How to Become a Skydiver

Skydiving isn't for everyone. Only a small percentage will have the ability to break through the mental barriers. Skydiving becomes a life-changing experience for those who can break through the barriers, the effects of which can be noticed in many aspects of life.


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    Get informed! The information available on the Web is enormous. One place to start is Also, visit which is the regulating body for U.S. skydivers.
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    Do a tandem jump. This is a very good way of finding out if you'll enjoy skydiving or not.
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    Choose a method for training. The two common methods are AFF and Static Line training. Research and find out which one is best suited for your personality, lifestyle and budget.
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    Plan to complete your training with none or as little interruptions as possible.
    1. Choose the right time to start training. Skydiving is a weather dependent sport and the restrictions are stricter, the less experience you have. Each country's governing body has different rules regarding weather conditions though two conditions are important: low winds and a cloud cover that allows the drop zone to be visible from the airplane. It is ideal to start training during a time of the year when you'll be able to complete your training without weather breaks. Try to do your own research and take advice from drop-zones with a pinch of salt.
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    2. Ensure you have enough funds to finish training using the method of your choice. Besides the cost of training, you have to consider the cost of membership to your country's governing body for skydiving and transportation plus accommodation at the dropzone (see tips).
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    3. Ensure your lifestyle will allow you to finish training without major interruptions. While you can never predict weather or financial troubles, going away for extended periods will not allow for continuous training and may invalidate your theoretical briefing.
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    Choose a dropzone.
    1. Make a list of all approved locations in your vicinity.
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    2. Research their reviews on or your country/ region's skydiving forum. Look for constant reviews from active members and be wary of "cowboys". Look at the fatalities section for the dropzone and avoid it if it has any student incidents.
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    3. Ask from information from the dropzone: student incidents, number of airplanes, number of loads, number of students and number of AFF instructors. Small drop zones are a good place to skydive, but large drop-zones offer more knowledge for the student skydiver. Do not be afraid of having a different instructor every time!
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    1. Go to your chosen dropzone and learn the theory behind skydiving.
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    2. During the course, be honest! Everybody is scared before the first solo jump. Even most of those with thousands of jumps will happily talk about their fears, worries, and stressful moments.
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    Do it!
    1. Follow your instructor(s) into the airplane and enjoy the ride.
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    2. Do not deviate from the plan. If you plan to do three dummy pulls and one did not succeed, do not try to do the fourth unless agreed beforehand with the instructor.
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    3. Smiling, relaxation and not over thinking can make a difference between a bad or a good skydive.
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    Don't give up! Certain aspects of skydiving can be boring and frustrating, especially the weather.
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    When you've got your license, don't just buy the first rig you see. Rent, borrow and try as many different types as you can, before you spend your hard-earned money.


  • Never stop learning. Getting your A-license only means you can jump out, freefall, open a parachute, and land it safely. This is where the real learning starts!
  • Signing up for a packing course (and completing it) will give you a better understanding of flying your canopy. Ask your instructor about doing this before your first skydive.
  • Always be wary of advice as a student, if it does not come from an AFF or Static Line instructor!
  • When considering accommodation, be aware that most dropzones offer free camping facilities and/ or bunk beds and some offer simple rooms to rent.
  • Skydiving is NOT about taking risks; it's about enjoying a different environment. If you're just looking for kicks, then you'll find skydiving not all that fulfilling after only a couple of jumps.
  • Coaching is expensive but if you find a good coach (and there are plenty of them!), it's money well spent.

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Categories: Air Sports