For my 27th birthday, I wanted to go skydiving with a few friends. I researched local spots and chose Skydive Orange for two reasons:
1) The videos that I saw were AMAZING (in other places, your tandem master is also your videographer; but here, there is another person solely dedicated to capturing those moments)
2) The plane took you higher (I’ve read other places take you 10,000 ft or 13,000 ft; but here, it’s 13,500 ft!).
I called Skydive Orange to ask a few questions (I probably called them 4 times total, LOL), and they were very patient with me and answered all of my questions. In addition, the online registration process was simple, and their website was very informative.
My crew and I arrived around 9:45 for our 10:00 appointment. The day was absolutely perfect; upper 60’s and not a cloud in the sky (all this at the end of OCTOBER). We saw a 15-min video about the risks involved with tandem skydiving. Afterward, we completed our “if-we-die-we-can’t-sue” paperwork (gosh, I swear it was 10+ pages worth of stuff). Then, we paid our remaining balance. Tip from Chiq: Pay your balance in CASH so that you can get a discount; AND, if you have a Common Access Card (CAC), bring it! You’ll get a $15 discount. I had two friends who couldn’t attend and, luckily, I was able to transfer their $50 deposits toward my balance ($100 off? I’ll take it! Happy birthday to me!).
Once we paid, that’s when the waiting game began. The website tells you that you could be at the place up to 6 hours after your appointment. I would say about an hour later, we took our 10-minute training, which was led by TJ (who is awesome and nice on the eyes *wink*). Later, we met up with our tandem masters, who gave us more information and suited us up. My tandem master was Pete, who is absolutely hilarious; not to mention, he’s from the 757 too, so I had all faith in him. 🙂 Tip from Chiq: If it’s your first time jumping, I highly recommend that you get videos and stills (pics). It’s not like you’re going skydiving everyday. My videographer was Ryan, who was the bomb dot com. He called me over to the end of the hangar and did a quick interview. I appreciated the fact that he did a couple of re-takes to ensure that I had the best video.
Around 1pm or so, we were boarding the plane and taking off. Pete rapped a lil bit (told you he was hilarious), and Ryan interviewed me and took some pics of me and my friends. By this point, I didn’t have a nervous bone in my body, but when the plane door opened up for us to jump out…ish got real. Out of the four of my friends (I was the only girl, by the way), I went second. The weirdest thing ever is seeing someone at the edge of a plane, and then not seeing them anymore. That may sound strange, but it was totally weird. As Pete and I shifted toward the opening of the plane, my excitement came back…I was so ready, then he counted us down, and we jumped. BEST.EXPERIENCE.EVER. You know that sinking feeling you get when you dip on a roller coaster? Well, you don’t feel that AT ALL!! It’s just wind hitting your face; I learned that we went a max of 140mph!! As we were falling, I could see Ryan recording us, we even fist-pounded each other. It was soo dope. Pete was absolutely amazing. He did some Superman moves, and he played peek-a-boo with my hair LOL (I didn’t know this until I saw the video lol…pure awesomeness). He even let me steer the parachute, and we did a few spins. Tip from Chiq: If you have a weak stomach, don’t do too many spins. I was actually slightly nauseous after we landed, but I was like screw it, let’s do it anyway lol. Our landing was PERFECT; we landed on our feet. Ryan interviewed me some more, Pete and I high-fived each other, he wished me a happy birthday, and Ryan had my DVD ready in 15 minutes. I also got a skydiving certificate.
When I got home, of course I couldn’t wait to upload all of my goodies to Facebook/Instagram. I was able to upload my skydive to my Facebook page, and it inspired so many of friends (including the ones who declined my initial invitation lol) to take the leap themselves.
Overall, I recommend Skydive Orange to any and everyone considering taking that leap of faith. Awesome staff, awesome video and pics, and awesome time. I plan to do this once a year now. 🙂
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.