A skydiving operation has a lot of (highly regulated) moving parts that carefully add up to the ability to experience freefall. You need a dropzone, the right aircraft, top-of-the-line parachute equipment, and an assortment of trained and equipped professionals to make it all happen. Done right, though, and the whole process is seamless from the skydiver’s point of view.
Everything you need to know before your jump will be presented to you in an easily digestible way once you get to the dropzone. But, for you to have an amazing time, we need you to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when you get to us!
Let’s talk about what NOT to do to prepare for skydiving:
Skydiving is an amazing achievement, and the reward of doing your first jump can have a hugely positive effect on your life. Don’t work up the nerve with a little something-something or celebrate prematurely, though. You only get to do your first skydive once – make sure you bring your best to the dropzone so that you, a) remember it all, b) perform the aspects of the jump you’ll be responsible for, and c) get on the plane. If you arrive at the DZ under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will not be jumping. This is for your safety and for that of everyone else. No exceptions.
Do drink water, though. Hydration is key to a great jump!
A significant part of what makes skydiving an all-encompassing life boost happens on the ground. Sure, it’s the jump that you’re ultimately here for, but don’t discount the fun that comes with preparation and the energy and excitement that accompanies anticipation. Don’t fly through the door at the last minute to check in and rush through the ground stuff. Not only will you miss out on important information, but you’ll also miss the opportunity to soak up some of the atmosphere. One of the primary aspects of skydiving that makes students and licensed jumpers come back for more (and more!) is the community. Arriving late or in the nick of time won’t allow you to experience any of that magic. Plus, watching folks land with HUGE smiles and shrieks of celebration helps those who are nervous to relax and keep perspective.
Pro tip: don’t schedule anything before or after your skydive.
Being anxious about skydiving for the first time is completely normal. Some tension and anticipation is to be expected – even healthy, actually. Your body and brain are responding just the way they should in a potentially dangerous situation. Pushing beyond your comfort zone is enormously empowering! Plus, skydiving is not as high-risk as some people think. Is it no risk? No – you’re jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, after all! But the technology and engineering in play in modern skydiving is hyper-sophisticated and reliable. In fact, driving to the dropzone is likely the most dangerous thing you will do on the day of your jump.
Our advice is to embrace the butterflies and go for it! Carpe diem, babyyyy!
Forget Your ID
Skydive California is a Member of the USPA (United States Parachute Association), an agency that oversees skydiving and parachuting activity in the US. Per USPA rules, you must be at least 18 years old to skydive … which means we need to check your ID. Be sure to bring your valid, government-issued photo ID with you on the day of your jump. Note that parent or guardian permission will not suffice.
No proof, no jump; so sorry.
Dress to Impress
What you wear to skydive is important. Skydiving is a sport – and an extreme one, at that – it’s not the time to flaunt your best threads. Dressing accordingly means opting for loose, stretchy layers that cover your arms and legs; think athletic wear. You’ll want enclosed shoes with laces too. No boots, heels, or anything with hooks. Plan to tie back long hair and remove most of your jewelry too.
Even if your look is scaled back, still get the video! Not getting video is #1 regret we hear.
These skydiving tips for beginners will help you avoid common pitfalls to preparedness, and set you up to enjoy your first skydiving experience in the best way possible. Once you are ready to fly, we will be here to give you the best. day. ever. Blue skies!