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Is Skydiving Like a Roller Coaster?

Is Skydiving Like a Roller Coaster?

Published: June 15, 2016

Skydiving is difficult to describe to those who haven't experienced it. Many people use analogies to try; one of the most common comparisons is between skydiving and roller coasters.

The truth is that skydiving isn't much like a roller coaster at all. While both attract adrenaline junkies and can be the source of epic levels of fun, skydiving and roller coasters differ in a number of ways. Here, we'll explain what makes skydiving unique.

Feeling the 'Drop'

One of the most exciting parts of being on a roller coaster is that feeling of dropping as the vehicle takes off. With Six Flags and Salem Willows just a couple of hours away, we love visiting theme parks and enjoying a good roller coaster but, as skydivers, we can tell you... it's not the same!

That dropping feeling comes from the fact that the roller coaster is starting from 0mph. When that speed builds up quickly, it gives you that stomach-turning sensation that sends adrenaline racing through your body. You'd experience something similar if you were in a car going from a standing start.

Skydiving, on the other hand, doesn't give you that dropping feeling. That's because you're leaving an airplane that is already moving, meaning the relative speed you feel as you fall away includes the forward speed of the plane. Your falling speed does increase from the moment you leave the airplane - in fact, you reach speeds of around 120mph at your terminal velocity.

That's not to say that skydiving doesn't give you a good amount of adrenaline! Nothing compares to the excitement of jumping from a plane. It's something you need to experience to really understand!

Roller Coasters are Scarier than Skydiving

Many of our first-time jumpers tell us skydiving is less scary than riding a roller coaster. Skydiving here in the US is governed by the United States Parachute Association (USPA) and over the years, many developments have been made to the sport to improve safety.

These includes technological advancements such as automatic parachute deployment devices and the adoption of the square parachute design. Every skydiver jumps with two parachutes and training for the sport is detailed and rigorous. All of these factors are reassuring when you're jumping for the first time and can make it less scary than being on a roller coaster, where you may not know what to expect or anything about the equipment.

What is Skydiving Really Like?

Skydiving is an amazing experience unlike anything else. That's what makes it so difficult to describe to those who haven't tried it.

Perhaps surprisingly, it doesn't feel like falling. Freefall feels more like being cushioned by the air. Adrenaline heightens your senses and time seems to slow down. You feel in control, empowered and all of your worries are pushed out of your mind for those few minutes of freedom in the sky.

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