Imagine floating through the sky in a serene hot air balloon, feeling the warmth of the flames, and witnessing the world below you. It’s an experience that brings tranquility and awe. For most, gazing upward at balloon festivals is enough to scratch the itch. But for thrill-seekers and skydiving enthusiasts, the idea of skydiving out of a hot air balloon takes adventure to new heights.
In this article, we’ll explore the exhilarating world of hot air balloon skydiving and discover why it’s a must-try for those seeking a unique and adrenaline-pumping experience.
The answer is yes – if you have some experience!
First things first, if you’re new to skydiving, jumping out of a hot air balloon won’t be your first skydive. While tandem skydives are not commonly practiced from hot air balloons, experienced licensed skydivers can partake in this extraordinary adventure.
To leap from a hot air balloon, you’ll need to be a licensed skydiver with a minimum of 200 skydives and hold the corresponding skydiving license. Additionally, you should have a strong proficiency in parachute flying and accurate landing skills. Being comfortable with jumping from lower altitudes – typically, around 3,000 feet – is also crucial.
Once you meet these requirements, you’ll need access to a hot air balloon and a commercial pilot who is willing to let you make the jump.
And, of course, you’ll need to pay for it. Budget at least $100 to cover the cost of the ride and jump.
One of the key differences between skydiving from a plane and jumping out of a hot air balloon is the speed. While planes travel at high speeds, a hot air balloon typically moves at a leisurely pace of 4 to 6 mph. This means that when you make that leap from the hot air balloon, you’ll experience that classic “stomach-drop” sensation, similar to a roller coaster. With your skydiving rig securely fastened, including two parachutes, the responsibility falls on you to deploy your parachute and find a safe landing spot.
The unpredictability of a hot air balloon ride is a little nerve-wracking, but it’s part of the fun! There’s always a bit of an unknown factor in the landing location, which adds an extra element of excitement to the jump. Since hot air balloons are at the mercy of the wind, you could touch down anywhere. Imagine landing on an interstate, in someone’s backyard, on a golf course, or even on top of a school! It’s all part of the thrill and adventure of a hot air balloon skydive. The landing is an opportunity to embrace the unexpected and create stories that will be told and retold among fellow skydivers.
Hot air balloon skydiving is different from jumping from a plane. When skydiving from a plane, you have the relative wind to guide your exit, giving you control and maneuverability from the moment you jump. However, with a hot air balloon, you’ll experience a weightless drop, also known as “dead air,” due to the lack of relative wind. (It’s a sensation similar to what BASE jumpers feel when jumping from stationary objects.)
The absence of wind also means that the initial moments of a hot air balloon jump are eerily quiet, adding to the excitement and thrill of the experience.
Hot air balloon jumps are highly dependent on weather conditions. Calm or nearly still winds are essential for a safe and enjoyable jump. As a result, hot air balloon jumps are typically scheduled for early mornings or late afternoons when wind conditions are more favorable.
In some cases, if conditions permit, multiple loads of skydivers can make jumps. The first load takes off from a predetermined location, while the second load must chase the balloon and board it wherever it lands. This adds an exciting element of spontaneity and adventure to the experience.
Skydiving out of a hot air balloon will forever change your perception of adventure. It combines the tranquility of floating in a hot air balloon with the adrenaline rush of freefalling through the sky. While it requires a certain level of skydiving acumen, the thrill and sense of accomplishment that comes from jumping off a hot air balloon is unmatched. So, if you ever have the opportunity to partake in this incredible adventure, grab it with both hands and prepare for major exhilaration!
The very first step to getting your jump numbers up and chasing moments like these in the sky is to make a tandem skydive – book your first jump now! Blue skies, high flyers!