Does your stomach drop when you skydive

Oh, that contentious airtime feeling or, as it’s more commonly known, the stomach drop!

Some people absolutely love it. Just ask any roller coaster enthusiast, and they will give you what could very nearly qualify as a physics lecture on the ways to maximize airtime with seating placement and body position. Others simply cannot stand the sensation and will do just about everything they can to avoid any and all traces of tummy tingles. So, with a skydive on the horizon and quite possibly the farthest drop you’ve ever made, you’ve got to be wondering: does skydiving make your stomach drop?

Depending on the camp you are in, you’ll either be delighted to hear or a little dismayed to learn the answer to this question. There’s no time to waste. Let’s get to it. Does your stomach drop when you skydive?

What does skydiving feel like?

What does skydiving feels like?

The experience of skydiving is composed of three primary parts: the plane ride to altitude, the freefall, and the descent beneath a parachute. As such, each different part of the skydive will come with a whole host of physical and mental sensations.

During the plane ride to altitude, mental reactions will run the gamut from trepidation to excitement. Likewise, these emotions may manifest physically as increased heart rate, sweaty palms, shaky hands, and bouncing knees.

As you make your way to exit the plane, all of your excitement and anxiety will come to a head—clashing in the ultimate contest of emotion. So, which will win out? Luckily, there’s not enough time to find out because the second your body passes the threshold of the aircraft door–it’s nothing but the rush of freefall! This is the section of the skydive that many people worry will cause a stomach-dropping sensation.

So, at the moment you fall from the aircraft, does your stomach drop when you skydive?

The simple answer: no!

The stomach drop you experience when you crest the peak of a rollercoaster happens because of a drastic increase in speed. During the plane ride portion of the skydive, the aircraft will be moving roughly 70-80 mp. When you exit the aircraft, within about 10 seconds you will reach your terminal velocity of 120 mph. Because the delta between your horizontal and vertical speed does not increase drastically, you do not experience a stomach drop when you skydive.

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Furthermore, the freefall portion of a skydive doesn’t feel much like falling at all. Rather, it feels like you are resting, supported on a column of air.

What does the rest of the skydive feel like?

Does your stomach drop when you skydive?

After experiencing freefall for about 60 seconds, it will be time to deploy the parachute. Because of a staged deployment process, the opening of the parachute is a surprisingly gentle affair. The parachute ride can be as gentle or as dynamic as you would like it to be. If you go toward the more dynamic route, you can experience some stomach-tingling sensations as the instructor spirals the parachute.

Words, unfortunately, fail to do it justice, and so to really know exactly what does skydiving feel like, you’ll just have to make the leap to see for yourself.

Can I eat or drink before skydiving?

Can I eat or drink before skydiving?

Because of the misconception that you will experience a stomach drop when you skydive, many fear eating before their jump. The truth is you should treat your skydiving day the same as any other. It’s best to eat a healthy moderate breakfast or lunch before your jump and to plan on bringing a light snack with you in case you become peckish. Drinking water, tea, or electrolyte beverages before a skydive is fine, but under no circumstances should you consume alcohol before skydiving. If you are suspected to be under the influence, you will not be allowed to skydive.

Now that you’ve read what to expect, why not put our words to the test. How would you describe what skydiving feels like?

If you’ve never made a jump, here’s your chance! Call or book online today!

Injuries From Bungee Jumping

Girl bungee jumping

Bungee jumping may give you great thrills, but also may leave you with great injuries. After you free fall, the bungee cord tugs you back upward with a sudden and great force. The combination of this extreme force and dangling from a cord can cause varying degrees of injuries your eyes, spine and neck that can even be severe enough to result in death.

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Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are commonly the result of bungee jumps because of the dangerously high increase in pressure that occurs in the eyes. When the elastic chord suddenly jerks you upward, it causes fluid to flow to your head, which results in very high blood pressure inside the blood vessels in your eyes. Your retina — the thin layer of cells at the back of your eye that directly connects to your brain–and your conjunctiva — the thin mucous lining over your eyes — can be negatively affected by this increase in pressure. Injuries to these areas of your eyes usually cause temporary impairment of vision, explain Mario Cesar Moreira de Araujo, M.D. and Marcelo Riccio Facio, M.D. in a Sports Medicine article. Eye infections, seeing spots and hemorrhages may also occur.

