Why Do People Go Skydiving? Top 10 Reasons
And when you think about it, it kind of is! We’re jumping out of planes, with nothing but a bunch of fabric to deploy and hold us in the sky.
So why the hell do people go skydiving? Isn’t it dangerous? Are they just daredevils?
Truth be told, there’s actually a lot of reasons people go skydiving. Of course, you have the skydivers who just want the adrenaline rush – but there’s much more to it than that.
To help explain, I’ve covered every benefit myself and my friends jump out of planes. If that sounds good, let’s dive in!
10 Reasons Why People Go Skydiving
#1 – It’s On Their Bucket List
Whether they saw Point Blank as a kid, or simply love the idea of being in the sky, tons of people have skydiving on their bucket list.
It might be the scariest, most off-putting experience for them to picture, but a bucket list is a bucket list! This is one of the most common reasons that tandem students come to do one great big jump. Skydiving truly is an experience like no other.
No matter how scared someone is before they jump, they always land with the biggest grin across their face!
#2 – The Adrenaline Rush
Once you get past the bucket list skydivers – who typically come for one jump – we get the regular thrill seekers. These jumpers are the bones of any drop zone, often helping with running the airfield and it’s community.
They keep coming back for the rush of jumping. There’s nothing in life like the thrill of hurtling through the air. Especially once you’re licensed and have your own gear, meaning you can do it for as little as $25 a jump!
However, eventually the pure ‘rush’ fades into a deeper connection within the sport.
#3 – The Freedom
After the adrenaline comes the appreciation.
Once your brain stops going haywire when you’re jumping, you start to really appreciate the freedom that comes with skydiving.
It’s just you up there in the sky – with friends or alone – and doing whatever the hell you want. Shooting through the sky like a superhero, doing backflips, practicing tricks and maneuvers, or simply enjoying the view. All of this followed by piloting your parachute back down to earth.
This is pure freedom. It’s the best medicine to all the worries and stresses of the world. For many, this is the true reason they keep coming back to skydiving. It’s like a wonderful, life-filled reset button. Afterwards, you return to normality with a much better appreciation for all the little things.
Everything seems like a bit of a novelty after you’ve spent the weekend flying through the sky.
#4 – Impress Their Friends
Okay, so we’ve gotten past the regulars. Here comes the first ‘unique’ reason!
In an age of Instagram and Facebook, people often do things just to show that they’ve done it. They don’t look forward to the event itself, but instead look forward to the amount of likes they’d get on a photo of them with a parachute, or how they could use it to impress a potential date.
Unfortunately, these types of people are quite common. You can often spot them due to the lack of interest in training, while they’re the first to start posing for photos at any opportunity. They’ll sometimes make mistakes because they were too busy looking for selfie opportunities than listening to safety briefings.
While this isn’t always the cause, I’ve seen students like these land in the nearby car park, and even in a tree! Modern instructors are now masters at explaining why no, it isn’t a good idea to pull out your phone as we’re flying through the air…
#5 – Confidence Building
Next up is a group you can’t help but love.
People who jump to build their confidence typically start off as bucket list jumpers. Then they recognize how amazing the skydive made them feel – especially after conquering their fears.
I was definitely in this group. Don’t get me wrong, I was scared like hell in all of my first jumps. I actually found the second scarier than the first! However with each jump I got more confident, and the realization that I could handle skydiving and earn my licence filled me with pride.
When life makes you question yourself, there’s something reassuring about knowing you’re able to fly through the air, open your canopy, and fly yourself to the ground. Not to mention being prepared for any emergency opportunities.
That feeling is why a lot of people take up skydiving as a sport. That, and one other super important reason…
#6 – To See Their Friends Again!
Skydivers are typically some of the happiest, fun-loving, positive people you’ll meet.
Granted, there are a few jumpers out there with big egos and a chip on their shoulder. But for the most part, skydivers are fun-loving and super welcoming people.
Plus – skydiving is a unique environment. People from all types of backgrounds are being brought together to do this one crazy thing. It really breaks down barriers between different kinds of people, and lets us all connect thanks to this one common interest.
