Skydiving is an incredible experience.
It’s scary, it’s exhilarating, it’s potentially life-changing. But it has some major drawbacks, and it may not be all that it’s hyped up to be.
So, is skydiving worth doing?
Well, my answer is hell yes! But that’s just one guy on the internet’s opinion.
I was curious about the bigger picture – so I’ve gone through every pro and con of throwing yourself out of an airplane that myself and others could think of.
By going through them, this article should help you decide if skydiving is worth it for you.
Ready? Then let’s start with the fun stuff. The benefits!
The Benefits of Skydiving
I’ll be blunt. This benefits section is just a bit bigger than the drawbacks!
That’s not because I’m biased, it’s because there’s a lot of subtle benefits you don’t otherwise think of. While the drawbacks are all fairly straightforward (but still important).
Many people would split these benefits into ‘Mental’ and ‘Physicial’ – which I have. But I also count a third section – the SUPER benefits.
The SUPER Benefits of Skydiving
Now, I’m not trying to be corny here. These are a list of benefits that are in their own category. Things that are potentially life-changing, and not just a “pro”.
Make New & Amazing Friends
Life is about the people you meet, and you’ll never meet a more fun group of misfits than the people who throw themselves out of planes.
It always surprises me the people that take up skydiving as a hobby. Sure, you’ve got the big-ego crazy guys and the adrenaline junkies. But you also have the Doctor who likes to jump on weekends, the pilots that fly in the week and fall in their time off, the groups of students who are chasing their dreams – and everyone in between.
My favorite skydivers are the older ones. Like the older lady who’s super kind and looks just like my Aunt. Except she’s jumped out of planes 2,000 times!
Skydiving invites such a broad range of people – it’s a great way to connect with amazing people you otherwise wouldn’t have met.
A New Perspective On Life
This one sounds corny, but it’s true.
Below I cover the physical and mental benefits of skydiving – but it’s hard to truly put into the words the effect it has on you.
Having conquered something so scary, having ticked a huge thing off that bucket list, you end up practically glowing. Your confidence shines, and you can just appreciate life so much more.
Suddenly driving a car becomes like a new experience again. Work is this funny thing you do every day with your colleagues. The daily life stress sort of fades away, in comparison with such a huge feat.
You Unlock The Best Type of Holiday
A skydiving holiday!
If you end up sticking with skydiving, you can eventually become a licensed skydiver.
This not only means you can jump alone (and do whatever you want), it also means you can jump just about anywhere.
End up on vacation on the other side of the world? Great! You can hit up the local drop zone, and see that country from the most unique view that most tourists can only dream of.
It’s your own private plane tour, except with a very fast route back down. And super cheap in comparison, too.
Disadvantages of Skydiving
Okay – so we’ve covered the ‘Super’ benefits of skydiving.
There’s PLENTY more benefits to the sport, but I want to dive into the disadvantages first.
These are real cons to going skydiving, so I wanted to cover them before people get bored and stop reading!
Here we go.
Safety & Injuries
As you might have guessed, safety is the #1 ‘con’ people think of when it comes to skydiving.
The disadvantage to skydiving is that your parachute may not work!
…I’m just kidding, by the way. Skydiving is super safe when it comes to fatalities. You’re in way more danger on the drive to the airfield, before you get in the plane.
That being said – injuries do happen. Mostly in landings. Whether it’s a tandem jumper sticking out a stray limb, or a solo jumper not slowing down before their feet hit the ground, light sprains and injuries do happen.
These are minor, though. I mostly wanted to address the ‘you could die!’ thought in everyone’s minds.
Personally, what really reassures me on that topic is talking to veteran jumpers. Many of them have gone thousands of jumps without ever needing to cutaway their main parachute. That’s even with quick pack jobs and dodgy openings. If they ever need it, the reserve parachute is packed with 100x the detail by a true expert. They could do it in 15 minutes, but instead spend hours getting each one perfect.
Time Consuming In Bad Weather
If you’re unlucky enough to be from a cloudy and/or windy country, skydiving may take up a lot of your time.
We need fairly calm and clear conditions before skydiving is safe (mostly to find the airfield again), so on bad weather days you can spend hours and hours waiting for the opportunity to jump.
Playing cards, books, laptops, and good company become your go-to solutions.
Most of the time, we spend weather delays talking about how great it would be to live in a calmer, hotter, and drier climate!
Skydiving Can Be Expensive
Now, it actually hurts me to write that. Because personally I think skydiving is super cheap for what it is.
But it CAN add up.
Especially if you’re just going for one tandem jump.
Tandem skydives are expensive. Mostly because they’re a one-time-thing, you need a qualified instructor’s time and you’re insured to the gills.
Learning to skydive is also expensive. Again you need a lot of training time, equipment hire, and insurance.
However! Once you’re licensed and have your own gear, skydiving finally becomes super affordable.
It’s sort of like driving. It would be super expensive if you had to rent a car and a driving instructor to go anywhere. But once you have your own car, driving becomes really cheap.
A qualified skydiver with their own gear can jump from as little as $25 in some places. It’s nothing for one of the most amazing experiences in life!
