Skydiving has always been on my bucket list of things to do at least once in my life, and fortunately I finally had the opportunity to have my first tandem skydive.
Thoughts on the plane
As we flew 3,000 meters above the ground and we coulde see a picturesque panorama of small villages, roads and green fields before our eyes, fear had suddenly left my body. There was no sign of the anxiety that had kept me awake the night before. My brain seemed to be blocked, and the fear was replaced by the desire to remember the last instructions of my tandem instructor Radi:
“Keep your head up!” Be like a ‘banana’ ‘when falling (head up and legs back)! Breathe through your nose and just enjoy! ”
I repeated the instructions in my mind and hoped to execute everything according to plan.
There were a few more skydivers on the plane, and I asked one of them how many jumps he had had, and he told me that was his 108th time. I wondered what made people addicted and I expected the skydive to give me answers.
Radi showed me how the skydivers greeted each other to lighten the mood, and soon we were standing on the edge of the plane, ready to fall down at 200 km / h. I was equipped with an electric yellow jumpsuit, gloves and goggles to protect me from the wind.
The free fall
We jumped and for a split second I felt as if the horizon had turned 180 degrees. I would compare the moment of free fall with those roller coasters in the amusement parks, which turn in all directions and you never know where you will end up (for reference: Black Mamba in the Prater in Vienna). The fall lasts about 30 seconds and is filled with lots of adrenaline. Your stomach drops. You develop a speed of up to 240 km / h. The wind whistles in your ears and massages your cheeks as the ground beneath you grows larger.
The best part of the experience for me personally is that there are no barriers between you and the world below. There is no window or vehicle through which you look outside, but it is as if you become one with nature and merge with the wind.
After opening the parachute, Radi removed my glasses and I could now safely enjoy the view and talk to him. From a bird’s eye view, the roads and cars under my feet looked like they were made of Lego. It was breathtaking. My instructor demonstrated a few turns with the parachute, we slowed down and landed successfully.
Why is it addictive?
On the ground, I finally realized why skydiving is so addictive after staring at the slogan of the drop zone Skydive Sofia – “Skydiving – Don’t worry about the fear, worry about the addiction” .
For beginners like me, the key lies in the feeling of achievement – that you have overcome fear, yourself and another challenge. It fills you with faith in your own strengths and abilities. It gives you confidence that you can handle anything that stands in your way, and that you are not afraid of anything.
Skydiving fills you not only with faith in yourself, but also with faith in others and in a good way out of the situation, so it is definitely a sport and an experience for optimists.
For those who think it is very dangerous – the risk of death is only 1: 150,000 or only 0.0007% of all jumps. However, for greater security, the backpack stores not only the main one, but also an additional parachute, which opens automatically.
Thanks to the Russian actor Gleb Kotelnikov for his invention – the first knapsack parachute which landed me safe and sound on the ground and saved thousands of pilots and military pilots from death.
Sincere thanks to the team of Skydive Sofia, who are true professionals.
How to prepare for a tandem jump
If you are about to have your first skydive, the following tips are just for you:
- Check the weather forecast for the day and time of the jump.
- Talk to your doctor about whether it is safe to jump if you suffer from epilepsy, cardiovascular, mental or musculoskeletal disorders.
- Eat lightly beforehand.
- Do not drink alcohol the night before.
- Do warm-up and stretching exercises.
- Dress in comfortable sports clothes and wear closed shoes that will not fly out – sneakers or trainers will do the best job.