Skydiving: No Experience Necessary

Fall through the sky at 200 km/h overlooking the Czech countryside

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 07.08.2012 09:26:59 (updated on 07.08.2012) Reading time: 5 minutes

Note: Win a free tandem jump – scroll down for competition.

I’m not much of an adrenaline junkie or extreme sports fanatic, but there’s something about jumping off of a moving airplane 4,000 meters up in the sky that just gets the blood flowing and the heart racing. The sensation of free falling through clouds with the atmosphere pressing against you is a feeling like no other, and anyone can do it right here in the Czech Republic. These days, more and more people are taking advantage of tandem skydiving. Sky Service, based just off of Old Town Square, offers tandem jumps with highly professional divers for a fair price.
    
This past Saturday afternoon, I took advantage of the proximity of Sky Service. I showed up, signed a waiver, and ten minutes later I was on a minivan headed about an hour north of Prague to a city called Most. The minivan was full of tourists—a South Korean and a group of Australians. According to the driver, Sky Service’s biggest clientele are South Koreans. Apparently, in the 70s there was a popular Korean movie about a parachutist, and the many Korean tourists in Prague want to emulate this character and choose to skydive while vacationing. There was also a group of young Australians on a Top Deck tour that were just looking for some thrills.

Upon arrival, my group was instructed to use the restrooms, “in case of potential accident.” We were then directed to the changing room where we put on our astronaut-like suits, offered in both sky blue and prison-mate orange. After the wardrobe woman helped us strap into our harnesses, she gave us a brief lesson on how to position ourselves while jumping off the plane and landing. A few more minutes of waiting, and then we were directed outside toward the aircraft.

Skydiving: No Experience Necessary

The plane was a small, orange aircraft that seated about twelve of us. There were two benches positioned next to each other, where we each had to straddle the seat in front of our professional divers who then attached our harnesses to them. The camera crew was dispersed among us, filming and documenting our every moment. Finally, it was time for lift off.
    
The longest and most excruciating part of the whole thing was probably the plane ride. It felt like forever as the plane kept ascending higher and higher. My ears began to plug up and I felt queasy with anticipation. At this point, all I wanted was to get myself into the air—I was so antsy and cramped up in that tiny space. After what felt like hours, I could hear the rev of the engine begin to slow and knew that it was time.

Skydiving: No Experience Necessary

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And then, all of a sudden, everything changed. What was once a calm, soothing flight up into the sky turned into madness. I felt like I was in an action movie. We were all geared up and ready to go. The doors were opened and I immediately felt the heavy gusts of wind. I was in the very back and knew I would have to watch each and every one of my fellow divers jump out of an airplane. It all happened so fast—seconds later the first tandem diver launched themselves off the plane. One moment they were hanging off the plane, and the next they fell into a spiral through the clouds. It was like watching someone get sucked into a black hole. After seeing this about five more times, it was my turn.
    
Prior to this moment I had kept myself calm and collected. All I was thinking was how fun it would be to soar through the sky. Nonetheless, as I grasped onto the edge of the plane, my head and feet positioned in the correct form that I was taught, all I could feel was the fear rising from the pit of my stomach. Despite my rambling, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this,” my tandem diver pushed the two of us off the ledge and into thin air.
    
The first ten seconds felt excruciatingly long as we tumbled through the air. We flipped and turned, trying to gain balance and I clenched my eyes shut, until I finally realized that I was missing out on the visuals. Once we finally gained some balance, I reopened my eyes to find myself falling hundreds of meters at 200km/h toward the cold, hard ground. I could literally see the clouds around me as we fell from the sky. The camerawoman was just below me, documenting my every move.

Skydiving: No Experience Necessary

It’s hard to describe the physical feeling of free falling. Prior to the jump, I imagined that I would feel that similar sensation of a rollercoaster drop. However, my stomach felt completely fine. The most uncomfortable part of it all was merely the pressure of the atmosphere against my face. I could feel my face turn to jelly, and it was impossible to close my mouth or even move my body. Nonetheless, the discomfort didn’t last very long as the parachute soon released above me.

Skydiving: No Experience Necessary

They say that the free fall lasts a full minute, but it felt more like thirty seconds. Apparently, the second time you jump, it feels much longer. For the last five minutes, we slowly glided through the air, taking slight turns that made my stomach queasy. The landing was smooth and easy—I lifted my legs up and my tandem diver got us on the ground in a few steps. In a mere seven minutes upon disembarking the plane, I felt the ground beneath my feet once again, and that was that.
    
The entire experience was incredible—the adrenaline rush remained with me for the rest of the day as I changed back into my clothes and was handed my copy of the DVD and photos that my camerawoman expertly took. As I got back onto the van and headed back to Prague, all I could think of was swimming in the clouds.
    
Skydiving is such a one-of-a-kind ordeal, and so easy! Sky Service offers the tandem jump for just 3,800 CZK. The video and photos are at an additional cost—but definitely worth it. The photos are high quality and came out brilliantly. They captured my emotions so well—anxiety, excitement, anticipation, fear, the rush. Skydiving is so expensive in countries like the U.S. or the U.K.—why not do it here in Prague at a reasonable price and with the beautiful Czech countryside below you? No prior experience necessary.

COMPETITION: Take a chance to win a free tandem jump from Sky Service! Find out more here.

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