student experiences life changing first skydive

How Do I Prepare for My First Skydive?

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Whether skydiving is a spontaneous decision or something you’ve always wanted to do, there is some curiosity as to how to prepare yourself for skydiving. You’ve made the right decision to ask the pros; here are our top skydiving tips on how to physically and mentally prepare for skydiving.

How to Physically Prepare for Skydiving

1. Wear Comfortable Clothes for Skydiving

Choosing what to wear when skydiving for the first time is pretty pertinent to staying as comfortable as possible while on your journey through the sky. You’ll want to choose athletic footwear that will remain secure to your feet and withstand the 120 mph winds coming your way! 

For clothing, athletic wear is perfect for skydiving – you’ll want to wear stretchy clothing that is snug to your body, including extra layers. Consider the weather when choosing your skydiving ’fit and keep in mind that temperatures are about 30 degrees cooler up at altitude! We usually advise our students to dress in thin layers with long sleeves to protect your skin from the wind, and long pants to protect your legs from the grass during landing. Keep it simple, and leave any jewelry/accessories at home.

2. Fuel Your Body for Skydiving

What you choose to consume on the day of your skydive – or even eight hours before your skydive – can have a huge impact on your first time skydiving experience. Your body is about to go through a rush of adrenaline-dumping, heart-racing, blood-pumping action, and you’ll want to be sure your body has the fuel to handle it! 

Some people believe that not eating before skydiving will help them prevent feeling ill while on their skydive, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. However, you will want to consider eating lighter meals that energize rather than indulging in heavy, greasy foods that cause you to feel sluggish. We recommended eating a light meal that normally makes you feel good afterwards and maybe even bringing some healthy snacks to the dropzone to graze on as you wait for your turn to jump. Additionally, you’ll want to come hydrated and bring some water to sip on as you wait.

3. Rest Up for Skydiving

You might find it hard to sleep with all of the excitement surrounding your first time skydiving, but we urge you to make a serious effort to get some quality rest the night before your scheduled jump. If it’s normally difficult to get some shut eye, we suggest developing some kind of nighttime routine a few days before your jump to get your body in the zone. Decompress, turn on the TV, put your phone on “do not disturb,” listen to some soothing music and catch some Zs!

tandem skydive


How to Mentally Prepare for Skydiving

If you feel yourself having some ‘skydiving for the first time’ anxiety, we’re here to say it is completely normal. Skydiving may seem scary at first, but we’ve got some great ways to help stay calm before skydiving and get rid of that skydiving anxiety. So, how do you calm down before skydiving?

1. Do Your Research

If you haven’t already scheduled your tandem skydive, read reviews and do some research on different dropzones in your area. Make sure the dropzone is a member of the United States Parachute Association (USPA) as this guarantees that they are committed to upholding higher standards and to ensuring compliance with safety protocols. 

After you book your skydive, read up on ‘what to expect’ and ‘how to prepare’ for a skydive, then research some statistics that will be helpful to remember if your intrusive thoughts get the best of you. Questions like “how safe is skydiving for the first time?” or researching skydiving rules will help you keep your mind at ease.

2. Let Go of Expectations

This might sound weird and difficult to do but, trust us. Let go of your expectations and just enjoy the ride. Practice mindfulness by focusing on your breath and take in the sensations you experience in the present moment – the hum of the airplane, the feeling of your breath filling your lungs, the secure hug of the tandem harness strapped around your body. Focus intently on every moment and appreciate it for what it is to you right now. Remember why you’re doing this.

3. Know That We’re All in This Together

It might help to know that you are not alone in the overwhelming feeling of experiencing your first skydive. We’ve all been there before! The dropzone is a magical place full of open-minded individuals who all want what you want: a beautiful first skydiving experience. This will be one of the greatest experiences of your life; stay positive, enjoy every moment, and reap the mental benefits of skydiving.

What Should You Not Do Before Skydiving?

1. DO NOT Celebrate Too Early

Some people think having some drinks before your skydive will help ease your skydiving anxiety, however, it will completely ruin your experience. Absolutely no alcohol or drugs are permitted. Don’t even think about partying the night before because hungover skydiving is literally the worst. Skydiving is an incredible life journey that should be enjoyed 100% sober and at your best! By all means, celebrate afterwards.

2. DO NOT Scuba Dive

In the off-chance that you’re feeling extra adventurous, try not to schedule your scuba diving experience within 24 hours of your skydive. Going from one extreme pressure to another too quickly can create bubbles in your blood which can be very painful and dangerous. Ouch!

3. DO NOT Overthink

When doing something extreme, it’s easy to assume the worst – but don’t let your mind go there! Remember: skydiving has great safety statistics; parachutes are designed to open; rigs have back-up systems in place; and USPA-rated instructors know what they’re doing. It’s going to be great!

Feeling prepped and ready? Book your skydive today and experience the thrill at North Carolina’s premier skydiving destination – Skydive Paraclete XP! Blue skies.

student in freefall with psp instructor

The best Drop Zone in the world. Friendliest staff for the most fun experience of your life!

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