I jumped off the plane in Prague!
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
June 20, 2016.
Prague, Czech Republic.
The D-day was finally here! I had been waiting for this day for as long as I could remember. It was a childhood dream of mine – to skydive! To feel the blast of cold, fresh air while the exhilarating rush of adrenaline engulfs you, as you freefall. I woke up, only to realize that it was the worst possible start to this day. It was pouring heavily. No chance we could skydive in such weather.
But just as the proverbial darkest hour before the dawn, things changed. Rains stopped. The sun came out. And the weather Gods shined. I made my way to Old Town Square in Praha and headed to the skydiving company’s office. I had registered a jump through skydiving-prague.com ; I highly recommend those guys. No hassles and a lot of fun. They’re also one of the cheapest ones in Europe. INR 16k for a 15k feet jump (with an accompanying cameraman capturing the full video). It’s cheaper for a jump without the video, but hey – when are you going to do this again? Might as well capture this enthralling moment. The cost includes the 1 hour drive out to the airstrip in the Czech countryside. Sweet deal!
Signed the hallowed dotted line, and off we went for the experience. They took about 4-5 of us in the SUV out on the beautiful drive through the farms. And then, looming around the horizon, we spotted the airstrip. The excitement was increasing with every passing minute. We were given all the preliminary training, the dos and the don’ts. We were introduced to our instructors and co-divers. Geared up, dressed, locked and loaded. Good to go.
The moment of truth. Upon us.
Time to board the plane.
We went from 200 kmph to 10 kmph in a matter of 2 seconds. Beat that Bugatti!
It took us about 20 mins of ascend to reach 15,000 feet above sea level, all the while nervously smiling at the co-divers. After what seemed like eternity, the co-pilot opened the door. With a monstrous wave of cold air rushing inside the plane, reality hit us hard. Damn, this seemed way higher. This was nuts. And then, it was my turn to jump. The heartbeat was off the roof – I could hear it over the noise of the airplane. My instructor began the countdown.
PUSH. JUMP! (Imagine beat drop in the background)
THAT’S RIGHT! He didn’t count till 1 because apparently, a lot of people chicken out at the last second. So they just push you at 3. Quite metaphorical, I would say. In life, you’ll never probably be 100% ready for something. After a certain time, you’ve just got to take a leap of faith. But I digress. Coming back to the jump – we whizzed through the clouds freefalling our way at over 200 kmph (yep – that’s true). Finally, through all the height and wind, our parachute popped and it instantly broke our speed. We went from 200 to 10 in a matter of 2 seconds. Beat that Bugatti!
To the beautiful view of the Czech landscape below, we landed smoothly and I felt exhausted for some reason. Like I’d just sprinted 10 miles. Maybe it was the adrenaline. They give you a complimentary meal and a pass to the Prague City Pub Crawl (which by the way, I highly recommend doing) post the jump.
I felt genuinely happy to have finally ticked off a major item from my (ever-increasing) bucketlist.