first-time tandem skydiver at skydive orange

Tips for First-Time Skydivers

Monday, April 22, 2024

If you’ve never jumped out of an airplane from 14,000 feet before, we’re going to guess that you’ve got about a million questions! Perfect. That’s totally normal, there are thousands of people just like you in the same boat. And we don’t mind whatsoever – we LOVE to talk about skydiving! At Skydive Orange, we know a thing or two about first-time skydiving experiences from our almost 50 years in operation. Here’s our crash course on skydiving for beginners!

first-time tandem skydiver at skydive orange

Things to Know Before Skydiving

If you ask anyone who has been skydiving before what they wish they knew before jumping, we can imagine at least one of these will make their list of skydiving tips for beginners: 

1. Prepare for a Half-Day Adventure

We advise that you plan to spend four to six hours on site. Why? Because skydiving isn’t a carnival ride, there is a bit of training and preparation that goes into each jump. Before your skydive, you will need to check in with the manifest and attend a thorough briefing on all the things you’ll need to know before skydiving. Patience is key as you wait for your turn to meet with your instructor and gear up. 

Once you’re ready to go, there is still quite a bit of juggling that goes into coordinating airplane loads; between the fueling cycles, parachutes needing to be inspected and packed after each jump, and the debrief for each set of students – these tasks take time! We pride ourselves on giving each customer the best experience possible, which sometimes takes a little more time than anticipated. We promise it’s worth the wait.

Skydiving dances with the unpredictable elements of Mother Nature, so even when we are operating at maximum efficiency there are conditions beyond our control that can cause potential delays. Rain, high winds, and low clouds are all conditions that become a safety hazard and can prevent skydiving operations. At Skydive Orange, safety is paramount, and we will not risk the well-being of you or anyone else in weather conditions that are deemed unfit for skydiving operations. With that being said, we will always do our very best to get you in the air as quickly and safely as we can.

2. Dress for Success

Coming dressed properly is one of the best ways to maximize your experience. Skydiving is technically a sport, so you will want to dress accordingly. This means athletic clothing, or wearing easily moveable fabrics that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Jeans are OKAY but opting for more stretchy fabrics is ideal. You’ll be doing a bit of bending, scooting, and squatting. The idea is that you want to be comfortable: you don’t want clothing that is too tight or too loose. 

Since we operate year-round, you’ll want to consider the temperature outside before you choose your skydiving ’fit. If you’re joining us in the cooler months, try to dress in several warm layers without adding too much bulk. Thermal base layers are a winter skydiver’s best friend! If you’d like, we will outfit you with a jumpsuit and a soft leather helmet called a “frap hat” to add an extra layer of weather protection.

While the clothing choices are pretty flexible, the options for shoes are a bit more strict. You’ll want to be sure you wear sturdy, lace-up shoes like tennis shoes or sneakers. No sandals, heels, or boots.

3. Have an Open Mind

We understand that skydiving can be an overwhelming experience and you want to feel as ready as possible – we agree! After you’ve researched everything you need to know on how to prepare for your first skydive and what to know before skydiving, there’s not much else to do by way of preparation! 

Once you arrive at the dropzone, you might hear one of the most popular skydiving tips: “Just relax!” Easier said than done, amiright?! While this advice might sound silly at first, it’s the best advice we can give. This is your experience – do your best to keep an open mind and take it all in every step of the way. Trust in our skydiving professionals and enjoy the moment – you’re in good hands at Skydive Orange!

first-time skydivers at skydive orange


More Important Skydiving Tips for Beginners

Get the Video!

“I wish I got a video of my skydive…” It’s the biggest regret we hear from our guests who decided NOT to add a video of their first jump. Even if you plan on jumping again (lots of people skydive more than once), there’s nothing like your first time skydiving. 

Most dropzones offer handycam video, but at Skydive Orange, we have the capacity and opportunity to offer you your own personal videographer to capture every moment of your skydiving adventure. Opting for the outside video package is the ultimate way to capture all angles of your skydive all while having an extra buddy to jump with (your videographer)!


From the moment you pull into the parking lot to the blissful feeling of freefall, remember to breathe! If you feel anxious before skydiving, breathe in through your mouth, hold for just a moment, and breathe out through your nose. Calmly and slowly. During your skydive, instructors usually recommend breathing slowly through your nose and taking a forceful breath out through the mouth. Mindful breathing can help manage the stress you might be feeling and bring you back to center, so you can get the most out of your skydive.

Don’t Skip Your Pre-Skydiving Meal

Both a rumbling tummy and a too-full stomach can generate a grumpy disposition while on your skydive. Many people think avoiding eating is a way to mitigate the potential barf session on your skydive, but it does quite the opposite AND doesn’t give you the energy you’ll need. You’re about to put your body through a slew of energy spikes to pump out all of that yummy adrenaline that you’ll need to respond to the situation – this is the good stuff! So, plan to have a nice moderate meal before your skydive, and feel free to bring snacks to keep hunger at bay as you wait for your turn to jump! Bonus tip: Be sure to stay hydrated too!

Have more questions? Give us a buzz! We would love to show you around our dropzone at Skydive Orange and answer all of your questions. And when you’re ready to take the leap, book your skydive! We can’t wait to take you on an epic adventure! Blue skies.


Tandem Student Landing at Skydive Orange

Megan Kile

I would definitely recommend Skydive Orange to anyone wanting to jump!!!

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

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