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Is Skydiving Scary? – My Dubai Skydiving Experience

Skydiving is one of those things a lot of people have on their bucket list.

It doesn’t matter if you do it while traveling or to signify a certain milestone, like turning a certain age; the thought of jumping out of an aeroplane is pretty remarkable.

But, deciding to take that leap can also seem terrifying, especially if you don’t know much about skydiving.

So, is skydiving scary? And what does skydiving feel like?

Well, I want to share my first-time skydiving experience with you and how it feels to leap from 13,000 feet!

My Skydiving Experience In Dubai

I spent a few months living in Dubai to try out the whole location independent lifestyle in 2021.

And, as fate would have it, there was a skydiving school and jumping location right across from the apartment I was staying in.

Getting on the plane.

So, every day I would see dozens of jumpers plummet towards the earth, their shoots open, and then drift gracefully down to the patch of grass serving as landing zone below.

After a few weeks of this, I decided to muster up the courage to go skydiving for the first time, and boy, am I glad I did!

Is Skydiving Scary?

Skydiving sounds scary when you think about jumping out of a plane and free falling for minutes on end like in the movies, but skydiving in real life is actually totally different!

And, in my opinion, the anticipation and lead-up to jumping is scary while actually skydiving isn’t scary.

This was the scary part. After 5 seconds it was much more fun!

Here’s why.

When you skydive, you fall at about 120 miles per hour, or 200 kilometers an hour.

This means that the portion you actually freefall for is only about 30 seconds to a minute depending on how high you jump from.

I jumped from 13,000 feet in Dubai, and I think we were in free-fall for about 40 seconds before my tandem instructor had to pull the parachute.

So, for starters, skydiving isn’t like the movies and you’re not falling aimlessly for minutes on end.

Secondly, skydiving doesn’t feel like you’re falling because you’re moving so fast.

In other words, you don’t get that sense of jumping off a tall diving board or bungee jumping since you’re moving too fast and there’s so much wind resistance and force acting against your body as a result

So, long story short: skydiving isn’t scary but you can make yourself feel scared when you get in the jump plane and sit around waiting for the doors to open and for you to jump.

How Does Skydiving Feel?

Skydiving feels like you’re gliding or flying because as you fall, the wind resistance against your body provides an incredible amount of lift.

Again, you’re falling so fast that it’s not like jumping off a diving board. The sheer amount of force against you makes skydiving feel like you’re effortlessly gliding through the air. If you’ve ever been in a high-powered wind tunnel, the feeling is similar.

What a view!

What surprised me the most is just how windy and loud it is when you skydive. You wear goggles so you can see, but man was it windy up there!

What Do Other Skydivers Think?

So, what do other skydivers think about their experiences and if skydiving is scary or not?

Well, there’s actually a huge community of jumpers on Reddit, and here’s what they said in a thread about what it feels like to skydive:

  • The_Skydivers_Son says: “skydiving doesn’t feel like jumping from a height. The “stomach drop” feeling of jumping comes from sudden acceleration, but in a skydive the plane is moving forward, so your acceleration is much more gradual. Finally, skydiving is much safer than heights. If you fall off a ladder, there’s no safety system. On a skydive, you have a meticulously maintained parachute system operated by a skilled professional.”
  • Liddig says: “I was so so nervous when I was about to jump but it was the best feeling I’ve ever experienced! I can’t wait to jump again.”
  • DerVirg says: “Turn your brain off and don’t overthink it. The reality is, you’re not skydiving until that final moment… sooo, imagine all you’re doing is taking a flight up to altitude, going to the door, and looking out. That’s it. Enjoy the view from the door and let fate do the rest.”
  • Sonofalbert1984 says: “When you are getting nervous on the way up , wiggle your toes. Works like a charm.”


Of course, these people are probably a little biased since they’re in a community of skydivers, but hey, these are still some glowing testimonials!

Is Skydiving Expensive?

Skydiving is generally an expensive sport or hobby to take part in, especially because first-time jumpers need to jump with an instructor. On average, you’re probably paying at least $300 to $400 to skydive, and that’s for a local skydiving company and without any frills like photos or video.

In Dubai, I paid about $650 to skydive at Skydive Dubai because we jumped right over the Palm, so the view was insane. This price also included video and photos of my jump and I jumped with an instructor.

So in short, expect to pay at least $300 to $400 to go skydiving or even more if you’re in an exotic place or want photos and videos.

Skydiving vs Roller Coasters

Skydiving isn’t as scary as going on a massive roller coaster, which might sound surprising. And, when you go on a massive drop on a roller coaster, your stomach drops the entire time. In comparison, when you skydive, you only get the dropping feeling in your stomach for 2 or 3 seconds before it vanishes.

I think skydiving is scary during the anticipation phase, but in terms of feeling, skydiving and going on a roller coaster have very little in common.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Skydiving Feel Like Falling?

The first 3 or 4 seconds of skydiving feels like falling because it takes a few seconds for your body to reach peak velocity during free fall.

In my opinion, the first few seconds of the jump are the worst. The cockpit door slides open, the jump light turns green, and you crabwalk over to the edge of the door. When you peer down, all you see is the outline of the ground below you, 10,000+ feet away.

That was the scariest moment for me, but hey, there’s only one way down at that point!

Anyway, once you actually jump out of the plane, you get that lurching feeling in your stomach for a few seconds. But right after that, it feels like you’re flying and the feeling vanishes, only to be replaced with elation.

2. Does Your Stomach Drop When Skydiving?

Your stomach drops for the first few seconds when skydiving but the feeling goes away quickly once you reach peak velocity.

3. How Do You Feel After Skydiving

After skydiving, I felt an overwhelming sense of elation, thrill, and just shock to be honest.


Skydiving is the type of event that can change your life. Even now, months after my first jump, I frequently think about my skydiving experience and it always brings a smile to my face.

The cool part about skydiving is that you’re also in the air for a while once you pull your parachute. This is an awesome time to bask at the surrounding scenery and to take it all in. Honestly, it’s one of the favorite and coolest things I’ve ever done.

4. What If I’m Scared Of Heights?

When you’re in the plane, you’re honestly so high up that the ground below doesn’t really trigger that fear response in your brain. It’s super weird, but as someone who isn’t a massive fan of heights, it wasn’t much of an issue to overcome.

My only advice is not to look directly out of the cockpit door when you’re about to jump since that can psych you out a bit.

5. Is Skydiving Fun?

Skydiving is fun because it’s thrilling. This is the type of experience you can’t understand unless you do it, and it’s truly a once in a lifetime sort of event.

Is Skydiving Worth It?

Skydiving is pretty expensive, but in my opinion, it’s worth it because it’s fun and it changes your life.

Seriously, I think about my jump a lot, especially if I’m a bit down or am stuck at my desk working and I want to daydream about my next travel adventure.

Overall, there’s just something inspirational and changing about the experience of skydiving, and I definitely think it’s something everyone should try if they’re on the fence about it.

My trip to Dubai was really one of my favorite digital nomad adventures so far, and I think jumping from 13,000 feet was the cherry on top.

Anyways, that’s all for this one!

Thanks for reading, I’ll catch you guys in the next one!

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