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Who has gone skydiving before?

peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
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I know my FI wants to do it. I know I want to do it. He turns 30 next month and I'm about 99.9% sure I want to buy us both a tandem jump on his actual birthday at a skydiving place an hour north of where we live. 

My plans are to drive him to the place and not tell him anything about what we're doing. Otherwise he will be all nervous leading up to it. Maybe this is a bad idea, but I know he'll be super excited once he figures out what we're doing and hopefully he'll have way less time to be nervous and more time to learn what to do and will just be excited.

Question for the brave knotties who have skydived before: any tips? Is having breakfast that day a no-no? Is the video package necessary? Thanks!
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Re: Who has gone skydiving before?

  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
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    edited March 2015
    peachy13 said:

    I know my FI wants to do it. I know I want to do it. He turns 30 next month and I'm about 99.9% sure I want to buy us both a tandem jump on his actual birthday at a skydiving place an hour north of where we live. 


    My plans are to drive him to the place and not tell him anything about what we're doing. Otherwise he will be all nervous leading up to it. Maybe this is a bad idea, but I know he'll be super excited once he figures out what we're doing and hopefully he'll have way less time to be nervous and more time to learn what to do and will just be excited.

    Question for the brave knotties who have skydived before: any tips? Is having breakfast that day a no-no? Is the video package necessary? Thanks!
    I went skydiving almost 5 years ago:

    Definitely make sure it's a clear day. I went on a cloudy day and it was awful :( didn't get to see anything until we broke through the clouds. I ate breakfast, no problems. But I have a pretty strong stomach. Like eating and then twirly rides or roller coasters don't bother me. I didn't do a video package and I was okay with it. I kinda thought "Am I ever going to look at this again unless I'm drunk and have people over and want people to laugh at me?" so I turned it down.

    It was a blast though. I really enjoyed it.

    ETA: I tandum jumped though. Didn't go on my own, which was an option for me to do. 

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
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    I've done it twice.  Both times were tandem.     First time was in NJ between Philly and Atlantic City.  It was such a clear day I could see both cities.   We jumped from 13,500 ft.

    2nd time was with my dad in Indiana.   Also at 13,500.   It was also amazing.

    I love sky diving.  Would love to go again here in the mountains.


    FWIW - I HATE roller coasters.  Can't stand them.    Sky diving is totally different. There is not point of reference that you don't have the same "falling" sensation.  Or at least I didn't.






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    peachy13
  • I have! 
    The worst part for me was actually the plane ride up. The planes aren't exactly commercial jets and the thought of having to land in it was enough for me to want to make the jump. 


    -I recommend having something in your stomach because nerves on an empty stomach tend to be worse IMO
    - Try to  get their early talk to your tandem instructor before jumping. It helped me to trust him more after having a conversation with him and feeling like he was less of a random stranger. 
    -If you or your FI are super nervous, ask the front desk person if you can be paired with an instructor who is good with people experiencing nerves. I did this and mine was so comforting towards me and tried really hard to get my mind off of the fear. This made a huge difference and I really appreciated it.
    - The first 3-5 seconds of the jump are the worst. Your body will not have reached terminal velocity yet and you will feel a seemingly endless falling sensation, once you reach terminal velocity, then you will just feel like you are floating
    -It isn't as scary as you might think to look out the plane and jump. The reason for this is once you reach a certain height, it become really difficult for your brain to distinguish how high up you actually are
    -I recommend a photo package, but video was kind of pointless IMO. You are going to look super ridiculous and may not even want to show it to anyone
    -It does go by super fast so try to soak up the experience while it lasts

    peachy13
  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
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    I have. I LOVED it. Mind you, I am terrified of flying.

    I had breakfast that morning, but it was more like half a bagel because I was so nervous. FI's cousin actually had the same idea you have. She surprised her husband with a tandem dive on his birthday. They woke him up that morning and were like "We're going skydiving!!!" He was really nervous, but LOVED it. He was sooo pumped afterwards lol.

