving carries an inherent risk, so why do so many people do it? Because that risk is extremely calculated and active efforts are made to mitigate it on every single skydive. The United States Parachute Association (USPA) keeps a detailed record of skydiving fatalities to study the statistics behind the risk. In a nutshell: Out of nearly four million skydives made in 2022, 20 resulted in death – this is approximately 0.5/100,000.
Skydive Orange is a proud USPA Group Member dropzone. This means that we strictly uphold the expectations, regulations, and recommendations set by the USPA. As an organization passionate about sharing the freedom of the sky with as many people as possible, we place safety at the top of everything we do. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any concerns!
3. KNOW THE STEPS
Uncertainty is a breeding ground for anxiety – so let’s crush the unknown as much as we can before actually doing the jump!
Here’s what the day of your skydive will look like with us:
Arrival. Walk in, feel welcomed by the best team EVER, and sign some paperwork and a waiver!
Training & Gearing Up. You’ll watch a comprehensive 30-minute video about the role you’ll play during the jump and you’ll meet your instructor, all of whom are USPA-rated highly trained professionals. Don’t stress – there will be ample time to ask additional questions! This is the time to tell your instructor about any specific fears you’re having, like the plane ride or becoming motion sick! They can’t help you if they don’t know you want help.
Ride To Altitude. You and your new BFF (your instructor) will enter the jump plane and begin the ascent to exit altitude – typically around 13,500 feet! You can freely chat with your instructor, take in the sights, and embrace the NOW. If you’re feeling nervy, speak up!
The Exit. Pure bliss takes over. Euphoria. Beautiful freedom. Insert all the good, happy words you can think of. Freefall is like no other – we’re getting pumped for you to experience it just typing this!
The Canopy Ride. Once the parachute opens and the rush of the wind dissipates, you’ll easily be able to speak with your instructor. Take it all in – you did it!
Landing. Coming in for a landing just seals the deal! If you opt for one of our video services, one of our videographers will capture your ear-to-ear smile.
4. BE MINDFUL
Leading up to the big day, start thinking about what helps you to calm down when you’re stressed. Counting your breaths? Using a grounding technique? Talking with others about literally anything else than the thing stressing you out? Whatever it is, practice it! That way, when the nerves start firing up on the day of the jump, you’re confident in your ability to tell your brain to chill out – it’s all okay!
5. EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE
It’s against our instincts to willingly do something that scares us. But when we do, the feeling of empowerment is unmatched.
I have a fear of heights, can I skydive?
Sure! Skydiving is done from such a high altitude that the icky feeling of standing on a building or bridge doesn’t happen – our brain and eyes can’t make the connection.
Are there any other recommendations to feel more confident before booking?
Can I skydive if I get motion-sick?
Yes! If you are prone to motion sickness, just let your instructor know. They’ll be able to fly the parachute in a docile way to mitigate those yucky feelings. Many people who struggle with car sickness and the like regularly skydive with no issues at all! And if it does happen, it’s all good! There’s nothing we haven’t seen and nothing to be anxious about!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.