The possibility of getting motion sick while skydiving doesn’t need to be a second thought! Your first skydive already brings enough pre-jump jitters, and we definitely don’t need you to worry about nausea or vomit during such a special and memorable day. We’re here to assure you that experiencing motion sickness while skydiving is a rarity, and is typically preventable. Let’s talk about our top tips!
Yes, ALL CAPS for this one!! We cannot stress this point enough! While gearing up for the jump (meaning, getting acquainted with your instructor and putting the harness on), you have the perfect opportunity to say “Hey dude, I get super motion sick.” TRUST US, they will appreciate knowing and expecting the possibility rather than finding out the hard way.
Telling them that you commonly experience motion sickness (in cars, roller coasters, boats, etc.) will not only allow them to prepare for the worst, but do everything in our power to mitigate it. The most common part of the skydive for people to experience any unease of the tummy is under the canopy. This is the part after the freefall when the parachute is deployed and you and your instructor begin your canopy flight to the ground. The aggressiveness (and speed) of the canopy descent is controlled by your instructor. They can really whip it and get you to the ground quick, which some people love, or take it nice and easy with minimal turning.
Does your stomach “drop” when you jump from the plane?
Nope! The only time that notorious rollercoaster stomach drop feeling occurs is under the canopy. When a turn under canopy occurs, there is either slight or intense centrifugal force, dependent upon how aggressively the instructor chooses to turn the canopy.
#2. Eat & Drink (water, that is!)
Surprisingly, it’s important to have some food in your belly to prevent feeling motion sick. Nausea can even happen on the ground during a normal day if your body is hungry or dehydrated. So imagine depriving yourself before you jump out of an airplane. Yeahhh, it’s a no from us.
What should I eat?
Light and “normal” food! If your body is used to eating 10 waffles every morning, maybe tone it down to 5 on the day of your jump. Don’t make this day the one you try to scarf down 20 waffles as a new record. Keep it light! We don’t recommend eating right before your jump, but a couple hours is ideal. Be mindful about what you put in your body the day before too. You don’t want to enter a pie eating contest the day before doing something you’re nervous and excited about!
What should I drink?
Rather, what should you not drink? Alcohol! Not only is alcohol and skydiving a recipe for disaster, but skydiving while under the influence is illegal. And while we have sympathy for those who are “green around the gills” on jump day, the hungover set is our least favorite. Be kind to your body, and to your instructor!
Alcohol leads to feeling “bleh” all over and dehydration (a skydiver’s worst enemy). Dehydration can result in general weakness or dizziness because parts of the body don’t have enough fluids to properly function. Again, we’re not saying that to have a successful and vomit-free skydive you have to chug water the day before, but just be mindful of your body and its needs. When you’re thirsty, drink!
We sometimes hear tandem students whisper, “I haven’t eaten since breakfast yesterday because I’ve been too nervous!” Nooooo, big no! Your body will actually become more anxious if it thinks it’s not being fed appropriately meaning your blood sugar can get wiggly and create an unhealthy amount of stress.
#3. You’re in Good Hands
If for some reason unbeknownst to us your body is just like “Nope!” and decides to hit the eject button, we’ve got you covered! Although most cases of motion sickness while skydiving are preventable, we all have off days. If you do start to feel sick at any point during the skydive (this means, from gearing up to the plane ride and the canopy ride), communicate how you’re feeling to your instructor. They are trained professionals who are well-equipped to help your manage your anxiety – they can reassure you that even if you do throw up, you’ll be okay.
When something scary happens, like getting sick at an inopportune time, our brains tend to be fearful that it just won’t stop! Right? But it always does! If you get sick, you get sick! It’ll be a funny story and, even if people make fun of you for it, they probably don’t have the guts to skydive in the first place!
Don’t let a fear of motion sickness prevent you from skydiving! It’s better to try and fail (although, getting sick while skydiving isn’t a failure), than to carry the feeling of regret. Ready to spread your wings? Book your skydive at Skydive Key West for a once in a lifetime adventure! Reach out with any questions or concerns – we are here to support you!
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