What are you looking for?
Skydiving Madness!
February 19, 2014

Skydiving Madness!

We arrived in Taupo for one thing and one thing only, “sky-diving”. This is one of the most famous (and cheapest) places in New Zealand to do this and if I didn’t do it now, I knew that I never would. We drove out to the airport and found ourselves sitting in a tiny room watching a video on how to “safely jump out of a plane”. What an oxy-moron! I decided to do the 12,000 foot drop. It cost $200 more to do the 15,000 foot drop which only gave you 20 extra seconds and I figured, will I really remember that 20 extra seconds anyways?

We waited in the office for about 45 minutes before we were ready to go. The wait was nerve-racking, I couldn’t believe we were going through with this! We were finally called outside and were given what looked like blue painter’s outfits and a harness that had all sorts of belts and loops on it. I was then introduced to my camera man and my guide, Hans, from Holland. I was shocked that it cost an extra $165 dollars to get pictures but then realized that they have to send up an additional person that would jump seconds before me to take pictures as I went. Hans immediately started hooking and looping and tying all sorts of things on my belt. He kept asking me questions and I responded with one word answers because I didn’t want him to get side tracked. “What if he accidentally forgot to loop something?”

Then our tiny 14 person plane pulled up in the field. We hopped inside and there was just one bench that we were told to sit on and straddle. Hans got in before me and then I was told to sit in front of him. He kept telling me to inch closer to him and before you knew it I was practically in his lap. Not that I minded because he was super good-looking so I didn’t mind snuggling up to “hot Hans”. Then he told me that he was going strap himself to me to prepare for the jump. The looping the tying and the hooking began all over again and then he started pulling strings so tight that my hands were on his thighs and my back was flush against his chest. This was a little too close for comfort (again not like I minded 🙂 )He explained everything he was doing and talked in a very confidant and calm voice because I think he could tell I was nervous. After the last tight pull to fully connect us, I could feel his heart beat on my back. These guys must love their jobs when they get to strap themselves this closely to women, not sure how they feel when they are the guides for men though.

All of the sudden the plane started moving to take off and the door was still open! I got nervous and wondered if they were going to shut it and they finally did just seconds before we ascended into the air.

The door was like a clear plastic material and it just rolled down from the ceiling to the floor. A few minutes later we were high in the sky. Hans showed me something he was wearing on his wrist which showed how high we were. The cars and buildings grew smaller and smaller and looked like small dots. I asked Hans to show me his watch and we were only at 5,000 feet, we weren’t even half way there! I guess I never knew what 12,000 feet above the ground feels like but trust me, it’s fricken high! After 20 minutes of ascent, Hans put my goggles on and told me to get ready because we were the second ones to jump. Two minutes later he removed my goggles and said that we were in a holding pattern due to air traffic control. Geeze, the stress of it all was about to kill me, I just wanted to get it over with.

All of the sudden they slid the door open and within 5 seconds the first jumpers were gone. Holy $#it, I couldn’t believe this was happening! Hans quickly shuffled me to the door and my legs were dangling over the plane at 12,000 feet!!!!!! It was insane!! My camera man climbed out of the plane and was holding on to the sides taking pictures as I got ready, he looked like a super-hero in a movie. Then all of the sudden Hans lifted me up in the air so that he could get his legs under me and I was literally suspended in air hanging out of the plane. All of this happened in less than 8 seconds from the first people that jumped. And then like that we tilted forward and we were in mid-air free falling at 12,000 feet! I’ve been thinking about this experience for the past 24 hours and there are honestly no words that could describe this experience. As soon as you jump your brain starts racing because you are moving so quickly, 125 miles an hour to be exact, just you and gravity. The ground and it’s contents are but tiny specs below but you can’t help but wonder if the parachute will come out in time. After about 12 seconds, Hans tapped my shoulder which was my signal to stop holding on to my straps and start smiling for the camera. For all of those that know me, I never miss a good camera opportunity and I already had all my poses planned out before I jumped! The camera man was to my left and then all of the sudden he was above me and then at one point, he was directly below me just facing me as if he was laying on a bed. I still can’t figure out how he was able to move like that. After my adrenaline was somewhat under control I looked out and saw the reason why people come to Taupo to skydive. There was lake Taupo below us, mountains in the background and the brightest blue sky that I’ve seen in weeks.We dropped for 40 seconds! Now I know that 40 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, but if you take out a stop watch and time 40 seconds and then imagine free-falling out of a plane at 125 miles an hour for that amount of time, it truly does feel like eternity. It was the biggest rush of my life. Suddenly the speed of the fall was slowed as Hans open up our parachute and spun us in circles (that was a special request on my part before we took off). He let me take control of the parachute and I was able to drive it for the 4 minutes we floated down.

He started talking as we were floating and I was having a hard time hearing him and then I realized that my ears were completely clogged from the air pressure. But not to worry because “hot Hans” told me what to do to help with the pressure, and a few seconds later my hearing was fine.

We landed and I gave him a big hug for keeping me safe and 3 minutes later I was back on the bus. The whole experience from start to finish was about 28 minutes, but it was packed with enough action to last a lifetime. Goodbye “Hot Hans” hope to see you again one day!

We had a pink plane! My favorite color, it was a good sign!

* I have so many amazing mid-air shots but having problems uploading them so more will be added in a few days*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *