Sometime last year my wife and I found ourselves talking about skydiving.
I offhandedly said, “I think I would like to do that someday.”
As everyone knows, someday is never.
Fast forward to my 40th birthday and she lets me know she has a surprise for me.
The plan is for two of my friends to pick me up and whisk me away to an unknown destination.
Her only instructions are to avoid drinking and to bring my driver’s license.
Let’s Go Skydiving
It turns out she had bought me a tandem skydiving experience from Skydive Alabama in Cullman. As soon as I learned that my palms got all sweaty and my stomach felt funny. But the reservation was made, so there was no backing out now.
The owner of Skydive Alabama is an ex-military, parachute regiment soldier, and 3-time Skydiving World Championship medalist.
You walk in, sign a really long and ominous waiver, and then sit back and wait until it is your turn. The friendly and helpful staff take you through a short training video that covers the basics of what is expected out of you during your jump.
I would recommend getting the pictures and videos, they do an amazing job with them.
When It’s Your Turn
When it is your turn, your instructor will come find you to get you suited up for your jump. He will give you further instructions on what to do when you jump out of the airplane.
Basically, you will arch your back, kick your feet back, and keep your hands away from important stuff going on with parachutes. They have jumpsuits available, but they are not required.
Since they did not have an Elvis jumpsuit, I jumped in my t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes. When it is your turn, you and your instructor will walk to the plane and sit together on a bench.
During the flight he will strap himself securely to you and make sure you know what to do.
And Then It Happens
Somebody opens the door of that airplane and it becomes real.
You scoot together on this bench towards the gaping hole in the plane. You squat down on the edge of the airplane with your toes hanging off the edge 14,000 feet above ground and you completely ignore the “Hey, don’t look down” command. The next thing you know you are hurled out of the plane and it is amazing! You are flying through the clouds like Superman and it is completely awesome and terrifying at the same time.
The next thing you know you are hurled out of the plane and it is amazing! You are flying through the clouds like Superman and it is completely awesome and terrifying at the same time.
The parachute thankfully pops open and you begin to float back towards the earth.
Looking down is like looking at a Google maps view.
Minutes later you are coming in for a nice, soft landing and it is all over.
Some things to note:
- Schedule 2-4 hours for your experience
- You have to be at least 19 (even with parental consent)
- You can not weigh more than 250 pounds
- I recommend getting a reservation
- If the weather looks bad (or windy) at all, make sure to call and see if the jump is still on
- If you get motion sickness, a Dramamine is recommended
231 County Road 1360
Vinemont, AL, 35179
I think everyone should try it at least once, but be careful who you say that around.
They might call your bluff.