Two skydiver flying through the air.

How to prep days in advance for a skydive

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Even if you decided on a whim that you were going to finally cross skydiving off your bucket list, we bet deep down you’re wondering how to prepare for jumping out of a plane. If the past few months have taught us anything, it is that you have to seize the day; however things may seem, living in the moment is imperative. It’s certainly refreshing to be spontaneous and adopt the attitude of no plan, no problem.

But there are certain things that require a bit of forethought, a little bit of preparation — cross-country travel, family reunions, weddings, and (since you’re currently reading this handy piece of intel from a skydiving center) you probably guessed it, skydiving! So how can you prepare for skydiving? We’re going to break it down into two categories: how to physically prepare for your skydive and how to mentally prepare for your skydive.

Physical Preparation

From what you eat and drink to your sleep schedule and what you should wear, allow us to break down how to physically prepare for your skydive and make sure you do everything in your ability to ensure that your skydive runs smoothly.

Catch Some Z’s

It’s a given that you are going to be excited when the day of your skydiving adventure is just over the horizon, but you’ve got to make an effort to get some quality rest the night before. If you have a few days before your jump, try to get into a nighttime ritual: decompress, turn off the television, do some light reading, and then get to sleep. If you create a pattern that helps you relax during the evening, it will be easier to implement even when your brain’s all a flurry and busy thinking about the big day to come!

Eat and Drink Moderately

What you choose to consume on the day of your skydive is a small but powerful choice you make that can either help you prepare to have a great skydive or set you up for a rough time. Don’t, we repeat don’t, skip meals! If you’re worried about feeling nauseous, we advise you gravitate toward meals composed of lighter fare. Eat a healthy breakfast and bring along some snacks. We suggest that you avoid heavy, greasy foods on the day of your skydive. They can leave you feeling sluggish and might not sit well when mixed with the adrenaline of a skydive.

Additionally, the rule of thumb is to consume no alcoholic beverages eight hours prior to your jump. For starters, there is nothing worse than a queasy plane ride, skydive, and parachute flight because you had one too many the night before. And secondly, if your sobriety is in question on the day of your jump, you will not be allowed to skydive. Trust us and save your celebrations for after you land!

Dress Appropriately

Sometimes picking out the perfect outfit can be tough, but for skydiving it’s a breeze! Beginning with the feet, choose comfortable, light, tight-lacing tennis shoes or sneakers. You want them to be able to be secured so that the wind won’t whisk them away during your 120 mph freefall.

On your legs, choose pants that have a bit of stretch to them. Typically, if you’d wear them to the gym, they are fine for skydiving. On top, we suggest close-fitting layers. If it’s warm, you’re welcome to wear a tank top, but be sure to bring a long sleeve to wear with it. It tends to be a bit chilly at altitude. Finally, bracelets, necklaces, and dangling earrings can all become snagged or entangled within the equipment, so it’s best to dress “down” for this occasion and leave the accessories at home.

Two skydivers and their parachutes fly.

Mental Preparation

Skydiving, like so many extreme sports, has a strong mental component. So, what can you do to help keep your racing thoughts in check and prepare mentally for your skydive?

Do Some Research

To ensure you have a great skydiving experience, you need to know just who you are skydiving with. We don’t mean you need to know exactly who your instructor is, but rather, you need to know about the dropzone. The culture of a dropzone can make or break your skydiving experience. Are they safety-focused? Customer service oriented? Before you make the jump, you should know.

The best way to find out is to visit the facility’s website, check out their Google ranking and Google reviews, and last, but not least, give them a call. A dropzone that is worth providing your business is more than happy to answer the valid questions you have. Plus, the answers will often help you attain peace of mind and help you mentally prepare for your skydive. 

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a wonderful practice to help keep you calm, cool, and collected on the day of your skydive. It looks a little bit like meditation, and this calming state is reached by focusing on your breath and the sensations you feel in the present moment — the hum of the plane engine, the feeling of your breath as it feels your lungs and is slowly exhaled past your lips, the secure feeling of the harness draped across your shoulders and snug around your legs. Taking the time to focus intently on seemingly insignificant sensations can help you stay grounded (even miles above the earth!) and calm. 

Know You Are Not Alone

For some people, it helps to know you aren’t the first person to ever feel afraid or overwhelmed on a skydive. We all had a first skydive too, and we are here for you. Whether you have questions, need a little bit of encouragement, or want a bit of applause when you land, we’re standing by to support you in any way we can!

student in freefall with psp instructor

I went on my first tandem skydive yesterday and I couldn't ask for a better experience! If you're looking for a fun experience with welcoming people you need to come check this place out. I look forward to going back for my second jump soon!

Sara Lynn