#7 – To Do Before They Die
This is possibly my favorite group. There’s a certain type of people who get a new lease on life as they get older.
This might be caused by not doing things when they were younger, or just a new way of seeing the world.
Whatever the case, there’s a certain number of elderly citizens that suddenly fancy trying out skydiving!
The story of Kathryn Hodges isn’t unique – there’s plenty of older people who have finally gotten over their fear of flying. I always find these stories to be incredibly inspiring. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you can’t do incredible things!
#8 Peer Pressure!
Going back to the younger types of jumpers again, there’s a few who aren’t exactly at the airfield out of their own free will.
Whenever we see a big group of friends or family rock up for their first skydives, there’s always one or two who are extra scared. They’re usually the ones hurling insults and “I’m gonna get you for this!” at their closest friends.
These people are unlucky enough to have convincing, adventure-seeking friends who’ve roped them in to coming with them. Never one to spoil the fun, they sign up through gritted teeth – knowing it isn’t for them, but they want to be there experiencing it with the group.
They also have one of the best reactions after the jump. Typically, it’s:
Jumper: “That was amazing!”
Instructor: “Great! Would you like to do it again?”
#9 – Therapy / Spiritual Connection
I mentioned before that some people jump for the Freedom of a skydive (Reason #3).
In the same vein, there’s others who come back for similar reasons. Maybe they’ve been going through a particularly hard time, or they just need to inject some energy back into their lives. But sometimes you’ll get a jumper who returns after a period of absence just to jump on their own.
I know I’ve felt the same thing. After a long time away from jumping, I can’t wait to get into the air and just be alone with myself and the sky. Maybe it sounds corny, but there’s something serene about being up there in the sky.
As adrenaline-filled and thrill seeking that skydiving can be, I find it can also be equally artistic, spiritual, and serene – depending on how you look at it.
#10 – YOLO / Try Everything Once
To round us out, we have the ‘yes!’ people.
This group want to try absolutely everything. Bungee jump? Done. White water rafting? You betcha. Posed for a naked art class? Why not!
They’re living to get the most experience packed into their lives, and so they have no hesitation to sign up to skydive. Whatever underlying fears they feel are completely outweighed by their desire to experience absolutely everything they can.
While I’m not one of these people, I definitely respect them! They have the craziest stories, the most amazing travel logs, and a world full of friends. I’m not saying all of us should quit our jobs and travel the world in vans, but there’s definitely something we can all learn from them.
I hope this quick list has shown that there’s a whole host of reasons why people go skydiving.
If I missed your reason, do let me hear about in the comments! I’m always interested in what draws people to the sport.
If you’ve found this interesting, please check out the related articles below.
Does Skydiving Feel Like a Roller Coaster?
Most first-time tandem skydivers are pretty sure they know what the feeling of skydiving is like before they try it: like a roller coaster, of course!
See the thing is. it’s not. Not at all. Not the least bit. Not even a smidgen. So, what does it feel like to skydive? Let’s break it down, shall we?
1. There’s No “Drop.”
Y’know that feeling when you’ve clickity-clacked right to the top of the biggest hill on the roller coaster, then you feel the first car go over and the pit of your stomach flip flops because you know that great big drop is coming in a second?
Well, if you’re waiting for that drop from the door of an airplane, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time. (Likely, until you’ve landed from your jump, driven to a theme park and gotten on a roller coaster.) Instead, you’ll be supported by a cushion of air the moment you exit the plane.
2. Your Stomach And Your Throat Will Keep Their Distance.
Along those lines, a lot of first-timers also wonder, ‘does skydiving feel like falling’? The stomach-in-throat feeling is directly related to a sense of falling. A skydive, you’ll note, is not a skyfall. (That’s the Bond film, remember? With the ludicrous abandoned-farmhouse shootout scene at the end, where a blonde Javier Bardem is manning a helicopter and being generally creepy?)
On a skyfall–which is a totally mythological phenomenon–you’d probably just kick helplessly around the whole time. You wouldn’t have relative wind pushing against you, making your descent smooth and helping you and your tandem instructor keep an even, belly-to-earth body position. On a skydive, you have relative wind helping you out the whole way. Hence: no stomach-in-throat fally feels–which is good, because freefall lasts quite a while longer than even the biggest roller coaster hill.
