Does Skydiving Hurt? How Does It Affect Your Body? | 4D Victory (2023)

Skydiving is a very popular hobby and recreational activity. It is the second most popular sport in most states, after football. Skydivers can take lessons and learn how to skydive safely and properly. Many people choose to upgrade their license or get a multiple jump certificate. After taking classes, many skydivers enjoy the thrill of jumping out of planes for fun.

Skydiving can hurt the ears and cause shortness of breath which may be accompanied by chest pains. A skydiver needs to possess fair health in order to perform a dive without complications. The discomfort caused by skydiving arises in response to rapid changes in the external air pressure.

There are certified skydiving instructors who help beginners feel more comfortable with this exhilarating activity, which helps them overcome the fear they might have about falling from such high heights at an incredibly fast pace. Some people use skydiving to push themselves past their boundaries and try something new or challenging. People also choose to do it as an adrenalin rush, but others do it for fun. Many people get a high from skydiving and find themselves constantly doing it. Here is what you should know about skydiving safety.

Does your stomach drop when you skydive?

Yes. When skydiving, the speed of the fall makes you able to feel a dropping stomach. That is because your inner ear sends a signal to a part of your brain called the “locus coeruleus” area, which then affects another part of your brain that controls coordination. These two signals can make you feel like your stomach is dropping, even though you fall straight down.

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When one skydives, they get a feeling that their stomach drops because there’s a certain pressure on their inner ear during this process. As a result, it alerts a part of the brain called locus ceruleus and alters how another section of the brain manages coordination. These two signals can make you feel like your stomach is dropping even though you are falling straight down.

Other reasons for getting a dropping stomach in skydiving include your body’s fear of falling, fear of death, increased heartbeat, and increased blood pressure. Your body reacts to these emotions by releasing adrenaline into your system, which causes you to feel nauseous. One may also experience this because of being too focused on the jump instead of taking time out to relax. All these are very common when skydiving happens with beginners who have never done it before. That is because as a jumper falls from a plane, their stomach lurches into their mouth – due to the atmospheric pressure suddenly decreasing at higher altitudes.

How does it feel while skydiving?

Skydiving is an extreme sport, and many people question how it feels to be jumping from a plane several feet up in the air. Some people instantly feel excitement and happiness, while others start to panic and regret their decision. When skydiving, you can either feel adrenaline or fear throughout your body. The feeling varies for every person, but no one ever forgets their first time jumping out of a plane.

People who have never experienced skydiving before almost always feel an overwhelming amount of excitement the moment they jump out into the sky because it is such a great accomplishment that not everyone has experienced. You are happy because you overcame your fears, reached a new milestone, and explored something unknown to you, which gives you a sense of euphoria and accomplishment. Some people also feel sad because they realize their life will change after doing something so exhilarating. The adrenaline from skydiving might cause that causes your heart rate to increase, allowing you to live in the moment more intensely than usual, but this feeling quickly disappears when you land back on Earth again.

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People who have already experienced skydiving before usually feel a combination of different emotions when they jump out of a plane for the second time because it becomes an entirely new experience every time. Some people remember what it felt like last time and embrace it with open arms, while others begin to panic and fear everything around them. If you have never had such an experience, you might be scared of the unknown and what lies ahead. Many people start to ask themselves questions such as “What comes next?” or “What will happen if I get hurt?”

That causes individuals to feel a bit uneasy but eventually calms down when they reach airspeed. After that point, you experience thoughts similar to skydiving, which cause excitement and happiness throughout your body because you have never felt this way before. However, the feeling while skydiving is different for everyone because everyone feels a different adrenaline rush from doing something extreme and dangerous.

Do your ears hurt when you skydive?

Yes. When skydiving, your ears might become blocked. A blocked ear means an air pressure difference between the inside and outside of your eardrum, which can be painful and cause annoying popping sounds as you accelerate to terminal velocity. This condition – known as barotrauma – is not unique to skydiving; it happens with other forms of travel, such as changing elevations during a plane ride and scuba diving.

