Facing Fear – Sky Diving in New Zealand

“You have nothing to fear Craig, I have been sky diving over 9000 times!”…

Those words from my instructor Dave, and the fact that I would be sky diving in New Zealand for my first ever jump as a tandem with him calmed my nerves, somewhat.

If he can sky dive successfully 9000 times, I can do it once I told myself.

And everyone kept telling me that sky diving is much easier than bungy jumping, another activity I have yet to do that scares the life out of me.

Facing Fear

I don’t do heights well and have already been freaked out here in New Zealand on the sky walk in Auckland.

Although I have always been petrified of heights, jumping out of a plane is something I have always wanted to do!

And today was the day I was going to face my fears. Mentally, I felt as ready as I ever would.

Not only would I be jumping with Dave, but with other friends from the Great Crusade tour who were also jumping for the very first time.

We were in this together.

Nerves and Preparation

I was the last of four people scheduled to jump. One by one we were to be flown 12,000 feet up into the sky.

The flight up was going to take approximately 15 minutes in a tiny cesna plane with only enough room for three people.

They calculated the free fall to last 45 seconds and we would reach speeds of over 200 kilometres per hour.

After the parachute opened, they assured me it would be a peaceful and amazing experience as I float back down to earth.

Be like Nike…Just Do It!

I kept saying to myself one of my favourite slogans. And I kept visualising the experience and really focusing hard on enjoying the moment.

If  I was going to jump, I wanted to be present and in the moment.

Let the video do the talking…

It’s hard for me to put into words my 20 minutes of fear, anticipation, excitement, and relief.

So I’ll let this short video take you on the ride with me…

My Experience in Pictures

The Plane…

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The Cesna
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Pre-jump nerves

Getting suited up by Dave…

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Dave suiting me up
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The face of fear

Last minute instructions…

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Free fall position training

Feeling brave…

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I'm ready
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Let's do it...

The Jump…

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It's peaceful up there
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Back to earth...

I did it…

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Jelly legged and relieved
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
with all the team

The Facts  

Location:  I went sky diving in New Zealand’s Northlands region with Skydive Ballistic Blondes who are the regions most experienced tandem jumpmasters.

Website:  www.SkydiveBallisticBlondes.com

Top 5 Sky diving safety tips from WorldNomads.com

Anyone who agrees to jump out of a perfectly functioning aircraft clearly has issues, but if you must, here are 5 skydiving safety tips:

1.    Use a licensed or registered and well-trained operator. This is not the time or place for your mate with a secondhand parachute from Ebay to show you the basics!

2.    If you’re not fit and healthy, don’t jump. Or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, like high blood pressure or osteoporosis, talk to your instructor about it – be honest!

3.    Do exactly what your instructor/jump leader tells you. Exactly!

4.    Stay within your limits. Most accidents occur when divers try tricky stuff beyond their capabilities. Over-confidence can be a killer.

5.    Don’t forget to deploy your parachute. No, really! You need 600 metres to open your main ‘chute, make sure it’s working, or if it’s not, to open the reserve and land safely. So open it early.

QUESTION….Have you been sky diving before. Share your experience in the comments section below… 

My trip to New Zealand is courtesy of Qantas and the Great Crusade tour, however all opinions are my own.

 

Craig
Craig Makepeace is the founder of yTravel Blog and has been traveling the world since 2002, first with his wife Caz, and now with his two daughters. Get his free email series on the 4 best ways to reduce travel costs. Follow him on Google+

58 Comments on “Facing Fear – Sky Diving in New Zealand”

  1. My experience was pretty similar. Although my tandem jumper was smaller than I am, and that had me worried given I’m 5’5″ & weigh 130lb. Nonetheless, you just have to go with it. My experience can only be displayed through my own video. http://wp.me/p1kZ1k-1DH

    Reply
  2. I went skydiving in Australia on my 3rd day here and although I was terrified, I absolutely LOVED it! Such a rush! And seeing Australia from 14,000 feet in the air was truly incredible. I’m considering jumping in NZ when I visit in November, but it’s expensive.

    Reply
    • Hey Kate,

      I actually found the prices cheaper in NZ than Oz. We jumped at 12,000 feet for $250 kiwi dollars which I thought was pretty reasonable.

      And yeah seeing the earth from so high up was awesome.

      Reply
  3. Good on you for tackling your fear mate. I felt much the same when I went black water rafting in Waitomo last year. Confined spaces scare the crap out of me, but it was really liberating to tackle it head on and come out the other side.

    Not quite as scary as throwing myself from a plane though :-p

    Reply
    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks mate. I knew if I just did it I would love the experience and feel 6 feet tall and bullet proof. It was just taking that step, a very big step, and jumping out the door :-)

      Reply
  4. Wow, congrats for facing your fear and jumping out of a plane! I was super scared of heights too, and bungy jumped, and since then I’m hooked and a lot less scared of heights. Your jump looks amazing, and I hope to skydive too on my next NZ trip. I’d be just as scared of going up in that Cessna though as of jumping out of it!

    Reply
    • Thanks Christina. I am yet to bungy jump, and almost everyone says sky diving is easy than bungy. Just a different perspective and you are tandem jumping with someone very experienced which calmed my nerves.

