For those who like the feeling of adrenaline rushing through their veins, skydiving tops the list of adventure activities to pursue. Not many will think of The Maldives when it comes to skydiving, even though this beach destination is a big hit with water sports lovers. However, skydiving in Maldives boasts of a charm that one will not find at any of the other skydiving hotspots in the world!
This island nation is dotted with tiny isles that are usually smaller than 2 km in length. When you skydive here, you will be looking down at a gorgeous view of rows of Maldives water villas on private islands as you descend back to earth. Still sceptical to try skydiving? Understand this activity better and the opportunities that are in The Maldives before making up your mind.
Why Skydive in Maldives?
One of the most thrilling activities to do in Maldives, skydiving is a recreational sport that involves jumping from a high altitude, usually from a plane, to the earth. The excitement is mainly in the freefall that is aided by the earth’s gravity.
Typically, the freefall lasts for about a minute before the parachute is opened and the descent down to the earth is gradual. It is possible to control the direction and speed of your descent through various levers that are connected to the parachute. Alternatively, in some forms of parachuting skydivers open their parachutes as soon as they jump off the plane, avoiding the freefall experience.
While skydiving is largely an adventure activity meant for recreation, it is also a competitive sport. Seasoned skydivers can even make breathtaking formations when they dive in groups. Making shapes in the sky, holding one another hand to hand, or hand to foot and even creating highly advanced vertical formations are some of the interesting aspects of expert skydiving.
The Best Time to Try Skydiving in Maldives
Maldives’ weather makes it a prime (while it is still quite unexplored) location for skydiving. This adventure activity requires clear skies and excellent visibility since you should be able to look at the ground even from the aircraft. Avoid the wet season of May to November if skydiving is on your list of things to do in Maldives. It is best to fly to Malé – the capital city of the Maldives, between January and March which constitute the dry season.
Skydiving is neither comfortable nor safe when it is raining. In addition to the weather, one must pay close attention to the winds. If it is a very windy day, it will be difficult to control the flight path of the parachute and affect the accuracy of your landing. Calm weather is best suited for this adrenaline pumping sport. Mornings are preferred over late afternoons and evenings.
Another factor that affects skydiving is the cloud cover. Since you will be dropped off a plane, you should be able to see the ground clearly, without any stray clouds blocking the view or in close proximity, with imminent chances of appearing beneath you. A cloudless sky makes for the best jump!
Where to Skydive in The Maldives
It is an indescribably momentous experience to skydive over the tiny islands of The Maldives. The view from above is unlike any other you will find in other places of the world where skydiving is offered. Sapphire blue ocean spangled with gem-like isles!
Skydiving is a new activity offered in this country, and only a handful of providers are authorized to conduct it at the moment. Kandima Maldives provides 3 types of skydiving – tandem, solo and group. The cost of a jump from the modified Cessna 208 ranges from USD 79 per person (for a group of 16 experienced skydivers) to USD 900 (for a non-licensed new skydiver jumping in tandem, including camera footage from the exterior and another close-up footage through a handheld cam).
Skydiving is possible only from airports since that is where your plane can take off from. After you arrive at Malé – capital city of The Maldives, you will be taken to a domestic airport such as the Dhaalu Airport on Kudahuvadhoo Island in Dhaalu Atoll. At present, this is the only drop-off zone for skydiving in Maldives. However, more are expected to be established in the future.
Skydiving is also offered by Skydive Maldives and BEEP (Beautiful Experiences Extraordinary Places). For tandem skydivers, the entire skydiving experience lasts about 5 to 6 minutes, of which the freefall is for 60 seconds. The rest of the time is controlled descent using the parachute.
Experienced skydivers with many jumps under their belt can also join the Maldives Skydiving Boogie which is organized once every year. They take a select group to the Kudahuvadhoo Island for a few days and conduct dives to secluded isles on a Grand Cessna Caravan where they organize a picnic as well.
Types of Skydiving Offered in The Maldives
Definitely not for the fainthearted, skydiving has many different forms such as accelerated freefall (AFF), swooping, freeflying, canopy piloting, wingsuiting, formation skydiving (FS) on belly and canopy relative work (CRW), among others. However, most of those are for professionals with many logged skydives. The types of skydiving offered on the islands in The Maldives are as under.
If you have never done skydiving before, tandem skydiving will be the only option available to you. This style of skydive involves the participant being strapped to an experienced skydiving instructor who does all the important tasks of opening the parachute, controlling the speed of descent and steering the course of the flight. As the participant, you will only have to maintain the arched posture which will be taught to you ahead of the dive, and remember how to exit the aircraft and land when close to the ground.
Open only to experienced skydivers who have done a minimum of 200 jumps, solo skydiving in the Maldives requires the participant to do all of the tasks associated with a jump. As the name suggests, solo skydivers take the jump all on their own and are the only ones in control of their entire freefall and descent aided by the parachute. They must remember each of the steps at various points throughout the jump – exit, flight, steering and landing. Solo skydivers must also possess a B-license with water course or an equivalent certification.
Another option for expert skydivers with the mandatory B-license or its equivalent with water course is diving in a group. Along with the license, each of the members also requires third party insurance, same as for solo skydiving. Group skydiving is great for creating formations in the sky. The most common formation is the belly-to-earth position held by all the members who either hold one another’s hand or leg.
Safety Measures for Skydiving
While the thought of jumping off a plane may sound incredibly scary, skydiving is a safe adventure activity in the Maldives that has been made safer over the years with improvements in technology. There is nothing to worry about when tandem skydiving as the expert instructor takes care of all the things.
However, when skydiving solo or in a group, you must remember all the manoeuvres you have learnt over your past jumps. A 15-minute mandatory briefing is given to all the participants so that they know the technique to get out of the aircraft and how to position their body when in a freefall. Also, while landing, one must not forget to lift one’s legs up so as to avoid any ankle injury.
High-quality and well-tested parachutes are deployed for each dive, and a reserve parachute is kept in the rare case that the primary parachute fails to open. High-tech gadgets such as automatic activation devices (AAD) are also present in case one is unable to open the parachute or forgets to do so due to nervousness or fear. The AAD automatically launches the spare parachute when it detects an abnormal speed of descent for a long time.
Things to Keep in Mind While Skydiving in The Maldives
One must adhere to all the local laws and global skydiving safe practices when skydiving in this island nation. Here are a few pointers to make your trip easier:
- Wear well fitting but comfortable clothes which will bear the strong winds well. You will be flying at speeds of up to 200 km per hour during the freefall.
- It is best to wear sneakers with laced properly tied up as any loose shoe will create havoc for both you and other skydivers from 12,000 feet up.
- Your weight must not be more than 100 kg as per the international guidelines.
- Pregnant women are not allowed to skydive, nor are those with heart, lung or mental diseases.
- Only those above the age of 12 will be permitted to skydive in Maldives. Additionally, you must not have done any scuba dive or consumed alcohol a minimum of 24 hours before the jump.
In a country that is well known for snorkelling, diving and other water sports, skydiving is an exciting addition. Whether you are travelling solo, with your partner or a group of friends, skydiving in Maldives will give you the thrill of a lifetime. Book your vacation with Samudra Maldives for a smooth experience.