Skydiving has got to be the Holy Grail of the modern Bucket List. You’ve seen the photos, you’ve heard the stories—if you haven’t done it by now, chances are you want to! Now, I’ve always been a huge believer in the saying ‘if you’re going to do something, do it properly’. So with this mantra in the back of my head, I took a train deep into the Swiss Alps to jump out of a plane over one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. Here’s how it went down…
After extension research, I decided to book my dive with SkyDive Switzerland. They seemed the most reasonably priced and safest company in the area, and with thousands of jumps under each instructor’s belt, I knew I was in safe hands. Their hanger is located about 20 minutes from Interlakken and the dive take’s place over the mountains in this area. Transportation from the Interlakken train station or your hotel in Interlakken is built into the price of the dive, which means the only thing you need to worry about is, well, jumping out of a plane!
Interlakken itself is a popular resort destination, and with the canopy of turquoise waters and dramatic mountains behind the town, it’s a great destination for anyone interested in experience the best of Switzerland.
Once the paperwork has been filled out, the team waste no time in getting you ready to dive. After the initial safety instructions, you’re strapped into a jumpsuit, meeting your jump instructor, buckled up into the harness and heading to the aircraft before you have any time to second guess what you’re about to do.
Once inside the aircraft, they take off down the runway and all of a sudden you’re climbing to altitude. Because it’s a small plane, it takes about 20 minutes to reach altitude. However, rather then a nuisance, this is a key feature of the dive, as not only are you getting to dive but you are also getting a scenic flight through the alps. Bonus! During the climb my instructor gave me further safety instructions and prepared me for what was about to happen, and before I knew it, it was time to jump!
Now, by this time I was pretty paralyzed with fear. I mean, I was about to, potentially, voluntarily plummet to my death. Am I crazy?! Thankfully for me, I didn’t have to think or help on any way— my talented instructor shuffled us to the door without my help (thank god, my legs were like jelly), and all of a sudden I was hanging out of an aircraft 12’000 ft above the ground. I took a breath, held my head back and off we went, flying through the most beautiful sky in the world.
A lot of people ask what skydiving’s like, and without giving it away, all I can say is it’s a lot of wind on your face, the feeling that you’re floating (not falling), and, best of all, the biggest adrenaline rush you’ll ever feel. It’s the kind of feeling that you’ll spend the rest of your life chasing, and the kind of feeling that will make you quit your job and sign up to become a dive instructor. It’s that incredible.
The free-fall itself took about 45 seconds and once the ‘chute was pulled you got another 4 or so minutes of floating to the ground. The parachute part of the dive was my favourite, it was the moment when you could pause, reflect on what you had just done, and, best of all, enjoy the view! Upon landing the team of employees on the ground helped us land safely and dismantled the ‘chute so it wouldn’t fall on top of us. Then, once you stood up, brushed yourself off, gave your instructor a high 5, you were all done!
Depending on the size of your group, there may be multiple jumps for your group, which means after you jump you get to watch the next batch of people go up in the aircraft and watch them skydive from the perspective of the ground. This is pretty cool as it allows you to see what you did, from a third perspective! If this doesn’t appeal to you, the fast Wi-Fi at the hanger means you can update everyone that you survived the experience as soon as you land—may your family fret no more!
THE ALL IMPORTANT QUESTION – WHATS THE DEAL WITH PHOTOS?!
Obviously, you’re going to want some brilliant snaps of your dive, if not for you then to at least to prove to all your friends that you did actually jump out of a plane. Alright, so, when you dive you’ve got 2 options in terms of photos/videos. Your instructor can strap a go pro to his wrist, and capture things that way, or you can have a 3rd person jump out of the plane with a camera strapped to their head. If you go with the third jumper you will get a wider field of focus in your photos compared to if you go with the GoPro on the wrist. This is a popular option as it means you’re more likely to get the beautiful scenery in the shots, however since you have to cover the cost of that third diver, this is also the more expensive option. Because the camera and photo quality was the same between the two options, I opted for the GoPro on the wrist.
Once you’ve decided if you want a third diver or not, you then need to decide if you want a video of your jump, some photos, or both. I decided to get the video, which I found was the best option. Not only can you screen shot the video to convert it into photos (best trick going around!), but the film aspect of the dive takes the experience to the next level. The video, complete with a pre-jump interview, clips of the plane taking off and climbing to altitude, and your full jump and landing process, it is a comprehensive documentation of your jump.
On the ground and inside the aircraft you’re allowed to take your phone/camera with you, which is actually pretty cool as it means you’re allowed to grab your own snaps from the scenic flight or of you inside the plane. However during the jump you must tuck your device into a zip pocket inside your jumpsuit, so any photos once you jump must be purchased from the company.
▲ If you jump in the winter, the view would be unreal with the snow-capped mountains. However it’s more likely that your jump will be canceled, as they require a clear sky (for safety reasons) in order for the jump to go ahead.
▲ Jump in the summer for the best chance that the jump will go ahead. Don’t worry, you’re not compromising on the view—for what you lack in snow, you make up for in a glistening turquoise water and clear blue skies.
▲ Choose a morning jump, so that if your jump is canceled, you can reschedule for later in the day!
▲ If your tight on cash, or debating whether you want a video or photo’s, but don’t necessarily want both, purchase the video option and screenshot the video to convert it into photos!
GIVE ME THE DEETS:
Price: The price of the jump starts at CHF 395 ($550), with the option to add photos for additional costs. For the full price list, click here.
When: Skydive Switzerland jumps year round.
For all your other questions, head over to SkyDive Switzerland’s website here.
Over to you: have you ever been skydiving? And if so, where did you do it and how much did you love it?!