Why do people skydive? Adrenaline? Excitement? Novelty? Sure. We skydive for those reasons. But it might surprise you to know that those are the least important reasons we skydivers jump. There are several other reasons that loom much larger in our decision to head out to the dropzone on every single good-weather day–and, for some of us, to have dedicated our lives to pursuing the sport. These other reasons all point to the fact that, for us, skydiving is freedom: from our troubles, from our preconceived notions and from loneliness. If you’re new to skydiving, you might still be in the “adrenaline” phase–so lean in and allow us to unveil a preview of what’s to come.
SKYDIVING IS A RELEASE
It’s a little trick of neuroscience: There’s no space in your brain for your troubles when you’re falling through the air at 120mph.
Skydiving offers every jumper the rare opportunity to truly let everything else go and live completely in the moment. On a skydive, nothing else exists but you, your equipment and the friends around you in freefall. Preoccupations are pared tidily away. Once back on the ground, those preoccupations tend to lose their itch of immediacy, and the chemicals your brain released in freefall surround your sensibilities in a warm, calm glow. Stress melts in the heat of freefall and it never truly crystallizes back into its previous shape. You’ll see.
SKYDIVING IS A COGNITIVE EXERCISE
Skydiving isn’t a hallowed refuge of the certifiably insane. (Well…mostly.) At any rate, a skydive is not a haphazard tumble into the void in pursuit of adrenaline. Au contraire. Instead, every skydive is an opportunity to hone any of a number of distinct skills, to dial in proprioception, to experientially investigate aerodynamics and to knock out some fancy teamwork. We plan each jump down to the barest detail–and we train to grapple with situations that arise outside the plan.
Skydiving is a sport. That means that people who do it are athletes. Indeed, we thrive on training and improving. The multitude of disciplines within the sport of skydiving are each the subject of dozens of competitions throughout any given calendar year.
SKYDIVING IS A WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY
In the worldwide community of skydiving, you’re never alone. As soon as you get to a dropzone, you have a built-in network of like-minded adventurers with whom to share all the landmark experiences the sky has to offer. We come from such diverse backgrounds and all have very different lives outside of the sport, but on the dropzone and in the sky, we’re all standing on refreshingly equal footing.
It’s not just common interests that bind us. The experience of jumping out of planes with people builds bonds that last a lifetime. You’ll likely find that your skydiving friends are some of the best you’ve ever had, and even when you’re not jumping, you’ll love spending time together.
So why do skydivers say that skydiving is freedom? We’ll leave you with the words of Melissa Nelson-Lowe–sponsored athlete, world-record skydiver, published author and veteran skydiving instructor–who explains it with typical aplomb:
“We are comfortable in our culture’s structure: grow up, go to school, get a job, have a family, retire, next generation: repeat. With social media & advanced communications (texting, cell service availability) this is changing, but it only seems temporary. People seek out experiences, but to me, skydiving is more than just an experience.
I love that I can wake up and creatively navigate my day as I wish. I love dreaming of what I can do and what is possible in the sky and under parachutes. I love thinking about the next project and the unique places that it can take me. I love that I get to experience different cultures and that skydiving doesn’t discriminate (meaning all ages, races, genders, etc. can participate and are welcomed with open arms) and that means meeting people from all different walks of life but having something so special, so unique and so rare in common – the passion to jump out of airplanes more than just once. But something deep in our souls we crave to do. And creating the most dynamic community – one looking in from out the outside just might not understand.
And that each day is different… to me, that is freedom.”
Want to experience the freedom of why people skydive? The amazing community at Skydive Coastal Carolinas can’t wait to welcome you to our sandy white beaches and beautiful Carolina skies!