Skydiving in Coastal North Carolina: An Unforgettable Day Trip!
When you come to the beach, maybe all you want to do is simply nothing. Watch the waves crash and enjoy basking in the sun. We get it! Life is busy and vacations are meant to be relaxing. But on the off chance you’re looking for a little day-trip excitement, we have a suggestion for you: skydiving!
Did you know there are several locations across North Carolina to partake in some free-falling action?
One location in particular – Skydive Coastal Carolinas – is located about 1 hour south of Wrightsville Beach in Southport, NC.
To get a feel for the whole experience, we decided to send our Marketing Director down to Southport to check it out.
If this is the type of excitement you are searching for on your vacation, here was her experience so you know what to expect:
The drive was easy, and the location was simple to find. You do need to book your jump beforehand which you can do via their website. The time of year will depict how far in advance you need to book. I wanted to go on a weekend in June and had to book 4 weeks ahead of time to secure my date. I chose to book in the early afternoon but in hindsight, morning might have been better. We did have to wait quite some time for earlier scheduled jumps to complete before we could go. We had a reservation for 1pm but didn’t actually get on the plane till about 2:30-3.
After filling out waivers and watching a safety video, we sat in a picnic-like area outside and waited our turn. I noticed some folks had coolers with drinks and snacks. I didn’t realize we would have such a long wait so this is something I would consider if I were to go again.
After watching several flights go up and jumpers float down, it was our turn.
Being a newbie, I had to jump tandem with a seasoned instructor. So, after an introduction, I was fitted with my gear; essentially a harness to keep us strapped tightly together and goggles. I also had a wrist camera – I opted for inflight pics and video! Pricey but worth it.
Note: you do have access to a locker so this is when you should take a moment to store any personal items you might still have on you like sunglasses.
Everyone in your time slot boards the plane and up you go. It’s very tight so be prepared to get close and personal with the people in your group. I could see how going with a group of friends would be a lot of fun. With my instructor sitting directly behind me, I watched the ground disappear. As we ascended, he explained to me what was about to happen. When it was our turn, he would securely attach me to his harness, duck walk together over to the door, put my goggles on and jump.
As we waddled over and stood briefly at the gaping door to the outside world – 14,000 feet above the ground, there was no “are you sure you want to do this?” It was “1-2-3 GO!,” and out the door we went.
The sudden rush of wind takes your breath away and hums loudly past your ears. I stretched my arms out and tucked my legs as my instructor had told me to do… and screamed! Exhilarated and deathly scared all at the same time. Free falling was an insane experience. My brain was still trying to figure out what was happening when the rip cord was pulled. The chute unfurled above my head, and we slowed to an easy descent.
One of the most amazing things about skydiving in this area is the coastline. The view was absolutely stunning! Floating down you can see far across the ocean and up the coast to Carolina Beach which is about 40 miles!
At this point, you can easily talk to your instructor who, in my case, was wonderful with pointing out landmarks and even letting me steer the rig for a bit.
I took this time to really look around – you can see others in your group with their colorful parachutes spread out across the open expanse, puffy clouds that appear just out of reach, the long stretch of beach and of course, the blue green of the ocean that disappears into the horizon. Parcels of land square off in all directions below peppered with tiny dots of civilization.
Landing was easy. Simply stick your legs out in front of you until your instructor touches ground. If you can plant your feet at that time, go ahead but it’s perfectly normal to sit on the ground.
All in all, from wheels up to feet down, it was about 45 minutes.
Notes and FAQ’s from our Marketing Director:
- What should you wear when skydiving?
Tight fitting athletic clothing and comfortable closed-toe shoes.
I opted for cropped leggings, tank top, and tennis shoes. You want to be comfortable but don’t want clothing flapping around when descending.
- Best time of year to skydive in North Carolina?
Summer for sure! Colder ground temps mean much colder air temps when you’re up in the sky.
I choose June so it would be nice and warm which made the air at 14,000 ft mild. The summer heat also makes for a better chance of clear skies.
- Can you get motion sickness when skydiving?
Yes. I’ll admit though, I’m prone to motion sickness and was not aware this could be an issue. If you’re like me, I recommend taking some type of motion sickness medication before jumping. If you experience a seasick feeling, just keep your eyes on the horizon – it really helped for me.
- Can skydiving cause ear issues?
Yes. Due to the rapid change in altitude, the air pressure against your ear drums steadily decreases while the pressure in the inner ear stays constant. This gave me some discomfort but after about 48 hours I was back to normal.
- Is skydiving expensive?
It’s definitely one of the more costly adventures I’ve been on but it was worth every penny!
Rating for day trip: Truly an awesome and unforgettable experience! 5 stars for sure!
There’s lots to do at our area beaches from paddle boarding with our friends at Wrightsville SUP or spending the day on a yacht with our friends from Yacht Source but if you’re looking for something different, a day trip to Southport might be for you!
Rest assured, when all your adventures for the day are done, your home-away-from-home with Sea Scape Properties will be waiting for you.
We can’t wait to host you and yours!
Sea Scape Properties offers property management services and vacation rentals on Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Topsail Island and Ocean Isle Beach. From beachfront houses and condos to townhomes and cottages. Browse two-, three- and four-bedroom oceanfront rentals, with amenities like elevators, pools, and pet-friendly properties. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, be sure to browse all our North Carolina Beach rentals.