Is It Scary to Skydive?

Is It Scary to Skydive?

Published: October 25, 2016

When we tell first-time skydivers that skydiving is way more fun than it is scary, they sometimes look at us like we've shown up in Sailor Moon cosplay, riding a llama. While we're perfectly capable of saving the planet in a miniskirt and improbable pigtails, the fact remains: we're telling the actual, factual truth. Is skydiving scary? Yes, but it's a lot less scary than you think it is. Here's why.

1. You've Got An Amazing Imagination.

The thought of skydiving is a hundred times scarier than the process of actually doing it. That's no surprise--your imagination has a lot of fuel to cook up a crazy story about what a skydive is going to feel like; what might happen; how it's gonna go.

Your imagination has a lot of help. After all: You've watched tons of movies, viral videos, television shows, news reports, and the like. Once your brain goes about its natural process of forecasting the future, it has hundreds of sources for visual and narrative reference.

Problem: They're wrong.

Pretty much everything that people "know" about skydiving from the news, film and TV is factually incorrect--or, more insidiously, statistically ridiculous. So: When you're watching those "movies" that your brain cuts together and throws up on the projector screen of your daydreams, remember: Plenty of new skydivers have trouble sleeping the night before their first jump. The "movie" ain't real, but you're about to see what is.

2. You're Going To Be Scared To Skydive, But That Doesn't Mean You've Gotta Run.

Believe us when we tell you that everyone is nervous. Most of our first-timer guests spend their time in the waiting area in a cold sweat--it's totally normal, natural and expected. People react to the nervousness in different ways, but it's always there. Sit with it. Get through it.

Spend the waiting time working on your breathing and paying attention to the hobbyist skydivers around you. Specifically, watch the experienced jumpers smiling and goofing off. Sure, they're more used to it than you are, by a long shot--but they also understand the risks better than you do, and it's clearly not curling them up into a nail biting fetal position. That should speak volumes.

3. Those Skydiving Risks? Minimal.

The reason those experienced skydivers aren't freaking out is that the actual statistical risk of skydiving is jaw-droppingly small. Our modern sport of skydiving has an excellent safety record, and those numbers just keep getting better.

The United States Parachute Association, our sport's oversight organization in the USA, recorded just 24 fatal sport skydiving accidents out of roughly 3.2 million jumps made in 2014. You'll note that this number is given for sport skydiving; for tandem skydiving, those numbers are even better, clocking in at 0.003 student fatalities per 1,000 tandem jumps over the past decade. Shocker, huh? I mean: that's way safer than your morning commute, getting a piece of toast out of a toaster or spending any amount of time at all around cows.

4. Skydiving Feels Really Good.

Are you pretty sure that your stomach is going to drop to your feet like it does on a particularly gnarly roller coaster? Even if you like that feeling and you want to have it (which is your prerogative, we guess), you're not going to find it here. Even though you'll be heading directly downward at 120mph, the air pressure exerted against your body in freefall feels like riding a great big cushion. It feels great.

Ironically: Once you're out of the door of the plane and well away from what your brain insists is "safety," the fear drops entirely away. In fact, it's alchemically replaced with a shimmering confidence that pours off of you for weeks. Kinda cool, huh? Not a bad compensation for the time you spend being nervous. We'll be waiting for you on the ground with a hearty high-five.

Alright, so now that we've put your skydiving fears to rest... what are you waiting for? Tandem skydive with the longest running New England skydiving center. We can't wait to show you how good skydiving really feels!

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