I am not gonna lie to you, skydiving has never been on my bucket list. For some reason, jumping out of an airplane at 13 000 feet with a man strapped to my back didn’t seem like an appealing idea to me. It all changed when my adventurous friend Abed showed me pictures from his sunrise skydive in Dubai. And wow, what a sight! Not only you could see the whole marina from a bird’s eye view but also the Palm Jumeirah and The World archipelago.
So, not thinking much I decided that if I am ever doing it, it will be with Skydive Dubai!
Great! The decision was made and booking completed! Now, what? Until the jump, I still had around 1 month! A lot of time to prepare, think about it and stress out!
If I was to give you only one advice it would be:
Just do it! Ideally, book your spot and do it the next day!
In this way, you will not have time to change your mind! Ah, and keep calm! Skydiving is really one of the coolest and most liberating experiences that you can have. And you definitely shouldn’t worry about it. It does feel like flying (and not like falling)!
I know how to keep it cool. I really do. I passed through the door like I am a pro skydiver and head straight to the reservation desk, where I was informed that there will be 3 groups before me.
Wait what? Do I need to wait for so long? Ok, breathe! I smiled and started to look in the skydiving manual: “Cross the arms, lean back your head and hold the straps on your arms”. Puff, this was only making me more nervous.
The minutes were passing by and no instructor was coming to introduce himself to me. I started to worry, seeing that the queue was not moving. Finally, the voice from the speaker has explained that due to a very strong wind, the jumps were postponed until the weather conditions would change.
I sat down and started reading Interesting facts about Dubai to relax. Did you know that when you order pizza, it will arrive in style (read in Ferrari)?
Anyways, after 4 hours of waiting, I was already a nervous wreck. So, for my own sake (and instructor’s), I decided to come back the next day.
Another day, another chance! To my surprise, this time I was not nervous at all. I must have used up all my stress the day before. Or maybe my body stopped associating that place with danger? Either way, I was feeling ready to do this!
This time I was in group 1. As it was my first jump ever, I was doing a tandem jump. The main advantage of a tandem jump is that you really don’t have to worry about opening the parachute or other silly things. You just enjoy the ride!
So, there I was – putting on security stripes that will be attached to my instructor’s parachute and listening to his commands.
“Remember to smile!” – was one of them. In skydive Dubai, each skydiver gets assigned a photographer that records a video and take pictures for him. The first thing they record are the greetings to family and friends. As you can imagine, the stress level is quite high just before the jump so mainly people say a first thing that comes to their mind which sounds quite ridiculous later on.
Imagine if my last words were “See u downstairs!”… DownSTAIRS? Oh, irony!
From that moment everything went incredibly fast – instructor pushing me into the plane, camera girl asking about my last words (really??), me talking some bullshit to the camera and our turn to jump!
It was all going so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to get stressed until I stood on the edge of the plane looking down at the tiny Earth below me. Mmm, do I really want to do this? Probably not… But it was too late! I tried to remember all the safety poses. Was it lean back and then cross the arms or hold the straps and lean the head? OMG, this is actually going to happen!
The instructor started the countdown: 3…2…1…NOOO! In the first few seconds we were spinning in the air, I couldn’t tell what is happening and I felt slightly dizzy. Thankfully, that feeling passed by very quickly and was replaced by a warm feel of the wind in my hair.
A great thing about skydiving in Dubai is that it is so hot that you do not need to wear long-sleeves. You are perfectly fine with jumping in a T-shirt and shorts!
The freefall was actually the best part of the jump. If you have ever wondered how it is to fly, skydiving will make you feel like a bird. Ah, sweet taste of freedom! (If only somebody told me before that I shouldn’t move my legs. I look like a crazy frog on a swim marathon 😉 Except that, you can see that I had a time of my life.)
Unfortunately, the free fall lasted for only 60 seconds. After the parachute is deployed you will then have a relaxing canopy descent lasting 4 to 5 minutes. That is the part when all the adrenaline is gone (because YAY, the parachute OPENED, right?!) and you can enjoy the view. Except for a moment when your instructor decides to loosen your straps. Common, don’t let me go now, ok ?
We have landed on our feet and the photographer was already waiting for us in the drop zone. I felt really tired but couldn’t take the smile out of my face. I did it! And it felt awesome! So awesome, that I would repeat it in a heartbeat!