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Magazine

DARING | Free as a Bird: the Adventure of Skydiving

DARING | Free as a Bird: the Adventure of Skydiving


“I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I'm gonna free fall out into nothin'
Gonna leave this world for a while”
— Tom Petty, “Freefallin’”, 1989

Nothing says “daring” like freefalling out of an airplane from 12,000 feet up in the air. For those brave enough to take the leap, there are a number of companies around New York State that offer tandem skydiving, which is where you are paired with an expert, for maximum safety. 

If skydiving is on your bucket list and you’re feeling brave (and are over 18 years old), here are options from different regions of the state where you can get started:

LONG ISLAND

With Skydive Long Island, you can take in breathtaking views of Long Island's North and South Forks, Westhampton Beach, the Atlantic Ocean, and Fire Island. On clear days, you can see out to Montauk and into New York City.

Photo: Skydive Long Island

NEW YORK CITY

Experience the Big Apple from the air with Skydiving.com’s NYC location. Soak in a bird’s eye view of Central Park and surrounding skyscrapers in this 5-7 minute adventure.

HUDSON VALLEY

Looking for something a bit less risky? And something you can do in any season? Check out iFly in Yonkers, an indoor skydiving center that offers the freedom and exhilaration of flying, without having to jump out of an airplane. They also offer team-building events, field trips, and a unique birthday party option.


Press play to watch "Indoor Skydiving: Human Flight, No Plane Required" by Wall Street Journal

CATSKILLS

With stunning views of the Shawangunk Mountains, Skydive the Ranch, based in Gardiner (Ulster County) is the place to jump in the Hudson Valley/Catskills region. Added bonus: The company’s planes can accommodate larger groups, in case you want to recruit a few friends to join you.

ADIRONDACKS

Located outside of Lake George in the Adirondack foothills, Adirondack Skydive encourages everyone to “take the leap” into one of the more scenic parts of New York. This company goes above and beyond to make sure first-timers are secure and comfortable, ensuring a smooth experience.

Photo: Adirondack Skydive

FINGER LAKES

Skydive Finger Lakes is located at a private airport in Ovid, about a half-hour’s drive from Ithaca. Among helpful tips on the company’s FAQ page: “Use common sense and dress for the weather of the day -- you'll be spending a lot of time outdoors. You will most likely be sliding in on your butt for landing, so be prepared for a small grass stain.”

CENTRAL NEW YORK

Based in Weedsport between Syracuse and Rochester, nestled in the northern tier of the scenic Finger Lakes region, Skydive CNY offers incredible views of Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes. This unique geography provides a beautiful backdrop for pictures and video of the experience.

Photo: Skydive CNY

WESTERN NEW YORK

Located at the Pine Hill Airport in Albion, about an hour’s drive from Buffalo and Rochester, WNY Skydive has an extensive blog chock full of great information about taking the plunge. For instance, did you know that skydivers hit speeds of 120 miles an hour during a freefall? For the experienced, they also offer courses to become a licensed diver.

CAPITAL REGION

A fun add-on at Saratoga Skydive: Exhibition jumps. According to the website: “An exhibition skydive is a fun form of marketing that can bring thrill and excitement to any event. It’s something that will remain with attendees long after the event ends, making your event stand out and be remembered. Our team of professionals will work with you to create a customized exhibition jump based on your needs and resources.”