If you’ve never made the jump before, the prospect of diving from a moving plane is bound to work up your nerves. If you’ve also heard that some jumpers have trouble breathing on the way down, you might be especially worried. Skydiving is an extreme sport with very real risks—but the inability to breathe is actually something of an urban legend. So, can you breathe while skydiving? Most skydives take place at heights where oxygen is available for the entirety of the freefall. If you have trouble breathing, it’s due to sensory overload and adrenaline—not any real or concrete danger.
As you go up in altitude, the amount of oxygen in the air thins out. Although it’s possible to jump from heights that require oxygen assistance, it’s far from common. Here at DZONE®, we jump from heights between 12,500 and 14,000 feet, where there is plenty of oxygen left in the air.
And in fact, the highest skydives without oxygen take place at jump heights of roughly 15,000 feet. We want your skydiving experience to be as exciting as it can be—and if we took you any higher than we actually do, we’d need to train you on how to use an oxygen mask. As it stands, you can use proper breathing techniques to manage your oxygen intake all the way down.
Breathing During Your Jump: Tips & Tricks
It might take around ten minutes for you to cover the distance from the plane to the ground, but freefall—where forgetting to breathe is most common—only lasts for 30 to 60 seconds. Why do you unconsciously hold your breath while you skydive? There are several factors at play:
- With your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping, you’ll be focused on the sights and sounds of the jump. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and you may even forget to breathe for a moment or two.
- Skydiving feels more like flying than falling, but you’ll still probably feel tempted to keep your mouth closed as you descend. In the heat of the moment.
If you’re worried about being unable to breathe as you fall to earth, keep these tips in mind:
- If you want to breathe effectively, it’s a good idea to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Creating a routine or a cycle helps you focus and take the stress out of the experience—the same is true for exercise.
- Screaming during freefall can help you remember that you need to breathe! So go ahead, let it out!
- Don’t look down! Well, really, looking down is part of the fun. Still, breathing is a whole lot easier when you’re not staring directly into the wind that’s rushing up to meet you. When you look up and outward, you’ll find that it’s easier to catch your breath.
It is possible to pass out while you skydive—but rarely due to lack of oxygen. If you’re dehydrated or low on food energy at the time of your jump, the adrenaline rush may leave you with limited resources after you deploy your parachute.
At DZONE®, jumpers are always paired with a trained instructor on the way down to the ground. If you’re worried about forgetting to breathe, ask your partner to talk you through it before you make the leap. We can also introduce you to the basics of tandem skydiving before you book.
Don’t Wait to Experience the Rush
Skydiving can be scary, and for a moment or two, you might even forget to breathe—but once you’ve faced your fears and felt the rush, you’ll want to come back for more in no time. Book your skydiving adventure in Boise and Bozeman! If you have any questions, you can contact us or explore our other articles at any time.
Reading about how to skydive is one thing—experiencing the jump is another! If you’re ready to get first-hand experience with skydiving equipment and best practices, don’t wait to book your appointment! While you’re here, you can get an even better sense of how skydiving works by watching videos of experienced jumpers who were once just like you!