My mom swears she isn’t nervous. The last time she went skydiving was 40 years ago, well before I was born. And as we drive to NZONE Skydive—in Queenstown, New Zealand—she tells me again how all she has to do is fall out of the plane, so why would she be worried?
I’m not so zen. I was a collegiate diver and love the feeling of freefall, but I expect that plummeting from 15,000 feet up, almost 10 times higher than One World Trade Center in New York City, may be different than jumping off a 10-meter tower.
Sure, I’ve seen pictures of my friends skydiving, but that doesn’t give me much insight. So, after surviving my first jump (spoiler alert), here are five need-to-know basics and surprising facts that’ll prepare you for your first dive.