If you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever, you know how we feel about extreme sports here… we’re almost as passionate about them as we are sunglasses. They’re a friggin’ thrill and fit so awesomely into our “live life in forward motion” ethos.
Now, we’ve spoken on skating, surfing, snowboarding, motocross and more—and we’ll continue to—but today let’s ratchet it up and talk jumping out of planes and plummeting to the ground. Because why not, right?
Yup. If this isn’t a frontier you’ve faced and a challenge you’ve accepted, now’s the time to plan that skydiving adventure you’ve always envisioned but never fully embraced. Below, we’ve rounded up five of the most stellar spots to do it. This is just a primer—expect more kickass featured locations in the future!
1. Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Dubai’s gotten in on the skydiving sensation in a big way, now offering the largest annual international skydiving championships in the world, as sponsored by Skydive Dubai and the Emirates Aerosport Federation (EAF). This is an intriguing choice because you aren’t leaping out of a plane over lush wilderness—instead, it’s a city jump. You’ll fly high above Palm Jumeirah, the man-made archipelago that looks like a floating palm in the water, and enjoy views of Dubai’s urban marina and the Persian Gulf. Wild.
2. Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Big surprise… jumping out of a plane in New Zealand may be terrifying but it’s also absolutely breathtaking. This is a country known for jaw-dropping vistas—The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed here, among other epics—and few spots compare to the eight-mile-long Fox Glacier in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Nestled remotely on the west coast of the country, as you free-fall you’ll be greeted by the peaks of the Southern Alps and the sparkling waters of the Tasman Sea.
3. Interlaken, Switzerland
One of the more affordable skydiving spots on this list, Interlaken, Switzerland has a hell of a skydiving operation that tosses divers out (you’re thinking, “wow, great choice of words… tosses”) over the Swiss Alps. You’ll be treated to unforgettable views of the peaks of the Matterhorn and Jungfrau, and even be able to gaze across the borders of France, Germany, Austria, AND Italy. Kickass.
4. Mount Everest, Nepal
Since we’re talking diving, why not strap on your goggles and embrace the dang thing by going as high as you can friggin’ go? And how better to accomplish that than at the world’s tallest mountain?
Yep, you can skydive over Nepal’s Himalayas, starting at a maximum height of 23,000 feet. Note that you’ll need to be equipped with an oxygen tank here—because it is just THAT extreme—and that even if you choose the “junior” route and jump instead from Amadablam Basecamp, you’ll still be starting at 15,000 feet. Regardless, sick views of Everest and the opportunity to explore Sagarmatha National Park await. This one’s pricey as hell though—costs are upwards of $20,000. Check out Everest Skydive for more.
5. Victoria Falls, Zambia
We just covered the tallest mountain, so why not hit up the globe’s largest waterfall while we’re at it? At more than 100 meters in height and longer than a kilometer, Victoria Falls in Zambia is stunning. The locals call it “Mosi-o-Tunya,” which we’re told translates to “the smoke that thunders.” So yeah, this is your opportunity to tell people, “Sup, yeah, I’m jumping over the smoke that thunders,” which just earns you instant cool points. You’ll fly across the falls before free-falling over the Zambezi River. Works for us!