      And yeah the plane was a little shaky going up but at least we had parachutes with us :-)

      Reply
  5. What an amazing experience! I have bungee-jumped, but jumping out of a plane is a whole different level. Not sure I could do it, but that’s okay because unlike you, I have not wanted to jump out of a plane my whole life :-)

    Reply
    • Hey Stephanie,

      If you can bungy you can definitely sky dive. And if I can do it, trust me, anyone can do this. It’s such a rush and lasts a lot longer than bungy too :-)

      Reply
  6. Oh my gosh! what a blast :)

    I was wondering – how did you get video coverage of the sky diving? Was there a jumper with a video camera?

    That is one amazing fear to get over – thank you for the gorgeous photos.

    Cheers
    Lisa

    Reply
  7. Sounds amazing. A friend shared the following equation with us yesterday: Fear – Death = Fun

    Seemed fitting for this post. BTW – “the face of fear” is pretty handsome!

    Reply
  8. YEAH CRAIG!!!
    nice work mate. You’ll never catch me jumping out of a plane, but good on ya!

    Reply
  9. WOW, that looks sooo amazing! Love the video, and awesome photos :D

    Reply
  10. Looks like a cool experience. Everyone I know who has gone really loved it. I still doubt I’ll get the guts up to try it next year when I’m in NZ.

    Reply
  11. I have always wanted to try Sky Diving I have a friend who got really into it and I think she is now an instructor back in the UK so might have to go when I get back there!

    Reply
  12. I’ve not but it’s in the top 5 on my list to do. Thnx for sharing your exp – Nike motto all the way!

    Reply
  13. You did it! I was in the middle of suiting up for my NZ skydive experience when the weather changed and it was called off. I was secretly VERY relieved. Still wish I’d done it though!

    Reply
  14. Ah, you’re so brave! I saw to myself that I’d love to do it but I’m pretty certain that if I ever am faced with the chance to do it I’d promptly change my mind!

    Well done!

    Reply
  15. [...] hate heights and already told you about the day I faced my fears, so now hear about Craig’s skydiving experience in New [...]

    Reply
  16. Hi Craig,

    Nice walk through of your skydiving experience. Makes me want to go back and rewrite my post about my skydive. Regretfully I have no photos of myself doing my skydive and I look at yours in envy. It is amazing how peaceful it is when you have opened the parachute and descend down.

    Cool post!

    Reply
    • Hey Chris,

      Yeah the peacefulness when the parachute opened was amazing. Just floating back to earth and admiring the scenery and feeling pretty proud of myself is something I will never forget.

      Reply
  17. Did my first jump earlier this year – loved it!

    Reply
  18. I haven’t dared to do it yet, but sky diving is definitely on the top of my “bucket list”. Reading your post made me think about doing it sooner rather than later. Thanks :)

    Reply
  19. Call me chicken but skydiving is the number ONE activity that I will never attempt! I’d do everything else except sky diving. I do enjoy reading about other people’s experiences though :) Good on ya!

    Reply
    • Shirlene,

      I’m the last person who is going to call you chicken. So you would bungy then? I’d prefer to sky dive than bungy, and most people say it’s easier. Never say never :-)

      Reply
  20. Holy crap, 9,000 times? That’s incredible. Well done on going for it. Some day perhaps I’ll end up giving it a go. It’s the last 1,000 feet that scares the hell out of me.

    Reply
    • Alex,

      I know right. 9,000 times is incredible, and made me feel better. He worked out that combining all his jumps together that the time falling out of the sky equaled two days or something ridiculous.

      Reply
  21. Oh my god I can’t believe you did that! Skydiving is one of those things I will have to vicariously enjoy through others… I’d really like to do it, but I’m way too scared!

    Reply
  22. Way to go Craig!

    Reply
  23. Well done matey! I have to say im proud that you sucked it up and jumped since you wont come rock climbing with me. I guess now you have no excuses hey and will have to come climbing ;)

    Reply
  24. I have never done such an adventure! The most that I have done is brave the hazardous Himalayan roads sometimes with my eyes shut!!!
    You are brave, the pics are amazing.
    Have a fabulous Sunday:)

    Reply
  25. Crazy! I honestly don’t know if I would ever do that! haha

    Reply
  26. This is a beautiful view point. so Enjoy your time to the hilt and stay safe.

    Reply
  27. Great experience you’ve had! I can feel the nerves myself just by reading this. I have to agree the thoughts of buggy jumping is scarier than sky diving. Yet, i’ve done neither.

    Reply
  28. Love the showcasing of NZ. I still cannot convince myself to go skydiving even though I have had the chance before. I think it might be time to take the plunge (literally) next time I come across it.

    Reply
  29. this is the one thing i wanted to do in NZ but nvr gotten the courage to…. now? regreting it

    Reply
  30. Still seems scary to me…maybe way at the END of the bucket list (just in case, lol).

    Reply
  31. i love sky diving am glad you enjoyed it

    Reply
  32. HA! This was crazy! I am not sure if I would have done this but I enjoyed YOUR adventure :)

    Reply
  33. I went skydiving with Ballistic Blondes as well- except at their Paihia location, looks like you did the Whangarei one? I had a fantastic experience with them. You look so nervous in the video :)
    Melissa – The Mellyboo Project recently posted..Nomad Adventure Tours: Day 20
    Melissa – The Mellyboo Project recently posted..Nomad Adventure Tours: Day 20

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