Skydiving has been one of the top activities on my bucket list since I began creating it. In fact, I was hoping to knock it out when I turned 16 ...
Ten years later, I finally did it. I fell out of the sky — Woody would say that I was "falling with style." And let me tell you, it was a wild ride.
As you read through this post, you will discover a few different things. First, I had a lot of questions before I went skydiving, so I've answered some of them here. Second, I've provided a review of Falcon Skydiving (located in Kansas City) for any first-timers looking to use this company. And finally, throughout this post, you'll learn about my personal skydiving experience. I'll even answer this burning question: Will I ever do it again?
What You'll Find In This Post
Falcon Skydiving: the Positives and Negatives
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What To Know Before You Sign Up
For those who are pretty wary of the idea of skydiving, read this section first. You might be able to come to a decision even quicker if any of these facts are a problem for you.
There is a weight restriction for tandem skydiving.
In the U.S., this weight limit can be anywhere from 220 lbs to close to the upper 200s for some skydiving facilities. If you're worried about your weight, be sure to check the site of the company that you're skydiving with or ask them over the phone what their weight restriction is before signing up.
If you get motion sickness easily or intensely, skydiving isn't for you.
Yes, I know. You'll Google this and ask people you know who have done it, and everyone will tell you that your stomach doesn't drop when you're falling. And that's true. Mine didn't. However, there are three other parts of the skydive that could make you sick. The first one would be going up to 14,000 ft. in a tiny plane. The second would be the first few seconds of falling out of the plane because you're kind of tumbling through the air before maintaining a flat freefall. And the final part you could get motion sick during (which I definitely did) is parachuting down. Your instructor might have to make several 180-degree or 90-degree turns so that you land in the right spot. Looking straight forward can help, but this is the part that really made me sick.
If you do decide to go skydiving and get motion sickness, be sure to tell your instructor at least and perhaps even someone in charge. Consider wearing a patch behind your ear or taking a medication that might help as well.
You will have to sign a bunch of legal documents.
No matter how well a company takes care of its parachutes or trains its people, there's always a possibility that something could go wrong. Skydiving is a dangerous endeavor! So the companies have to make everyone sign legal documents saying that they will never sue them. If this is a problem for you or makes you too uncomfortable, skydiving might not be in your future.
What To Know Before You Go
Once you've signed up and made your deposit, you still might have some lingering questions before the day arrives. This section will help you get prepared.
Wear tighter clothes that you don't mind getting a little dirty.
Super loose clothing could potentially get caught on something or be in the way when you're getting hooked up to your harness system. Keep in mind that you'll also be sliding in on your butt when you land, so it's best not to wear clothes that you'd mind getting a grass stain on. And although you'll be sliding in on soft grass, pants might be a smart idea so you don't feel the skid on the back of your legs.
Don't worry about having to do a lot during the skydive.
You're flying tandem, so most of the skydive is up to your instructor, but you will have a few things to remember as well. The instructors are great about teaching you what you need to do before going up into the air. Additionally, they'll tell you again what you need to do during each step of the skydiving process, so there's no need to worry if you forget something.
Invite family members or friends to watch you if you want!
This can make everything a little more fun, especially if you have some time to kill before your skydive. At Falcon Skydiving, there were families with lawn chairs, coolers filled with drinks and snacks, games for the kiddos, etc.
My Experience with Falcon Skydiving
There were some great things about my experience skydiving with Falcon Skydiving and then there were some not-so-great things. I'm not sure if all of this will be consistent with most skydiving places or if they're just how this particular company is run, but they might be worth noting no matter who you decide to skydive with. So here's my story.
Our skydiving was booked for 3 p.m. on a Saturday. They ask you to get there 15 minutes early to check in, so that's when we arrived. They checked us in, weighed us, had us sign all of the legal documents, etc. before asking us to wait a few minutes until everyone showed up so we could watch some informational videos.
The man running the class was extremely nice and playful. He asked every group of people why they decided to go skydiving and whose idea it was. He was fun and funny, and this kind of excitement continued throughout the experience. So this is my first positive point about Falcon Skydiving: The employees will get you pumped up to do it and will help you not become as nervous by distracting you with questions and chitchat.
Next, we watched the videos. They were short, but the first was about what we could expect, our job during the skydive, etc., and the second was a video explaining the dangers of skydiving since it's always possible that something could go wrong.
After the videos, we were told to go to the bathroom and then wait outside again until we were paired up with our skydiving "instructor," or the person who would be flying tandem with us. We waited at least 30 minutes, so by this time we had already been there an hour and a half. Finally, we were assigned our partners and they explained to us what we would need to do while in the air and helped us into our harnesses.
From there, we waited some more. A group of individual skydivers was going up, and then it would be our turn. Well, actually no. Then it would be three other groups' turns. Due to how small the plane is, only 4 to 5 tandems leave at a time, and the 3 p.m. group had about 20 people. My friend and I found out that we were in the last group.
So we waited, and waited and waited. It was hot. We didn't want to drink very much water so we wouldn't pee on our instructors. We hadn't eaten anything in at least 5 hours. Finally, 3.5 hours from getting to Falcon Skydiving, we were in the air. So this is my first negative point about Falcon Skydiving: You might have to wait a LONG time.
We then went up 14,000 feet and, you know, fell out of the plane. The drop was only okay for me because I was distracted by the fact that I was struggling to breathe. When my instructor opened the parachute, that was a great moment because it was chill for a few minutes as we looked at the view.
Then it was time to come down, which meant some turns, and as I explained above, that made me get motion sickness very quickly and severely. I felt myself starting to pass out and told my instructor. He was incredible at getting me down as fast as possible so that I'd still be able to lift my legs for him and arrive on the ground safely. This is my second positive point about Falcon Skydiving: The people flying with you know what they're doing, can think quickly and seem to do well in emergency situations.
Although skydiving didn't go well for me, I can completely understand why people love it. My body simply couldn't handle it. On a positive note, however, I do have a funny video to remember the experience in the future. And that's because I bought the photos and videos skydiving package.
I was content with the videos. However, the photos were just screenshots that were taken from the videos, so I felt like that was a complete waste of money since I could screenshot those myself. Not that I thought they would be taking photos of me in the air, but I was hoping someone might be on the ground getting some of us coming down and landing and then afterward posing as well. So this is my second negative point about Falcon Skydiving: The photos you can purchase are just screenshots of the videos.
Overall, I would say my experience with Falcon Skydiving was neutral. The people were great, I made it to the ground safely and it was fun at times, but the waiting was not ideal. To help mitigate this issue, I suggest booking as far in advance as possible so that you get one of the earlier time slots. And you could also consider buying the video and taking screenshots of it yourself to eliminate the photo problem unless you don't mind paying and would rather someone else do it for you.
Let me conclude with this: Skydiving is not for the faint of heart, but you're also not a wimp if you decide to not do it, struggle during it or don't like it. It won't be for everyone. In fact, I'll never do it again! BUT I was grateful that I did it, survived, plus checked another activity off my bucket list.