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How to breathe, and not breathe, while skydiving

August 31, 2021 5:42 pm Published by

Is it possible to breathe while skydiving? Absolutely!

In your quest for information, we know you’ve probably come across the term ‘breathtaking’ to describe skydiving more than once. While the experience is designed to “take your breath away,” we promise this isn’t a literal description. We mean it in a more metaphorical, in a leave-you-speechless-and-astounded kind of way.

Concern over breathing while skydiving is common, but it’s nothing to worry over. This writer can even attest that before her first skydive, she was perturbed by the idea of breathing while in freefall, but it turned out to be no big deal. If you’re worried over how to breathe while skydiving, we have you covered with some first-hand advice!

Keep reading for a few tips on how to breathe, and how not to breathe, during a skydive.

How to Breathe While Skydiving

A regular tandem skydive with Skydive Perris will take you to 12,500 feet above ground level (AGL). From this altitude, the air is slightly thinner, but for an average, healthy individual, breathing should pose no problem.

At Skydive Perris, we also offer High Altitude Low Opening Skydives (HALO), which reach heights of 16,500 feet AGL. At this height, the air is considerably thinner, and without assistance, it would be difficult to breathe. This is why, for HALO skydives, supplemental oxygen is required and provided during the ride to altitude.

When jumping from either altitude, the following suggestions will apply:

  • While in the plane, take slow, steady breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This mindful breathing will not only ensure that you have a proper amount of oxygen to remain alert, but it will also help to keep you focused and calm.
  • Take a deep breath and let out a yell as you leave the aircraft. Intermittently, during freefall, if you start feeling like you cannot catch your breath, yell again! Although seemingly counterintuitive, the yell technique is pretty effective. After all, if you can yell, you can breathe.
  • In freefall, keep your head up and your eyes on the horizon. This allows you to take in the sights and helps the air to spill around you instead of having it rush into your nose and mouth.

A skydiver flies through the air.

How Not To Breathe While Skydiving

The thought of your first skydive can be overwhelming, but worries over breathing while skydiving don’t need to get you worked up. Below are two skydiving breathing mistakes to avoid:

  1. Do not intentionally hold your breath on a skydive. Not only would the experience of freefall be far less pleasant, but you want to ensure that you are alert, maintaining a good body position, and able to take instructions from your skydive instructor.
  2. Do not take quick, shallow breaths. If you breathe in this manner, you could induce hyperventilation. It’s better to take measured, conscious deep breaths. Even while everything is rushing by during freefall, you can still focus on your breathing.

Can You Skydive With Asthma? 

While we cannot offer medical advice — and encourage you to address any concerns over skydiving with asthma to your primary care physician — we can tell you that plenty of individuals with asthma participate in tandem skydives and many even go on to become licensed skydivers. As a general rule, ask your doctor about any specific health-related skydiving questions.

Once you’ve been given a clean bill of health, contact our dropzone and come check us out. Schedule your jump with Skydive Perris today!

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This post was written by Gabriel