Frequently Asked Questions

Learn to Skydive FAQs

Answers to your Skydive Training Questions

If you’re considering enrolling in our AFF course, you likely have many questions about the training process, requirements, and next steps. To help you move forward with your dream of skydiving solo, we’ve compiled a list of common skydiving questions and answers below. We recommend reading through the learn to skydive FAQs below prior to booking your initial Ground School Training to ensure that you are both eligible to participate and prepared for your session.

If you have additional questions about our AFF program or sport skydiving in general, please feel free to contact us – we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

What are the physical requirements to jump solo?

AFF is not incredibly physically demanding, but it does require reasonable strength. Physical strength and agility is needed in order to maintain a stable freefall position, use the parachute control inputs (about 22 pounds of force), ability to operate emergency procedures in the event of a malfunction, and carry the parachute back from landing.

If you have a medical condition, or are 65 years of age or older, we need a written doctor’s medical clearance dated within 30 days of your jump date.

What are the age and weight requirements?

You must be at least 18 years old and have photo ID to make an AFF skydive.  AFF students should weigh no more than 259 pounds.

ABOUT THE COURSE

When is the Ground School held?

Ground School sessions are usually held every other Saturday, starting at 8 a.m. Dates are posted on our Events page and must be booked and paid for in advance – please call 512-488-2214 for reservations.

How long is the ground school?

AFF Ground school sessions start at 8 am and last a minimum of 6 hours.

What will be taught?

Jumping solo is a rewarding experience. However, it requires a lot more responsibility and education than tandem skydiving prior to making your first jump. Topics covered in Ground School include: basic body position, how to exit the plane, freefall emergencies, how to fly and land the parachute, emergency procedures and more.

Is equipment included?

Yes, all equipment including goggles, jumpsuit, altimeter, helmet, parachute container with main/reserve/AAD are included in the price of the jump.

GETTING LICENSED

What are the requirements to achieve an 'A' license?

Skydiving Licenses are issued by the United States Parachute Association (USPA). For those who want to take up skydiving as a sport activity, Skydive San Marcos offers structured training based on USPA’s Integrated Student Program [ISP] , also known as the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) Program. Prior to entering the program, students are required to attend Ground School.

The USPA ISP program consists of 8 categories of skydives (A to H) all of which are conducted under the supervision of either a USPA AFF Instructor or a USPA Coach. Under the AFF Program, the student will wear a “solo” parachute rig and be accompanied by 2 instructors on jumps A through C.

Following completion of the category C jump, category D though E2 are completed under the supervision of a single USPA AFF Instructor. Categories F1 through Hop and Pop are conducted under the supervision of a USPA Coach.  The training program can typically be completed with 14-16 jumps.  A total of 25 jumps and meeting the freefall and parachute objectives outlined on the proficiency card, are required to qualify for a USPA ‘A’ License.

How long does it take to get licensed?

The entire program is self-paced, therefore there is no definitive timeline for completion. Other factors that affect the duration of training are money, time availability, and weather.

GENERAL

Are you required to jump tandem before jumping solo?

Completing a tandem skydive prior to AFF training is not required, but it is highly recommended as it helps prepare the student both mentally and physically for what they will experience when jumping.

Can I bring my Go Pro?

No, you may not bring your Go Pro to skydive. Skydive San Marcos is a USPA Group Dropzone and abides by their rules and recommendations. USPA rules state that a jumper must have a minimum of 200 jumps and appropriate training before bringing any type of camera on a skydive due to safety concerns.

If you’re interested in having your jump filmed, Skydive San Marcos has professional videographers available at an additional cost.

Are there weather restrictions for students?

Yes. We abide by the USPA’s safety rules and recommendations which include cloud clearance minimums and wind speed. Generally speaking, instructors will make a judgement as to whether the weather conditions are appropriate for jumping or not.

Are there currency requirements as a student?

Yes. USPA states that a student jumper must make at least one parachute jump every 30 days to stay within the minimum currency requirements.

FACILITIES

Are dogs allowed on your facility?

Qualified service animals are acceptable, however all other pets should be left at home.

Can I smoke or vape on the property?

Skydive San Marcos is a smoke and vape free facility. However, we have provided a designated smoking area adjacent to the car park for the convenience of those who want to smoke or vape. Smoking or vaping are not allowed anywhere else on the property.