Skydiving and Hot Air Ballooning are two of the most popular flight experiences around the world. While both experiences take you high on an incredible ride with unmatched aerial viewing, they are different in many ways. Hot air ballooning experiences are best suited to particular occasions, whereas skydiving suits others. So if you're deciding on whether to go hot air ballooning or skydiving, this article highlights some things to think about before booking your experience.
If you are looking to give someone a wild and potentially life-changing gift, a skydiving experience is unbeatable. It's perfectly suited for adventurous people and those who enjoy to push their comfort zone. Due to its polarising nature however, it's a risky gift to give someone you don't know well. If they're scared of heights and the thought of jumping from a plane genuinely terrifies them, there's a high chance they won't appreciate a skydive gift.
Studies suggest that only 50% of the population would skydive, yet 80% would happily enjoy a hot air balloon flight. These numbers show that a hot air balloon flight is more widely appealing as a gift. So, unless they've said they'd like to skydive, a hot air balloon gift is the better gift option. It is both exhilarating and enjoyable, without the intensity factor going beyond the threshold of most people.
By it's nature, a skydive is a solo experience. As you jump out of the plane, it's just you, your diving instructor and the wind. So if you're looking to do one of these experiences solo, skydiving is the better option.
While hot air balloons are great, the experience is best shared with a loved one. Hot air balloon flights are better suited to celebrations and romantic occasions, such as anniversaries. But if you're looking to push your comfort zone and endure thedo something awesome, a skydive is the way to go.
Hot air ballooning is a better experience to be enjoyed as a group. Whether it's you and a friend or loved one, hot air balloons can be romantic, awe-inspiring and fun. Unlike skydiving, you are able to converse with the other passengers throughout the trip.
Despite the fact that a hot air balloon flight is more social, it's still awesome fun to share a jump with friends. It's always great to share your experience with your friends after you finish the freefall. So provided everyone is happy to do the free-fall, you can be social after the jump! And it's always a special moment to be there for the first time someone jumps from an aircraft.
Based on the Australian statistics, hot air balloons are marginally safer than skydiving. Despite the fear-factor of both being high, both experiences are statistically safer than driving a car.
According to the APF (Australian Parachute Federation), there were 97 skydiving-related injuries in 2017, from a total of 384,000 jumps. This equates to 2.5 injuries per 10,000 skydives, and this generally moves between 2-3 each year. From these injuries, there's an average of 2.5 fatalities each year from skydiving.
In Australia, the accident rate of balloon flights is 0.356 per 1,000 flight hours. Most of these however, are very rarely fatal. In fact, there were no hot air balloon related deaths between 1989-2013 in Australia. While layover landings (dragging basket after balloon deflates) occur on about 10% of landings, these are not considered incidences and don't amount to injury.
To answer the question of which is better depends on type of occasion and type of person doing it. Both are very safe experiences, and the negligible accident rates should not deter you from either experience.
With all things equal, a hot air balloon ride is the way to go if you're sharing the experience with a friend or loved one. If you're the adventurous type looking to do a high-intensity experience, you will likely enjoy skydiving more. If you are alone and want to do one of the experiences solo, skydiving is the better option.
At the end of the day, both experiences are particularly awesome and serve well for different occasions. If you still have hesitations on booking your first skydive, read this article.
Yes, it is possible to skydive out of a hot air balloon, however it's difficult to find businesses which allow you to do this. You will generally have to contact a ballooning company and request to arrange this yourself.
There are more fatalities related to skydiving, however the non-fatal accident rate is higher for hot air balloons.