first-time skydivers at skydive orange

What Do You Need to Go Skydiving for the First Time

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Getting ready to take to the skies for your first tandem skydive? Awesome! Tandem skydiving offers an array of benefits beyond the thrill, but only if you arrive prepared. While the pre-jump skydiving requirements can seem intimidating at first, we hope that you’ll gain some confidence after we break it down and take it step-by-step. You got this!

How to Prepare for Skydiving for the First Time

If you’ve already booked your skydiving reservation and the excitement has started to settle, you might be wondering: How do I prepare for my first skydive? Don’t worry, friend – we’ve got all the tips and tricks on what to expect during your first time skydiving. It starts with going over everything you’ll need before skydiving, other than making a skydiving reservation, of course. Here are the prerequisites for first-time skydivers!


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You Need to Meet the Weight Requirements

Skydiving restrictions are in place to keep us as safe as possible. This is why each dropzone has its own weight requirements based on its own gear, airplane, and tandem instructors’ weight restrictions. Not only do these skydiving requirements have your safety in mind, but they also consider the safety of the instructor and all other participants on the aircraft and in the sky with you. 

At Skydive Orange, our weight limit is 250 lbs (yes, that includes clothing and shoes). Everyone will be weighed at check-in – so please be prepared! Additionally, there will be a surcharge of $35 for every 10 pounds over 220 lbs. This is not intended to be exclusive or degrading, it’s all about skydiving safety and comfort.

You Need to Be Reasonably Healthy

Skydiving is a sport that impacts your physical, mental, and emotional well-being and can put stress on your heart, lungs, and limbs. With that being said, certain medical conditions could prevent you from skydiving – some examples include neck/back injuries, pregnancy, osteoporosis, diabetes, epilepsy, collapsed lung, and even the common cold. We urge you to consult with a physician before skydiving if you have any questions or concerns.

You Need to Be Sober

Tandem skydiving is not a roller coaster ride; you’ll be playing an active role in the success of your jump. If for any reason we suspect you’re under the influence, we have the right to turn you away and reschedule your jump for another day. 

That goes for being hungover too, we ask that you not have any alcoholic beverages within at least eight hours of arrival at Skydive Orange. So, if you’re wondering what not to do the night before skydiving – partying (and staying up late) would be our first answer! Trust us, skydiving and alcohol do not mix well and frankly it’s a recipe for a retching disaster. Yuck.

You Need to Dress Comfortably

Skydiving is much more enjoyable when you are comfortable, which starts with choosing the right outfit. We recommend wearing long pants that are easy to move in and a snug-fit, long-sleeve shirt to protect your skin from the 120 mph winds. 

If you’re worried about getting too warm or too cool, layer up with tanks, shirts, and pullovers. Keep in mind that temperatures tend to be 30 to 40 degrees cooler up at altitude – so dress for the weather but add an extra layer just in case. Hoods, sandals, boots, heels, and anything with a snag-hazard-like zipper are a no-go.

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You Need a Valid, Government-Issued ID

Anyone planning to skydive must be at least 18 years of age – no exceptions. At check-in, you must present your valid, government-issued photo identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) with your date of birth to prove your age before being approved by a staff member to skydive.

You Need to Fill Out Paperwork

You might be thinking, “Ugh … paperwork!?” We know. Paperwork can be daunting to some but it’s one of the necessary steps to be completed before we can get you up in the skies! Once you arrive at the Student Manifest check-in window, you’ll show your photo ID to the helpful staff member at the desk. They’ll then hand you some paperwork to be filled out and if needed, you’ll settle up any additional payments. If you want to add to one of our awesome video packages, now is the time to do that. A word of advice: DO IT!!!

You Need a Pre-Skydiving Safety Brief

After you check in with us, you’ll finally get to meet your new bestie – your skydiving instructor! The excitement will be rushing all over you but before we get to the fun part, there will be some important skydiving safety lessons to learn to prepare for the jump. Listen up – your instructor will go over everything you need to know about your skydive from exiting, freefall body positions, and landing. This is the time to ask any questions you may have or inform your instructor of any concerns.

You Need Good Weather

Clouds, rain, and wind can all prevent a skydive from happening for safety reasons, of course. For first-time tandem skydives at Skydive Orange, clouds must be at or above 8,000 feet above ground level (AGL), and tandem jumps are limited to 7,500 feet. We will not jump in rain or unsafe, gusty winds. The Safety and Training Advisor will determine if conditions are favorable for skydiving on the day of your jump. Please be patient with the weather gods, and us! (BTW, this is why skydivers always wish each other “Blue skies!”)

Is everything good to go? Sweeeeeet – let’s get you geared up; it’s time to fly!! Contact Skydive Orange if you have any questions or concerns before heading out to the dropzone or booking your skydiving reservation. Blue skies, friends!


Tandem Skydive over Skydive Orange

Clara Del Grande

I had been wanting to do this for years and I am so glad I did it here. Everyone was so friendly, I had a great time and I can't wait to go back!

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

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