I like wind.
Once, a friend asked me what my favorite aspect of nature was and that was it: The Wind. Maybe it’s changed by now (how do you narrow it down, honestly? water, sunsets, thunderstorms, snowflakes, lily pads, fire–there can’t be a favorite), but wind is definitely high on the Favorites List.
Think about it.
On a hot or humid day, you want a tall glass of water and more wind. On a mountaintop, you stretch out your arms to breathe in fresh air and feel the wind. Bungee jumping or skydiving, you remember the thrill of the wind (I do, at least).
Wind is great.
But are bungee jumping and skydiving great?
Noah and I drove all the way to Canada because the bungee jumping is better there. There are a few places to bungee jump in the US (I hear there’s a big tower you can jump off in Seattle?), but Canada really does it right.
And we went for the rightest: Great Canadian Bungee with the highest jump in all of Canada at a whopping 200ft. (Why does Canada measure it’s bungee jumping height in feet when everything else is measured in meters? To attract Americans like me, I can only imagine.) While waiting is absolutely the worst, the trip was entirely worthwhile.
Here are some things to know ahead of time:
- Wear shoes that tie and fit well so that you’re shoes don’t fly off when you bounce. I’m not saying that happened to me, but I’ve heard stories.
- Be prepared to arrive early and wait. Arriving early is important (because you’ll have to fill out waivers), but you will end up waiting a little while for your turn.
- Obviously, if you hate heights, this sport isn’t for you. If you love heights, you still might feel your heart beating in your ears. Jump anyway.
- If you go in Canada, don’t expect to understand 100% of what’s said–unless you speak French. Because they speak French. Get it?
- Don’t think about the fall, think about your jump. There is a jumping technique to ensure a smooth experience (much like diving into a normal pool), and everything else will follow easily. Ask the instructor and they’ll (probably) help you. (Believe it or not, I spent the entire time worrying about my jumping technique and not the actual fall. A proper dive was WAY more intimidating to me than falling 200ft. I’m sure that’s normal.)
- If you “can’t jump,” they’ll probably help you. It’s okay, they’re Canadian, so they’re nice.
- You should go more than once. 🙂
Conclusion? Bungee jumping is great.
Noah and I went skydiving the day after we got back from Iceland. I found some crazy well-priced (cheap) vouchers on Groupon (you should check there, too) for DC’s Skydiving Center and snatched them up pretty much right away. I’d always wanted to go skydiving and this seemed as good a time as any.
First off, I’d definitely recommend DC Skydiving Center for a first jump. It looked nothing like what I expected pulling up (more on the modest then exotic side), but the staff was outstanding and made it a positively fantastic experience.
Second off, did you know that if a couple shows up to skydive, the majority of the time it was the woman’s idea? (What guy is gonna back out when his girl suggests skydiving, I guess. It’s a fun fact.)
Here are some other things you should know:
- Skydiving is one of the safest sports, with one of the absolute lowest fatality and injury rates (soccer is more dangerous, mom).
- It doesn’t matter if the plane wing has duct tape holding it on because as long as your parachute works, you’re fine!
- Your skydiving instructor might tell you this is his second (third, fourth, fifth, blah blah blah) jump ever. They’re lying. They’re trying to scare you. You have to jump way more than that to be certified…maybe.
- While you free-fall for a few glorious seconds, your cheeks might touch your ears (not really, but you get the idea). It’s great. Don’t take off your goggles or maybe your eyes will touch your ears, too (I made that up).
- They’ll handle everything. You just gotta relax and enjoy it. They might give you the parachute handles for you to do some donuts, but really–they got this.
- Don’t jump in the same place twice. Mix it up. Try new places. A new location is a new experience (Hawaii skydiving is on my bucket list because I heard you might be able to see whales. Just sayin’).
Conclusion? Skydiving is great.
Obviously, these two sports aren’t for everyone.
Obviously, there is the risk of injury to them both.
If you’re wary or worried but want to give one a go, try skydiving first. It’s a lot easier because you have someone going with you and you don’t have to convince yourself to jump. If you’re confident and determined, however…then do both.