    I personally did the video/photo package. I figured that this was my once in a lifetime thing, so I wanted to make sure I had evidence! I showed EVERYONE my video. My friends uncle actually uploaded our videos to youtube so that was pretty cool. I would say it's worth it - but I am really into pictures and video. Most of the people I did it with also got video.

    It's an amazing experience, and I was SOOOOO pumped afterwards. There was so much adrenaline pumping through my body. I did have some trouble breathing during the free fall (which should be around 60 seconds), so that was a pain. And it totally doesn't look like you are plummeting towards earth.
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    peachy13
  • Did a tandem jump in Las Vegas. Loved it and desperately want to do it again.

    I agree it's a very different sensation than the roller coaster sensation. I ate and was just fine.

    I did pictures (basically video stills) instead of a video. Glad I didn't waste more money on the video. Most of the pictures are so laughably terrible. A couple really cool ones though.

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    peachy13
  • I went for my birthday 2 years ago, and loved it! I'm typically not great with heights, but (because tandem) was fairly ok with it. My only issue was with allergies. Your ears need to pop constantly during the free fall. There was a lot of pollen that day, and after about ~20 seconds my ears stopped clearing. The pressure was fairly painful, but once the chute was pulled, I was fine.

    If you have seasonal allergies, I'd recommend taking something before you jump. Also, the video is totally worth it!!
    peachy13
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
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    I've gone too - I went over the Skeleton Coast in Namibia, tandem, and I totally recommend tandem because you get way more freefall.

    I also didn't feel sick to my stomach at all, and I definitely ate breakfast before I went. 

    For me, the scary part was also the plane - it was a little Cessna too small to stand up in and there was no door. I went up with two other tandem pairs and the tallest pair actually sat in the plane basically braced against the open space where the door would be with their legs stretched out and then, like, rolled out of the plane by just leaning over. It was nuts. I'm short enough that we got to kneel at the opening instead, which was better.

    I didn't get the video because we were in Africa and the DVD region is different, so I wouldn't have been able to play it here anyway. But I kind of wish I'd sprung for the photos, which I didn't.

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  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
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    thanks everyone! Loving your stories.
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  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
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    DH and I did a tandem jump couple months ago on his birthday.  I tried doing the surprise thing, but he figured it out ahead of time when I told him we had plans for his birthday.  It was awesome.  It was cold, but super clear skies and you could see forever.

    As far as food, I didn't have any trouble.  DH on the other hand didn't have as much luck... he was super nauseous.  But, we made the mistake of eating at Waffle House about an hour before jumping, so eat, but maybe avoid super greasy food.

    We opted for both video & photo package.  I would definitely get at least one of them to memorialize the event.  My brother went several years ago and didn't get any photos and regrets it.  Honestly, my still photos looked stupid, so I kind of liked the video better. And you can also capture stills from the video later.  

    I wasn't so much of a fan of free fall, because it is hard to breathe with all that air blowing at you.  By the time I figured out to take very slow breaths, the parachute opened.   And my ears were sore for about a day afterward from the pressure and not popping. But, nothing too horrible. After the parachute opened, the views were amazing.  I had a great instructor that pointed out all the various sights. DH's instructor didn't really say anything to him the whole time.

    But, have fun... it's an awesome experience.

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    peachy13
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
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    I have never and will never skydive but a question after reading many of the PPs posts.....everyone seems to mention going tandem.  I didn't think solo was an option unless you have a few dives under your belt? True or not true?  I mean, even if I WANTED to go sky diving, I don't think I'd want the first one by myself!  lol.
  • JoanE2012 said:

    I have never and will never skydive but a question after reading many of the PPs posts.....everyone seems to mention going tandem.  I didn't think solo was an option unless you have a few dives under your belt? True or not true?  I mean, even if I WANTED to go sky diving, I don't think I'd want the first one by myself!  lol.

    You can do what's called accelerated free fall if you go alone. You only go up half the height and your chute deploys automatically pretty much asap. You don't get to free fall like you do tandem, and the whole thing is shorter.

    I went tandem and loved it. Got the video and am glad I did... It's mostly me yelling "fuckfuckfuck! Holy shit!" Ate banana bread on the way there.

