Half of your friends may be calling you courageous, and the other half crazy; truth be told, you may have to be a little bit of both to take on the task of a skydive. So if you think that you are both courageous and crazy enough for such a feat, here are 8 ways to help you prepare yourself for your first jump!
- Commit yourself. Make sure that you are one-hundred percent, undoubtedly, sure you want to skydive. A 120 mile an hour fall toward Earth is no light matter and should be carefully thought over before doing. If you hold even the slightest bit of doubts in your mind, come jump-day, these doubts may be enough to hold you back, and it is an awful thing to see someone back down at the time of their jump. So, before any further steps in preparing yourself for your first jump are taken, make sure you are committed!
- Find a drop zone. The United States Parachute Association (USPA) is a great place to find both drop zones and schools for training and they have locations all across the country. For your first jump, pick a location nearby.
- Choose a method. First-time jumpers have three different methods to chose from: an Accelerated Freefall (AFF), an Instructor-Assisted Deployment (IAD), and a Tandem Freefall. The most common of the methods for first-time jumpers is the Tandem Freefall. This is a jump in in which the student and instructor jump with a single shared parachute. The training for this method is generally less than 30 minutes and the jump will be executed on the same day of training. The IAD is a jump method in which the student jumps alone, but the parachute is deployed by the instructor from the plane. The training for an IAD is a bit more intense than training for a Tandem Freefall, but the jump can still be executed on the same day of training. The AFF is the jump method that requires the most training (usually a few hours), and with good reason. During an AFF, a student makes his or her jump with two instructors who give in-air instructions throughout the jump. After a 30-50 second freefall alongside two instructors, the student goes solo and the deployment of the parachute, along with landing, is in the hands of the student.
- Listen carefully. For all jump methods, training is required. This being your first jump, you must pay close attention to your instructor. Although a very fun and exciting experience, safety is always a serious matter, especially in an activity such as skydiving
- Breathe in through the nose, and out through the mouth. Skydiving is an activity that brings with it a lot of risks and the plane ride up can cause cause a fair share of butterflies in your stomach (especially on your first jump!) but don’t psych yourself out! At the time of your jump, you will have been well trained, so trust yourself and enjoy the jump!
- Geronimo! There is no experience on earth (literally) like skydiving, so take in every last second and relish in the freefall!
- Listen carefully, again. After the period of freefall, the parachute will be deployed, but you’re not done yet! Landing is different for every jump, so listen carefully to your instructor as he or she will guide you to a safe landing.
- Be proud! After the jump, celebrate! There is such a small percentage of people who take on such a task, and you’re one of them! So be proud of your accomplishment and take pride knowing that you are among the few courageous (and crazy) enough to take on skydiving!