Got the skydiving bug? Before you book your first tandem skydive, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, skydiving is an adventure sport: it’s not an amusement park thrill ride. What do we mean by that? Well, with a thrill ride, you strap in, sit back, and enjoy. In skydiving, you have a role to play. How well the experience goes on your skydive is, in part, up to you.
Additionally, it is important to recognize that there are risks that accompany jumping from a plane–but there are practices in place which mitigate these risks. By following our skydiving safety tips you can help ensure you do your part and have the skydiving experience of your dreams!
Pick the Right Facility
The first skydiving safety tip is simple: make sure you pick the right skydiving facility! Your skydiving experience will be influenced significantly by the atmosphere and culture of the skydiving center you select. Here’s the deal: all dropzones are not created equal. Some put an emphasis on profit. A special few dropzones (the type you want to skydive with) pour their energy into creating a culture that emphasizes safety, the customer experience, and, of course, fun!
To pick the skydiving center that is right for you, check out their website and give the reviews a read. This can give you a general impression of how the dropzone presents itself and of the experience others have had. If you really want to take this skydiving safety tip seriously, take the time to call the dropzone you’re interested in or pay them a visit. You can tell a lot about the vibe of a dropzone by how they interact with potential customers over the phone and in person. If you have some lingering questions, you will also be able to determine if the staff appears to be knowledgeable and able to provide you with answers.
100% Sober Skydiving
Though you may be tempted to tame the nervous flutter in your tummy with a quick pre-jump cocktail, it’s not a good idea. There should be absolutely no alcohol consumption up to 8 hours before your skydive. For skydiving safety, it is imperative that you are 100% sober.
Additionally, it is not wise to imbibe too much the night before your skydive either. Hungover skydiving is the WORST. Between the thinner air at altitude and the adrenaline rush you experience during a skydive, jumping with a hangover will leave you feeling extra crummy. Trust us, sober skydiving is the way to go!
Of all our skydiving safety tips, this one cannot be overstated: listen closely and follow directions. When you arrive for your first tandem skydive, you will sit through a 30-minute ground school to learn about the role you will play on the skydive. During this class, listen closely. You’ll be taught how to properly exit the aircraft with your instructor, the body position you will need to assume in freefall, and the proper landing technique.
In addition to paying close attention during the ground school, you should also listen closely to the instructor that you are paired with. They may have additional instructions for you in the aircraft and while on the skydive.
Dress For Success
Another first-time skydiving tip that has applications for both safety and customer comfort is picking the right skydiving outfit.
It’s important to select close-fitting, but comfortable, items like leggings, athletic pants, joggers, sweatpants, or well-worn denim with a bit of stretch.
You do not want to wear anything overly baggy because the wind will whip the fabric against your skin, which at 120mph can leave some pretty impressive welts. Likewise, the excess fabric could present a snag hazard.
You should also avoid wearing long necklaces, dangling earrings, or in general, any jewelry that you do not wish to lose–like loose baggy clothing, long necklaces or earrings could get snagged. Talk about ouch!
No Student Cameras
You may wonder if you have your own action camera if you’ll be allowed to bring it on a skydive. Even if you consider yourself to be quite the adventurer, students are not permitted to wear cameras on their jump. This rule isn’t ours alone, the United States Parachute Association requires an individual to be a licensed skydiver and recommends accruing 200 jumps before sporting a camera.
Wearing a camera may not seem like a big deal, but it can greatly affect safety. Camera setups present a line snag hazard and are also a major distraction for first-time jumpers. Leave the video services to the professionals to document your adventure, we’ve got you covered!
Hydrate & Don’t Forget the Snacks!
Remembering to eat and hydrate on the day of your jump is a crucial first-time skydiving tip. Especially in the summer, if the temperatures are quite warm, you can easily become dehydrated. While you may be worried about “losing your lunch” on a skydive, you shouldn’t jump on an empty stomach. Instead, eat a breakfast of lighter fare, and remember to bring snacks to help keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. If you’re simply too nervous to eat, try to at least drink a smoothie and ideally one that will have enough calories to keep you satiated.
Now that you’re equipped with our top skydiving safety tips, let’s get you on the books! Contact Skydive New England today to schedule a skydive post haste!