If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it- Toni Morrison
It wasn’t a spur of a moment. Skydiving was on my bucket list for years now. But having my husband on board with the crazy idea was a big deal(because he is really conscious about safety and protocols). So the idea remained in the cupboard for years here and there with me blabbing about it randomly among my To Do’s before I turn 35. I guess after being with me for years he had realized that this crazy soul needs to do stuff that she has listed down.
This year as my birthday month began he told me to book my Sky Diving as a birthday gift for a moment I was like this must be a joke but damn he was serious. I did my homework on the facilities providing this experiential services nearby Toronto, their reviews and their licensing. Besides that I also wanted it to be at a place where the view has to be the perfect addition to all the above variables. Recently a family friend did skydiving one day spontaneously and he mentioned to me about Skydive Burnaby. And yes this facility had the perfect view with all the required prerequisites I wanted.
They were in business for 20 years and knew what they were doing. The place was located in Wainfleet, Ontario approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Toronto.
The booking process is quite easy. You visit the website pick a date see if that is available and then select the time slot. The first dive has to be a “Tandem” Dive with an instructor. The weekdays are slightly cheaper but on weekdays the jump is from 10,500 Ft however weekend pricing is $22 high but the jump is from 14000Ft. The weather situation can always affect your jump so it’s better to check the weather before you book it. With a $50 online deposit, you can easily book it. I did the same since I wanted to do before my birthday so I picked a weekend before that is September 16th (knowing that drive time and the time at the facility would take half of the day)
Also, there are group discounts in case you decide to do it with friends.
Prepping with all weird FAQ in my mind
The website is good enough to look at to answer all the general FAQ that one person can think of. What to wear, what to eat, how to breathe. I was brave yet I had to prepare myself mentally. So I looked at few videos on youtube (make sure you don’t look at accident videos or skydive went wrong kinda videos) because I strongly believe in the Law Of Attraction, so don’t think about troubles at this point. I connected with the people I knew who had done it before to ask all questions I had in my mind about the experience, no one can tell you better but the person who has experienced the same adventure. Trust me ASKING IS GOOD.
Excited Sleepless Nights:
Yes, I was excited and counting days. Every day I would announce at the dinner time or so how many days left until I actually live the dream to jump off the plane and be in the air. There were nights when I would dream doing it and it was all filled with excitement. So some of you might have some sleepless nights if you are thinking about it. Its natural enjoys it if you are happily excited the feeling might look like the excitement of being in love 🙂 if you are scared you might see some scary dreams.
The Big Day:
And the happy day September 16th was here. My appointment was at 2:30 pm that meant we had to leave at 12:00 pm from our home keeping some margin for traffic. I had a good full breakfast at 10:00 am knowing that I won’t be able to eat anything after so I should not be feeling hungry. It was a hot day so I decided to go for jeans and a cotton shirt because any way you have to wear the jumpsuit that they provide. At 10:00 am I made a call to them to ask if the weather conditions were ok and if my tandem dive is all scheduled. The girl on the phone gave me a go-ahead sign so everything was as per the schedule.
Drive took approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Mississauga to Wainfleet. If you have kids make sure you have a plan how to keep them engaged in that time so that they are not tired or hangry as you reach there, My husband and my 11 years old were all prepared for the journey. Some good music for us and for my boy some books to read and a device to watch something on in case it takes more time.
Signing The Liability Disclaimer
The first and foremost thing the staff would do when you reach is to let you sign the liability disclaimer. This might look like a bunch of papers all scary telling you all that can happen and it is a very risky thing that you are opting for. It’s important to read it and sign it. For those who have been in the adventurous sport knows that it is routine documentation. But trust me you need to read and mentally process all this to sign and be accountable for what you are doing. I would say always do such things after keeping your family in the loop don’t hide and do such adventurous stuff secretively.
Adding the Video and Photos Package
It cost you an extra $100 but its all worth it. Your family and friends can take images on the ground landing or taking off. But actual air shits and video and the moments captured in the free fall are worth it to capture. To relive the experience it’s important to capture it. You can add the photos and video package to your cart right there and pay for it. A camera person would jump with you and capture your whole tandem dive experience. Everything will be handed over to you in a USB(by Skydive Burnaby) with all images and edited video inside.
Food for the family
Our time slot was in the afternoon and one thing that I overlooked was the food situation. The facility does have a kitchen shack where a woman cooks fresh food and salads. But there isn’t any halal option. So it’s better to either take some food with you for the family or kids in case they are with you. Also 10 Km away there is a McDonalds that was our quick fix as my boy was counting minutes for my jump and was hungry.
You will be given two small pieces of training.
You will be shown a 5 to 10 minutes small video in a classroom that will tell you briefly about the whole experience and some technical things you need to know.
2)Body Posture Training:
You will be taken to another room in which you would be shown and taught how to position your body in those 60 seconds of free fall. It’s quite easy and self-explanatory but you should always ask questions if you have any. Once the training is done you are told to wait for your instructor and once he is there he takes you to change into a jumpsuit and redo the whole body posture training with him to make sure you know. My trainer was Geff an amazing guy very professional.
On the Cessna 208
And then is the time you say bye to friends and family and move on towards the aircraft with the group of people who are scheduled to jump with you. The camera person will follow you as your questions to make the video engaging. SMILE enough to make it good. Wear that confidence that got you going till now.
As you squeeze into that jet with a bench kinda seating and it flies you will hear the noise and your ear might hurt. Yawn much and swallow and relax. Feeling dry mouth is completely normal as you go high.
Your instructor will check the gear twice at least to make sure everything is fine and gives you instruction for the jump. Listen carefully and enjoy the view as it would be mesmerizing.
This is where I thought I would freeze or close my eyes or my heart would sink at least for a fraction of second. But trust me it didn’t. I looked down and did it cuz I knew that’s the only way I can go down and see my family again lol. The free fall is 60 seconds however with that pressure of air and all your mind will register it for 15 to 20 seconds max and then with a slight jerk, your parachute will open. The best part is yet not over. Once you are relaxed and comfortable enough your trainer will give you control of parachute and tells you how to do right or left turn and WOW…..that turn will make you realize what a beautiful view you can see. You would want the time to seize but…it will fly. The instructor will give you landing instructions and will make sure you know about it. Being in the air with the parachute for 6 to 8 minutes you will be ready to land on the grass.
The Adrenaline Rush Continues:
Once you land you would feel the adrenaline in all your veins and trust me that will last for the next 24 hours at least. I couldn’t sleep after that whole night. My ears were hurting like they do when the plane takes off and it took good 5 to 6 hours for them to be normal so don’t worry.
The certificate will be handed over to you after that and your video editing will take 20 to 25 minutes and you will have them in USB. In case you want to edit the video yourself too you can always ask for raw clips too.
It’s good to take your laptop with you so you can watch the video in the car or else if you have patience like me you can wait for 2 hours to get back and watch it at home.
And I would say the experience was all worth it as I landed the only thing I wanted to do was to do it again……! And I decided I would do it when my son grows up and will do it with him(in case if he wants to).
You are also given a coupon for $50 off that you can avail on next tandem dive because you get habitual of the excitement and want to do it all over again.
I decided to write this as I was getting a lot of questions about how and where I did it etc.
In case you have questions you can reach me at Instagram @ayazeem1 as all the training videos are there in the stories under highlight skydiving or my email.