So yesterday was one of the big days in my life: my first tandem jump. I was very nervous the entire day before even putting on my overalls. And when I finally got on the car to leave for the airplane: I switched a button, I was totally fine.
We would be flying up to 13000 feet and the jump would take about 7 minutes in total.
The tandem experience started at 1 in the afternoon, we checked in at the reception desk and had to wait to get the basics explained to us by one of the professionals. After the explanation we had to wait our turns, two lucky ones got to jump in the first group, other two in the next jump, then it was my turn and after that the last ones
got to go.
Around 2 in the afternoon we got the information that something was going on at a nearby airport so everyone had to return to the base. None of the tandem jumpers had jumped at this time, the temperature rose up to 30° C and I hadn’t eaten lunch because it should be better not to…
An hour later when it was my time I felt dizzy for a few seconds, also because I was in the hot overalls and the fact that I hadn’t eaten for over five hours at this point. But I felt better quickly and was good to go.
As I wrote earlier: I wasn’t experiencing any fear at this point, I was convinced I would make this a great experience. And so the adventurer started. I enjoyed the landscape while we were going up and when it was our time to jump I just did what they told me to do.
As you have to create some sort of banana-shape with your body, you’re looking up to the sky meaning you’ll hear the instructor counting down, but you don’t see the earth, so that certainly helps. During the free fall I thought I felt similar things as when I was diving, some similar sensation in my eyes and nose. I yelled for a little while, stopped myself, noticed that there was too much noise from the wind so the instructor wouldn’t hear me and started yelling again :)
Then I realised I wasn’t keeping my legs the way I should, so I corrected that a few seconds after the jump. Then the camera man came zooming in on me :) and I was enjoying the ride. I was feeling okay, no fear, just trying to experience as much as possible in the few seconds of the free fall (40 seconds).
When the parachute opened it hurt a little bit, because the straps are so tight around your body (you could even feel the instructor breath on the airplane, that’s how tight they are). I got to steer the parachute, while he gave me instructions. He told me to pull the right or left handle very hard to see what it does and so you start spinning the direction where you pulled (very fast). He told me where I could locate some parts of my country and I enjoyed it. Then my hands started feeling tingling, so he took over.
I thought I would feel better after that and for a while I did, but I started feeling very dizzy… as if I was about to pass out. I told my instructor and he told me we would be on land very soon. I fought against the dizzy feeling, thinking I wouldn’t make it. But he was right: I made it :) and we did a soft landing. It took me a while to recover from the dizziness (about two hours), but now I reflect upon my jump as magnificent. (I had to lie down after we landed, so there I was lying in the grass… with my hay fever lurking around the corner and attacking me half an hour later :p lol)
I am proud that I wasn’t afraid and I wouldn’t mind doing it again now I know what to do, what not to do and how it feels so what to prepare for.
I put my video on YouTube so if you want you can see it here: