Do You Pee While Skydiving?

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Restrooms Are Available At Every Dropzone

As a skydiver’s jump time approaches, his mind will spin with a whirlwind of excitement, nervousness, and fear so great that he will invariably feel the urge to pee. So how do skydivers handle this feeling? 

Involuntary peeing during a skydive rarely happens, especially if the skydiver has a healthy bladder. It mostly affects only those with a history of urinary incontinence or weak pelvic floor muscles. Most experienced skydivers pee before taking a dive in order to avoid needing to do so later.

Even though people can normally hold their bladder, it can feel challenging and nasty. So let’s dive deeper into why we have to pee and what we can do in order to avoid peeing on our pants when skydiving.

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Why Do We Feel the Need to Pee Before Skydiving?

According to the National Institutes of Health, a healthy bladder can hold up to 2 cups of urine (16 ounces). It is normal to pee about 5-6 times a day for the average person but those who have consumed too much liquid, have a history of urinary incontinence, and have weak pelvic floor muscles, can urinate much more often and have lesser control over their urges

Prior to your first skydiving experience, you will feel nervous or anxious, which although pretty normal, sends your body into a fight-or-flight response. This trigger can result in an increase in the urinary system’s production of urine. 

The common symptoms of the fight-or-flight response are trembling, body or muscle tightening, a feeling of heat or sweatiness, faster breathing, and a rapid heart rate. Once you experience this, you will feel the urge to relieve yourself from this stressful feeling.

Peeing before skydiving is highly recommended so that you can focus your attention on more important matters like listening to your instructor, doing the right body arch position, and most importantly, avoiding peeing on your pants when skydiving.

5 Tips to Avoid Peeing Your Pants When Skydiving

Involuntary peeing when skydiving seldom happens but if you are worried that it might happen to you on your next skydiving trip, here are five tips to avoid it.

1. Avoid Too Much Water And Coffee Intake When Skydiving

While it is highly recommended to stay properly hydrated when skydiving, it should also be noted that consuming too much water and especially coffee before a jump will result in frequent urination and hinder you from fully enjoying your skydiving experience.

Although bathrooms are strategically located in each drop zone and are easily accessible to users, a single trip to the bathroom can consume at least 2-5 minutes of your time. For example, going to the bathroom say around 3 times before your jump will result in you losing at least 6-15 minutes that you could have used in preparation for your jump.

Repetitive trips to the bathroom can also be tiring and exhausting especially when you already have your harness on. Some people even avoid drinking water before a jump as our daily water intake is composed of 20-30% from foods anyway. I usually drink one cup of water and drink as much water as I want after my jump.

2. Take a Quick Bathroom Break Before Wearing Your Skydiving Harness

Skydiving centers provide shared or separate bathrooms for skydiving staff, skydivers, and guests. Some even have shower areas that allow for the discreet changing of clothes should you happen to involuntarily pee on your pants, puke, or accidentally land on the muddy or grassy area of the drop zone.

Being nervous before skydiving is normal for both beginners and even experienced skydivers (especially if they are jumping at a higher altitude or trying a new skydiving discipline). If you feel the need to pee, do not hesitate to inform your instructor or the skydiving staff before wearing your skydiving harness. 

Once you’ve put it on, it is still possible to pee, however, it will be much more challenging since you need to remove the jumpsuit as well as the harness – which requires professional assistance when wearing or removing it. It’s not fun to ask your instructor to help you remove it 2-3 times before you make the jump.

Sometimes weaning a harness can also increase the need to pee. Especially, if you are a person with a larger body type, the harness might put pressure on your bladder. There are specifically designed harnesses that allow for bigger people but there is a limit on the size. If you are unsure, make sure to read my article about the skydiving weight limit. It explains in detail what size and what weight you can have.

Five Helpful Tips to Prevent Urination During Your Skydiving Jump
Overview of 5 Useful Tips to Avoid Peeing During a Skydiving Jump

3. Relax by Breathing Deeply to Avoid Peeing When Skydiving

Breathing deeply can help you relax and loosen up all the tense muscles in your body while – waiting to board the airplane, when inside the airplane, during freefall, and finally during the canopy ride. Some people tend to forget that they can breathe, due to their nervousness or fear of the unknown! (which is normal for first-time skydivers) 

When you feel stressed or nervous, your body experiences muscle tension and sends incorrect signals throughout your body which can trigger involuntary peeing when skydiving.

If you want to know more about 11 incredible effects of skydiving on your body, check out this post.

I prefer to properly breathe in my belly which you can do by inhaling slowly using your nose to fill up your lungs with air. To exhale properly, empty your lungs and release the air through your mouth. You will not only not feel the urge to pee anymore but you will also be more focused and attentive to your instructor.

4. Scream to Release Tension to Avoid Peeing When Skydiving

Screaming as loud as you can while skydiving will not just allow you to breathe normally but also release tension and calm your nerves. It can help you prevent accidentally peeing on your pants before you exit the airplane or while you are in a freefall since your entire body is so tensed up.

As the time of your jump approaches, your body will release a huge amount of energy, and you can release this excess energy by simply screaming. It is also highly recommended if you take a video – it will look much cooler when you scream.

5. Exercise to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

Some people suffer from overactive bladder which results in a frequent and pressing desire to urinate. This can be caused by the weakening of the pelvic muscles and some organs in the urinary system (e.g., bladder) might slightly fall out of their natural position. 

If this happens, it is best to consult a doctor before jumping. However, you can also perform a simple exercise called “Kegels” to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. You can do this (either sitting or lying down) by contracting your pelvic muscles and holding them for 5 seconds, releasing them, and then resting for 5 seconds before repeating the process 10 times for 3 intervals a day.

This helps people not only with a weak bladder but also with a “normal” bladder to control their urge to pee. You can even do it before or even while waiting for your turn to skydive. It will help your muscles to relax and become less tense so you can focus your time on enjoying the beautiful skydiving view.

If you want to know more about the whether skydiving is a good exercise, check out this post.

What if I Can’t Hold Peeing When Skydiving?

If it happens, it happens. 

Your tandem instructors will not be mad as peeing is a natural occurrence and some people also puke when skydiving. There are shower areas at the drop zone to allow skydivers to wash up or change in case your clothes are soiled.

It is also advisable to bring extra clothes when skydiving since you never know when you will need a new set. It is always better to be prepared rather than be caught off guard!

If you are unsure what to wear for your first skydive, make sure to read my article about 5 things to wear and not to wear on a tandem skydive. It gives you practical tips for choosing your clothing and saves you from picking wrong ones!

Fun Fact: Neil Pearlberg went the extra mile by wearing an adult diaper on his first tandem skydive (Santa Cruz Waves Show Episode 5). An extra tip – no one will know that you are wearing one if you cover it up with a jumpsuit or normal skydiving clothing.

Some People Wear A Diaper During Their Jump

In conclusion, just go with the flow, follow our tips, and do not allow peeing to hinder you from fully enjoying your once-in-a-lifetime skydiving experience.

Enjoy your freefall!

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Kai Schmidt

Hi, I'm Kai. The first time I jumped out of an airplane and experienced free fall was one of the most amazing moments of my life. For me, skydiving does not only stand for freedom and independence but being present in the moment and being respectful to others and oneself. Now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

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