It all happens super fast. You have a cameraman (Duncan the Aussie) and your parachutist (Alex the Russian), both of whom are super chill. Alex gives you the rundown on what position to take as we leave the plane, which takes a total of about a minute. You’re not sure whether that’s a sign to be nervous or whether it means it’s so simple that you have nothing to worry about. Later, you realize that it’s because remembering “head up, back arched, legs out” when you’re about to free-fall from 13,000 feet in the air is hard enough. The less information, the better.
Five minutes later, you and about four other jumpers and their crew get on the tiniest aircraft you’ve ever seen. Imagine a plane with a bench lengthwise on either side that seats twelve people comfortably. Now, halve it. Shoulder to shoulder, you ascend over the marina and Duncan records your famous last words. You catch eyes with the jumper across from you, exchange nervous smiles. Before you know it, you’re strapped onto a Russian’s lap, crouched down at the door, waiting for the cue. 3… 2… 1.
Alex basically does the jumping part so you don’t have to. You don’t even have time to think about it, really. All of a sudden you’re falling but it doesn’t feel like any fall you’ve had before. It feels… powerful. You scream but you can’t hear yourself from the deafening roar of the air, so you stop screaming and just start laughing, even though it’s kind of hard to breathe and you’re drooling. All of this in just a few seconds. Duncan gets you to smile big and pose for the camera, then he waves goodbye and continues tumbling towards the earth as Alex engages the parachute and your world comes to a raging halt. You put the pain of the pressure in your ears aside and bask in the awe of floating over Dubai, the Palm, sharing a privilege that only the birds get. You get dizzy because Alex is spinning you around playfully. He tells you to “sit down in your harness. Just like… move your ass. Better?” Better. “No more spinning,” he laughs. Relaxed at last, you relish in the final two blissful minutes, secretly wishing your feet would never touch the ground.