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Beyond Tandem Jumping: Skydiving as a Sport

Sport Skydiving

Tandem Jumping (Skydiving) is Only the Beginning

What is skydiving? Funny question, we know — but if you’re tempted to answer “something you do once in your life and then leave it in the glorious past,” you’d be wrong. Indeed, skydiving is a proper sport, with all the trimmings, not just something you do once for a rush and a cool video.

As it turns out, there’s a heck of a lot more to skydiving than tandem jumping. In fact: When you arrive at the dropzone, you’re bound to discover a world of opportunity waiting past the open aircraft door. Do we have your attention? Coo. Here’s a teaser of what you’ll find there.

wings of blue skydiving jumpsuit
Wings of Blue Team Members Photo by: US Air Force

Many Different Types of Skydiving

Falling with your belly button pointed at the ground? Sure, you can do that, but once you’re licensed you’ll find there are plenty of directions you can point your belly button on a skydive. That’s a cheeky way of saying that there are about a dozen different disciplines in which you can specialize as a sport skydiver. Once you’re licensed, you can decide to place your focus on one or dabble in a few.

  • You can make shapes in the air with a bunch of your new friends (“relative work”)
  • Learn to fly your body in a whole bunch of bodyflight orientations (“freefly”)
  • Set aside freefall stuff to work on flying a parachute (“canopy relative work” and “swooping”)
  • Wingsuiting or ‘flying squirrel suits’. There are more. It’s wild how many. Ask around the dropzone and listen to each enthusiast’s elevator pitch!

Love to compete? Skydiving is your sport.

What do most actual-factual sports have in common? That’s right: Big competitions. Skydiving is certainly no exception. As a licensed skydiver, you’ll be able to participate in state, national and international meets, cups, championships, and records. The work that’s being done at this level simply must be seen to be believed – so flippin’ go see it! And then take on the mantle of a challenge for yourself.

Upgrade Your #squadgoals

Skills and competitions aside, it’s the friendships we cement in this sport that keep most of us coming back to the dropzone bluebird day after bluebird day. We’re here to tell you that the worldwide community of skydivers happens to be the most fun, loveliest bunch of adventurous humans you’re ever likely to meet. The social aspect of the sport is incredibly embracing, vibrant, intergenerational and international, pulling together an enormous network of soul-siblings. You deserve these friends. And they’re waiting for you.

Tandem Skydiving Students and Instructors after landing

It only takes about a week to learn how to skydive.

Wow, right?! It depends on the weather (and your commitment), of course, but it’s totally possible to learn how to skydive solo in a week. When you get looped in with a United States Parachute Association affiliate dropzone (like Skydive California!) to learn how to skydive, you’ll take the selfsame program that has guided many thousands of new skydivers to earn their solo skydiving certification.

accelerated freefall aff learn to skydive california

First, you’ll sit down in a classroom for some vital skydiving theory. Then you’ll take to the skies for seven levels of skill-building in freefall and parachute landing, closely attended by your professional instructors in the air and on the ground. From there, you’ll make several more coached jumps before you’re finally issued your USPA A-License. That license allows you to jump solo (or with your new friends) at skydiving dropzones all over the world.

Ready to get started on your solo skydiving license? View AFF Program pricing now!

Read Next: How Much Experience do Skydiving Instructors Have

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