Top 10 List

I get the same 10 questions about skydiving so often, my eyes are about to spit blood.

In the interest of my sanity, I’ll address them here, once and for all.

QUESTION: How high are you when you jump?
ANSWER: It depends on the plane and how high the jumpers want to go. Usually it’s 13,500 feet. In the small Cessna 182, we only go to about 12,000. Sometimes we’ll do what’s called a hop & pop – jumping out at 3,500 feet and deploying within a couple seconds of the exit.

QUESTION: At what altitude do you deploy? What’s the lowest you’ve ever pulled?
ANSWER: Usually 3,000 feet. The lowest was about 1,500 feet, the time I had a malfunction and had to use my reserve.

QUESTION: What happens if your first parachute doesn’t work?
ANSWER: You use your second one.

QUESTION: What happens if that one doesn’t work?
ANSWER: You die. But honestly, that’s like if the brakes went out in your car and the emergency brakes simultaneously stopped working also. The chance of that happening is very, very slim.

QUESTION: Have you ever jumped naked?
ANSWER: No. Skin doesn’t look that pretty in 120+ mph winds. But I have jumped in lingerie. It was a special jump for my birthday.

QUESTION: Do you jump when it rains?
ANSWER: No, because it hurts when you hit the pointy part of the raindrop.

QUESTION: What do you do when you hit a cloud?
ANSWER: Stand up and jump off the edge of it.

QUESTION: Have you ever seen that thing where the skydivers have, like, surfboards on their feet? Can I do that?
ANSWER: It’s called skysurfing. And it’s very difficult. Only very experienced jumpers do that.

QUESTION: If you jump without a parachute, can someone else dive out and catch you?
ANSWER: No. That’s a myth perpetuated by bad Wesley Snipes movies. (Similar myths include talking in freefall and four-minute long freefalls, thanks to “Point Break.”)

QUESTION: Ohmigod. You know what would be cool? If somebody had, like, sex in freefall. You ever done that?
ANSWER: No. I’m not that insane. But I do know
this crazy guy.
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