What is a Tandem Skydive Jump?
A tandem skydive jump is where the jumper (you) are attached to an instructor via a harness.
The instructor is the one that is equipped with the parachute backpack and the student (again, you) is attached to the instrucor through a harness system.
It is a quite safe and enjoyable experience as you get to enjoy the ride without worrying about when to pull the chute cord. The instructor will signal you on hand and leg positionings through the jump when needed.
Prior to boarding the jump plane, you’ll be “schooled” in body positions, hand signals, and landing positions. Although a it seems like a quick lesson that you may or may not remember when you get up there, worry not. The instructor has you covered. He or she will actually tell you what to do as the jump proceeds, and if you freeze, the instructor will help you move into position (arms, legs) to make the jump easier and more enjoyable.
Can I eat before I skydive?
Absolutely you can eat before you skydive. Just make sure to not over-eat. You don’t want to get nervous during the jump and puke all over the next guy out of the plane.
Kidding aside, it is safe and a good idea to eat a light meal at least an hour (if not earlier) before your jump. You’re going to need the energy when the excitement hits you.
Also, don’t forget to stay well hydrated.
How old do you have to be to skydive?
The age limit for most skydiving centers is 18 years and up. Some dropzones will allow for 14 year olds to tandem jump with parents’ permission.
You’ll have to check with your drop zone for their age requirements.
What to wear when skydiving?
Comfortable yet fitting clothes. You don’t want baggy clothing as that’s going to be flapping against you all the way down. Ouch. Athletic clothing are good choices.
You’ll also need to wear athletic shoes, like tennis shoes and gym shoes.
Keep your jewelry at home. It’s just a good idea to not bring anything you’re not prepared to lose, either at the hangar or in the air.
Can I wear glasses when skydiving?
Yes, you can. However, you’ll need to let your instructor know so that you’ll be provided a goggle that can fit over the glasses.
If you wear contacts, it’s also recommended that you wear goggles so that your contacts won’t fall out during the jump.
Can I change my mind right before the jump?
Yes, you can. You can always change your mind. It’s not like anyone can force you to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
Whether your paid fees will be refundable is entirely up to the dropzone policies. Check with them before you sign up.
Do I have to sign a waiver to jump?
You’ll most definitely be asked to sign a waiver before any and all jumps. It’s just a legal measure most drop zones take.
Is there a weight limit for tandem skydiving?
Weight requirement is actually up to the dropzone you’ve selected. Depending on the instructor they have available, they may be able to accommodate you.
Other physical requirements also vary by dropzone, depending on the instructors they have available.
Call up the dropzone and ask to clarify on their weight restrictions and physical fitness recommendations before you book online or over the phone. Just don’t show up and expect someone to be available to take you up (and down).
How does weather conditions affect my scheduled jump?
Usually if bad weather is forecasted, the dropzone will close that day and will notify you to reschedule.
If the weather changes suddenly while you’re at the drop zone and depending on the judgement of the pilot, you may be able to wait it out.
Will I get training before I jump?
If you’re doing a jump for the first time, YES. You will absolutely get some careful training before you jump. Ground training will teach you the basics of hand signals, body positioning before and during the jump, free fall positions, and landing positions. You’ll get more instructions on skydiving safety when you meet your instructor.
A comprehensive training program may be available at some drop zones, so call them up and get the deets before making reservations.
More experienced skydivers can still get tips and pointers from licensed jumpers to level up their skills. Licensed skydivers are a close knit community and are always helpful and willing to help you rank up.