Published: November 8, 2016
That answer, however, leaves a lot more questions in its wake. Earning your license is a monumental challenge for most people, and there are lots of ways to smooth out the process. To give you a leg up, we've compiled our best tips to help you get into the world of skydiving and tackle that A-license like a boss.
You should know that doing a tandem skydive is not a requirement before you put on your very own parachute for the first time. That said, we highly recommend going for a tandem as a first-time introduction to skydiving. The pressure is greatly lessened, the stress is reduced and the experience shows you just how fun and fancy-free the sky can be (with a minimum of nail biting).
There are surprisingly few prerequisites to become a sport skydiving superstar. The number-one prerequisite is age. Jumpers must be at least eighteen, in every case, with no exceptions. Even a parental sign-off doesn't count in this particular instance. (A skydive does, however, make for an excellent eighteenth birthday present.)
Aside from that requirement, there's a lot of flexibility. Weight limits depend on the equipment available at the dropzone, so make sure you call ahead to check. (No fudging numbers--because weight is a safety issue and translates directly into a safe parachute size, you'll be asked to step on a scale.) Pre-existing medical conditions and physical incapacities should be discussed with your doctor, but most have ready workarounds. Don't assume you can't skydive--you probably can!
Getting started with skydiving isn't cheap. Getting your license, however, isn't as expensive as you might imagine it would be for such a jaw-dropping hobby. Getting a license costs about as much as getting a used scooter, buying a teacup pony or going to Burning Man in style.
Learning to skydive does have one significant cost, and that is time. In order to get comfortable and optimize your experience, you'll need to dedicate your free time to the sport in the largest chunks you can manage--especially, but not limited to, the weekends. This will help you move through your license progression smoothly and confidently.
Get connected. Skydiving is very much a tribe, and tends to be very welcoming. When you start going for your license, you're going to get a lot of support from jumpers on the dropzone. Welcome it! We all know that learning to skydive is a huge challenge--heck, we've all been there--and we're going to circle the wagons to answer your questions and motivate you. Try not to duck away because you're overwhelmed or nervous; your new "skyfamily" is here to help you out--in exactly the way we were helped, back when we were in your shoes.
Have questions about how to get into skydiving? View info on our learn to skydive programs or just reach out; we'll help you make it a reality!
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» Grace Q.