A First-time Skydiving Experience

You begin to imagine all kinds of scenarios: a pterodactyl piercing a hole in the canopy, deeming it ineffective; a plane taking off soaring through your airspace; the list goes on. Once you see that brilliant floating piece of nylon overhead, however, you are free to relax and enjoy the spectacular view.

I scooted forward, triple-checked my laces and sat on the edge of the plane. Slipping my feet into the cold atmosphere, I began to fall towards planet Earth. 10,000, 9,000, 8,000, feet I fell. Obviously, I had never felt so literally free in my entire life and I was loving every second of it.

Then comes the scary part; the part that keeps most people from jumping in the first place; the part where you begin to wonder if your parachute is going to open and save your life. You begin to imagine all kinds of scenarios: a pterodactyl piercing a hole in the canopy, deeming it ineffective; a plane taking off soaring through your airspace; the list goes on. Once you see that brilliant floating piece of nylon overhead, however, you are free to relax and enjoy the spectacular view.

It is not uncommon that I search “thrilling and unique things to do in insert place here.” I am a thrill-seeker, adventurer and all-around woman of the wild. So, when planning a visit to the Grand Canyon, I wanted to add a bit of diversity to the otherwise long days of hiking. When I entered “thrilling and unique things to do in the Grand Canyon,” I was excited to see skydiving among the first few search results.

This wasn’t a brand-new idea. Skydiving had always been at the top of my bucket-list along with base jumping (see Kjerag in Rogaland, Norway), exploring the inside of a volcano (see Thrihnukagigur volcano in Reykjavik, Iceland), free diving (see Blue Hole in Clarence Town, Bahamas) and more. Again, I am a thrill-seeker who plans to see and do as much as I can while I am on the Earth. So, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to accomplish a dream.


A couple months later there I was, getting fitted into a harness and briefed on safety. When you think about it literally, skydiving is a strange experience. You show up at a random airport, meet a complete stranger with a parachute and minutes later are falling out of the sky. Yeah, that’s strange. At the same time, it’s amazing. You show up at a cool airport, meet some insanely nice and crazy person (shout out to Chris from Paragon Skydiving) and then have the adventure of a lifetime.

A couple of recommendations to wrap this up; first off, dress appropriately. While it was springtime, my jump-time was in the early morning and it gets colder the higher you go. If they offer you gloves, a hat or a coat, please take them. This will have a major influence on how much fun your experience is. Second, don’t be nervous. This is silly to say, I know, but really. Skydiving is an incredible experience that will change your life. Your first jump will be with someone who is an expert, has likely completed thousands of jumps and will return you safely to the ground. You will survive! Finally, purchase the photo package. You want to be able to share your experience with family and friends!

So, to all my fellow thrill-seekers, adventurers and people of the wild, I cannot recommend this experience enough. Have fun, be safe and happy skydiving!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Maggie Kennedy

Maggie is a Chicago-born backpacker, content creator, and adventurer. She has a passion for visual and creative storytelling, exploring wild landscapes, and interacting with diverse individuals.