My jumpsuit and harness could barely contain my heart beating out of my chest. With wide eyes, I could see miles of open sky and the ground, 14,000 feet away. I gripped the straps with all my shaky might and prayed I’d said the best last words. Then I jumped.
All the adrenaline started building up with the signing of a detailed waiver outlining the life-threatening risks. Next, through attending a 20-minute training class, everyone learned how to arch their backs as they fall, lift their legs up while they’re landing, smile and have fun.
After the training, everyone got fitted for a skydiving suit. I was also informed that you can jump in street clothes, although it would probably be a chillier fall that way. Next, we met our instructors who were very friendly and experienced; my partner had jumped over 1,400 times. We were the last group of the day, so we were excited to find that we had the plane to ourselves.
The small plane flew us up at a steep incline and I watched two of my friends fly out into the open sky before it was my turn. My instructor made sure we were securely connected before he instructed me to dangle my feet out of the plane and asked if I was ready. I wasn’t. He let go of the plane and we plummeted towards the earth. I swear my stomach stayed with the plane.
Then, we were falling. My hands and teeth were freezing, but I really felt like I was flying. The gut-drop feeling faded and it felt a lot more natural than I thought. It felt like slow motion and there was nothing but a panorama landscape of mountains and water to take in.
After a minute, my instructor opened our parachute and I sat, somewhat uncomfortably on my harness, floating towards the earth and waving at my friends. He even let me steer the chute on the way down. Shortly after, I realized I had my first-ever nosebleed, but I was told that’s pretty normal. The landing was really smooth. We cheered and hugged to celebrate our first flights.
It took a bit of convincing to get three of my friends to jump out of an airplane with me above Harvey Field in Snohomish, Washington. Lucky for us, Skydive Snohomish has been rated the number one skydiving facility in the greater Seattle metro area every year since 2007 and it’s right in our backyard, just an hour drive and 8,000 to 14,000 feet away.
I checked the availability and made my reservation on Skydive Snohomish’s website about a month prior, but one of my friends signed up only a week before. We decided to jump around 6 p.m., which was great because we landed before it was dark, but still got to jump with the sunset.
You get the option to jump at 8,000 feet, which is a 30 second free-fall or 12,000-14,000 feet, which doubles your fall to 60 seconds and is only $25 extra. We figured go big or go home. We also decided to pay the hefty additional $90 to have an edited video of our experience and after I watched the video over and over afterwards, I’d definitely say it’s worth it. We even got a group discount, which starts at ten dollars off for four or more jumpers.
If you’re looking for a wild adventure that challenges your courage, look no further than a small jump into a big fall into the Snohomish sky. It’s expensive, especially for a college student’s budget, with tandem (which means an instructor strapped to you) jumps starting at $225, but I say it’s worth it to take the leap of faith.