What does it feel like to skydive?

Meg Draffin

Here’s a surprising fact for you: humans were not built to fly. Shocking, we know. But we don’t have wings, we can’t glide, and we aren’t supposed to free-fall. So when we decide to skydive out of a perfectly good aircraft, our bodies are going to react accordingly. Here’s what goes down.

Skydiving is an exciting activity, but the event itself does trigger fear in our bodies. It also kick-starts our survival mechanism, meaning we go into fight or flight mode.

But before we get to the actual jump, let’s start at the very beginning.


The first thing you’ll notice when you’re preparing to skydive is that you’re strangely aware of your bladder. When you’re anxious or nervous, your body releases adrenaline, which triggers the sudden need to pee. It could also be because you’re tensing your muscles, which puts extra pressure on your bladder.

As you climb into the plane and start your journey towards the clouds, your adrenal glands will kick in. These glands release cortisol, which is our stress hormone. As you get ready to jump, your adrenaline glands will potentially be operating at the highest level they have ever been and will ever be. Your speed and strength will be increased, meaning you could confidently take on a WWE wrestler (or at least try!). You’ll feel energised, but also as if time has slowed down entirely.

skydiving preparation

What to wear before skydiving?

The clothes you wear while skydiving can make or break your experience. You’ll have the best experience in loose-fitting, comfortable clothes like athletic wear, gym shorts, leggings or plain t-shirts – especially if it’s warm.

Is there a weight limit for skydiving?

In Australia, the maximum weight allowed to skydive at most centres is 110-115 kilograms. For customers over this weight, you may still be able to jump; however, it’s subject to the availability of qualified tandem masters.

Skydiving jump

What’s the scariest part of skydiving?

While there’s no hard and fast answer to this, most people say the build-up to diving out of the plane is the scariest part of skydiving! When you’re high up in the clouds, and your mind knows what’s coming, it can be daunting thinking about what comes next. The best thing you can do in this situation is to stay calm, breathe through it and know you’re in the safest hands possible. Once you’re free-falling, all of your worries will fall away, and you’ll enjoy the extreme thrill.

The Free-Fall From Skydiving

And then you jump! You’ll free-fall at around 200kph for anywhere from 45-60 seconds. You might experience goose bumps, sharpened senses, increased blood pressure, perspiration and a whole other cocktail of emotions – it’s hard to predict how the skydive will affect a specific person because it’s different for everyone. What’s common for everyone is that you’ll be living 100% in the moment – how often do you truly get to do that?

skydive free falling

How fast do you fall when skydiving?

Let’s get into the physics of it! When you’re skydiving, you’ll fall at terminal velocity, which typically sits at around 200 kilometres per hour.

The first 300 metres will take about 10 seconds for you to fly through, and then it will take about 5 seconds to cover every 300 metres after that.

Do your ears pop when you skydive?

The short answer is yes! Due to the pressure changes you experience while skydiving, the air that’s naturally trapped in your middle ear will be equalised, leading to a ‘popping’ of the ears.

skydive free falling

Do you feel your stomach drop when skydiving?

More physics, here we go! Because the delta between your vertical and horizontal speed doesn’t increase drastically, you won’t experience a stomach drop when you’re skydiving. The freefall bit of your skydive doesn’t actually feel like you’re free-falling – instead, it feels like you’re resting on a supported air column. Wild, huh?

After You Land From Skydiving

Surprisingly enough, here’s where the fun really begins! You’ll feel like you just won gold. . The relief and joy are immediate and intense. Some people report that they feel like a whole new person after they skydive. This could be due to any number of things. You might have just faced your fears head-on, proving that you’re much stronger than you ever anticipated. It also opens up a whole new world of heart-pumping, thrill-seeking adventures. What will you tackle next? You’ll have a new perception of the world, having seen it from a completely different angle.

You can live off that natural high for the rest of the day while your body burns off the adrenaline. This means you’ll probably talk about your experience to anyone who’ll listen and be a happier, friendlier, chattier and more energetic version of yourself.

woman skydiving

Does skydiving hurt to land?

This is a super common misconception, but we’re excited to tell you that no – it doesn’t hurt to land when you skydive! The landing will be controlled by the parachute, so most likely, your touchdown will be gentle and you’ll reach land again with your feet or bottom.

What happens after you land in skydiving?

After you land, you’ll probably experience a whirlwind of emotions. You might feel relief and joy, and some people even report they feel like a whole new person when they skydive!

skydive landing

Can you be sore from skydiving?

While you generally won’t notice any soreness from skydiving, sometimes there are elements that can create soreness – for example, if the leg straps aren’t sitting right when it’s time to deploy, you might experience bruising. But this is rare, and if everything is set up properly, you won’t feel any soreness!

So, what are you waiting for?

If you’ve always held skydiving close to your heart and are finally revving to give it a go, what are you waiting for? At RedBalloon, we’re home to a huge range of different skydiving experiences. From skydiving at 15,000 feet over Wollongong to flying high over Newcastle, Picton and Byron Bay, there’s nothing better than dropping through the clouds at a million miles an hour… until your chute is released, that is.

Looking for something a little more relaxing? How does skydiving from 7,000 feet over Coffs Harbour or 9,000 feet over Goolwa sound? A little less intimidating? We think so, too.

If you’re into the world’s best skydiving views, look no further than taking off from Mission Beach, Airlie Beach, or Rottnest Island. There’s absolutely no better view from above than the crystal clear ocean, so make the most of the beautiful weather and jump in paradise.

Looking to jump from a plane and head straight to the wineries? You’ll love our skydiving experiences in McLaren Vale. Home to stunning views of the vineyards below, and an amazing rural outlook that you’ll find nowhere else, we love the experiences we offer in South Australia.

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