Top Tips for Preparing for Your First Time Skydiving
Going skydiving for the first time is a wild ride of emotions and sensations. When it comes to knowing what to expect, skydiving is like nothing else you’ve ever done. Your first time skydiving is a completely new experience that can feel overwhelming to prepare for. Having nothing to compare it to makes it difficult to know exactly what’s in store.
That’s why it’s helpful to have some skydiving tips on hand to get you ready for your first parachute jump. We have all the information you need to answer the question, “How do I prepare for my first skydive?” From managing pre-jump jitters and what to wear on your feet, to the ins and outs of your day at the dropzone, we have the experience to make your jump feel like smooth sailing.
What is it like to skydive for the first time? This article will go over helpful tips on skydiving so that jumping out of an airplane won’t feel like such a mystery and you can focus on having fun!
The first thing you want to consider before even booking your skydive is whether or not you meet all of the requirements. There isn’t a ton, but there are some hard and fast rules and regulations in place to keep skydiving as safe as possible. The main restrictions are:
- Weight – You must weigh less than 225 lbs to make a tandem skydive at Skydive California. The reason for this limit is that skydiving gear is rated to carry a certain maximum weight. The combined weight of the passenger and instructor must be under that limit to remain safe. However, there may be some flexibility to that restriction. Body proportions and physical fitness level are considered at the instructor’s discretion.
- Age – Skydive California is a USPA member dropzone and, as such, we adhere to the 18-year-old minimum age requirement to make a skydive. This is the age at which you can sign a legally binding contract, which includes the skydiving liability waiver. Note: Don’t forget your ID the day you come to jump! If we can’t confirm your age, you won’t be skydiving.
- Physical Fitness – Even though your instructor is going to be taking on the bulk of the responsibility during your skydive, you will be an active participant. That means that there is a certain level of physical ability required to safely make a skydive. Strength, flexibility, and mental awareness are all important aspects of making a jump.
Ok, so those are the personal requirements for making a skydive, but what about the rules of skydiving? You might be wondering, “Can I skydive alone for the first time?” While it is technically possible to do a solo skydive your first time exiting an airplane, it’s not advised. There are a lot of benefits that come from strapping a professional to your back.
Making a tandem skydive as your first jump allows you to deal with your anxiety and sensory overload without having to worry about being responsible for staying alive. And it leaves some room for actually enjoying the first-time experience!
Dress for Success
What you wear for your skydive is more important than you probably think. Skydivers like to joke that the number one priority in skydiving is looking cool, but it’s safety and comfort. And what you wear can have a big impact on both of those things.
You don’t need a special wardrobe to nail your skydiving outfit. The best thing to wear while skydiving is snug-fitting comfortable athletic clothing. You’re going to find yourself in a variety of positions and movements throughout your skydive, so you want to make sure your outfit choice can handle it.
Think gym clothes. Clothing that’s easy to move around in and stretchy, but not too baggy. And flat-bottomed shoes that lace up are a must. Slip-ons, sandals, open toes, and hooked eyelets pose a safety threat and are a no-go.
Give yourself one less thing to worry about and pick an outfit that’s forgettable!
This is a big one. We often neglect self-care in our everyday lives for other priorities like work, responsibilities, and obligations. But even if you don’t practice self-care day to day, try to nail it on the day of your jump. Taking better care of yourself means having a better skydive.
The best thing you can do is eat a balanced breakfast before you leave the house to head to the dropzone. Being properly nourished will help both your body and brain perform at peak ability and you’ll be able to enjoy your skydive more. It might be tough with the nerves, but it’s in your best interest to get some food in.
And stay hydrated! Being hydrated is incredibly important to brain function and overall wellness. Even more important is to refrain from drinking alcohol before you jump. Not only is it against the rules to drink alcohol the day of, but even drinking the night before will negatively impact your experience. You’re going to have enough emotions to deal with, you don’t need to add a headache and grogginess to the list.
And, lastly, get some sleep. We know, we know, sleeping the night before your jump is going to be like trying to fall asleep before Christmas. But getting a full night’s rest will ensure you’re fully awake and ready to take on your day. Mental clarity and sharp reactions are important in an extreme activity like skydiving!
Prep for the Day
What is your first experience in skydiving? Well, arriving at the dropzone and getting checked in is the priority. And you want to make sure you’re prepared for all of the things the day will throw at you. Skydiving is a lot more than just falling through the sky.
Between checking in, training, gearing up, and making the actual jump, you should be prepared to spend about half a day with us on the day you make your jump. And that timeframe can even be extended by unpredictable variables like weather. As much as we love to skydive, we’ll only get in the air if it’s safe to do so.
With that in mind, bring enough supplies to keep you satisfied for the entire time you’ll be with us. A lot of your time will be spent on the ground. Bring snacks, drinks, and even games to keep yourself entertained while you wait. And don’t forget a phone charger! There’s nothing worse than being cut off from your tech when you’re sitting idle.
It’s also a good idea to bring extra layers that are appropriate for the temperature. Maybe you need a sweater to pull on for the cooler morning temps, or a hat and sunglasses for that scorching Cali sun. Either way, plan for comfort!
And last, but certainly not least, go full send! You might only skydive once, so you better make it special. There are plenty of ways to make your skydive even more memorable than it will already be.
An easy way to elevate your jump is to spring for a media package. Sure, you’re going to remember this day for the rest of your life. But a lot of the details are going to be lost to sensory overload. You’d be surprised at how much your brain will blur during an adrenaline rush. Having a video to watch and relive the experience for the rest of your life is worth it.
You can also make the day special by sharing it with people! Bring friends and family to make your skydive a truly memorable experience. Group skydiving adventures are great for celebrations, milestones, holidays, or any excuse to get the people you care about together. Overcoming your fears and accomplishing going skydiving together will create a bond between you that will last forever.
Now that you’re a pro, book your jump with us and put your knowledge to use! Blue skies!