Skydiving Experience with Skydive Dubai…
After a challenging conversation with a friend who has done it, loves it and, knowing that jumping out of a plane has always freaked the hell out of me, dared me to do it, I thought “Perfect, that will be my next personal challenge in the form of a birthday gift to myself.”
Without further thinking, I booked and paid with Skydive Dubai ( SDD ) . But then, with my jump getting rescheduled twice due to bad weather I started wondering if it wasn’t a sign that I should just take SDD’s offer for a refund and run 🙂 Five months later though, when D-day-3 arrived, a perfect weather, followed by a fantastic experience, made me soooo happy I didn’t opt for that easy way out…
My friend dropped me off at the SDD gate, a few hundred meters from the main site.
A short walk filled with total silence… No sound, no cars, no sign of life… A yellow Hummer parked in front of the main site was the only sign of human presence….
Walking in complete calmness , alone with my thoughts, I wondered where was everyone? Could I be the only person jumping today?
I arrived to the entrance, stepped into the door and BOOM!!!! I suddenly found myself in the midst of all the action.. as if I was dropped into another planet. A huge rectangular room, full of people, equipments, laughter and just everyone having a great time… The floor covered with colored foam mattresses, skydiving equipments everywhere, tens and tens of people all over, on the mats, on the chairs, in the offices… from instructors to tandem jumpers with their families, friends, solo jumpers, solo trainees, administrators.. people getting ready, others giving instructions, others finalizing registrations… incredible energy… I was stunned… What a fantastic atmosphere, smiling faces everywhere, laughter, jokes, everyone was just happy and living in the moment .. As I found myself surrounded by so much action and positive energy, my nervousness couldn’t but subside and I got all excited to be part of this…
After registration, weigh-in and height taken, came the worst part of my whole experience: an 8-page waiver to read and sign… As I started reading line after line after line, darkness filled my head… ” if you break your leg, your neck, in case of death, chute malfunction, instructor’s failure, bad landing, paralysis… ” and the list goes on and on… I mean every single detail that one can think of- or not- were mentioned in there.. The loud happy vibe around me turned into a far away echo as I got plunged into the nightmare of those papers. After a few minutes of getting lost in my dark thoughts, I lifted my head and the buzzing atmosphere threw me back into the fascinating action mode again, all these people around me getting ready, smiling, taking photos, videos, signing papers etc I was back into the light again. I smiled and thought what the heck, am not the only one here to sign and jump, if am gona be the one to break my neck, tough luck for me 🙂
P.S. I am jumping at my own risk, I get it… but can’t we just sign the waiver weeks earlier – at booking date – rather than on D-Day?
So I was sitting in the waiting area watching some of the jumps filmed earlier that morning when I hear my name being called. I jump off my seat and look back to find myself facing two tall guys who introduce themselves to me as Max my tandem jumping partner and Greg my photographer. Both are all smiles with great positive energy, it is contagious.
Turns out, at SDD, each person jumps in a team of 3. The jumper ( Myself ) , the Tandem instructor ( Max ) and the photographer ( Greg ).
Harness strapped, instructions heard with rule number 1: ” Relax, enjoy and have fun “.
We all head out to the plane for take off and the adventure begins.
The plane takes 4 teams per flight so 14 people on board including pilot and co-pilot.
15′ from take off to jumping point, during which, jokes are thrown from side to side of the plane, smiles on everyone’s lips, adrenaline building up…
I was third in line, the first person jumped and am still joking around with Max thinking, oh we have time, but little did I know, within fractions of seconds I was at the door, looking down, The Dubai Palm City, what an amazing view from the sky and then I realized Greg was just there with his cam, in the middle of the Palm, floating in the air all smiles..
A few short seconds to contemplate the stunning view before I found myself tumbling 13000 feet above sea level, the Dubai Palm circling around me… What an ecstatic feeling…. dropping at 120 miles an hour, 200 feet per second, blue skies, amazing view from the top while the wind pushing against my whole body from head to toes, like this immense electrifying energy that is so addictive … Even my hair straightened up.. I screamed my lungs out with excitement, blowing kisses at Greg aka the cam and then it hit me.. Greg has no chute on, sitting in the air with a grin on his face, taking photos, filming and looking so comfy as if his back is against a wall or something.. doing the clown from time to time.. How can that be? I looked again… Greg is in a Wingsuit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wingsuit_flying !!! How fun is that !!!
How can you not enjoy this indescribably fascinating experience when you are surrounded by such fun people, having fun themselves and enjoying the moment..
Tumbling a couple of times before hitting the wind and then the rush of the free fall uh!!l… I loved it… A feeling I couldn’t get enough of… It was such an awesome feeling I was disappointed when the chute opened.. What felt to me like just fractions of seconds of free fall ended when Max pulled the chute open and we both were shot up and around.. I went from an extreme thrill of free falling into a phase of total calmness… Wow.. Blue skies, gorgeous views from the top.. not a fraction of a sound.. Even Greg had vanished.. Total disconnection from the rest of the world… Navigating the chute and enjoying every second… So relaxing, I wish I could stay there forever… Unfortunately, we were getting closer and closer to humanity again, heading towards the landing area where Greg was waiting for us to catch the last seconds of my fantastic experience…
I never thought I would ever jump off a plane, let alone enjoy it and look forward to doing it again. What I thought was going to be a freaky experience turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
Although Skydiving has never been on my list of things to do before I die, it is now on my list of things to re-do before I die and probably, at some point, a new hobby.
Thanx to the SkyDive Dubai Team for making my first Skydiving jump an unforgettably fun experience.. I must admit, the experience would not have been the same without Max and Greg… You guys rock !!!!
Check out the pictures here: http://rittasports.com/photos/skydiving-with-skydive-dubai/
Check out the video of the jump here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4Z2XxGWds8