Another common question a lot of new skydives ask is: what does it feel like when skydiving? After all, jumping out of a plane at 12,000 feet isn’t something most people ever get to do, and there aren’t many comparable experiences.

The sensations and emotions actually start the moment you book your first skydive. And from the morning you wake up on the day of your first jump, the butterflies will be fluttering away. If you have already booked your first skydive and are reading this in preparation, I’m sure you know exactly what we mean.

Let’s take a look at the feelings and sensations of skydiving, from those first-time nerves and emotions to the adrenaline rush of the freefall. We will explore the physical, mental, and emotional journey you will feel when skydiving.

What does it feel like when skydiving for the first time?

A first time skydive filled with adrenaline

If it’s your first time skydiving, you’re going to feel a lot of doubts and fears. That’s totally normal, and a lot of skydivers will still feel this after completing 50+ skydives. It would be more worrying if you didn’t feel this way. However, skydiving is very safe when done with professionals or under the correct supervision. Whether you are doing a tandem or solo skydive, no one will be putting you into a plane until you’ve had all the necessary training and safety instructions.

In reality, you’re going to experience a mix of fear and excitement. When you rationalize the experience, you know it’s safe, and the chances of you being in any serious danger are incredibly slim. But your instincts are confused, and something inside is telling you that you’re in serious trouble. As you go up in the plane to the jump spot, your heartbeat will be going through the roof, doubts and fears will be running around your head, but everything changes the moment you jump from the plane.

Once you jump, all that nervous energy turns into a stream of ecstasy. You get a pure rush of adrenaline as you freefall and rapidly gain speed. The fear will quickly subside, and pleasure will take over. This is the reason so many people become addicted to skydiving.

When it’s time to deploy your parachute, you will slow to under 20 MPH and suddenly feel a more serene and calming sensation. The views will be incredible, and you get a whole new perception of the world around you. The fears have gone as you drift softly to the ground, and you feel a huge sense of pride and clarity.

What does freefall feel like when skydiving?

Skydivers starting freefall
After jumping skydivers enter freefall

Freefalling at 120 MPH is one of the most significant and most natural highs you can get. Many people say that the moment they enter freefall, it’s like their senses come alive. In some ways, this makes a lot of sense, as you are getting a rush of adrenaline that purposely heightens your feelings and senses. This is the fight or flight reaction our body has when it thinks we are in danger. Our senses are heightened to give us more strength and quicker reactions. Your heart will be pounding, and you’ll feel an extreme tingle of excitement. Some even say it makes them feel invincible!

Freefall feels more like floating than falling. Most of your freefall is spent at a constant speed, and the sensation of gaining momentum is only during the first few seconds. Once you are falling at your terminal velocity (maximum speed), it feels more like your body is being caressed by the air, kind of like you are flying.

Another thing you will notice is how clean and fresh the air smells; it’s notably purer than the air you will get at ground level. The air rushing by you will also make a lot of noise. The rush of wind can be loud but not as loud as you’d think. It’s more like the noise you’d get driving at 70 MPH on the highway with the window rolled down. You’ll also feel the chill. At high altitudes, the air is as much as 40F cooler. So even on a hot sunny day, you are likely to feel a significant drop in temperature.

What does it mentally feel like when skydiving?

Skydiving can bring a sense of calm and inner peace

A lot of people ask why we skydive when there is so much anxiety and fear involved. The answer is, that is the point of it. Skydiving is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can experience. The fears and anxiety you face are the challenges. You are facing them head-on and making your way bravely to the moment you are standing in the plane door waiting to jump. The moment you jump, you are rewarded with an instant payoff as you overcome those fears and doubts.

Freefalling offers so many mental benefits. The adrenaline rush gives you immense pleasure. The views you get give you a new perception of the world around you. And the whole experience gives you so much confidence. You will leave your first skydive with a new sense of accomplishment and value. A lot of skydivers talk about how skydiving slows down the moment and gives them a much clearer mind and mental clarity.

Does skydiving feel scary?

Skydiving evokes a lot of emotions

Is skydiving scary? Well, yes, it is. As we’ve already explained, there’s a lot of fear and nervous anticipation, which can often start from the moment you’ve committed to making your first skydive. But the fears are not rational. Just like when you watch a scary movie or go on a rollercoaster, the fear and anticipation lead to a satisfying payoff.

The scariest part is usually the plane ride. The 10 to 15 minutes flying up to your jumping point is where many new skydivers really get the fear. Even the most experienced skydivers will have butterflies in their tummy each and every time they near the jump spot. It’s here you’ll start to questions why you are doing this and contemplating all the irrational dangers. Occasionally people will back out at the last minute, but you seldom hear about someone regretting making the jump.

Looking down from a plane at 12,000 feet is nothing like staring down from a tall building or balcony. You don’t get the same fear of heights because you are so high and with nothing else close to you. And the moment you take that leap of faith, the fear quickly goes.

Can you breathe when skydiving?

‘Can you breathe when skydiving?’ This is one of the most common misconceptions we hear. While it’s true that above 15,000 feet, you may start to need oxygen equipment, at the kind of heights the average person will skydive from, there are no oxygen issues.

There can be a brief moment where it feels like your breath is taken away. This is just the adrenalin kicking in, and it won’t feel at all like you can’t breathe. In fact, a lot of first-timers end up screaming with pleasure, but we’ve never heard of someone not able to breathe.