First and foremost, you may want to obtain a really and reliable skydiving school. It can be a fantastic idea to ask for a great reputation one. This is a quite easy task to do. The best places to start seeking on these are local airports, web and phone books. Since skydiving is one of the more expensive sports to learn, you need to decide how you want to learn and then you to look at your pocket book.
There are 3 methods of training:
– Static line
– Accelerated Free Fall (AFF).
All of these approaches have their advantages and drawbacks, but we’ll touch more on these a little later.
What to do First? Safety and Heath tips.
The first thing to do would be to think about health and safety. Know the risks involved before you get involved. Skydiving isn’t chess; you won’t be sitting on an uncomfortable concrete seat moving your pieces around a game board. You are likely to step out of an airplane and, in freefall, will reach speeds of up to 250 feet per second… that is 110 mph!! For those who have a bad ticker, unregulated high blood pressure, or any number of other health issues, speak to an instructor and discuss your options in detail. Also bear in mind, even the best of the very best in this game sometimes hit the floor a bit harder then they mean to. So, bad knees may also be a consideration. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to go over these things with your teacher before making that first jump. It’s always preferable to strike the ground safely then to plant yourself inside. Truthfully though, with the appropriate preparations and instruction you’d be more likely to develop cataracts from reading this article then suffer a serious injury from skydiving. Listen to your teachers, know your gear, and never assume you know how to do something just because you saw it in a film.
There are three approved methods of training to become a licensed skydiver, the Tandem jump, the Static jump, and the Accelerated Free Fall (AFF).
The tandem jump is the easiest and quickest method to get in the air. With ground training typically lasting about thirty minutes, then you’ll jump from an airplane while strapped to the chest of a professional Tandem Instructor. After three or four of those jumps and conclusion of the approved First Jump Course (ground school), a student may then proceed to another level.
Tandem jumping, however, does provide an opportunity for the adventurous soul who may not quite meet the physical or proficiency requirements for the static line or accelerated free fall jumps. By relying on tandem instructor’s abilities, it may still be possible to go through the intense thrill of skydiving.
Static line skydiving was designed by the military as a safety measure for paratroopers. It’s used for instant and reliable deployment of parachutes at a relatively low altitude, about 2000 – 3000 feet. Basically what happens is a specially designed cord is attached to the plane and to your parachute. As you step away from the plane, the cable immediately deploys your parachute for you. No fuss – no muss. After about two of those jumps the student begins demonstrating mock-pulls of a dummy ripcord. After about three of those jumps the student is then ready for their first free fall.
Accelerated Free Fall
Here is the way to go for the adrenalin junky out there. Why? You get to free fall from leap one!! Of course this procedure is a bit more expensive because of the fact that you’ll have two teachers jumping with you, and, although you’ll be in free fall, the teachers will maintain hands-on contact at all times during free fall. After a couple of jumps in this way, you will start doing it on your own with a single teacher giving more advice and training. This method will get you your class a permit a bit faster.
When my first hop is finished? What to do after the initial class
After you have finished 4 to 5 hours of ground school training and have made 25 jumps, you are qualified for a permit and can keep going all of the way to your D permit, requiring 500 jumps. But as soon as you have your license, are you really done? The answer to that question is no. As with any skill, you can’t learn everything. There’s always going to be that next skill level to work towards. New equipment and techniques are being developed every day. So the only thing left to do today is to get started! Have fun and good jumping!