You’ve been watching the antics of sport skydivers in internet videos and show biz for years–and now, you want to put yourself in their securely-tied shoes. If you’re not satisfied with a single skydiving experience and want to dive head-first into the hobby, you’re probably looking for the best info describing how to become a certified skydiver. You’ve come to the right place! Skydive San Marcos is a fantastic place to learn how to go skydiving alone. You couldn’t be in better hands.
If you’re wondering how many tandem jumps it takes before solo is an option, you might have a surprise incoming. Did you know that you can actually go skydiving alone the first time you do it? Strictly speaking, you don’t actually need to do a tandem for your first-ever jump. If you’re particularly brave and have the time to dedicate to the training, you can do your first jump as a solo skydive. That said: Most folks who decide that they want to to become a skydiver have already done one (or several) tandem skydive(s).
No matter which description fits you, the first stop is to complete a First Jump Course. You’ll spend a couple of hours of classroom time on the ground, wiggle into your gear and join two qualified instructors in the air to get that first jump under your belt. Now you’re on your way!
At Skydive San Marcos, we teach new skydivers using the AFF method. The method is described in this little presentation (second tab from the left) on the United States Parachuting Association website, but we’ll give you a quick summary: AFF includes a ground school, eight levels of mastery and a few more supervised jumps before the student receives the coveted USPA A License, which permits the holder to jump solo at nearly every dropzone in the world.
The amount of time–and the number of jumps–it takes to complete the AFF course depends on your technique, your focus, your determination and the amount of time you’re willing to dedicate to it. AFF students don’t progress to the next level until they’ve demonstrated mastery of the level they’re currently working on. Since there are 8 levels within the AFF curriculum–each with a determined set of skills to be mastered and demonstrated–you’ll jump at least 8 times. That said: Most people make at least a couple of jumps at each level, so don’t let that surprise you.
After you pass your AFF course, you’ll enter a “probationary” period. Until you’ve made 25 successful solo skydives, you’ll be accompanied by a friendly coach on each jump. They’ll keep an eye on you and give you important pointers. Once you hit jump #25, you’ll officially graduate! That A License will officially be yours, and you’ll be certified to skydive solo.
Word to the wise, however: Becoming a skydiver is a very separate thing indeed from simply getting certified to skydive alone. Becoming a skydiver is a lifestyle choice. It involves integrating yourself into the community; making the dropzone a second home; getting deep into the culture and the living history that comprise the sport as a whole. It involves a lot of beer, a lot of hugs and a lot of looking up and smiling. It’s the best thing you’ll ever become; you’ll see.
Are you ready to let your inner solo skydiver express itself outside your daydreams? Do it! What are you waiting for?! Let’s get you into the sky.