Can you think of any other sport that is more thrilling than free falling from10,000 feet in the sky? Can you imagine how fast your heart will pump and the adrenaline will rush through for the first attempt? Is Skydiving on your bucket list . . . and you are ready to cross it off? Here is some information to help you take the first steps toward Skydiving.
Most people who have done skydiving will tell you that Skydiving is not as difficult as, not as scary as, and not as dangerous as it appears to be. Well, it is certainly an “extreme sport” and can cause a fatal accident. For that reason, the US Parachute Association (USPA) set the Basic Safety Requirements (BSR) in their Skydiver's Information Manual. Here are a couple of items in the manual that you should be aware of before you consider skydiving:
• For skydives made within the U.S. and its territories and possessions, skydivers are to be at least 18 years of age (Section 2-1, D).
• All participants in skydiving must meet the USPA BSRs for medical fitness. (Section 4-3, D).
- A person should be in good health and physical condition to skydive and should not be on medication; however, some conditions can be properly managed if the instructor knows about them.
- An FAA flight physical or a doctor's statement of fitness for skydiving may be required in some cases.
- The instructor also needs to know about any recent donations of blood.
- People who participate in SCUBA diving should not fly for at least 24 hours afterward.
What’s next? Choose the training method for your First Jump. Most schools offer the following two options:
You will be skydiving while you are attached to the instructor. Your harness is attached to the front of the instructor's harness as part of a specially designed and built parachute system. It requires minimum ground preparation (less than an hour) and is a very popular way to make the first jump.
Accelerated Free Fall (AFF)
You will be exiting off the plane on your own with two AFF instructors who hold you by the parachute harness for guidance and observation. The instructors will be teaching altitude awareness, body position, stability, and most importantly - successful ripcord pull.
AFF requires more extensive ground preparations.
Depending on the method and school you choose, the first jump costs about $200-300. Extra dollars can be spent for photos/video (it is worth it), and tipping the instructor is common but not mandatory. The jump tickets for licensed skydivers cost about $20-35 per jump, depending on the drop zone location.
Now, go find a school near you that has a good reputation and set a date . . . go out there and make your First Jump! Gather some skydiving partners to do this together: it’s a lot more fun doing a first jump course in a group.