3. You Won’t Feel A Sense Of Descent.
From the top of the hill on a roller coaster, you can see the depth of the terrain below you. You see shadows. You see the height of trees and buildings. You hear sound coming up from the ground below. In short: On a roller coaster, you have a general sense of how far everything is below you.
From the door of an aircraft, the world below looks like a map. There’s no sense at all of ground rush until your smooth, much-much-slower canopy ride is well underway. Between that and the helpful hug of relative wind, you really don’t feel like you’re making a descent in that whee-here-we-go-down roller coaster kinda way. (That’s why we skydivers wear precision instruments to track our altitude on every jump.)
4. It’s Baby-Smooth.
Roller coaster rattles? Head smacking around between the harness bars? Jolting stops and starts? No, thanks. That’s not going to be your skydiving experience.
Again because of relative wind, you won’t realize you’re hurtling 120mph through the sky. From the moment you exit, the speed tapers smoothly up. When your instructor deploys the parachute, you’ll almost certainly experience a deceleration much gentler than the juddering clunk as the roller coaster pulls into the station. The landing itself, under a luxuriously big parachute, is sweet, too.
Suffice it to say: The only thing that’s the same between skydiving and roller coaster ridin’, if we’re being honest, is the fact that both skydiving and roller coasters put a big smile on your face.
Spoiler: The skydiving smile is bigger and lasts way, way, way longer.
Give it a try! You’ll see what we mean. Book your NYC skydiving adventure online today!
Is Skydiving Scarier Than Roller Coasters?
Have you ever thought about how it would feel to jump out of an airplane?
It’s a pretty scary thought, right?
If the idea of skydiving scares you, you’re not alone. But what’s interesting is that after people jump, most tell us that skydiving is nowhere near as scary as other things they’ve tried, like roller coasters.
And it makes perfect sense! While roller coasters are built to scare you, skydiving is a personal experience that usually results in pure joy. Let us explain…
What’s scary about skydiving?
OK, so this might sound like a pretty weird question. But when you break it down, it’s not the whole skydive that scares people. It’s not even the real life skydive, if we’re honest. For more people, the scariest part of skydiving is the idea of doing it.
The anticipation of what’s to come is much more terrifying than the jump itself! When we try to imagine what skydiving will be like, we don’t have a frame of reference – we’ve never done anything like this before – so we start to worry about everything we don’t know. It’s a fear of the unknown.
With that said, when we ask people “is skydiving scary“, there is one part of the jump that most people reference – and that’s the exit. That moment in the door, looking out into the sky, the ground thousands of feet below… you’ll be forgiven for feeling a little apprehensive! But believe us when we say it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do.
Does skydiving feel like falling?
That’s a good question. Technically, you are falling, and you are aware of that. Just look down and you’ll see the ground getting closer – there’s no mistaking the fact that you are falling through the sky!
It doesn’t feel like falling, though. You’d expect falling to feel like a big rush, very fast and loud. But the reality of skydiving is that once you reach your terminal velocity (around 10 seconds after exit), you feel more like you’re cushioned on the air.
Rather than feeling like falling, you feel like you’re floating. It’s an awesome experience, and the closest you’ll get to know how birds feel!
Does skydiving feel like a roller coaster?
In a discussion of skydiving vs roller coasters, there are lots of similarities. That feeling in your stomach that you get as the roller coaster tips over a peak, for example, is pretty similar to the feeling you’ll get as you fall out of the airplane. And the adrenaline burst you’ll feel as you fall through the air is a lot like the adrenaline you get as you zoom around the coaster track.
But that’s where the similarities end. While a roller coaster is designed to push your body to its limits, skydiving is a much smoother, much freer experience. It’s hard to describe, but if a roller coaster was the ocean, it would be choppy and rough, whereas a skydiving is like a serene lake, much calmer and almost tranquil.
The experience you’ll get when you skydive is unlike anything you’ve done before. It’s almost impossible to describe in words – so come and try it with us!