What causes this?

The passage from your inner ear into your middle ear includes a thin passageway that goes past your throat. As you descend at high speeds in freefall, wind rushing past your face can make the Eustachian tube snap shut; this creates pressure on the eardrum, which you might feel like pain, and some people also hear “pop” sounds.

What can you do about it?

The most important thing is to equalize early and often. If you experience popping or pain in your ears, attempt to equalize them by pinching your nose and blowing gently (the Valsalva maneuver). This technique works because it opens up the Eustachian tube and allows for normal airflow. Since opening the Eustachian valve relieves both pain and pressure, doing so will usually stop any other pops from occurring during descent.

However, many people’s Eustachian tubes are very sensitive to certain stimuli, including the stress of skydiving. If your ears won’t equalize no matter how often you try, then there isn’t much you can do about it besides getting help from your instructor or one of the jumpmasters. They may give you an instrument called a Valsalva that looks like a plastic ear syringe. Such a device works in the same way as described above by pinching your nose and blowing gently. However, it is more effective because it creates sufficient pressure inside the eardrum to open its valve against the surrounding air pressure.

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Is this dangerous?

No. With one notable exception, blocked ears will not cause any serious problems for freefalling people at terminal velocity. The only way barotrauma can become truly life-threatening is if you experience a complete blockage of your Eustachian tube – for instance, by blowing your nose hard immediately afterward. If this happens, you could feel pain without equalizing due to swelling and fluid buildup in your middle ear (which is why you should not blow your nose hard after landing).

What are the chances of getting hurt skydiving?

Many people may think that skydiving is an extremely dangerous sport, but it’s not as dangerous as many other activities that are practiced daily. Luckily, skydivers who wear jumpsuits can help slow down their falls to make things less fatal when they fall to the ground, especially if there aren’t any trees or telephone poles nearby. However, these skydiving suits don’t always work, and some jumpers have died while wearing them.

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The death rate of sky diving is relatively low at 0.62/100,000 jumps, and injuries are even lower than that, with about 4% of experienced jumpers having had an injury before. That shows huge progress compared to the early days of skydiving, where over half of all deaths occurred during training missions. This number is even further reduced because most fatalities occur during solo jumps (when no instructor is present), which can help guide divers if something goes wrong.

The risk of getting hurt while skydiving is extremely low, although it is dependent on several factors, including your personality. Since the drop zone strictly regulates jumps and uses modern equipment (including screens in front of the door), if you follow regulations and jump with an experienced instructor, the chance of injury is 1/1000 – 1/2000 or less. That makes it one of the safest recreational activities possible.

As with any sport, injuries can happen, but they aren’t as common as most think. Further, injuries can vary from case to case depending on many different factors such as the height of fall, body position at the time of impact, and overall health of the individual before they go skydiving. Skydivers themselves will never know what type of injury they may sustain until it happens – but if precautions are taken, there is a very low chance anything serious will happen. It is best to go at it safe and remain vigilant about what’s going on around you.


Skydiving offers a memorable experience that most people choose to try at some point in their lives. It is a challenge, but with the right trainer and attitude, anyone can have a lot of fun learning to skydive. Some even say it’s life-changing. You should not try to jump out of a plane if you don’t feel comfortable signing up for classes, taking them, and ultimately jumping from planes. Make sure you make safety your number one priority when skydiving because once you fall out of that plane, there’s no way to go back up or stop yourself from landing on the ground.


Does skydiving hurt your body? ›

After Effects of Skydiving on The Body

The most common of the physical side effects of skydiving is soreness – but, it is expected and can be prepared for on the ground by stretching beforehand. Those who jump regularly notice an increase in flexibility and endurance.

