About the Author:
I believe travel is an opportunity to feed your soul and I will never stop exploring our amazing planet. Originally from Canada, I now live in Osaka with my family and have learned that Japan is an incredible place for discovering new experiences.
Caption: Rhys made my first skydiving experience fun and exciting.
Next, Rhys asked me to sit down and get comfy on a small sofa in the skydiving center to watch a 3-minute video showing a sped-up version of a standard jump.
Seeing the video just made me more excited about flying over Ago Bay and feeling the rush of my first free-fall.
We moved over to the pre-jump prep area and I was given a jumpsuit to put on before Rhys fitted me with the harness that would eventually keep us connected to each other in the air.
He expertly led me through each step with clear instructions and explanations about all of the measures that were in place to ensure our safety.
My 4-point harness weighed about 3 kg and Rhys’ pack with the main and reserve parachutes weighed a total of 25 kg.
Caption: The simple pre-flight training was clear and easy to understand.
The entire time needed for the introductions, presentation, explanations and getting geared up was less than 30 minutes and then it was time to go climb into the helicopter. I had been so engaged in the preparation and chatting with Rhys, that my nerves hadn’t gotten the better of me. When he said it was time to fly, the reality of it all hit me and my heart started racing. Thankfully, there wasn’t any time to dwell on it and the next thing I knew we were walking to the helipad.
From the very start of the flight the views on all sides were amazing and it was a thrill just being in the helicopter.
After flying for about seven minutes, we reached an altitude of 5,000 feet and Rhys instructed me to get on his lap so he could secure himself to my harness.
It was almost time to make the jump and I was feeling a mix of excitement and nerves.
Rhys talked to me the entire time and kept me at ease with jokes and his confident attitude. Once the harness was fully secured, he helped me put on my goggles.
At 9,000 feet, Rhys told me we were about a minute from our jump altitude and he kept me focused with more positive banter to keep the mood light.
He slid the door open and I took my first look out of the open door at the incredible view.
It was like nothing I had ever seen before and the islands and land formations of Ago Bay were truly gorgeous.
When he asked if I was ready to jump, I quickly yelled “LET’S GO!” and we were out the door and free-falling.It was a 30-second free-fall, but it felt longer and the rush of flying at a speed reaching around 250 km/h was amazing. It really is something you have to experience to understand.
The free-fall ended when Rhys pulled the main chute and then we were floating comfortably over one of the most beautiful spots on earth.
The blend of uniquely shaped islands, wide-open ocean and picturesque coastline was breathtaking and we were in the air for around 4-5 minutes as we descended.
The landing point was on the white sand of Taso Shirahama Beach and we came in softly as we touched down. Rhys disconnected the harness and I revelled in the natural high that was still pumping through me.