Taking the fall
The roar of the engines are deafening. Everyone around you is in some kind of stupor, deep in contemplation while it seems like their lives are flashing before their eyes – replaying every decision in their lives that have led to this very moment. You look down on your own sweaty palms and do the same, you question yourself, what the bloody hell have I done?
It’s not a hostage situation, it’s the exact opposite. You’ve just paid good money to get dropped off of a plane at 14,000 feet above the sea level to hurtle towards the ground at the mercy of gravity.
Psyche yourself as much as you may by watching the scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary: the Edge of Reason where she comically lands in a pile of mud, it doesn’t prepare you for the pit in your stomach as the plane makes its ascent into the big blue sky.
Of course, there are cheaper options to skydive around Asia, but when it comes to an activity where one wrong move could make turn you into human jam on the pavement – you’d want to go to a country and establishment with stringent safety laws and regulations, am-I-right?
Australia is not only the answer to that but the gorgeous weather of the country means there is little chance of cancellation due to a storm or the like. Not only that, Skydive the Beach in Wollongong, Australia, offers one of the best views in the world to make your descent.
The centre in the middle of Stuart Park next to Fairy Meadow Beach, is a well-oiled machine. With an average of 200 jumps a day (!!!) on a weekend, when you arrive at the centre, it’s one seamless flow to the safety brief and then it’s straight on to strapping on your gear. One warning though – it’s coooooooold up there, so gloves and the jumpsuit are very necessary. You meet up with your tandem instructor (the guy you’re getting strapped to and does all the hard work of timing and opening the chute – so be nice to him or her) and they methodically tell you what to expect and what’s expected of you. It’s simple enough, but you’re pretty sure you’d forget…
Then there’s the wait. The price to pay when going with the popular choice is that there are tonnes of people there and you simply have to wait your turn. When your assigned group is finally called, your trepidations are put on hold by the sheer fact that things are finally moving. Don’t worry. The fear of god would creep back by the time you see the runway.
Up on the plane you’re waiting with sweaty palms and a pit in your stomach until this moment. The instructor you’ve been paired off with casually calls your name and sits behind you to strap up. Sure, it’s a walk in the park for this guy, but why does this feel like death to you – wait that’s because there’s a great chance it is…
Before you know it the instructor has you dangling off the side of the plane and before you can panic, two taps on your shoulder and you’re freefalling. It’s everything you would imagine it to be and more. The pure exhilaration brought on by adrenaline and excitement is indescribable. Your ears keep popping and you just don’t care, there is nothing between you and the earth below and now you know – this is what it’s like to be Superman. The clouds below look beautiful and you’re just so caught up in the feeling of pure and unadulterated freedom.
It feels like ages but in reality it’s only a minute or so, your tandem instructor opens the parachute and you’re gently floating towards the beach where the centre is – and it’s beautiful. You can still feel the tingly of adrenaline on you face and fingers when you touchdown. And if anybody asks you if you’d do it again? Hellz yeah!
Tandem jumps cost AUD$269 a person with option of photos and video for extra. Free shuttle is provided for pick in CBD Sydney, contact Skydive the Beach for details.
Available at 15 locations around Australia inc Stuart Park, George Hanley Dr, Wollongong NSW 2500, Australia, +61 1300 663 634; skydivethebeach.com.au.
Lisa Cam is the Food & Travel Editor of Time Out Hong Kong, where the restaurant reviews are honest, independent and paid for by the publication. When she’s not eating, tasting or writing, Lisa tends to her baby boy and cook tried and true recipes from sticky old recipe books at home. She also loves to travel and you can keep tabs on her via instagram @c9andthecity or reach her on Linkedin.