experienced skydivers in freefall

Five Reasons to Try AFF

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Whether you’ve thought about becoming a licensed skydiver or are just stoked at the idea of skydiving by yourself – Accelerated Freefall, or AFF, skydiving is the way to go. Tandem skydiving is a sure way to experience the thrill of skydiving, but learning to jump on your own is a next-level rush that you just can’t get anywhere else.

What is AFF?

Accelerated Freefall is a step-by-step program where students learn essential skills to prepare them to skydive competently and safely by progressing through various levels. The AFF Skydiving Program at Skydive Orange follows the United States Parachute Association’s Integrated Student Program (ISP) guidelines that were developed right here at Skydive Orange! 

The AFF Skydiving Program includes a 6 to 8 hour classroom-style skydiving course (first jump course), 8 category jumps (A-H) that count towards the 25 jumps required to become licensed, and a parachute packing class. Following completion of the AFF Skydiving Program, logging the requisite jumps, and fulfillment of the A License Proficiency Card, students get their skydiving “A” license — officially earning the title of “licensed skydiver” — and can jump on their own or with other licensed skydivers!

5 Reasons To Try AFF | skydive orange

Why Try AFF Skydiving?

1. It’s The Fastest Way to Get Your Skydiving Certification

The obvious, or maybe not-so-obvious, reason to try AFF skydiving is that it is the fastest and most efficient way to get your skydiving license!

If you’ve already been thinking about getting your skydiving certification to become a skydiver, the best way to achieve that quickly is by getting your license through the AFF Program. The program includes everything you’ll need to know and all of the requirements necessary to become a licensed skydiver. Most jumpers achieve their license within a month’s time depending on their schedules and weather, of course.

Once you’ve started the student program, you must make at least one jump every 30 days to maintain currency.

2. Limitless Learning

With skydiving, the learning never ends! Learning to skydive is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything there is to discover in the world of skydiving. 

Once you learn to skydive on your own, you can then learn to skydive with others, how to fly in formations, and how to fly in various body positions (belly, back, head-up, head-down, and dynamic freeflying). The more you jump, the more experience you’ll gain and achieve other skydiving licenses from A to B, to C, and finally to D!

While on your journey, you’ll uncover the world of limitless possibilities – between wingsuiting, canopy piloting, angle flying, skydiving competitions, canopy relative work (CRW), base jumping, and more – you’ll never run out of new things to try!

Skydiving brings a new challenge around every corner that keeps the journey exciting and fresh – which is why skydiving can become a lifelong hobby. There are experienced, legacy skydivers that have been jumping for decades and have tens of thousands of jumps!

3. You’ll Feel Accomplished

One thing that attracts eager jumpers to get their skydiving certification through the AFF program is the enormous sense of accomplishment that comes with overcoming challenges to achieve your goal. 

Skydiving is super fun, but it’s not always easy. The AFF program will test you in ways you might have never experienced before. Not only is skydiving physically taxing, but it can also be mentally draining. When you’re doing something you’ve never done before, it’s completely normal to feel fearful or get discouraged – but when you push through the fight and make it to the other side, you’ll feel amazing!

Accelerated freefall floods your mind, body, and soul with all that good stuff that can last for days. Better yet, skydiving will enrich your life and give you the confidence to accomplish other daunting tasks that may come your way. Before you know it, you’ll look back on your journey and see how much you’ve accomplished and everything you are capable of. That is a good feeling.

4. Escape The Mundane

We all know how monotonous modern life can be: work, school, bills, traffic – BLEH! In times of major stress, sometimes you just need a break to unplug and rejuvenate yourself. Skydiving is a healthy way to escape the mundane of everyday life.

When you’re flying high above the Earth, freefalling at 120 mph – away from it all – all of a sudden your worries just disappear. Because when you’re among the clouds, nothing else matters at that moment – you’re free! Even after you land, you’ll feel more alive than ever, not just due to the adrenaline flowing through your veins, but because you’ll gain a new perspective of the world.

Staff Spotlight: OJ Ford | Skydive Orange

5. Join an Amazing Community!

Skydiving is cool and all, but the people you’ll meet and bond with along the way are what makes accelerated freefall skydiving life-changing. AFF skydiving gives you access to an amazing community full of people from all over the globe who look after one another – just like a big, happy family.

Skydivers come from all walks of life. Regardless of age, career, ability, political stance, race, marital status, religion, gender, or sexual orientation – everyone is welcome here! What brings skydivers together is their passion for skydiving, regardless of whatever labels. The dropzone is like our little safe spot where people are encouraged to leave the labels at the door and just exist in their purest form.

You’ll find that skydivers are some of the most open-minded individuals on the planet because we get it. Even after jumping, skydivers will stick around just to chat, share a drink, or help each other out. If you ask any skydiver why they skydive or their favorite thing about skydiving, we bet most will answer “the community.”

Ready to begin your journey to becoming a licensed skydiver? Register online for a first jump course where the most popular AFF skydiving program in the US was created – Skydive Orange. Blue skies!

About Whitney Payne

Co-Operations Manager at Skydive Orange - Working with Skydive Orange for 10+ years - Previously positions held: Office manager, manifest, guest services, social media manager, she does it all! “If you told be 10 years ago I’d be co-managing a skydiving facility and loving every minute of it, I would have laughed in your face. I am not an adrenaline junkie, not spontaneous and definitely not a thrill-seeker but I love these people. Skydivers are truly a different breed of people and I am forever thankful for them accepting me into their community. Watching people visit Skydive Orange to face fears, celebrate milestones or just jump out of a perfectly good airplane has been truly life changing for me and helped be become the person I am today.” – Whitney Payne

Dave Harris Skydive Orange AFF Student

Dave Harris – South Riding, VA

South Riding, VA

The instructors and coaches were incredibly competent, professional and fun to be around.

The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.

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