These days you can skydive pretty much anywhere – even places like Mount Everest and the North Pole – and indeed if you have the cash and are willing to travel around the world you can chase an endless Summer and jump your socks off every month of the year. However, the majority of dropzones operate with a seasonal ebb and flow to their action. Most likely your skydiving season is best during the long hot Summer months when the air is agreeably warm and the sun rises early and sets late so you can squeeze as many jumps in a day as you wish.
Whether your gear has been packed away for a while as you wait for the sun to come out again, or you just need to shake the sand out of it from whichever fancy place you have been away at, there are some things to attend to before the busy season, some mandatory, some optional.
Let’s have a look…
Things can get busy for riggers leading up to the exciting part of the year, so don’t miss out on the first rounds of awesome jumps by being in the queue to get your reserve done. Be a friend to your local parachute folder by getting in ahead of time.
Pre-season is a good time to give your equipment a proper clean. Not only will you look spiffy when you arrive at the dropzone, but also a full clean of your kit gives you a nice opportunity to inspect and maintain the parts of it that are your personal responsibility and which nobody else is going to do for you.
Perhaps you need some new gear? All the big stuff coming from a manufacturer has an attached lead time to custom make things for you. This can range from fairly quick – perhaps just a couple of weeks – up to a really long time. If you know what you want then the sooner the better to get your order in.
You could wait to do your paperwork until the first busy and beautiful morning of skydiving while everyone else is already on the plane. Or, to save yourself getting chewed out by the manifest staff for being a slack-jawed dummy you could look more like a pro and less like a mug by getting it done ahead of time.
Also, things might have changed on an official level in a way that affects you directly and has been discussed and decided in the off-season by the elected representatives of your governing body. Now is a good time to learn if anything has changed that might affect you directly.
Skydiving adheres to trends and fashions. Mooching around on the internet can keep you up to date about what has been happening out there in the big wide world while you have perhaps been less active. For sure there is no substitute for actual jumps and direct coaching from someone of quality, but there are resources out there that you can use during the downtime to sharpen up for when you are ready to go.
Have you been flying in the tunnel during the offseason? Skills picked up indoors will make you good outdoors also – but it doesn’t happen by magic. The nature of the two different environments means that transferring your skills from one environment to the other takes some practice. A structured plan to bridge the gap between what you have been training indoors can have you applying those new skills as quickly as possible.
What do you want from your skydiving? Are you happy with the speed by which you are progressing? Adding real structure to your goals gives you the motivation to hit targets by certain times and can give you the motivation to push harder when you might be inclined to slack off a bit. Outlining some clear goals can help you get to the next level.
You don’t necessarily need to be out doing laps of the airfield before sunrise but a generally good level of fitness will help with both your enjoyment and progression. Skydiving has no use-by date and keeping in shape will keep you jumping years and decades down the line. Improving your health will also keep you from getting tired throughout those long hot days when you want to jump as much as you can and get as much from your jumps as possible.
Before you know it the busy season will be upon you. Skydiving is an immensely rewarding sport that provides amazing experiences. Remember, the more you put in the more you get out.
Getting good and staying current requires not only sufficient time and effort on the dropzone but during the gaps in between – be they big or small.
Whatever your current level or your particular need for gear, here at Skydive Orange with have both the experience and the facilities and an amazing community of skydivers for you to get the most out of your time as a part of our skydiving family. Are you ready for an amazing Summer?
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.