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Spine Injuries

The extreme forces your body is subject to as it is pulled back upward by the bungee cord can injure the vertebrae of your spine and the delicate spinal cord that they protect. Injuries typically include compression fractures — broken bones in the spine — and herniated discs and spaces between the vertebrae. While these injuries can be healed, they can also be severe and permanent. If the spinal cord inside the vertebrae is damaged it can result in forms of paralysis and quadriplegia — the inability to move your arms and legs.

Neck Injuries

Your neck is at risk during a bungee jump, and injury to it can range from mild to severe. The force on this fragile part of your body that connects your brain to your spinal cord during the final stage of the jump can be enough to strain your neck muscles, and cause pain and a temporary decrease in range of motion. There have also been instances of the bungee cord accidentally entangling a jumper’s neck. When this happens, it can cut off blood flow between the heart and the brain, or strangle the jumper and make him unable to breathe. In these instances, the jumper needs to be rescued immediately to prevent death.


Death, unfortunately, does occasionally occur as a result of bungee jumping. If a jumper’s neck is entangled in the cord for even a few minutes, his brain cannot get enough oxygen and his injury will be fatal. Another common reason people sustain fatal injuries from bungee jumping is because the cord is too long. People incorrectly take into account the elasticity of the cord and hit their heads on the ground, dying from impact. Even professional bungee jumpers make these mistakes and are at risk for fatal injuries. The day before the Super Bowl in 1997, a professional bungee jumper who was practicing for the halftime show at the Superdome hit her head on the cement floor during a jump and died from head injuries.

Does Your Stomach Drop When You Skydive?

Does Your Stomach Drop When You Skydive?

Jumping from an airplane has its obvious risks and you would think we would receive queries about parachute malfunctions and their likelihood of occurring or our safety record, but that’s not the case. The most common question we receive is “Does your stomach drop when you skydive?”

In other words, do you get that sickly feeling whereby your stomach enters your throat as you race down that first hill on a rollercoaster-type feeling? Let’s break it down:

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Does your stomach drop when you skydive?

Does Your Stomach Drop When You Skydive?

Skydiving should not be compared to a rollercoaster as the sensations felt are completely different. That “sick” feeling of your stomach may be felt for about a second, but most people don’t feel it at all.

It’s natural to think that the physical sensation of a skydive is similar to a rollercoaster because it’s the most similar thing one can compare it to, but it’s completely different and the reason for this is speed or rather the building of speed.

Think of that slow click– click– click– clicking of the rollercoaster as it slowly trundles up that first hill. The excitement builds as you know what’s coming as you see the entire layout of the amusement park reveal itself as you get higher. The stomach-in-throat sensation is getting ready to happen and you’re already bracing for it! As the coaster crests the vertex and each cart races down the hill, the sensation hits. The acceleration from 1mph to 45+mph sets your core into a strain as you fight your stomach from entering your throat giving you that “green” feeling that we all hate, but kind of love!

The reason the sick feeling hits is because of that building of speed as the coaster races down the hill. The reason this isn’t felt as much with skydiving is because of the speed of the aircraft when it’s time to jump.

Accelerating from 100 mph to 120 mph

Accelerating from 100 mph to 120 mph

When sitting in the airplane preparing to jump, you’ll have little idea that the aircraft is moving at approximately 100mph. You’re actually humming through the sky at a pretty fast rate, but because there are no fixed objects in the sky (like trees on the side of the freeway), you don’t have a concept of speed. Top speed for a tandem skydive is about 120mph, so as you exit and descend, you’ll be accelerating from 100mph to 120mph and it happens very quickly! Because the acceleration happens so quickly, most people never feel that stomach in throat sensation. For those that do, it’s very brief and not nearly as dramatic as what’s felt on a rollercoaster as the building of speed is actually less.

In Summary

The sensations felt during a skydive really can’t be compared to very much – it’s not like bungee jumping or riding a rollercoaster – it’s a feeling unto its own and its glorious. If you’re worried about your that “stomach drop” affect, have no fear – you’ll be just fine!




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