The thumping bass of a hip hop hit, building crescendos from a string quartet, percussive piano, and blaring horns: music takes many forms. No matter the iteration, for many, music provides pure auditory delight. Like a portal to another time or place, music can give respite from the present moment. In other instances, music is integral to immersing oneself fully in an experience.
We understand why people want to know if you can listen to music while skydiving. Music can take the edge off an activity and put us at peace just as easily as the right song can amp us up to give it our all. Take for example going on a run, mowing the lawn, or a particularly long drive–how much more unbearable would it be to languish in silence?
The truth is, as much as we love it, listening to music is not well suited to every activity, and skydiving happens to be an instance where listening to music is not a good fit.
So, can you listen to music while skydiving? It’s a hard-and-fast no if when it comes to listening to music as a tandem skydiver. As for experienced skydivers, while, technically, they can listen to music while jumping, the majority do not. Here’s why:
It’s important to recognize that skydiving is a fast-paced experience that requires a certain amount of mental bandwidth. This is why unnecessary distractions should be avoided.
As a tandem student, you are not a passive participant. Rather, you have a role to play. For the experience to go as smoothly as possible, it’s crucial that a tandem student is able to communicate with and receive instruction from the tandem instructor in the plane, in freefall, and when it comes time to land the parachute.
Some experienced skydivers listen to music to pass the time on the ride to altitude but turn it off as they approach exit altitude and prepare to jump. Even this has its own set of risks. In the event there is an aircraft emergency, all passengers are required to listen to the pilot. If an individual had headphones in with music blaring, they may not be able to hear potentially lifesaving instructions.
Furthermore, when it comes time for an experienced skydiver to navigate the sky and return to the landing area, it is imperative that they are able to hear and communicate with other jumpers who are also under canopy. Though the sky is big, the amount of “real estate” above the dropzone is dramatically smaller. Jumpers must maintain awareness of those around them and be able to hear in case someone finds their way into a blindspot.
Although we love the lickety-split ride to altitude that turbine engines provide, they can be pretty loud. Mix the sounds of the skydiving aircraft with the excited chatter of a load of jumpers and, well, without a pair of expensive noise-canceling earbuds, it’s near impossible to listen to music with any kind of clarity.
Keep in mind also that during the freefall portion of a skydive, tandem skydivers reach speeds of up to 120 mph. The kind of noise that this speed produces is significant. Most standard headphones wouldn’t make a dent in that kind of noise unless you turned them up to a level that could be detrimental to your eardrums. Additionally, there’s no way to secure your headphones, so it’s likely the wind would rip them right away. What a waste!
In reality, even if you could listen to music while skydiving you wouldn’t be able to enjoy it.
Lest you fret little audiophile, we have an idea of how you can still get your music fix. Here are a few tunes to crank up on your way to the dropzone to get yourself in the skydiving mood:
If none of these strike your fancy, Red Bull Records has an entire Spotify playlist dedicated to Songs for Skydiving!
Ready for the ultimate adventure?
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