Has skydiving been on your bucket list? Do you fear the thought of Skydiving? Learn from our experience, our tips, and DO IT!
Skydiving was never on my bucket list. Honestly, I don’t even know what is on my bucket list, everything I have done in recent years weren’t things I ever thought I’d even want to do, like Backpacking 150 miles in the Remote Wilderness of the Adirondacks, spending 5 weeks in Thailand on a Spiritual Journey, Paragliding in France, staying with a Local Family in Grenada for our first time out of the U.S, Backpacking the Presidential Range in NH, and so on… But there is not one thing I regret!!
I have always been very fearful to do a lot of things in life (thanks mom), but John has clearly talked that fear out of me!
Has Skydiving Been on Your Bucket List?
Like I said above, skydiving has not been on my bucket list, nothing I ever had any desire to do. I am someone who will NOT partake in rollercoasters… Even the Farris Wheel at the Fair, nope, won’t do it…
So John has been talking about skydiving for the last few years with my sister, and I really wanted to take him on his 30th birthday, but I didn’t think it’d ever be something I would do.
John turned 32 in November, and a few weeks before, my sister reached out and said let’s take John skydiving for his birthday. She thought just her and John would go, but I really wanted to be a part of the experience. So, I had to sit on it for a few weeks, and then said I’m In! Let’s Do It!
I know if I have to put down a deposit, I will not back down. So we were committed.
October 24th, 2021 was the day we were jumping out of a plane! This was a surprise for John, it was definitely a surprise, but I think he was more surprised that I was doing it too!! We would have much rather jumped out of a plane during the summer months, but we were pleasantly surprised with a beautiful October Day!
So is this on your bucket list? Or maybe it’s not? Are you like me, and don’t partake in rollercoasters? Someone who hates that feeling when your stomach drops? Well, I will discuss all of this, and I think you should definitely jump out of the plane!!
What is Tandem Skydiving?
Tandem skydiving is a type of skydiving discipline that allows individuals to go skydiving with no experience at all. Ta You, the “student” skydiver is connected to an instructor via a harness. The instructor guides you through the whole jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing
Where to Skydive in NY?
Skydive the Ranch is the HIGHEST TANDEM SKYDIVE IN NEW YORK and the LONGEST FREEFALL! Seeing both those statements made me even more scared, like what the hell did my sister get me into!
It is close to NYC, NJ, CT & PA with stunning views of Shawangunk Mountains!
Why you should Skydive the ranch!
- Team of experienced USPA licensed instructors
- Professional videographers to film your skydive
- USPA dropzone for over 40 years
- Highest Skydive in New York, jumping at 13,500 feet
- Longest Freefall in the Northeast, freefalling down to 6,000 feet where the parachute will then open!
- Stunning Views of Shawangunk Mountains
- The aircraft can carry large groups!
- No hidden fees
To add, the instructors and videographers were all a lot of fun and energetic, pumping your up for a badass experience!
Our First Tandem Skydiving Experience
I have been really nervous for weeks leading up to the jump, searching reviews, and experiences, most were good, but the few that didn’t have a good experience worried me more. I didn’t tell anyone, other than my family, that I was going skydiving because I was a little worried, I’d chicken out, and I am someone who sticks to my word and my goals.
October 24th, 2021. It was a beautiful sunny day, a high of 54 degrees, which we were happy with in October! I gave John a card with a Roses are Red Poem, (something my grandfather always did on our birthdays), giving him clues about what we were doing today. It was pretty clear, that we were going skydiving!
Skydive the Ranch is about 2.5 hours from us. So we arrived at the Ranch around 12:00, our scheduled jump was at 1:00. At 13,500 feet it was 15 degrees. We signed our life away on all the waivers electronically, so when we arrived, we paid, met our instructors and videographers, and then the instructors explained the process and strapped us in.
I surprisingly wasn’t feeling nervous at all. Very unlike me… Maybe it’s because I was so nervous weeks before leading up to that day, that I was just ready for this?
The instructor asked me if I wanted to do fun spins and be the one to open the parachute and steer. I said nope, just get me to the ground safely and quickly, no messing around.
I told Christie (my sister), I need to be the first one out of the plane… Well, I was the first one on the plane and the last one to jump…
So we got on the plane, which I was expecting a much smaller plane!! Christie and I sat next to each other, our instructors strapped behind us, the videographers in front, and then John and his crew were in front of us. I had my hand on Christie’s leg and could feel her shaking, and John kept looking back at me like he was nervous. I still couldn’t believe I didn’t feel any nervousness, I just really tried to focus on my breath!
How am I handling this better than the adrenalin junkies?
We get to 13,500, they open the doors, and wow it feels cold! They start jumping one after another. Christie was right before me, and holy shit, watching her exit the plane, was wild! I was the last one to exit the plane! I had a smile the entire time. I was ready for this!
Christie and John seemed like they went out like birds, mine felt like we were doing somersaults through the air! It took my breath away, I actually couldn’t breathe, but it literally lasted seconds, and then we straightened out, and I could catch my breath! We were freefalling, but it didn’t feel like we were freefalling, it was like we were floating… I didn’t get that drop in my stomach, that I was really nervous about, which reading other reviews, stated they didn’t either, and I didn’t see how that was possible when you’re falling from the sky at 120MPH. I honestly didn’t even notice the cold temperatures, and we also went through snow, which I didn’t seem to notice, but you’ll see it in my video!
