It’s one of the most common questions we get, ‘can I skydive if I’m afraid of heights?’ And you’ll probably be surprised by the answer.

Most people have some fear of heights, or rather, a fear of falling from a height. However, skydiving won’t bring out your fears in the same way as looking over a balcony, or climbing a ladder, would. 

The feelings and sensations of skydiving at 10,000 feet are very different from standing on a rooftop or bridge. Let’s take a look at how fear of heights can affect your ability to go skydiving.

Can I Skydive if I’m Afraid of Heights?

floating in sky
Being afriad of heights shouldn’t stop you skydiving

Acrophobia, which is an extreme fear of heights is said to be suffered by over 20 million people. Any yet so many people with this fear are able to skydive, many of whom will do so several times. 

Being afraid of heights is probably the most common fear most new skydivers have and worry about. It may sound strange, but when you skydive, you’re so high up you won’t feel that same anxiety. Being so far from the ground and other objects, that fear of falling isn’t triggered in the same way. 

It’s rare to meet someone who doesn’t feel some form of anxiety when skydiving, but that’s part of the thrill. And in almost every case, the moment you jump those fears immediately transfer into adrenalin and a rush of excitement.

Aerophobia, which is a fear of flying, can be more of an issue. Affected by over 8 million people around the world, you would need to face and overcome your fear of flying in order to board the plane and reach the jumping point.

Is it ok to be afraid when skydiving?

tandem skydiving
You’ll soon get past the fear and start enjoying your skydive

Skydiving is all about facing fears and seeking adrenaline, the two go hand in hand. We’d be extremely worried if someone showed up for their first skydive and had no fears or worries at all!

Even after you have completed your first 25 jumps, you should still feel some fear and nervousness. That’s the adrenaline building up. It’s the buzz that so many skydivers are addicted to. So rather than try to run or hide from those feelings, you will quickly learn to embrace them, and long to repeat that rush of adrenaline as you enter freefall.

How to overcome your fear of heights when skydiving?

looking out of plane window
Looking at the earth from 20,000 feet

While having some fear before a skydive is part of the adrenalin experience, we understand some fears can be overwhelming. When it comes to facing such fears the key is in your preparation.

One of the best preparation techniques is to play out the situation in your head. Imagine you are in the plane, reaching 10,000 feet, and about to jump. Try to confront those feelings that are stirred and rationalize them. Remind yourself that you are in good hands and things are not as dangerous as they seem. You are actually more at risk driving just 1,000 KM in a car in the USA than taking a skydive. Did you know, you’re 3 times more likely to get struck by lightning, than being killed in a skydiving accident!

Most fears are irrational, and so it’s good to ask your instructor any questions or concerns you have. Don’t be over-concerned by your fears and understand you are certainly not alone. Try to relax, take deep breaths, and focus on something positive rather than the fear itself. Trust us, once you jump those fears will be replaced by pleasure!

How does it feel to skydive when afraid of heights?

tandem jumping
The sensation of entering freefall

Once the plane door opens you’ll be taken aback by the stunning views. You’ll have some serious butterflies in your stomach, especially if it’s your first jump, but so will everyone with you. People say as soon as you make the leap out of the plane the fears instantly subside. You’ll then feel a huge rush of adrenaline as you enter freefall.

Once you reach your terminal velocity (within 5-6 seconds of jumping), you’ll feel a calming sensation, as the wind cushions you and it almost feels like you are floating. For many, this is the best feeling and a peaceful sensation hard to repeat in life. This is likely to last between 40 to 60 seconds, depending on your jump height.

When you finally deploy your parachute your speed will quickly decrease. Parachutes are designed to open in a way that does jerk you or stop you too hard, so it won’t be unpleasant. And once the parachute is open it will feel incredibly strong and sturdy, giving you a sense of security. You’ll slow down to around 12 MPH which will give you the sensation of safely gliding to earth.

When skydiving you’re going to go through a lot of emotions. Fear and anxiety may try to get the better of you before you jump, but once you are out of the plane that will instantly change. You’ll then experience a lot of rewarding feelings, with rushes of adrenaline and moments of awe and tranquility.

So, should I go skydiving if I’m afraid of height?

man standing from great height
Looking out from a great height

Can I skydive if I’m afraid of heights? Absolutely, yes! The feelings and sensations you get from skydiving are unparalleled in life. It’s completely normal for someone to have some fears when skydiving, but that’s what makes the experience so rewarding. Turning fear into pleasure. 

Skydiving is something that so few people get to experience in their life, and having done it you will certainly stand out from the crowd. You’ll feel an enormous sense of pride after completing your first skydive, and we can guarantee you’ll be itching to do it again, and again.

If your fear of flying or heights is just too much, that doens’t mean you have to lose out on the experience.  Indoor skydiving has grown significantly over the last decade, more and more centres are appearing around the world. Using a vertical wind tunnel, you can experience freefall (the sensation of falling at speeds of 120MPH), without having to face the heights. It’s a great way to get a taste of what skydiving is really like. It may just give you the desire and confidence to give the real thing a go.