Written by Nicki G on 03 Nov, 2004
Ever since I had started my travels, I had claimed how I was going to skydive in New Zealand, and in particular, in Taupo. Taupo was in fact the cheapest place to try this out, and as a backpacker, cheapness is usually the key factor…Read More
Ever since I had started my travels, I had claimed how I was going to skydive in New Zealand, and in particular, in Taupo. Taupo was in fact the cheapest place to try this out, and as a backpacker, cheapness is usually the key factor in any decision taken.
Having made this decision, it wasn't until 10 months into my trip that it actually became a reality. Arriving in Taupo on an especially miserable day made me start to think that perhaps someone was trying to tell me something along the lines of, "Don't do it!!!" This theme also followed on to the next day. With this in mind, my friends and I decided that it wasn't going to happen and booked ourselves onto a bus to take us north, but not before putting our names down for one last attempt for the early morning.
Needless to say, the sky the next morning was in fact the clearest sky I had witnessed since arriving in New Zealand five weeks before.
With adrenaline providing the best laxative treatment known to man, most of the preparation time was spent inspecting the facilities at the hostel. When we were then picked up by Disco, the skydive driver, a strange numb, yet excited feeling came over me. Filling out forms to sign away liability and actually getting to the drop zone is a bit of a blur.
Once we were shown a picture of a 90-year-old woman doing a 12,000-foot jump, there really was no going back. As we got suited and booted, we were shown a safety video that didn't necessarily get watched, as my attention was firmly placed on the harness between my legs.
We were introduced to our tandem instructors; luckily mine was funny but reassuringly professional. As we piled in the tiny plane that was to hold 15 adults, I couldn't help thinking that there was now only one way out of this thing. I wish I could describe the view out the window as we headed towards 12,000 feet, but unfortunately, my focus was firmly on the traffic light system, which was to indicate when it was time.
My deep breath signaled that the door was open, and once the two in front of me had gone, it was to be my turn. When they say the worst bit is when you get to the door and fall, they aren't lying. But, due to the routine photo opportunity, this moment was considerably less fearful than it could have been.
The moment you find yourself falling, you try and catch your breath; you want to remember every second of the feeling while you head is trying to make sense of the illogical step you have just taken. The freefall part is like nothing I could have imagined; the plummeting feeling just isn't there. It's a lot more graceful and controlled than I could ever have thought. I'm not going to lie-once the parachute opened, I had a massive amount of relief come over me, and I personally was able to enjoy the experience a whole lot more. The sense of dangling form a piece of fabric 5, 000 feet above the earth with a spectacular view over looking the lake and snow-capped mountains was sheer delight. With the shape of the land against the water, you could have argued you were on top of the Earth looking down over the continents.
The feeling of immense achievement and exhilaration was something I have never experienced before, and I’m so glad I pushed myself to do it!