Published: December 26, 2016
When you rock up to a dropzone, you'll likely make a beeline for the beating heart of the scene: the observation area. When you arrive there, you'll be transfixed by a unique spectacle: the return of several flurries of happy skydivers landing back to the ground in a variety of ways. Some will be hooting and hollering; some yelping; some laughing; some wiggly; some sporting a perma-grin; some silent. Every last one of them, of course, is smiling.
As you watch them come in, you'll likely wonder: What does landing from a skydive actually feel like? Is it easy? Or particularly hard? Does it hurt? Is it fast? We'll try to answer as many of these questions and provide some skydiving landing tips, so you know what you're squaring up to as you contemplate your joyful descent.
1. What Does Landing From A Skydive Actually Feel Like?
First, it's important to note that no two landings are exactly the same. There are differences in the weather and wind conditions, in the equipment used and in the combined weight of student and instructor. That said: the experience of a skydiving landing is generally smooth, comfortable and straightforward.
2. Is It Easy? Or Particularly Hard?
As a tandem student, we will train you to lift up your legs to an angle that's as parallel as possible to the ground. This keeps your lower limbs out of the way of your tandem instructor, giving the instructor the most space and latitude to make the necessary adjustments. By lifting your legs, you will enable your instructor to touch down first and absorb the initial landing forces. For most people, the movement is quite easy--and they're free to wave and whoop to their heart's delight.
3. Does A Skydive Landing Hurt?
Let's be real: As this is skydiving, there's always a risk that some unforeseen element could go wrong. We can't guarantee a perfectly soft landing every time as there are many variables at play that affect landings. That said, we're proud of our sterling track record at the Wisconsin Skydiving Center, and we avoid jumping in weather that might create dangerous or uncomfortable conditions during the landing. Our instructors are top notch and we use the best equipment that money can buy.
We typically perform slide-in landings--which are as docile as can be, depositing you into a stationary seated position as gently as a ride down a kiddie slide. If the conditions allow for a stable stand-up landing (usually with a steady headwind) then your instructor may choose to land that way also. Regardless of style, it's safety that's most important!
4. Is It Fast?
You can expect that the skydiving landing speed is approximately the speed of a fast bicycle ride and that the final stages of the landing--or, as we call it, the "flare"--will bring you to a gentle near-halt just as you're touching back down to earth.
From there, you'll be able to hustle over to the observation area and describe your experience to the curious faces that watched your triumphant descent. And make sure you give 'em a solid high-five! It's tradition.
Want to know more? Watch examples of skydiving landings at Wisconsin Skydiving Center or contact a member of our team with any questions you have.
Jon was my tandem instructor and videographer, and he was the best! I appreciated his calm demeanor, skill, reassuring instructions, and good humor. Thanks so much, Jon! You rock!