How does your body feel when you skydive? ›

It feels more like flying than falling. It's very windy, loud, and intense. Your adrenaline is pumping and your senses come alive. Skydiving is quite breathtaking and gives you a refreshing, incredible perspective on the world.

Does skydiving landing hurt? ›

Generally, skydiving is a pain-free experience, but it's not without moments of discomfort caused by multiple factors which include an individual's fitness and flexibility as well as variables like harness fit and weather conditions.

Is skydiving extremely safe? ›

According to the most recent data gathered by the United States Parachute Association, of the 3.3 million skydives that were completed, there were 15 skydiving fatalities. Based on this data, that is a 0.00045% chance of dying on a skydive. The statistics for dying on a tandem skydive are even less.

Do you feel a pit in your stomach when skydiving? ›

Because the delta between your horizontal and vertical speed does not increase drastically, you do not experience a stomach drop when you skydive. Furthermore, the freefall portion of a skydive doesn't feel much like falling at all. Rather, it feels like you are resting, supported on a column of air.

Is skydiving as scary as it seems? ›

What makes the experience scary is everything leading up to the moment of exiting the aircraft. There is nothing normal about moving towards the open door of an airplane at 10,000 feet. Ironically, once you exit the plane, it's pure bliss – your fear is left in the airplane. The key is getting yourself to the door!

Is breathing hard in skydiving? ›

A common misconception about skydiving is that you can't breathe during freefall, but breathing during a skydive is actually not much harder than breathing on the ground.

What is the scariest thing about skydiving? ›

Freefall is the part of the skydive that most first-time skydivers presume to be the scariest. It's that whole falling-through-the-sky-at-120mph thing.

What is the scariest part of skydiving? ›

The Ride to Altitude

We'll set it straight for ya, the plane ride to altitude is the scariest part of skydiving because of the “no turning back” feeling bubbling right under the surface.

What age should you not skydive? ›

Age and Health Requirements

Let's recap: the minimum age to skydive is 18, and there is no maximum skydiving age limit.

Who should not do skydive? ›

The most common medical reasons not to skydive include heart-related conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), cardiovascular disease, prior spine/neck injuries or issues, pregnancy, and diabetes.

What can go wrong in skydiving? ›

Typically, skydiving accidents are very uncommon and usually minor. The most common skydiving accident for tandem skydivers is a sprained or broken ankle sustained on landing. This typically happens when tandem skydivers fail to follow the brief. It clearly states they should lift their legs for landing.

What are the main risks of skydiving? ›

During two World Freefall Skydiving Conventions, data from 8976 skydivers (117,000 jumps) revealed that most of the 204 skydiving related injuries were minor injuries such as abrasions/contusions or lacerations (53.5%), 28.4% were injuries to the extremities, and 6.9% to the spine [8].

Is it common to throw up during skydiving? ›

While throwing up the contents of your stomach before, during, or after skydiving are all possible, it is really quite rare. For those of you who are concerned about regurgitation, here we will break down the important parts of the skydiving process and the effects they have on your body and brain.

What happens if you pass out while skydiving alone? ›

If your instructor passes out – or if you were to pass out while skydiving alone – the AAD jumps in and takes the reins. It is turned on every morning before jumping and is automatically calibrated to the altitude that you will be skydiving from.

Why do I feel sick after skydive? ›

The higher up the aircraft ascends, the more likely it is for the air pressure difference to cause your ears to pop and your equilibrium to feel “off.” As a result, sometimes first-time skydivers can experience a wave of nausea right before the plane adjusts to peak elevation. Give it a few minutes.

Does skydiving get rid of anxiety? ›

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in this way can positively enhance your mind and body – and the after-effects of skydiving can often induce a sensation of euphoria. The first skydive you ever do is the best, but also the most anxiety-inducing.

Is skydiving good for mental Health? ›

Skydiving improves your response to stress.

Stress is inescapable. However, some have the greater mental resilience to adversity. One of the benefits of skydiving is that the activity allows individuals to cognitively train to improve their response system to stress.

