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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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