The Thrill of a Lifetime

Jennifer McKee

May 31, 2013

You approach the loading area with your instructor and then take a seat together inside the roomy 16 passenger turbine airplane, settling in for your final destination: three miles above the Boulder City Airport with Skydive Las Vegas.

As you approach the jumping point, your instructor goes over the instructions with you as you are harnessed together. Then, you put your goggles on, the door opens and you’re hurtling toward the earth, the whole Vegas valley on one side, the Lake Mead Recreation Area on the other. Is there any greater rush? At this point, it’s hard to imagine.

During the freefall, you can reach speeds of up to 120 MPH. You may forget some of the instructions given to you in the video you watched before suiting up, but don’t worry, the arch position (feet on your instructor’s backside, hands in the air in front of you) discussed is a natural pose you will fall right into. One of the most important things to remember is to look around.

From three miles up, you have the whole Las Vegas valley in your sightlines as well as Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River, Valley of Fire and more. While it may appear an eternity, the freefall goes by before you know it. Once your instructor pulls the chute, you’ll be floating peacefully back towards the earth, a feeling of serenity taking over every inch of your body.

This is why everyone needs to experience the range of emotion that skydiving provides at least once in his or her lifetime. You’ll feel exhilarated and at one with yourself for a long time after you reach the ground. And, by jumping tandem, you’ve got nothing to worry about—all instructors are certified by the United States Parachute Association and have undertaken thousands of jumps. Simply asking them questions will put you at ease.