Wednesday, 23 March 2016

My First Jump - First Time Skydiving Tips

If you are considering skydiving and are deliberating on whether or not you should take the plunge then perhaps reading my experience may help you decide.

Tandem Skydive. PSST... this is how they do it now - with a babysitter! By Skydiving Parachutisme: Jef132 derivative work: Ximonic (Skydiving Parachutisme) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], Wikimedia Commons

How I Came To Jump Out Of An Aeroplane

You know how it goes. Your flatmate comes home one night with a great idea and the next thing you know you're jumping out of an aeroplane!

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, who doesn't love a bit of excitement, right? Back then, in the early eighties, it was done as a solo static line jump which means your chute pull is attached to a wire that automatically pulls your chute open as you exit the plane. None of this namby pamby tandem jump stuff where you are strapped to an instructor who does everything for you while talking calming thoughts to you for us.

We were the tough. We were the brave. Well, you can see for yourself just how brave I was....

My First Jump - The Idea. How it came about


It was during my early flat-sharing days. I was co-habiting with two men and a lady in a large house in one of Sydney’s leafy Northern Beaches suburbs. One of the young men, Pete was also a work colleague. I was to discover while sharing the bills with these three that they were into extreme sports and trying out new things.

Pete and Chris were already certified Scuba divers and would flit off from time to time to throw themselves into the deep. They skied and rode horses, they abseiled and grass-skied. One evening, Chris came home from work and suggested we all go take parachuting lessons.

Wha….. ??????

Hold on. Run that by me again. Parachute lessons. You know, skydiving. Actually, I preferred it when you called it parachuting. You really can’t avoid the literal when you call it skydiving.
"No, really, it’s easy. We just go into the city a couple of times and practice landing."

First Time Skydiving Tips: Capture Every Amazing Moment!

With one-step recording these easy to use hands-free cameras are waterproof and super tough so even if you crash land in a pond your footage will be safe!

First Time Skydiving Tips: Practice Your Landing Rolls 

Actually, if you are making a tandem jump you won't need to do this. In fact your jump buddy probably won't thank you if you do attempt to roll on landing with him attached. But back when I made my first jump knowing how to land was essential.

I still don’t know how they convinced me. A few weeks later here we all were, assembled in a small room on the third floor of an office building in the centre of Sydney; a more unlikely place I could not imagine. The instructor took us through the theory first which consisted of statistical information like how fast you plummet, how long it takes for you to reach planet earth, what happens if you hit power lines, stuff like that. Then we donned our suits and chutes so we would know which buckle went where and what handle was for what.

The climax of the evening was climbing up onto desks and jumping into practice rolls. That’s the part where all the gigglling started because you could briefly forget that you were actually in rehearsal to hurl yourself out of an airplane at 2,000 feet all by yourself relying solely on a metal thread to open your single link with life for you. We all looked quite ridiculous.

The session concluded with our date set for our first jump and several alcoholic beverages in a nearby establishment.

Skydiving Photographic Print

My First Jump - The Jump. The day had arrived!

Mil-Tec Commando Goggles Para SmokeMil-Tec Commando Goggles Para Smoke
It was a glorious pre-dawn the day we set out to throw ourselves into nothing from a fast-moving object 2,000 feet above the earth.

It was one of those crisp cool autumn mornings. We had an hour’s travel to reach the airfield at a place called Wilton to the south-west of Sydney.

By the time we reached the small shed where we were to assemble there was a heavy dew and an early morning mist as the sun started to brighten the tree tops.

I admit I remember very little of the pre-jump instruction I was given as I was climbing into my jump-suit. I can tell you nothing about packing my chute, putting it on, putting on my helmet or closing and clasping buckles and ties although I must have done all those things. I also admit that I remember nothing about walking out onto the airstrip to climb into the tiny aircraft that would take me on this insane journey. I remember exiting the plane. I remember counting – one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thousand, then being yanked upward as I felt the tug of the opening chute. I remember looking around at the incredible sight below me. Tiny little buildings and toy cars. The dots I suppose were people.

Somehow, I managed to do all the right things and make an almost perfect landing.



My First Jump - Afterwards: The Epilogue

Men's If At First You Don't Succeed, Sky Diving IsMen's If At First You Don't Succeed, Sky Diving Is
LET’S GO AGAIN! LET’S DO IT AGAIN! That wasn’t me, that was Chris.

We knew that if we took our second jump today it would only be an extra $17.

