Being the little thrill seeker that I am, I woke up on my birthday, deciding I wanted to jump out of a plane. You know how other girls want to have a big party with friends, or go on a shopping spree, or even a spa day? No, not me. I wanted to spend my 26th birthday jumping of an airplane to skydive.
I was in California at that time, during the middle of my yearlong backpacking trip. Luckily, I was able to book a jump on the last minute in a super awesome spot. Everything seemed like a blur, and the only thing I really remember doing was eating a big slice of cake for breakfast (don’t judge me-it was my birthday!) and soon, I found myself on a tiny propeller plane between Half Moon Bay and Sta. Cruz Beach, attached to an instructor who didn’t seem the least bit scared.
I went with a school called Sky Dive Surf City who were pretty awesome. The girl at the reception was very helpful and reassuring. She helped calm my ever increasing paranoia that the chute would not deploy.
This school boasted the best ocean view jumps closest to San Francisco and San Jose (a perfect activity for any Pacific Coast Highway itinerary) and everyone in the team was highly professional and knew what they were doing – quite an important bit if you’re jumping off a plane! They set you up with all the right equipment, give you a basic overview of what you need to do, and soon, I was high up in the air ready to jump.
It was one of those moments where I felt no fear-or so I thought. I was psyched to be up on an airplane, looking on to the beautiful coastline. Apart from being sat down on the floor and having a massive gap to where a door should be, it was like every other plane ride I’ve been on. I was quietly enjoying the stunning views of the ocean, then, out of nowhere, our pilot gives the go signal. My instructor tells me to start sliding towards the airplane door. Right at that moment, it hit me. What do you mean slide towards the airplane door??
My heart was thumping a million miles an hour, I could hardly hear myself or my instructor due to the noise outside. Soon, I found myself, along with the instructor who was very reassuring, at the edge of the airplane with my feet dangling out. At that point, whenever I was ready, I was to hurl myself out of the plane, doing a front flip. I took a deep breath, started playing an epic soundtrack in my head, and let out the biggest scream of my life.
P.S. It is very hard to keep a photogenic face when you are jumping off an airplane.
Read More: Biking Santa Cruz: Your Ultimate Guide
As soon as we started cruising, I was having the time of my life! Although I do feel bad for the instructor who had to put up with my screaming the entire time (I think if he heard me shout “THIS IS AWESOME” one more time, he would have unattached himself from me if he could!) As you reach a certain point, your palms stop sweating and you calmly take in the view. It was incredible! I could see both Half Moon Bay Beach as well as Sta. Cruz Beach. The sight of the ocean immediately calmed my nerves! Soon, it was time to deploy our parachute, the instructor gave instructions and soon, we were gliding with the chute as he expertly cruised along. He gave me control of the chute and told me which direction to steer.
The entire experience was beyond exhilarating and in my opinion went by too fast. Before I knew it I was down on the field, giving fist pumps and high fives to everyone that I saw. The free fall, which seemed so fast yet so slow at the same time was exactly how I imagined flying to be! Complete freedom as every single part of my body sped down. Wind in my face and the most amazing view of the coast. This was definitely a great big tick off my bucket list!
As per their prices (as of 2014), best to check out their website in case they have changed it:
Tandem Skydiving Pricing:
A: Skydive from 10,000 ft …………………………….$199
B: Skydive from 12,500 ft-14,000ft………………….$229
Option A:…………………………$169 (Monday- Friday)
Option B:…………………………$199(Monday- Friday)
Please note that they are closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays
Prices are only for cash ($10 more if paying via card)
Prices Video/Photo Services
Prices for digital videos: $79
photos (up to 150 pictures)………. $79
Check up to dates prices and book on Sky Dive Surf City
Overall Skydiving Experience
Skydiving is just one of those epic must do things that you have to do at least once in your lifetime. The exhilarating feeling and the incomparable feeling of accomplishment after you complete a jump. So whether it’s a bucket list item that you want to get off your list or you just wake up one day with the sudden urge to jump off a plane, my recommendation is to just do it!
Other skydiving and related articles:
- Exploring Pinnacles National Park
- Guide to Palm Springs – California Desert
- Skydiving in Interlaken Switzerland
- Skydiving in Sydney Australia
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