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    amelishaFran1985 peachy13
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
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    JoanE2012 said:

    I have never and will never skydive but a question after reading many of the PPs posts.....everyone seems to mention going tandem.  I didn't think solo was an option unless you have a few dives under your belt? True or not true?  I mean, even if I WANTED to go sky diving, I don't think I'd want the first one by myself!  lol.

    You can do what's called accelerated free fall if you go alone. You only go up half the height and your chute deploys automatically pretty much asap. You don't get to free fall like you do tandem, and the whole thing is shorter.

    I went tandem and loved it. Got the video and am glad I did... It's mostly me yelling "fuckfuckfuck! Holy shit!" Ate banana bread on the way there.
    Yes, this. One of the guys I went up with for my tandem dive had already done a solo one like Lolo described but he said the tandem one was way more fun because it was so much higher and having the tandem master there to help you means you can do cooler stuff with the chute after it deploys too. Mine let me steer in some crazy loops and stuff, which was very fun. I also got to just put my legs up and avoid the landing entirely.

    When you do the solo thing for your first time, you do get a little more instruction ahead of time than you do when you go tandem, obviously, though. When you go tandem, they pretty much just say "Listen to the tandem master and keep your knees bent and legs up on landing" and explain what's going to happen so you're prepared. It's very simple and much less pressure IMO.

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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
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    I have never and will never skydive but a question after reading many of the PPs posts.....everyone seems to mention going tandem.  I didn't think solo was an option unless you have a few dives under your belt? True or not true?  I mean, even if I WANTED to go sky diving, I don't think I'd want the first one by myself!  lol.
    You can do what's called accelerated free fall if you go alone. You only go up half the height and your chute deploys automatically pretty much asap. You don't get to free fall like you do tandem, and the whole thing is shorter.

    I went tandem and loved it. Got the video and am glad I did... It's mostly me yelling "fuckfuckfuck! Holy shit!" Ate banana bread on the way there.

    Ahhhh, ok, thanks for clarifying!  I had no idea that even existed!  Probably because I never looked into it.  hahaha.
  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
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    Yes I went once a year in college! I did tandem each time and it was awesome. I wasn't nervous at all until a moment in the plane. We took off, I adjusted my helmet, and looked out and all of a sudden it was like omg I am about to jump out of a plane. It was awesome though, even though I don't know if I would necessarily do it again. I feel like I would be much more scared now. 

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    peachy13
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
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    DH got me this for my birthday last year, but I wasn't sure about going.  I finally said yes and he forgot about it and never booked it.  I'd love to do it, but the splat worries me.  But I figure whoever is going with me doesn't like the splat either and will take precautions to make sure it doesn't happen.  

  • Never gone but really really want to. I suppose I shouldn't while pregnant. And then I'll feel guilty/risky doing it with little kids. Damnit. Guess I'm looking at doing it for my 50th!
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  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
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    Never gone but really really want to. I suppose I shouldn't while pregnant. And then I'll feel guilty/risky doing it with little kids. Damnit. Guess I'm looking at doing it for my 50th!


    It's not as risky as it would seem. Before I went I looked into the statistics, which probably isn't the best idea before jumping out of a plane, but I was trying to find info to calm my parents down about the decision.  I was surprised at how safe it really is.  It makes since because they do have several levels of backup protections to avoid accidents. It just seems super scary and dangerous because it goes against all natural instincts and you are placing your life in a piece of fabric.  I wouldn't do it while pregnant, but I'm not sure I'd let having small kids keep me from going if I really wanted to go.

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  • ElcaBElcaB member
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    I went skydiving & it was one of the greatest and most memorable experiences of my life!

    Wear something comfortable and semi-form fitting so it's easy to pull your jumpsuit on over top. I ate that day and had no issues, but I also have a stomach of steel :)

    My coworker & I went together and rejected the video package. Trust me, you don't need a video to remember the jump --- my memories of that day will stay with me for the rest of my life! We did bring a friend along to take photos, which I'm very glad we did. He caught us jumping from the plane, plus the before and after pics were great! (The attached photo is me during the free fall, pre-parachute deployment.)

    Have an amazing jump!

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