I knew that this is the only time ever I would be enticed to do a second jump. I still had the adrenalin pumping through my body. I was still shaking. My legs were still wobbly even after the 200 metre hike back from where I had landed to the aerodrome shed.

Yes! That was exhilarating! Yes, that was the most incredible thing I had ever done but somehow I already knew that this was not going to become my passion.


My Second Jump 

They convinced me to go up again. I think the impressions of my fingers clinging to the open doorway of the plane are probably still there. The instructor ended up having to push me out of the plane.

I forgot to count. I piloted badly. I ended up in the bushes about a kilometre from the shed. It wasn’t pretty. I think during my second jump I found my fear.

I can honestly say that this is the most exhilarating and the most frightening thing I have ever done.

One Time Experience or A New Interest? 

For me, once was enough. Exhilirating? Yes! Memorable? Absolutely! Would I take it up as a hobby? No, never. But you may feel completely different. For a small number of people, skydiving won't be simply an experience. It will become a passion. If this is you then at some point you want to get your own Skydiving Rig.


What's The Most Extreme Thing You've Done? Did this inspire you to take your first jump?

Loretta L profile image
Loretta L 18 months ago from Chilterns, UK.
Yow! Not for me. But I'm glad you enjoyed it. I might enjoy paragliding, but not jumping out of planes. My husband did it once and thoroughly enjoyed it though

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
Thanks billybuc, brave or stupid? Not sure which

billybuc profile image
billybuc 18 months ago from Olympia, WA Level 8 Commenter
Bravo to you. I have had the chance and wouldn't do it, and I've climbed mountains well done!

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
My age at the time explains a lot

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
It was definitely awesome! And I definitely won't be doing it again!

beliza 18 months ago
Amazing story. I would be so afraid to do this.

MelRootsNWrites profile image
MelRootsNWrites 18 months ago from California Level 1 Commenter
I'm guessing there won't be a third jump? LOL You are incredibly brave! I don't think you'd be able to get me to do it once let alone twice. Must have been an awesome experience though.

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
It's one of these things - glad I gave it a go and I'll never do it again but I'm also much older now

Pawpawwrites profile image
Pawpawwrites 18 months ago from Kansas
I want to, but I just can't make myself jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Kudos to you though. Very cool.

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 18 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
You're welcome and thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed it

RonElFran profile image
RonElFran 18 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA Level 5 Commenter
You are performing a great public service, here. For all of us who crave the excitement of skydiving, but are too chicken to actually do it, thanks for allowing us to experience it vicariously.

pkmcruk profile image
pkmcruk 19 months ago from Cheshire UK
Brilliant that you did it Lynne but not one me!

Elsie Hagley profile image
Elsie Hagley 19 months ago from New Zealand Level 4 Commenter
I for one will never do this, but I admire you for doing it and writing about your experience, I can understand if you never do it again. Happy times writing.

Glorymiller profile image
Glorymiller 19 months ago from USA
I'm not going to be rushing out to do this anytime soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.

favored profile image
favored 19 months ago from USA
I don't know whether to cheer you on or scold you for letting them talk you into a second jump. No way would I ever do this, but think you're pretty cool for it. Does that make sense?

SusannaDuffy profile image
SusannaDuffy 19 months ago from Melbourne Australia
I think the parachuting lessons would kill any desire in me for skydiving. As soon as "how fast you plummet" hit the conversation, I'd be out the door

LNAngel profile image
LNAngel 19 months ago from Florida
I don't know if I could ever bring myself to pull the trigger, but good for you! :)

lawineaux profile image
lawineaux 19 months ago
My most extreme thing was horseback riding. One time our horses took off and started galloping across a meadow. My friends and I hung on for dear life. It was pretty exhilarating. The group behind us wasn't so lucky. One woman fell off her horse. I'm not sure I could jump out of a plane. Gliding is more my style.

Heather426 profile image
Heather426 19 months ago from Wexford, Ireland
not going to try this but yay for you!

mumsgather 19 months ago
I think I might have been able to do it when I was younger. now, I think my heart will probably jump right out if I were to do it. Haha. kudos to you!

groovyfind profile image
groovyfind 19 months ago from Columbia Mo
The first jump is always the scariest!

Elle-Dee-Esse profile image
Elle-Dee-Esse 19 months ago from Blue Mountains Australia Author
I think I was young and (almost) fearless! I don't see myself ever doing it again

CrossCreations profile image
CrossCreations 19 months ago from St. Louis, MO
You are one brave lady! Cannot image ever parachuting, sky diving either.

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