Lastly, skydiving can be stressful as a first timer.
That isn’t a bad thing. There’s a difference between good stress (pushing past your fears to skydive) and bad stress (living with daily work frustrations for years).
However, the stress can be too much for some. The worst thing that can happen is that you go through all this stress, then eventually back down and don’t commit to the jump.
This means you go home with nothing but scary and negative experiences – without the incredible upside that comes afterwards.
This reason would be the only one I’d recommend staying home if you think it might affect you. Your first skydive is an intense day with plenty of stress and worry, but it’s so, so worth it in the end. However, backing down would really make a mess of the whole thing. So only go if you’re ready to commit!
The ‘Standard’ Benefits of Skydiving
Alright – so we’ve covered the biggest benefits, and the main drawbacks.
Now let’s get into some real positivity.
Here are ALL the mental and physical benefits you’ll enjoy when it comes to skydiving.
The Mental Benefits of Skydiving
MASSIVE Boosts To Your Mood
Had a bad week? Don’t worry. Nothing will make you forget about it like throwing yourself out of an airplane will.
There’s no better way to transform your mood than soar through the air as if you’re flying. Skydiving really puts into perspective how small our problems are, and how amazing life can be!
I’m hesitant to deal in absolutes, but trust me – there’s no better pick-me-up than a skydive.
MASSIVE Boosts To Your Confidence
I believe we all feel our best when we’re growing. Learning new skills, experiencing new things, and pushing ourselves to be better.
Trust me. If there’s one way to skyrocket your confidence, it’s to leap from a plane, fly through the air, and touch back down. You feel like a million bucks. You’re an absolute boss, and any worries you were stressing over get put into a much better perspective.
Fantastic for Handling Stress
The thing with stress is that it’s a constant burden. Even if something isn’t a life-ending deal, we’ll still think about it 24/7. It would do us the world of good to forget about it for a while, though we just can’t.
Well, try stressing out about that when you’re soaring through the air, or are just about to jump out of a plane!
The whole experience of a skydive is a total mind-cleanser. You just don’t have the mental space to do anything but be “in the moment” – from when you step into the plane until well after you land.
Skydiving Teaches You Situational Awareness (Regular Jumpers)
This one doesn’t apply for first timers, but it’s surprisingly effective.
When you skydive regularly, you’ll find that your situational awareness becomes pinpoint accurate. The high levels of safety attention – in training and in jumps – teach you to be super aware.
Keeping track of your body position, your altitude, other jumpers, your position in the sky, your harness and equipment, your flight path, your landing technique. All of this demands attention to detail.
No matter how weak social media has made your attention span, trust me – you’ll pay attention up there!
Skydiving Teaches You Communication (Regular Jumpers)
Another one for the regulars. Once you start jumping with other people, communication is key.
Particularly because much of the communication is done on the ground. Once we’re in the plane any form of talking is hard, nevermind when we’re in freefall or under parachute!
Skydiving teaches you to communicate with your other jumpers in terms of planning jumps, sharing your experiences, and learning from each other.
Best Sleep Ever!
You ever find how a big day can really tire you out?
Whether that’s a big family event, a wedding, a graduation – things like that?
Skydiving is the same. You are so mentally involved the whole day that you’re absolutely exhausted by the time you get home!
Not because of physical exertion, either. You don’t exactly get buff from falling downwards!
It’s down to the mental intensity of the whole day. From waiting on your call-up, to riding the plane, to skydiving, landing, and mentally comprehending what the heck just happened.
By the time you climb into bed, your brain’s ready for the deepest sleep you’ve had all year.
The Physical Benefits of Skydiving
As Olivia Newton John once said – Let’s Get Physical.
Plenty of Time in the Sun
As good as Netflix is, sitting at home all day deprives us of much needed time in the sun.
It’s been proven that getting enough vitamin D is crucial to our happiness and wellbeing ##.
Being out watching other jumpers, practicing your technique on the ground, gliding under canopy, and walking back to the airfield are all great ways to spend more time outside.
It’s one of those subtle but lovely benefits of any outdoor hobby.
While skydiving isn’t exactly as physical as hitting the gym, you are very active for parts of it.
Hauling your kit around, going through training maneuvers, and the scenic walk back from your landing spot are all great forms of light exercise.
If you become a dropzone regular, learning how to pack parachutes is a great form of exercise, too. Not to mention a potential side income! People are often happy to pay to have their ‘chute packed.
I know I touched on this before, but an experience like skydiving really does put any stresses into perspective.
You’ll find yourself to be much more relaxed and capable to face life’s challenges after conquering such a huge feat. This could reflect in you being less tense, less worried, and getting better sleep. Especially compared to being stuck in a cycle of worry when all you’ve done lately is work and stress!
Well, that’s about it!
I’ve covered every main benefit and drawback of throwing yourself out of a perfectly good airplane.
If you think I’ve missed anything, please do let me know in the comments! I want to make this the most complete pros and cons guide to skydiving on the internet.
If this content’s helped you, please consider checking out some of the other related articles below.
Thanks for reading, and happy jumping!