How Fast Do I Fall When Skydiving & What Does It Feel Like?

How Fast Do I Fall When Skydiving & What Does It Feel Like?

Everything You Need to Know About What Skydiving Feels Like!

So you’ve heard that Red Bull gives you wings and now you want to go Skydiving? Except you aren’t exactly sure what to expect. Does skydiving feel like a roller coaster? … Will I feel like I’m falling while skydiving? ... "How high is skydiving?" …  How fast do I fall when skydiving? These are all perfectly normal concerns to have about going on your first skydiving adventure. I'll answer all the questions you have about what skydiving feels like within this article.

Photo by Tomas Sobek on Unsplash

Before you actually experience your first skydiving trip, you may feel both excited and scared at the same time. However, it’s these feelings that make the amazing experience so empowering. It’s the internal transformation that made me decide to make skydiving a permanent hobby. I went from being super scared to feeling very accomplished and proud of myself. Nine years later, I’m a certified skydiver and encourage everyone that can start skydiving! It’s my goal that by the end of the article you have a conceptual understanding of what skydiving feels like.

In this article, I’ll dive into all your questions…

  • How High Is Skydiving/Skydiving Height
  • How Fast Will I Fall When Skydiving
  • What Does Skydiving Feel Like

A. During FreefallDuring Canopy Flight

B. During Canopy FlightNaked Skydiving

C. For the Adventurous: Naked Skydiving

D. How Long Does A Skydiving Jump Last

E. How Long Does A Skydiving Jump Last


  • What Does Indoor Skydiving Feel Like

Let’s dive in...

How High Is Skydiving?

**At What Height Do You Skydive? **

In order to have plenty of time in free fall and canopy flight, skydivers must jump from a high altitude.

The average skydiving height is 13,000 feet which allows for roughly 50 seconds of free fall and 5 minutes of canopy flight.

The United States Parachute Association has a minimum altitude for parachute pack opening depending on experience level and training. The altitude is set at 2,500 feet for less experienced and 2,000 feet for experienced divers. For some AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) training jumps, that minimum is set to 5,500 feet!

The altitude requirements are there to allow plenty of time for the diver to know whether they need to deploy their reserve parachute (emergency canopy).

The minimum for experienced divers is set to 2,500 feet. You can find drop zones that offer jumps much lower than the average height.

The some skydiving height extremes can reach 18,000 feet and require supplemental oxygen on the plane. The record for highest skydive was broken at 135,890 in 2014 by Alan Eustace. He reaches speeds of 822 miles per hour! But that’s nowhere near how fast you’ll fall...

**How Fast Will I Fall When Skydiving? **

You might assume that once you jump out of the airplane, you continuously pick up speed until your canopy opens up. (Or, you hit the ground - ha, just kidding!)

**It’s this presumption that makes people think that skydiving feels like falling. That is not how physics works! **

When you fall through the sky, you build speed until you reach the terminal velocity. Terminal velocity is the speed at which the resistance of the air holds you up at a constant rate. That is what skydivers (and physicists) refer to as terminal velocity.

**The terminal velocity when skydiving is approximately 120mp! Although this is fast, it feels nothing like a roller coaster ride.**

You might wonder, How did Alan Eustace reach 822 miles per hour?

Well, this was due to the lack of air density at the extreme heights. There the air friction is less and hence allows for a faster fall speed.

What Does Skydiving Feel Like?

As most people say, skydiving feels indescribable or better, like you’re flying. It’s true you won’t truly understand what skydiving feels like until you try it. But, I’ll do my best to fill you in on what it feels like to fly.

Before I can fully go into depth about what the indescribable sensation it's important you know that there are two parts to skydiving. The first minute or so is free fall (the presumably the scary part) and canopy flight (the less scary part).

Photo by Muzammil Soorma on Unsplash

What Does Skydiving Feel Like During Freefall

Freefall is the part of skydiving that makes you feel like a superhero.

With skydiving, you don't have to experience a drop in your stomach like you do on roller coasters. That's physics!

In order to change directions, roller coaster rides pause their acceleration. This pause and quick change of direction, rapidly bring your organs to a halt and then quickly pull them the opposite way. Skydiving will not drop your stomach because your body is moving constantly moving in the same direction of inertia, from the time you get on the plane.

When free falling you don't fully feel like you're dropping. Have you ever been on that tall roller coaster ride. You know, the one where you sit strapped next to a row of people, go up 250 feet in the air and then drop? Well, Skydiving feels nothing like that. (Again, that's thanks to physics).

**As you free fall in the belly to Earth skydiving position, the wind holds you up. You feel the pressure of the air holding you up as you glide through the wind and that's what makes you feel like Superman! **

Plus, this part of Skydiving happens so quickly, your brain doesn't have enough time to process everything that's going on...including your fear! **Once you jump off the plane, you are 100% living off of adrenaline and 1000% in the moment! That's why people go Skydiving, to overcome fear! **

What Does Skydiving Feel Like During Canopy Flight

**When the canopy first opens up, it swoops you back as it stops you from falling so quickly. Then, it flies through the air open in an umbrella shape. **

If you've ever felt an umbrella pull back while the wind tried to take it away. That pull is what you feel when skydiving… but in your whole body. Plus, there's enough fabric and distance to allow you to steer it and be in control. Pretty cool, huh?

**The feeling after you land is incredible. You'll feel accomplished and empowered. You will feel like you can do anything now! **

What Does Skydiving Feel Like Naked

___A bit nippy___. Ha. Just kidding. I’ve never tried it.

**How Long Does A Skydiving Jump Last? **

I've briefly mentioned within the other sections of the post about how long a skydiving jump lasts. But think it's necessary to break it down under its own section for you to easy reference back how long a skydiving jump lasts.

**For the typical skydiving jump at 13,000 feet you’ll spend 50 seconds in free fall and 5 minutes in canopy flight. 18,000 feet will get you around 85 seconds of free fall time and 5-6 minutes of canopy flight. **

**The total time spent at the drop zone, getting ready, riding up to height, and actually skydiving  will be around 20 minutes! The experience doesn’t last very long but you’ll truly feel alive every second of it!**

What Does Indoor Skydiving Feel Like?

Inside Skydiving (AKA Indoor Skydiving)

Inside skydiving, or more accurately Indoor Skydiving, is a bit different from outdoor skydiving. Indoor skydiving is where you go into a skydiving simulator and have wind blow you up so that you're off the ground.

**It still feels like flying, but without the massive surge of adrenaline and amazing view.**

Indoor skydiving is a great option for someone who doesn't meet the requirements for outdoor skydiving. However, it doesn't have the same life-changing effects as traditional skydiving.

For more details on the Skydiving Requirements, check out the linked blog.

Blog: Skydiving Requirements - Who can skydive?

**Check out this blog to learn more about the different Skydiving Types. **

Blog: Skydiving Types: Is Tandem skydiving right for you?


**There you have it, an in depth description of the indescribable skydiving sensation to the best of my ability. **

**If you thought this blog gave you a good idea about what it's like to fly, please share it with your friends. If you have suggestions on what I should blog about next, tweet me @GiftAPandaHQ **

**P.s. Thanks so much for taking time to read this post. **

**P.s.s If you know someone who likes to skydive, you should check out Gift A Panda’s skydiving gifts. Skydiving Panda’s are a fun and adorable twist on skydiving gift certificates. My skydiving buddy and I go skydiving every weekend. The Panda I got him on his birthday made him smile! He wouldn't stop talking about how great the gift was. I highly recommend it!! **