Can You Breathe While Skydiving?

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Curious if you can breathe while skydiving? Yes, you can! A common misconception about skydiving is that you can’t breathe during freefall, but breathing during a skydive is actually not much harder than breathing on the ground. So why do some first-time tandem skydivers say they had trouble breathing? Here, we’ll answer all your questions about breathing while skydiving and share some handy tips from the pros so you can have a successful first skydive.

Is it Hard to Breathe When Skydiving?

If you’ve ever flown on a commercial airplane, you may remember watching the flight attendant demonstrate how to use the yellow oxygen masks that drop from the ceiling in case of pressurization loss in the cabin. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about that happening on your skydiving airplane. Commercial jets typically cruise at altitudes above 30,000 feet. The airplane you’ll use for skydiving, however, will take you to a much lower altitude.

Your skydive will be taking place at an altitude of 14,000 feet, where there is still plenty of oxygen for breathing. If you feel that it’s hard to breathe during your skydive, it’s not because there’s a lack of oxygen.

can you breathe while skydiving

So Why Do Some People Say They Had Trouble Breathing While Skydiving?

Well, they probably just forgot to breathe! Weird, right? When you skydive, there is so much going on that something as simple as taking a breath can be easily forgotten. It can be pretty overwhelming up there when you’re jumping out of an airplane for the first time. Your mind and body are in sensory overload, so some first-time jumpers unconsciously hold their breath as they exit the airplane. In addition, there’s a lot of wind rushing into your face as you dive toward the ground at 120 mph, so you might instinctively want to keep your mouth closed and hold your breath.

is it hard to breathe while skydiving

Tips to Help Your Breathe While Skydiving

You can still breathe during activities such as jogging, biking, and singing. Breathing while skydiving is similar to these activities in that it just requires a little bit of technique to do so effectively. Keep these tips in mind to have a great first skydive:

  • Keep your chin up. If you look straight down at the ground while skydiving, you will inhale 120 mph winds! Keep your chin up and look out toward the horizon so the winds hit your neck and the bottom of your chin instead.
  • Breathe in through your nose. You’ll want to remain calm and relaxed while skydiving to avoid increasing your chances of having difficulty breathing. The trick to achieving this is to inhale through your nose and exhale out through your mouth.
  • Scream to your heart’s content. Screaming is a great way to express your excitement when you skydive, and it can also remind you that you are able to breathe. Let out a holler while you’re diving toward the earth! If you can scream, you can breathe.

Your first skydive should definitely take your breath away, just not literally! Ready to begin your life-changing journey to the sky? Book your tandem skydive today!

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By joining our email list, you enter to win a free tandem skydiving experience. In April and December, Skydive New England will draw a winner for a free tandem skydive (a $240 value) and announce it on our social media pages. As a bonus, you will receive a $10 coupon off a tandem skydive. Enter today, and find out if you're destined to fly! Must be 18 to jump. 240 lb weight limit.
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