Skydiving’s a little bit like Nutella.
Some people look at it and go ‘woah, that looks incredible!’. While others think ‘why the hell would you do that?!’
This article is for anyone wondering about the benefits of throwing yourself out of a perfectly good airplane. I’ve covered the pros (and cons) from all the different angles. Physical benefits, mental benefits, and even “spiritual benefits” (they’re not too cringy, I promise).
In short, the benefits of skydiving are much longer lasting than a short term rush. Skydiving can do wonders for your confidence, your mood, your friendships, your health, and much more. While it’s not for everyone, skydiving is an incredible experience I never hesitate to recommend.
That’s the short answer, but if you’re here for details then read on.
The Mental Benefits of Skydiving
Alright, let’s get into all the great things that come from jumping out of a plane. I’ve put this section first because these benefits are the most important.
The biggest benefit first-time jumpers often report is an increased confidence. Not just that they report this, they exude it. People carry themselves differently after conquering a fear, and tackling a life goal.
Knowing you’ve faced your fears and jumped out of a plane can do wonders for your confidence. It’s not often we so literally get to conquer our fears, and the reward can last a lifetime. This isn’t just a ‘walk around like a royal’ for a day confidence, this is a life-long ‘yes I did that and it’s awesome’ type of confidence.
One side effect of experiencing such a huge rush of adrenaline is clarity. While we all can get trapped in our day-to-day lives, I guarantee that skydiving will snap you out of it for a short time.
A weekend spent skydiving isn’t like going to a bar or a museum. It is such a raw, intense experience that can almost feel like hitting a ‘reset’ switch. You find yourself looking at the rest of your life from a birds-eye view, realizing you don’t need to stress so much, and that you’re more capable than you think.
You Join A Happy Tribe
Ever heard the saying “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with?”
I believe this to be true, and for that reason make sure those people are positive, happy, and supportive. A great place to find those kinds of people? A skydiving drop zone.
Trust me, the people you’ll meet skydiving are a hell of a lot more interesting than the office water cooler chat! Sure, there’s a few with big egos, but for the most part skydivers are positive, life-loving, fun-seeking individuals who make excellent friends. Plus, there ain’t no party like a dropzone party.
You Genuinely Grow
This is similar to the first point on clarity, but there’s stepping out of your comfort zone… and then there’s stepping out of a flying plane.
We are happiest when we are growing as people, and something as significant as skydiving marks a huge point of growth for anyone brave enough to do it. It’s something that no-one can take away from you, and an experience you can fall back on when you need that boost of confidence, or need to stay in control in a high-pressure situation.
Confidence Under Pressure
Again, this is a little separate to the first type of confidence. Especially when going through solo skydive training, skydiving really trains your ability to work with systems and perform under pressure.
Everything involved in a skydive is a system. From the position you get yourself in, to your canopy checks and flight paths, to your emergency procedures. Learning and accurately sticking to all these helps build confidence in your own abilities.
With the mental covered, let’s get physical. Skydiving obviously isn’t as physical a sport as something like rugby, but there are physical benefits associated with it.
It’s A Great Light-Activity
The whole day of skydiving is a form of light exercise, I’d say. There’s a lot of walking around, getting kitted up, going through procedures and maneuvers. Then you’re carrying your gear and getting packed into the right position inside the plane.
There’s then some unimportant falling. After that minor detail, you’re using your arms to fly the canopy and of course, your body to get the landing right. Not to mention the walk back to the drop zone with all the equipment.
You’ll Never Sleep Better!
After a day including the biggest dopamine rush of your life, you’ll find yourself super exhausted at night. Like when you’ve been travelling all day, and find yourself mentally knackered. There’s something about the intensity of the whole thing, and how fast your mind is racing, that really tires you out.
Plus, let’s be honest, you probably hadn’t slept well the morning before the skydive! Waking up the day after your jump can be an amazing thing. You’ve slept incredibly well, have the whole day ahead of you, and you’re now a bonafide skydiver.
If that doesn’t make you feel ready to take on the world, I don’t know what will!
You May Develop A New Hobby
Anyone who’s just landed after their first skydive has one of two reactions:
- That was incredible! But I’m never, ever doing that again.
- That was incredible! When I do my next one??
If you find yourself in the second camp, skydiving is a great hobby to pick up. Not least because the high-expense to start the sport quickly becomes much more affordable once you’re doing it regularly.
However, in terms of physicality, being at a skydiving airfield is a great way to stay fit. There’s always something to do! Whether that’s walking around watching other jumpers, going through training, packing parachutes, jumping, or walking back to the drop zone, you do stay pretty active throughout the day.
Sure, there’s sometimes sitting around waiting on weather delays, but that’s just a good chance to bond with the other jumpers.
The Disadvantages of Skydiving
Alright, so we’ve gone over all the good stuff. Despite being biased, I do believe in covering both sides of any story. Here’s a few downsides to the sport.
The only thing flying faster than a skydiver is their money flying out of their wallet.
It’s no secret that skydiving isn’t cheap – especially when jumping tandem! Thankfully, the good news is that the price decreases quickly if you do the sport regularly.
While a tandem jump can cost hundreds of dollars, a solo skydive once you’re licensed with your own kit can cost as low as $30-40. It’s a tiny price to pay to soar through the sky!
This can be the real disadvantage of skydiving, if you’re unlucky with it.
As amazing as the sport is, it’s also one of the most weather-dependent hobbies on the planet. If there’s too low cloud cover, or it’s simply too windy, you’ll find yourself bumming around the airfield hoping for a turn of good weather.
Of course, this can be avoided by some forward planning and only going on great-weather days, but it happens to everyone at some point. Thankfully there’s usually desks, couches, TV’s, and great friends to be made.
You May Regress Into A 90’s Surfer
I don’t know what it is, but skydivers always seem to be stuck in the 90’s. And you cant help but get caught up in it!
After you skydive, you may find yourself giving high-fives to everyone, and catch yourself saying things like “Dude! That’s gnarly man”.
I think it’s because the sport is so intimidating that no-one can call out a skydiver for talking like this. To be honest, jumping out of a plane gives you the right to talk as silly or as corny as you like!
(I’m undecided if this is a bad thing or not).
You May End Up A Drop-Zone Bum
Lastly, skydiving does come with a serious risk of becoming a drop zone bum.
This is someone who spends almost their whole life at the airfield – who definitely has a tent or RV pitched up nearby – and lives and breathes skydiving. It’s a life with fantastic highlights and incredible jump discounts, but your friends and family may start to worry about you. Let alone your boss at that job you used to go to!
I hope this quick (and super serious) article has helped give you an idea of the benefits that come with skydiving.
All in all, it’s an incredibly fun sport that can change your life in a lot of ways. Whether that’s through confidence, friendships, a new hobby, or simply an awesome experience.
If you’re considering going for your first jump, make sure you’re prepared by checking out our other articles below.
Thanks for reading, and happy jumping!