The freefall seemed really quick, like seconds, and then the instructor grabbed my hand for me to open the parachute. When the Parachute opens it feels like you are being pulled up quickly, which feels weird, but it’s quickly over. I didn’t even realize how loud it was freefalling until the parachute opened, and it became quiet and peaceful as you are wondrously suspended over the earth, just floating with the clouds taking in all the breathtaking views! Honestly, I didn’t expect to come down so quickly, when we went paragliding in France, it felt a lot longer, and slower, really taking in the scenery. The twists and turns, descending to the ground with the parachute opened, gave me more of that tickle in my stomach, so if you struggle with motion sickness, you can just ask your instructor to take it slow. And then into a nice smooth landing.
Would I Skydive again?
Hell Yes!!! Every experience is very personal, but for me, it was such an amazing feeling, that I don’t even know if I can fully explain! Exhilarating Freedom, you forget about everything else in life!!
Step out of your comfort zone and DO IT!!
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE SKYDIVING FOR THE FIRST TIME!
Do you get a Stomach Drop Feeling?
If you’re like me and don’t like rollercoasters because of that drop in your stomach, then this is a big concern for you, and something that may be stopping you from skydiving! I read a lot of reviews and experiences on this. And many said, No, you do not get that stomach drop feeling. But How? How can you not get that feeling when freefalling at nearly 14,000 feet at 120mph? Well, it’s true, I did not have that stomach drop feeling!!! It actually feels like you are floating, not falling!!
I got that stomach drop feeling when jumping off a Mountain in Anncey France, at 5,000 feet, paragliding, but, when reading reviews, many people noted that you are starting from a moving airplane, probably traveling at 100+ mph, but it doesn’t feel like it because you’re inside the cabin and there isn’t much around you to provide a visual reference for your speed. So, when you jump out, you are gradually building up a little more speed, probably about 20mph. So your body doesn’t experience enough force to trigger the anxiety response to it in your brain, creating that stomach drop.
Leading up to the jump, you might notice you’re holding your breath, or your breathing rapidly, which causes more anxiety. Take a moment to relax, relax the shoulders, soften your face, close your eyes, and count your breaths. Deep breath in, slow breath out. When you first jump, it feels like you can’t breathe, you just jumped out of a damn plane!! But that might last a few seconds, then you’ll be able to find your breath again!
I think smiling actually helped me be less nervous! If you saw my paragliding video – it wasn’t pretty, I said Fuck a lot, and it looked like a terrible experience, which it wasn’t, I was so glad I did it, but definitely scary, but I didn’t experience that same feeling when skydiving, and I think smiling and focusing on my breath, made it a more meditative experience, allowing me to love every minute of it!
Skydiving Feels like it is Over Way to Quickly!!!
I think we were freefalling for about a minute, which seems really long, but it felt like seconds!! When I read that Skydive the Ranch was the Longest Free Fall in NY, I was like oh no… But it literally felt like seconds! And then when the parachute opens, you take in all the vistas, and then just like that, you’re on the ground… I think from the time we got on the plane to the time we got to the ground, was probably 15 minutes.
The Videos/Photos are Worth It!!!
I know the videos and photos are the expensive part, but it is totally worth it! The experience goes so quickly, and this may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you, so get the damn photos! My paragliding video is embarrassing, but also hilarious, and something I rewatch often!
Waivers & Training
We signed all the waivers electronically and watched a video before our arrival. Skydiving is a risk, and they make you know it, so you sign your life away in these waivers. They advised us to expect to spend half a day at the ranch, but I am not sure if it was a slow day, but we were there at most an hour.
Jumping is the Scariest Part
During the Pandemic, I think a lot of my friends felt bored, maybe stuck, or the itch to do something!! So when things started to open, many of them went skydiving! And they all said the same thing, that you don’t feel like you’re falling, its like you’re in a bubble, and you feel like your floating, it’s exhilarating, but also peaceful. But exiting the plane is definitely the scariest part, looking down, seeing nothing, but clouds beneath you… If it wasn’t for the instructor technically jumping for you, there is no way I could make myself do it! But that last seconds, then as soon as the air hits you, the feeling is gone and you begin to feel like you’re floating. In my experience, I didn’t even feel like I was moving/falling, it’s a crazy experience. Then the pull of your parachute allows you to slow down, feeling more relaxed, and peaceful, as you take in the vistas!
The plane ride itself can also make people feel a bit nervous, but the instructors and videographers keep it fun and exciting, getting you pumped for your experience!
Is Skydiving Safe?
Skydiving is an extreme sport, and you’re taking a big risk! But yes, Tandem Skydiving is safe. Do your research before you jump, and make sure your skydiving center is doing everything possible to conduct the safest experience possible. I recommend finding a Skydiving center that are members of the USPA (United States Parachute Association. This certification means your instructor is trained to the specifications required by the USPA, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), and the manufacturer of the tandem parachute system you will be using. The Skydiving Center should give you proper training & information to know before your jump.
The USPA has statistics about how many people jump and how many have problems along the way, and there are very few fatalities.
In short, Yes, skydiving is safe. You are more at risk of being injured or killed in a car accident on your daily commute to work…
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