To answer this question precisely, skydiving isn’t difficult at all. With modern technology and trained and licensed instructors, everything gets much more comfortable.
I will take a moment and answer some critical questions about skydiving.Skydiving is not a competitive sport, but you still need the right frame of mind.
- How easy is it to learn to skydive?
- What do You Require for successful skydiving?
- What’s the most difficult part about skydiving?
- Can I fully trust my Tandem skydiver/ Instructor?
- Can you skydive alone for the first time?
- Is a Skydive Landing Hard?
How easy is it to learn to skydive?
It’s pretty easy to learn skydiving, and you can make it a hobby or even a life-time career.
To start with, mental preparedness takes the most significant part of the challenge. Physical fitness is equally important.
The best approach to learn skydiving is starting with a tandem instructor. This is where you have a trainer or more experienced skydiver jump off with you.
In these initial stages, your tandem will do much of the work, including working the parachute for you. In the process, you are expected to pick all essential skills for your subsequent dives.
What do You Require for successful skydiving?
The mental challenge:
I want to emphasize the need for the right mindset.
Naturally, the first diving experience will overwhelm you with feelings. There will be fear, excitement, lots of nervousness, uncertainty, and mixed emotions.
In this state, you are unable to make quick, rational decisions where necessary. Bearing this in mind, I advocate for proper mental preparedness. You need to calm down and take charge of all these feelings.
Firstly, be assured of your safety. With all things done right and precautions are taken, you will safely come back to the ground.
The United States Parachuting Association reports that out of 3 million jumps done in a year, there only 21 fatalities or 0.0007% chances of death from skydiving.
This is how you can shift your mind from worry to comfort.
Arrive on Time:
You want to fight the anxiety of thinking about what could go wrong. Traffic snarl-up, delayed check-in-process, the pre-jump orientation can all become stressful if you don’t allocate enough time.
Give yourself adequate time allowance, especially if you have to do other things on the way, such as picking snacks.
Relax and listen:
You can get to the drop zone expecting that there will be some wait time. It could be dull weather clearing, logistics being sorted, or the team gets ready.
At this time, it’s essential to occupy your mind. Read a book, engage in some talk instructors or jumpers, and enjoy the moment. It helps your mind to settle.
The physical challenge:
In skydiving, you do not necessarily have to build muscle, gain, or lose weight. What you need, instead, is muscle memory and your senses alert.
You need to know what actions to take at each point. Like driving a manual car, you become better at it over time, and changing gears happens almost naturally.
Everyone will have a different learning curve, and some will grasp various elements of the sport better and faster.
Be keen on these the following elements of the sport: exiting the plane, gaining stability, and landing like a star. Here are the essential preparation tips:
Get enough sleep the previous night
The first skydive will make you nervous, and you will possibly not sleep much. This is quite normal and happens to most people. However, enough rest sets you into the right mood and state of mind.
Get into the right skydiving gear.
The need for the right skydiving gear cannot be overemphasized. It’s suitable for your safety and still boosts your confidence.
Eat a healthy diet
Not many sporting activities are done on an empty stomach, and skydiving is no different.
It would help if you had a good meal and some snacks to keep your energy levels intact. It would help if you had it all the way and down.
Drink enough water and Avoid Alcohol
When you are properly hydrated, your body responds well to various circumstances. It reduces your chances of feeling uncomfortable while on the plane.
Avoid taking Alcohol before skydiving, and don’t even go for skydiving if you have a hungover.
What’s the most difficult part about skydiving?
Honestly, I don’t think there is any part that is more difficult than the other. The most important thing is to take each phase and each action seriously.
- The Plane Ride
The only way to get to an altitude you can skydive from is by taking the plane ride. At this stage, it is crucial to shift your perception and conquer your thoughts.
Be positive and work to overcome the fear of the challenge ahead.
- The Exit
At this point, reality dawns on you; the only choice you have is to make a dive from 13,000ft. This is one of the briefest parts, lasting only about three seconds.
Once you are finally able to obey the voice that says go forward, you will have conquered yet another challenging part of the process.
- The Freefall
Thoughts of doubt will flow into your mind just before you take the jump and begin the free fall. But you are at a point of no return, and all the energy preserved for this exercise comes flowing.
Take every moment and enjoy the ride. The sceneries you witness when you look down are spectacular from this view. Embrace all the sights and sounds.
- The Canopy Ride
The canopy ride comes up after about 60 seconds. At the right time, your instructor will deploy the parachute. If you are relaxed and able to take every moment as it comes, you will experience a serene, quiet view from an eagle’s perspective.
This vantage point is breathtaking. Take it all in. Make it even more enjoyable with exciting spirals and turns, especially later on when you gain more experience and better skills.
- The Landing
As an essential precaution, listen to the instructor as you get closer to landing. The forward and downward movements are controlled via inputs installed on the parachute to slow them considerably for a gentle landing.
You will learn this one too, so you have nothing to worry about.
Can I fully trust my Tandem skydiver/ Instructor?
You see, each stage has specific actions enhanced to make the experience worthwhile.
Certified institutions work with licensed instructors to maintain the highest level of professionalism and safety standards.
The standard number of times to qualify as an instructor is about 500 landings and three years in the sport. But I also know institutions that ask for at least 750-1000 landings and five years of experience.
These are indisputably high safety standards. They should help raise your confidence in the sport and the institutions that offer this service.
Can you skydive alone for the first time?
Yes. You can go entirely solo on your first skydive.
Skydiving is a sport in which you choose your adventure and decide how much fun you have. Even for your first skydive, you can do it all alone.
We encourage this kind of self-direction in the sport because it helps you build your confidence and skills.
Here are some choices to make for your first skydive:
a) Tandem skydiving
In tandem skydiving, you are attached to a professional tandem instructor throughout the process. You hardly do much as they guide you all through.
About half a day of learning and practice equips you with the essential, necessary skills.
b) First-time skydive with your parachute
You can skip the tandem instructor option and make your first jump with your parachute. If you pull this one, you’ve taken the first step of the AFF (Accelerated Freefall). It’s an essential step to licensing if that is where you have set your eyes.
After taking the necessary lessons on equipment and body positioning, you will make your first skydive with two instructors by your side.
Their role is to hold onto you during the freefall and helping you to stay calm and oriented.
They may let you go once you deploy your parachute and land to a triumphant cheering.
c) Finally, you can jump solo if well prepared
This choice of first time skydive demands some effort and commitment to achieve. It’s for those who are curious enough and ready to learn.
An open mind and preparedness are critical to this process. As part of preparations, have enough rest the previous night and hydrate appropriately.
An adaptive beginner’s mindset will make this a smooth sail.
Is a Skydive Landing Hard?
I want to demystify landing because there is a widespread misconception.
Many people believe landings are challenging and involve a heavy impact. That is entirely untrue. As explained earlier, landing is well controlled, and you land either on your feet or bum, depending on the circumstances.
During landing, you will be met by catchers, also known as a ‘shagger’. This is a person on the ground who helps you to deflate and collapse your parachute.
The Final Word
Not many sports offer the kind of satisfaction that a successful skydive brings. The close brush with wind and the adrenaline rush are just some of the most exciting aspects of skydiving.
In my experience, what many people appreciate about the sport is seeing adventurous scenes from a vantage point, hanging in the air.
Unlike many other sports, skydiving is also enticing because it does not require too much endurance, only training, practice, and certification at every level.