These days, the spectacular sport of skydiving is popping up in the most interesting places. There are movie stars like Tom Cruise completing his own death-defying skydiving stunts on the big screen with Mission: Impossible- Fallout, the Fresh Prince himself, the one and only Will Smith, sharing his inspiring skydiving story in a video that became an instant internet sensation, and even the mysterious magician David Blaine pulling off a high-flying balloon stunt over 20,000 feet in the air. Let’s face it: skydiving is everywhere! As exposure to the wonders of free-falling through the big blue sky grows, it’s natural to see the fun and wonder how to get into skydiving.
Why would someone want to skydive? Skydiving attracts a variety of people from all walks of life all bound by one commonality: the desire to push their limits, step outside of their comfort zone, and experience, first hand, a feeling of unrivaled freedom. If this sounds like you, it’s time to get into skydiving.
To get into parachuting, everyone starts at the same place: making their first jump! As simple as it may sound, your first jump can be an intimidating leap to make. To allay some of the first jump jitters, the majority of people interested in getting into skydiving begin with a tandem skydive. During a tandem skydive, the student skydiver wears a harness that is securely attached to a licensed professional skydiving instructor. During freefall and the parachute flight, the tandem instructor is responsible for the operation of the skydiving equipment.
Before taking to the sky solo, it’s best to have a taste of freefall first. A tandem skydive allows a first-time jumper to understand the feeling of freefall in a more controlled environment. Because skydiving can be an overwhelming experience, it is important to have an opportunity to feel out skydiving without the added pressure of having to “save your own life.”
For some, skydiving is a “one and done” kind of deal. For others, the first taste of flight awakens a ravenous appetite for more. The primary method to learn to skydive and how to get a skydiving license is to progress through an Accelerated Freefall progression. Here at Skydive Orange, we utilize a skydiving training program that follows training objectives developed by the United States Parachute Association.
Is skydiving hard to learn? Not if you have good instruction!
Our program, in particular, begins with a 6-8 hour thorough ground course which trains skydiving students on how to exit the aircraft, how to achieve stability in freefall, how to determine their altitude with the use of an altimeter, parachute flight, landing, and emergency procedures. Weather permitting, students will make their first jump that same day accompanied by two skydiving instructors. As a student goes through the program, they progress through a few phases: jumping with only one instructor, completing jumps with a USPA coach, and then, eventually, to completing solo self-supervised skydives.
To become a licensed skydiver, an individual must demonstrate a mastery of 8 different freefall objectives, complete 25 total skydives, obtain 19 minutes of freefall, and learn to pack a parachute.
Once you are a licensed skydiver, the fun doesn’t stop. In fact, it’s really just the beginning! If you thought solo skydiving was fun, wait until you can jump with groups. These group skydives are called formation skydiving. In formation skydiving, you essentially build shapes in the sky by holding onto various “grips” on each other’s arms and legs.
As a newly licensed skydiver, you need to continue to build and refine your skydiving skills. As you learn, grow, and gain experience, you can begin to advance into other skydiving disciplines like free-flying and wingsuiting.
Get into skydiving! Begin the journey by booking your first tandem skydive today!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.