How high is the chance of dying skydiving? ›

At a rate of 0.006 skydives fatalities per 1,000, that's 1 fatality in every 167,000 jumps. This means it's more likely you'll die from a lightning strike, dog bite, wasp sting, bike accident, choking or a motor vehicle crash.

How many times does skydiving fail? ›

Parachutes Properly Deploy 99.9% of the Time. Even when skydiving equipment is frequently assessed and replaced, the unexpected can happen. Even seemingly properly packed parachutes can fail, with one in every 1,000 parachutes not always operating at 100% efficiency.

What does it feel like to skydive for the first time? ›

Skydiving is incredibly hard to describe, but first-timers often report that first-time skydiving feels nothing like a rollercoaster; nothing like bungee jumping; nothing like falling. They talk about how skydiving feels like a freedom the likes of which they've never experienced.

What are risks of skydiving? ›

The main skydiving risks are: Parachute malfunctions; around one in 1,000 parachute openings don't go to plan, with various known malfunctions. Injury on landing; if tandem students, for example, fail to lift their legs up for landing, they can take the impact through their ankles.

Is it safer to fly or skydive? ›

It's not. While jumping out of an airplane in flight might seem like a riskier thing to do than popping down to the market to get milk, it's not.
2. The Numbers Don't Lie.
Skydiving Fatalities in the USDriving Fatalities in the US
Fatality Rate0.0061 *per 3.5 million jumps1.12 * per 100 Million VMT
2 more rows
Mar 20, 2017

Why is skydiving healthy? ›

Skydiving, especially the free-falling part, helps you build up muscle memory and strength. Due to the positioning of your body when free-falling, you use the muscles in your glutes, spine and core. Once you've done a few jumps, you'll certainly start to notice muscles you didn't know you had.

Can you pass out while skydiving? ›

A question that troubles many first-time skydivers is “can you pass out while skydiving?” Strictly speaking, yes, passing out while skydiving is possible. Thankfully, though, it is pretty uncommon.

What is the failure rate of skydiving? ›

Skydiving parachute malfunctions are fairly unlikely. Per every 1,000 skydives, only one skydiving parachute malfunction is said to occur. The chances are very slim you'll ever be faced with a skydiving parachute malfunction on your skydive.

Does skydiving get your stomach? ›

If you're worried about what it feels like to skydive, FEAR NOT! Your stomach will not drop when you jump from the plane! You will, however, feel completely exhilarated by the experience. Learn more about how YOU can make a first-time tandem skydive!

Should I skydive if I'm scared? ›

Many people don't think they can skydive because they're afraid of heights. We're here to tell you that–as weird as it may sound–fear of heights doesn't matter a bit on a skydive. If you're, like, that's impossible, then calm down, Wiggum. It's true!

Why can't you skydive in rain? ›

The costly electronic components of skydiving equipment can become ruined if exposed to enough water. Furthermore, skydiving parachutes were not made to function in the rain. Though it can still fly, a wet skydiving parachute cannot fly efficiently and many of the flight characteristics are greatly affected.

Can skydiving parachutes fail? ›

Parachutes Properly Deploy 99.9% of the Time. Even when skydiving equipment is frequently assessed and replaced, the unexpected can happen. Even seemingly properly packed parachutes can fail, with one in every 1,000 parachutes not always operating at 100% efficiency.

Is it normal to cry after skydiving? ›


We see shouting, jumping up and down, and even crying (happy crying). The combination of the rush of adrenaline, the feeling of achievement, and the knowledge that you have experienced something truly special is an emotional experience.

Is it hard to breathe while skydiving? ›

Is It Hard to Breathe While Skydiving? It shouldn't be hard to breathe while skydiving due to there definitely being enough air to breathe (especially for the short amount of time you're up there). You're falling so fast, so you're really not up in the thinner air for very long.


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