Everything You Need to Know About Your First Jump

Monday, October 23, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Your First Jump

If the idea of making that first skydive is looming large for you, don’t worry. We understand! Making that reservation is the hardest part, anyway, and you’ll be much more comfortable once we play-by-play your skydiving day for you. That way, you can rest a little easier in your newfound familiarity–and show up for your jump with a smaller population of butterflies pinging around your stomach. Here’s what you need to know!

1. Arrival!

When you arrive, your first stop will be the front desk. The friendly folk at the counter will welcome you, check your government-issued photo I.D., complete payment and help you fill out your waiver. (Yep–it’s a long waiver. Sorry about that; long waivers are an unavoidable part of the process no matter where you go.)

Manifest and Check-In Counter at Skydive San Marcos

2. Ground school!

As you know, a tandem skydive involves your attachment (via harness) to one of our highly experienced tandem instructors. That person will be your new best friend for the day–responsible for operating the equipment which will conduct you gracefully back to terra firma.

The fact that you’ll have a chauffeur does not mean you can just fold up your arms and check out. Tandem skydiving is not a passive undertaking, and a short ground school will make sure that you know what’ll be expected of you. Specifically, you’ll learn a little about the equipment, then learn and review the body position for exit, freefall and landing. This stuff is simple, but very important.

 

3. Hanging out!

After you’re well-schooled in the art of the tandem skydive, you’ll settle in to wait for a little while. Your wait should be no more than hour, but bad weather can sometimes put the brakes on for longer. You’re welcome to hang out in the spectator zone and watch the parachutes coming in to land–it’s meditative.

4. Getting suited up!

When your turn to board the plane is imminent, we’ll get you kitted up. Give us the best possible base to work with–close-fitting, athletic layers and sneakers–for the most comfortable skydiving experience.

5. Riding up!

Once that plane scoots down the runway, everything starts to feel a little more HD-surround-sound real. Your instructor will talk you through what’s happening all the way up, but it’ll be a little hard to focus; the views from up there are incredible, and the sensation of the plane ride will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

As exit altitude approaches, your instructor will ask you to move closer to them so your harness is within secure clipping range. You won’t be able to see much, as the clips will be behind you, but look around you as it’s happening: You’ll be able to watch the other skydivers performing normal safety checks on their equipment, too.

6. Flying!

Most people count the exit as the most memorable moment of their skydive. Through the open aircraft door, the distance and scope of the earth below feels surreal. You’ll assume the body position you were taught during ground school and whoop! Out you’ll go.

Freefalling at 120mph is literally indescribable. You’ll be buoyed along on a cushion of air, breathing the fresh wind as it rushes by, surrounded by new sensations and smiling like a lunatic. It’s awesome.

Tandem skydiver blowing a kiss at Skydive San Marcos

7. Landing!

At some point, you’ll notice yourself slowing down. You’ll realize that you’re sitting in your harness, you’ll look up, and you’ll see a parachute overhead. Lots of tandem students note that the parachute deployment is so gentle as to be almost indistinguishable from magic. At this point, you’ll be able to chat with your instructor (as you can’t hear each other in freefall), or just simply enjoy the profound peace of the flight.

You’ll be zooming (or pootling) around under the parachute for around 5 minutes, depending on your preference, before you come in for a landing. When the ground is just about there beneath your feet, you’ll be reminded to lift up your legs, and your instructor will expertly bring the parachute to a stop. After a jolly round of hugs and high fives, you’ll be returned to your waiting friends and family.

8. The rest of your life!

Spoiler: After you’ve jumped out of an airplane, nothing is ever completely the same. You’ll be floating around on a cloud for the rest of the day, sure…but you’ll be elementally changed from the experience. You’ve faced your fear! You’ve tested your mettle! You’ve checked off a bucket list item! You’ve seen the world in a whole new way! Expect for this to uplevel you against every other challenge you face. We’re looking forward to celebrating your achievement with you!

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